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Thursday, February 25, 2016

2-25-16 J Pod Showed Up!

Thursday, February 25th
...I have these river otters to thank or I might have missed the whales...
...a few years ago there was a river otter who had her pups under the house...ugh...I tried all the things they said to do to get rid of them, but to no avail...
...for some unknown reason this year I found myself saying,"if the river otters show up I'm not going through what I did before."...a few days later I heard them, so I investigated and there were two littte ones looking back at me...oh, brother!
...I politely asked them to leave and by that afternoon they were gone...only for a couple days...and on it went...
...at about 9:00 a.m. yesterday, I happened to look out the window as 8 - yes, 8 - river otters approached the shore, looking as if they were coming to 'their' place under 'my' place...out the door I went and called to them...they stopped in their tracks and just watched me!...they eventually left, possibly because they saw that I wasn't letting them out of my sight!

...so today, I was about to go to town at about 8:30 when I thought I ought to wait a bit to see if the river otters showed up again...
...and about 15 minutes later one brief strange sound comes over the Lime Kiln hydrophones and then two calls that are J Pod calls!!...tying my shores and calling Dave of the Center for Whale Research to let him know, excitedly, that J Pod was here!...where?...in Haro Strait but that's all I knew at the moment...and out the door to Lime Kiln to see if I could find them...
...I spotted one male a mile or two offshore to the north...
...I heard someone call out there's one and saw that she was pointing way off shore and a bit to the south of the lighthouse...I saw several whales spread out, most a couple miles from shore...it looked as if they were coming from Discovery Island and heading north...I saw some of the J19s, and the J14s and many others who were too far off at the time...
...it wasn't long before I found myself out on Legacy with Jeff and with Andy...
...J Pod was spread all across the strait...

...some of them eventually moved in shore toward some of the J14s...
...next thing I see is Notch and Suttles J-40 foraging...




 ...Suttles J-40...



...it was a few hours later when we located Granny J-2 and Onyx L-87, traveling together way over on the west side of Haro Strait...


...when the whales reached Turn Pt. most of them made their way up Swanson Channel, to the northwest...
...Princess Angeline J-17, baby J-53 and Moby J-44 had a different idea...they moved up Boundary Pass a short distance going northeast...then they changed their direction for about 10 minutes and changed it again for about 10 minutes...and repeated that for quite a while..



...they were a few miles behind the rest of the whales and as we were leaving they were heading in their direction...

..so many images this encounter...that's what happens when it's been so very long since seeing J Pod :)...enjoy...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

2-16-16 Along the East Side of SJI with Whales

Tuesday, February 16th
My blog's heading says:  'I'll bring the whales to you no matter where you live.'...well, today ended up being a good day for a virtual adventure of trying to find those whales :)
(it began at 10:15a.m. and ended at 2:37p.m. )
...word came of whales spotted in Wasp Passage...hummm...they could be anywhere...and one possibility was for them to come into San Juan Channel...
...Ruben Tarte Park might be the place to be...it was a long shot but always worth the try, it was just 10 minutes away...
...one boat crossed Haro, a while later the Center for Whale Research boat came out of Spieden Channel and crossed San Juan Channel...now both boats were out of view...
...after close to an hour...
...the sun not quite shiny, no sightings of boats, no sightings of whales...
...after it rained so hard all day yesterday with no let up and with the sun trying to shine it was a day to be outside...
...and it was time to go down island to continue the search or just enjoy the day...
...20 minutes later, on the way to Cattle Pass, pulling over to the side of the road that looked out on to San Juan Channel, south of Friday Harbor, not expecting to see whales...
...well, that's what those binoculars are for - oh,my,!  whales and the CWR boat and a zodiac from Victoria...
...it takes a bit for it to sink in that the whales really were there...and then they moved toward Griffin Bay...too far for images...but friend, Traci, showed up and soon we were on our way to Jackson Beach, a rarity to see whales from there...


...back to the original location...
...now deep in Griffin Bay, they passed by 4th of July Beach and continuing down the channel...
...calm seas, sunshine, and killer whales..not sure the name of that rock (above and below images)...

