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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

12-21-16 From Smiles to Shock To Waiting

Wednesday, December 21st
...it began with a couple strange, non-mechanical, sounds over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...instead of waiting to hear more it was off to Lime Kiln to see!
...running down the hill I heard a blow!...next question? which direction?...something I would not know until I got beyond the trees...
...I was too late...standing there seeing a group of what I thought were 5 to 6 I watched as they were heading down and quickly...then I grabbed the camera to at least get proof of whales passing...thinking I might not know who...


...there was a male with them...
...but run I had to!..off to the next location...and there I got lucky...
...later in the day I was comparing dorsal fin tips to verify if that was Lobo K-26...likely because his mother, sister, and brother were present...but best to be sure...

...after these whales went out of my view I went back up island by only about a mile...I saw a couple breaching way to the north...

...there were a few others closer...their long dive times and the choppy seas did not help matters in locating them...




What had been a smiling (breaching whales always bring smiles) grateful time of seeing some J Pod whales, turned to a total state of shock when I was processing images from the day. With the Victoria BC tv news on in the background is when I learned of the death of DoubleStuf J-34.

What happened? Why? I last saw him on December 10th as the whales were traveling down San Juan Channel past Friday Harbor.  
We know he was seen in Puget Sound on Dec 14th.
It is not known what killed him.  
He died somewhere north of Vancouver in Canadian waters.
The Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada conducted the necropsy and will post updates on the following site: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/species-especes/mammals-mammiferes/srkw-eprs-j34-eng.html


And now...We wait.

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