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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

5-31-17 It Was a 'AND THEN' J Pod Sort of Day

Wednesday, May 31st

...back up a couple days to May 28th when J Pod came in, disappeared in the fog while in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and showed up off Lime Kiln lighthouse about 6 hours later...they were going north with the current and the current was going unbelievably fast!...zoom-on-by they did!!

...they went up north - somewhere - yet only seen once on the 29th and not seen on the 30th...hummm...so where might they be...
...didn't know, but decided it was time to start going to the park early and just wait...so...nice leisurely drive to the park at 6 a.m....nice leisurely walk along the long path that leads to 'the wall' at the south end of the park...
...a few minutes just taking it all in...flat calm water, chilly but the sun would be over the hill in a bit, looking across at the sun on the clouds and hillside of some of the Candian islands that dot the west side of Haro Strait...AND THEN - a whale surfaces...

...as the whale got closer I could see it was Shachi J-19!
...what luck! Once again Shachi was in the lead of J Pod...the trend is continuing...not far behind her were Slick J-16, Scarlet J-50, and Echo J-42...and the procession continued...I saw some members of each of the J Pod family groups...but no adult males...then maybe about 3 miles from shore I could see Mike J-26......AND THEN I saw Onyx L-87 and another with him...it looked like Cookie J-38...there were others offshore as well...maybe about 6 to 8 but I couldn't tell exactly who...just too far away...

...they continued down island...still in the distance...and after some time the inshore group of moms and kids headed offshore...and then I saw some of those who had been offshore, meet up...nothing fancy just that they met back together and then I watched to see what they would do next...and it looked like they were going west...
...this bald eagle interrupted my watching, however...

...then the whales adjusted their direction a bit and began heading up island...they were still miles from shore...

AND THEN...

AND THEN - they began angling toward the lighthouse!...


...that is until the last two to pass by...Oreo J-22 and Cookie J-38...here's one of them...
...I dashed up to County Park only to be totally surprised to see how close to shore some of the whales had come...
...that is kelp draping off Mike J-26...

...it's not common for the whales to come on the inside of Low Island at County Park...

...off to just one more place where I could peek through the trees...glad I did...




...and while there I noticed a whale way behind everyone else, maybe by a mile or more and way far offshore...had it not been so flat calm it would have been difficult to see him...it was Onyx...AND THEN...there was another male about a 1/2 mile behind Onyx!...and that was Blackberry J-27...

...while watching the whales way in the distance I notice a little dark looking boat far away...AND THEN I noticed they were doing something but I couldn't tell what...it appeared there was some activity going on but what I don't know...it was unusual to see something like this - things being placed in the water with whales approaching...


...AND THEN I saw Soundwatch, on the water boater education program of The Whale Museum, approaching that little black boat...
...AND THEN I saw that little black boat retrieving those things they had put in the water...Thanks Soundwatch!
...later as I was working on images from the day and I noticed what might have been the same kind of thing and it was right off Low Island at County Park...way farther south from where I was seeing that dark-looking boat...


...AND THEN...an eagle approached...

...a short while later an eagle flew in and was being 'yelled' at by Oyster Catchers...these two had some words...
...the whales continued north...which means they'll be back down...



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