...on to the next location to wait...
...there were lots of harbor seals in the water...they were totally aware of the Transients coming their way...at this location T60, T60C and T2B traveled on the east side of Goose Island and the three kids - T60D, T60E, and T60F came down the west side of Goose Island (lucky for the on shore watchers - us!)
...the 'kids' started some brief yet interesting action...(fyi-no audio)
video
...even that gull got out of their way...
...way up ahead of them the other three surfaced...and then the 'kids' began to catch up...but then again this group of Ts often split apart by several hundred yards...just a normal day for them,
...and a great day for the humans who got to see them!

 

 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

2-14-16 Seattle Times- ELWHA Roaring Back to Life

Sunday, February 14th

Goose bumps of HOPE...

Absolutely stunning to see HOPE in action...for the ecosystem - all ecosystems that are hampered by dams and hope for survival and recovery of the Southern Resident orcas...

from the Seattle Times - click on the like to 'feel the goose bumps'

 
...we know that satellite tagged Tika K-33 and others are on the outer coast....
...we know that they often feed not far from the entrance to the Columbia River...
...we know that the 4 lower Snake River dams are part of that river system...
...we know they are stagnant dams - fish killers...
 
...it is believed there is a need for these dams to come down to be able to do what the ELWHA is already doing - RESTORING to what it is supposed to be.
 
...we know that if humans will get out of the way of nature, nature will restore itself to what is SUPPOSED TO BE.
 
...now isn't it time we humans gave the 4 Lower Snake River dams back to nature so nature can get to work?  !
 
 
 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

2-9-16 Orcas and Sea Lions

As of Tuesday, February 9th...

Quick check in on the 'burp' sounds and J Pod showing up (that was last year)
...so far this year:
...no 'burp' sounds on the Lime Kiln hydrophones - at all - none...
...and no J Pod presence either...so far...
~~
February 7th
...with an invitation from Capt. Hobbes, I went out on San Juan Island Whale and Wildlife Tours, out of Friday Harbor on a wildlife tour to see what we might see...
...as we approached the area of Whale Rocks...
...not something we like seeing, but it's part of the circle of life in the ocean...
...it is hoped that information gathered from this Steller sea lion will provide useful information...
...there were lots of Stellers on both sides of the main Steller haul out...
...the juvenile Stellers are not a common sight here...
...Cattle Pt. light and the Olympic mountains...

...little did I know I would be returning to this same area a couple days later on a different boat...
February 9th
...from another quiet morning of no whales, to the amazing energy of word of whales that gets everyone moving fast:
Someone happened to look out their window and spotted whales.
My phone rings.  I'm out the door.
I went looking but then another phone call let me know they were beyond my view.
About to drive south...another phone call had me turning toward the harbor to get on the boat.
Ready to leave the harbor I heard from someone they were seeing the whales off Cattle Pass...
...off we go on Maya's Legacy Charters with Andy at the helm, heading down island where whales were spotted earlier...
...no wonder the Stellers were 'worried' and watching...they most likely had heard the Transients as they were on their prey, because the whales were not far from where the Stellers were.

...the Ts went past where the Stellers were and then doubled back and then turned east, going along the inside of Low Island...
...they crossed over to the north side of that channel...they might have been going after something else or were eating something they had taken with them...
...
...
...
...here's where we left them...

...the matriarch is T60...her offspring:  T60C - the sprouting teenager; T60D, T60E - with a slice kind of notch close to the top of the fin; T60F - the smallest/youngest one; and T2B - adult female who travels with this group...I have seen these whales only since 2012...before that I understand they didn't come into these waters around the San Juans Islands very often...now they are becoming 'regulars' !...that is at least for the last few years.
...they could be anywhere by tomorrow...
 

 

Friday, February 5, 2016

2-5-16 Phone Support - Free the Snake - Feed the Orcas!





Help in the efforts to breach the four lower Snake River dams.
Free the Snake>>Feed the Orcas
Just received today, from the ongoing efforts to get the dams breached:

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/35961-free-the-snake-feed-the-orcas
 

Feb 5, 2016 — Hey folks,

Please help support this united call to action campaign. It has gained 800 supporters since Dec. 2015. Supporters have shared their social networks and so very soon, 1.5+ million people will receive the message to 'Ask Gov. Inslee to support Obama taking executive action to breach the lower Snake dams. Call now 360-902-4111.'

Please share this with your friends! Thank you.