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Friday, March 31, 2017

3-31-17 The J17s and L-87 Where Will They Show Up Next?

Tuesday through Friday - March 28 - 31


...late on 3/28 Tuesday the J17s (total of 6) and Onyx, ONLY, were seen coming down San Juan Channel...there were a couple boats who saw them and said that only these 7 whales were seen...
...on 3/29 Wednesday whales were seen going up President Channel...the whales seen were the rest of J Pod and NOT the J17s or Onyx...the plot thickens...at this point the whales were near the north west end of Orcas Island...
...they rounded the top and came down Rosario Strait, on the east side of Orcas Island...out on the Western Prince at noon...just in time for the seas to calm and no rain (which would come later)...we met the whales as they were coming down...





...they were spread far and it was difficult to tell if possibly the J17s and Onyx had met them during the time when no one was with them or not...so we were glad to hear later that the J17s and Onyx were seen near Pt. Wilson (Puget Sound) late on this day...
...remaining question from Wednesday - which way did the rest of J Pod come from?  They had supposedly been north but when seen they were going north...
...and were they in the area the day before when the J17s and Onyx split off?
I love the questions and we'll likely not ever have answers to them...

...on 3/30 Thursday the J17s and Onyx showed up in Puget Sound!...and the J16s showed up in Boundary Pass near Turn Pt..no other J Pod whales were sighted...the plot just got thicker...
...out on the Western Prince we met up with Mike J-26, Alki J-36 and her little one, Sonic J-52...but where were the other three?...we figured they would be ahead of the three we were with...and sure enough...quite far ahead...




...on 3/31 Friday word came that the J17s and Onyx were coming up out of Puget Sound...there was no word on any other orcas...
...out on the Western Prince Capt. Ivan said we would head in that direction...because of the tides, the sea state, and the direction of travel of the whales, just maybe it would all line up...




video
Thank you Capt. Ivan and Capt. Michael of the Western Prince !

...book-ending both Thursday and Friday was a humpback whale off Lime Kiln lighthouse...both in the morning and in the late afternoon!
...then about 5 pm brief transient calls were heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones and over some private hydrophones located a few miles north of Lime Kiln...since both HPs heard them at about the same time there was the possibility that the Transients were on the east side of Discovery Island or they had just come through Baynes Channel.  Why? - because there are only a couple places that both of these hydrophone locations will pick up the whales' vocalizations at the same time.
...it wasn't long before the Transients could be seen...they were far from shore...but they were there...there didn't appear to be any adult males...they were too far to ID...the boat, Imagine, was out there, so they probably have IDs on who...

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