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Friday, July 8, 2016

7-8-16 An Orca Filled Day

Friday, July 8th
...I think it's just about always an unusual day in the killer whale world...today certainly was!...I apologize for all the details, but this was a detail full day. 

-Group B of J Pod was on their way in. (that's the J17s, J22s, J16s, and the J11s)...on Peregrine in the afternoon I did not see any of the J11s - Blackberry J-11, Tsuchi J-31, or Mako J-39...I heard they were somewhere but nowhere that we saw them in the flat calm water and sunny skies in the Strait of Juan de Fuca...representation of the three family groups we saw: J16s, J17s, J22s,
-Group A was discovered coming down Rosario Strait again today...then were nearing the bottom of Lopez in the early afternoon...
Group A rounded Lopez and came up the west side...
...at the same time the Group B whales had picked up their pace and were making their way across Haro Strait...

...bolting of the boat and heading to Lime Kiln lighthouse, I get there in time to see Shachi J-19 passing the lighthouse going up island...
...Granny J-2 was way up ahead...moments later Shachi turned and headed down and out toward the incoming Group B whales...
...30 minutes later, at 5:19 Granny came back down island passing the lighthouse...

...in the car to check things out a mile down island I see Polaris J-28 and baby J-54 and near them was Granny...then they began to go up island...I can't confirm if Polaris and J-54 went up island but running through the trees I believe I saw them, but - no proof no presence (at least at that location), Granny passed by the park at 6:19 and this time continued going up island...

...then some others came up...the J14s, two from the J17 family group - Notch J-47 and his mom, Tahlequah J-35, the J19s, Echo J-42 - yes - Echo!! (the rest of her family was a few miles down island from the lighthouse) and Onyx L-87...




...the most intriguing part today was Echo J-42...she came up to the park passing the lighthouse, going up island at 7:14pm, not in close (she was offshore from Eclipse J-41 and Nova J-51)...and at 8:12pm she was passing Land Bank, which is south from the lighthouse, going back down island...barely got her in the shot as she was going back down...the inset image is zoomed in to see the top line of her saddle and her dorsal fin nick (tiny)...

...the rest of Echo's family was down island, from where I saw her, by a mile or more...
...perhaps Cookie J-38 came to take her back...it happened to him in 2009, when Cookie was about six years old, he was with Polaris, Tahlequah, and their new little brother, Moby J-44, while Cookie's family, the J22s were down island a couple miles...Polaris took Cookie back to his mother - it was amazing to watch that unfold right in front of the lighthouse...
...back to today...by the time it was dark there were still some J Pod whales to the down island side and other J Pod whales - Group A plus a couple visitors from Group B had gone up island and not seen coming back down.

added July 9, 01:36 - yes the middle of the night - J Pod calls over the Lime Kiln hydrophones lasting intermittently over the next few hours...which ones?  which way?  ...can't wait to find out!

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