Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Thursday, March 31, 2016

3-31-16 A West Side Day With Orcas

Thursday, March 31st
...if you want whales on the west side in the morning, make a dentist appt....works every time!
...I located the whales when they had already gone down island and were off South Beach...
...the same two family groups who have been in here for several days...
...what would they do next?
...similar to what they have been doing, only in a different location, meandering you might call it...going one direction for a while, then back to where they had just come from, and then back down island again...
...during one of their up island 'trips' as they were moving along very slowly, Tahlequah J-35 began logging and she did so for two minutes...sometimes one of the whales will log for a bit, but two minutes is a bit more than the average from what I have seen...the whales continued up island for a few more minutes and turned and went back down...as they did one of the whales began logging, but this time you could only see the melon, not even a bit of an eye patch...not enough information for an ID...it could have been Tahlequah or someone else...
...I asked David of All Aboard Sailing...they too got some images of the logging events, but nothing else conclusive...
...mid afternoon the whales grouped up and again changed direction and were coming back up island...they were moving so slowly...
 ...so it's not summer yet...this is their home whenever they want to be here...
...you'd laugh if you watched me run back and forth trying to get pictures of the whales in the trees!
...this time the whales were 'definitely' coming up island...they were less than a mile from Lime Kiln...

...I told some folks in the parking lot that whales were heading this way and they might make it to the park...well, Liz, from South Carolina had just gotten off the ferry, at 4pm no less!...and came out to the park...the whales could only be seen with binoculars...I handed her mine...she located the whales surfacing near the ship...and then they played in the freighter wake...and she saw it all through the binos :)

...thanks Liz!  You made the day with your enthusiasm...
...she told me about a place near Charleston, South Carolina, where dolphins strand feed...I had to look it up...'No words ' absolutely amazing!  

Here's a YouTube Video of dolphins strand feeding.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

3-27-16 A Different Kind of J Pod Split

Sunday, March 27th
...early morning word - whales seen near Orcas Island ferry dock...
...Tom from Deer Harbor Charters reported that it was some members of J Pod!
...like wow! - they didn't all go out the other night...
...it was Princess Angeline's J-17 and Oreo's J-22 families...
...they are the whales who had gone up Trincomali Channel on the 24th...

...this is the most pronounced J Pod split since 2010 when they separated into two groups...after they had continued that split, I started calling them Group A and Group B because it was easier than saying/typing their names every time...
...this split is different!
...it's a 'wait and see' time for what occurs next...from hearing where they were last seen today, it looks like they might be heading back up...maybe they will make a big loop and be seen off the ferry again in the next couple of days...
...maybe ferry ridership will increase :)  !
...on Peregrine with Capt. Jim over near Blakely Island...inland waters...they had gone east to Blakely and back again...someone said the whales passed the Orcas Ferry terminal three times...they eventually went through Pole Pass - a very, very narrow place - heard about that from David of All Aboard Sailing...he said it was awesome!...they headed west in Spieden Channel and angled back to the north...but did they end up going north?...no telling where they will show up next.




...here's a few minutes video clip of them today...

...I remember last year the J16s with their two new babies spent time away from the rest of J Pod.  It appeared they were doing that because of the two young ones - less travel, more rest.
Maybe that's why the J17s stayed in and with them the J22s for added support. The J17s have three adult females, three 5 to 6 year olds, and the two babies. The J22s have one adult female, an 18 year old male, and a 12 1/2 year old male.
...Enough food to feed this size group while the rest of the pod went west in search of enough food to feed them.
Don't know but just a thought.
 
...we won't know what, if anything, is going on with them until something, if anything different happens...now doesn't that make a lot of sense!  ha!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

3-26-16 T137s in San Juan Channel

Saturday, March 26th
...no whales had been reported in the morning...late morning some whales were seen coming out of Puget Sound...Ivan of the Western Prince heads down that way and comes upon some other whales!
...it was the T137s and they were coming up toward San Juan Island...they kept coming, up, up, and into, and up San Juan Channel...
...from what we heard over the radio, while on Peregrine with Capt. Andy, was that this family of four whales had not stopped to eat all day long...
...we figured they must be getting hungry by now...









Here's a clip of them in action.








Friday, March 25, 2016

3-25-16 Unique Audio Orca Encounter

Friday, March 25th...it was 3:00 a.m. when it occurred...

...but first...let's go back to Thursday the 24th...
-rough seas
-no boat trip for me
-info from others
-only two family groups of J Pod seen
...they were last seen mid afternoon in Trincomali Channel, several miles to the northwest, in the Canadian Gulf Islands...

