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Sunday, May 7, 2017

5-7-17 J Pod Returns After Being Gone Five Weeks

Sunday, May 7th
...it was a flat calm seas morning, blue sky, no wind...I was going out-and-about early - no matter what - it had been too long a wet and dreary time and with no word on any J Pod whales since April 4th...well that only added to the dreariness...
...that is until the word came - J Pod inbound!...but would they make it or turn and leave before they got here?...was there enough food to bring them in?...or was there not enough food to keep them on the outer coast?...it's a stressful time for all who love this community of orcas...those who don't know them may not understand...
...so here is how I felt inside, as I think many others did, today when J Pod came past the lighthouse...
...this little one wasn't the first to go by...
~~~~~
...back to the beginning...I saw her leading as they were coming up from about a mile south of the park and I quickly got to the park so I could see who came by in what order...
...it was Shachi J-19 !   This is the 3rd or 4th time she has been in the lead since last fall...
...behind Shachi by about 7 minutes was the rest of her family...
...in the same line as Eclipse and Nova but a bit offshore were Mako J-39 and Se-Yi-Chn J-45...now that is interesting...Mako and Se-Yi-Chn, both young males...hanging out together today...

...next, spread out, and a few minutes behind, were the J17s...Princess Angeline J-17 is the matriarch of this family (the J17 family group of 6 whales)...
...and her 'wildly breaching' little one (see image at top of post) were in the lead...
...Tahlequah J-35, Princess Angeline's oldest living offspring was closer in to shore and her offspring, Notch J-47 and her niece, Star J-46 were behind Tahlequah...Notch was really far offshore and Star was a bit closer in...

...next came...remember Mako J-39 from early on???...well here was his brother and sister...Blackberry J-27 and Tsuchi J-31...
...if the studies of the whales only began now one might think she was his mother and not his sister...but because the studies have gone on for 40 years we know...
...then it was 'intermission' time...it appeared that about 1/2 of J Pod had gone by...so the other half was still to come...we hadn't seen the rest of the J14s, any of the J16s or the J22s, nor had we seen Onyx L-87...
...patience...patience...it usually pays off...
..



...the rest of Slick's family was present too...and some of the J14s...
...I remember when Suttles J-40, one of the J14's was the 'person on the playground' (as I called it) making sure that three month old baby J-50 was keeping up with the rest of the family while mom/grandma tended to new baby J-52 - that was back in 2015...link here to that post.

...some folks asked it that was all...I said I didn't think so, that there might be a few others...

...they were glad they waited! Onyx and Cookie were very close to shore when they passed by along the park and the lighthouse...

...normally I might not do a 'blow by blow' as to who/which/when...but after 33 days of no J Pod, this was definitely much needed...for me...and hopefully for you too!

I understand that all the whales of J Pod were seen today...I did see all but one or two...Dave from the Center for Whale Research was out there all day long and his encounter post will state who all were ID'd...

...the biggest worry for these whales is them getting enough salmon to sustain them...that is what they eat and that is what they need...breaching the 4 lower Snake River Dams, cleaning up the waters, the shoreline habitats, cleaning out gutters and culverts so salmon are not crossing roadways on stormy days (yep - that really happens in Seattle)...and more...
...more and more people are getting involved right in their own neighborhoods - stream restoration, education, whatever it takes to get people aware and take action...
...be part of the solution to help these whales and their and our eco-systems to get healthy again...
...Is it possible? 
  Only if you think it is.
  So think it!



2 comments:

Christine Losee said...

Thanks Jeanne, You are the best! I love the "blow by blow". I was out there Saturday and looking forward the days of summer sitting on the rocks with you. So much to learn.
Take care.

Jeanne said...

Thanks Chris! Looking forward to more days like yesterday - great day with lots of folks in amazement of what they were seeing!