...hummmmm...

...in another location several miles to the northeast...
...but mid afternoon whales seen at top end of Orcas Island going northwest...
...a bit later whales seen coming down President Channel on the west side of Orcas Island (same whales or different??)...
...from President Channel they went into San Juan Channel, aiming for Friday Harbor at dusk...

Now to the audio encounter:
-orcasound hydrophones
-3:00a.m. March 25th
-lasting about 30 minutes 

https://youtu.be/LNaRkqJQR-4


...who knows if they did get back together or not...we'll have to wait until they let us know.

...ps.  I'm better at whales than I am this technology stuff...one time the youtube comes up on my blog the next time there is only a link... ugh...



Wednesday, March 23, 2016

3-23-16 Surprise Whales Today

yesterday...March 22nd...
...sunshine and lots of color, but no orca to be seen...
...out on Imagine with Capt. Andy, Maya's Legacy Charters, we went looking to see what we could see...
 
 



...the last image of the day ended up being a great way to start the next day,
...out on Maya's Legacy Charters with Capt. Jim on Peregrine...
Wednesday, March 23rd...
...yes, it was windy and choppy seas and we were heading across Haro Strait to the Saanich Inlet...

 
...it was also about where they were going...









...the T101s and T102 were a group and the T100s and T124A1 were traveling as a group, for a total of 11 whales...
It was a great day for all who saw the whales and hopefully for the whales and their trip down the inlet and back.
 




Sunday, March 20, 2016

3-20-16 J Pod Came Down and Almost Went Out

over the last few days...
the eagle activity has been abundant...
the gull activity has all of a sudden burst into wildness...
...large herring masses have been moving through...
...maybe that's why J Pod was still north...

...Saturday, March 19...
...the size of the herring we saw while out with Capt. Jim and Jeff on Peregrine yesterday, was striking...so huge...I had to ask 'my fish guy' for the scoop - red herring and they are the largest and normal for this time of year...their scales come off easily and as we were watching the mass of herring pass by deep in the water column, above were fish scales gleaming and glistening in the water...amazing...

...the gulls and the eagles were after the herring - yes the eagles...they have been going after the herring for days now too...

...Sunday, March 20th...
...so when J pod showed up today, coming down from the north...and after watching how slowly they were moving...I commented to Capt. Jim that they might turn around and go back north...
...there's just too much fish moving in and going north...there has to be some salmon in there somewhere...

...so here's the day...
...about 10:20 this morning I hear something unusual...it didn't sound like killer whale calls but I decided to go check it out anyway...off to the park for a look see...and before I get there I learn that J pod calls are coming over the Orca Sound hydrophones...(later when I checked the recording the calls started four minutes after I had left the house)...
...it was drizzling...no calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones, just yet...then just one call!...there were some gulls and then a bald eagle flew down and just under it was the dorsal fin of an orca...soon she came into better view, but was still distant...it was Slick J-16...
...I didn't hear any more calls over the hydrophones but one call on my cell phone and I was off to the boat...
...out with Capt. Jim on Imagine and who do we see first?...Slick J-16 and with her is Scarlet J-50...Echo J-42 was a ways behind them and way up ahead was Mike J-26, foraging, tail lobbing, and who knows what else...

...there were whales in the distance ahead of us...it was Granny J-2 and Onyx L-87...
...some of the time they surfaced together...reminded me of how Granny and Ruffles J-1 used to...
...as we moved back toward the whales we had left, the majority of J Pod was coming down...they got together...and pretty soon we hear that Granny and Onyx, who had been in the lead heading down and out, had turned and were coming back in...it appeared they had to come back to round up the rest of the pod and tell them: "this is the way we are going, now follow us!" or something like that...when Granny and Onyx got to about 1/2 mile from everyone else they then turned and headed back in the direction they had been previously going, only this time it looked like the others were following...





...as we left the scene...one last parting shot...
...back on shore and three hours later, I happen to look out and see a couple boats...jump into the car and down the road to check it out...
...the whales are coming back in...far from shore, they could only be seen with binoculars...
...I watched for as long as I could...seas got choppy - lots of white caps and the birds, including eagles, were again all over going after more herring, I presume...ah! more salmon coming in too???

...then comes tomorrow and we may or may not know where the whales are...but they know where they are and where the food is, and it seems that just maybe, for a few days or more (hoping this is just the start of something good for the whales), they are getting lots of salmon...
...at 8:30 pm they were last heard over the Orca Sound hydrophones...  
...I think they have gone north, but they've been quiet a lot today, so one just never knows for sure until we see or hear them the next time.