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Monday, October 30, 2017

10-30-17 Lime Kiln Hydrophone Happenings

Tuesday, October 30th


...ever since the first ever recording of a singing male humpback back in October 2013, there is at least one that is heard over either the Lime Kiln or the Orca Sound hydrophones in October and/or November...




October 29...2:08a.m. what sounded like a male singing humpback...first one of this season to be heard over the hydrophones...
 ...at about 5:45 a.m. it was singing again, but you could tell it was farther away...when it got to be daylight there were reports of five or so humpbacks south of the lighthouse...two of them came up island...and then not long after two came up island, in a bit closer, but we couldn't figure out if it was the same two, who had made a wide circle, or two others...
...J Pod was still up north and starting to come back down...
October 30...
...J Pod was reported to be out by Race Rocks...it appears they had come down from the north quietly in the night - one person did hear some faint whistles the night of the 29th...it likely was them coming down...and by mid-afternoon I learned the were facing east (inbound) but not going anywhere...
...so when at 10:20pm I heard one single J Pod call over the Lime Kiln hydrophones - wow! - maybe they are coming back in...

...that call was clear but faint...then over the next hour there were a few more, only two of which were clear...but that was it...too much ship noise...I figured the whales might be at the east end of Constance Bank, but that is just a guess...8 seconds of 3 faint calls - that's all!






...it's a wait and watch/listen for the whales...
AND
...it's a time for action to recover the wild stocks of salmon...

It is urgent that there be enough salmon for the SRKWs.  It is their ocean and their waters and the humans have done more destruction than stewardship of these waters. And it is now time for that to change by way of actions of restoration.   


 



Saturday, October 28, 2017

10-28-17 Going Off Island Guarantees Whales!

Saturday, October 28th

...ha-ha-ha...yes, I rarely go off island and only if I absolutely must...one time I left the island only 1 time over a 7 year period!
...October 24th - this time I had to go off due to a transmission issue with my car...made the ferry reservation - 5:45a.m. which meant I needed to be there by 5:00a.m.
...I was worried about not waking up to the alarms (yes, multiple) I had set...
...BUT I didn't need to worry because the whales woke me up a little bit before 2 a.m.!  
...I heard calls for only 2 minutes...several of what sounded like K Pod calls, one Onyx call, and one L Pod up-tick call...but the absence of J Pod calls had me curious...for the next 2 & 1/2 hours I listened and not a vocalization of any kind...
...I had to leave for the ferry...
...I sent to the Center of Whale Research what I had heard and out the door I went...

...off island...waiting...
...for the 2:40 ferry to come back to the island...I learn that the L54 group - ah-ha! - those were the ones making the K calls - yep, they have a history of doing that...anyway, the L54s had been a good ways north, behind J Pod...they had flipped and were coming back down...
...oh, no!...would I make it to the west side before them!  
...on the ferry...I find out the L54s are still far north...but I went to County Park to just sit, after a stressful day...no whales just peaceful...

...that evening I looked at what I had recorded while I was off island and wouldn't you know, 20 minutes after I had left the house for the ferry, the whale began vocalizing - for the next 2 1/2 hours!...and there were the J pod calls...and at the end of them were the L54 group (based on what I was hearing)...so I figured that what I heard at 2:00 am. was them coming across from Discovery...and the 2 1/2 hours of calls they were coming up the west side.

...the next day I learn the L54s were the last to go north and they were 'outside the door' foraging - geesh!...now I know why I don't like to go off island, the whales must know HA!

...well, it was at 5:45 a.m. on the 25th that the L54 group made it to the Lime Kiln hydrophone range...but it was dark, so, so much for that!
...that afternoon a whale watch boat saw the L54 group off the southern part of the island...
...that night at about 11pm a friend heard a few blows, but couldn't be sure if it was orcas or not...hummmm.

...nothing...nothing...nothing...
...then late in the day on Oct 27th, a Canadian whale watch company, way north, somewhere near the Campbell River 'ran into' J Pod (and maybe the L54s?) on their way home.  So sweet!! 

I haven't seen any of the SRKWs in many days...one of the most fun things I saw from these days of wandering around - on island - is this...


Monday, October 23, 2017

10-23-17 A Bit of Harbor Seal - Video

Monday, October 23rd

...during this year, from time to time, I have posted about the waters on the west side of San Juan Island and how something is wrong, to me anyway.  I've noticed it all year. Changes would occur when salmon came through.  And since that was few and far between, it was pretty bleak on the west side - a stretch from about Hannah Heights to the north part of Andrews Bay.  I didn't do it all summer but most of it.  When the SRKWs came in, most of the time, ahead of them there were some changes, but not like in years past.

And with the recent Chum salmon run there was a huge difference in other marine life - because one of the missing links - salmon - a lot!! - were passing through!

So this morning when I noticed some bait fish and gulls I went and looked outside.


Here's a short video.  It's on Vimeo.  Just click on the link

Sunday, October 15, 2017

10-15-17 The Whales Came In and They Ate!

Sunday, October 15, 2017
...a sunshiny morning, no clouds for the day...by noon there were whales coming up island!
...what a surprise and it was J Pod too!...and the L54s and Nyssa L-84 and Wave Walker L-88 had come in with J Pod and Onyx L-87.  Now that is extra special...
..Nyssa was way far offshore when I was first taking pictures...I had no idea it was him until I looked at my images later!
...a while later he was foraging in one direction while Mike J-26 was going in the opposite direction...

...there were salmon and that's why the whales were here today...perhaps again tomorrow but that's 'salmon dependent'...

...it was about 12:30 when they were off Lime Kiln...spread way out - inshore and up to a couple miles offshore...they were spread from the north to the south...eventually the last of the whales passed by at about 1:30...







...whale watching boats were way north but they weren't going too far...
...



...there was a disturbance to the encounter...it was a boat that was coming down island very fast and it wasn't paying attention.  In the State of Washington, just in the last couple months they passed a law about Distracted Driving...how about making a law against Distracted Boaters.  This is about the closest I ever seen...
...it took the boater a few minutes to slow down, well, actually he stopped and watched the whales...at one point I was feeling that people, including me, on shore shouldn't have motioned the driver the slow down, but you can't just sit there and watch a potential problem happen or do you?
...when he decided to leave he started up and went 'at speed'  - sort of like peeling out of a parking lot...looks like there needs to be some education about noise pollution too...

...back to enjoying the whales as they continued down island...

...when I last saw the whales they were a good way down island and so were the purse seiners...wonder where they will be in the morning...same place?

...if you saw Southern Residents today, consider it very fortunate...the whales need salmon filled days more than just once in a while...

Saturday, October 7, 2017

10-7-17 Salmon and Floodgates-CBC News Article

Saturday, October 7th



This article is one of the most 'concrete' pieces of 'cause and affect' that I have seen. The next best piece would be to act on it.

This is from CBC News, posted on October 4th: 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fraser-river-salmon-impacted-by-floodgates-according-to-new-sfu-study-1.4327377

~~~
The Southern Residents want Fraser River salmon, and it is said that they want the Chinook because they are the biggest.  This fall the Chinook took a bump up in #s returning, that is for several days.
The Southern Residents also eat Chum salmon.  At about the same time, Chum salmon took a much bigger bump up in numbers, and those numbers are staying pretty strong. The Albion test fishery chart from Sep 7 - Oct 6:  Chinook 192 to Chum 1,134 and they are only setting test nets every other day.

Last I know of, J Pod was many miles north of the Fraser...that must be where the salmon are - coming back to the Fraser via the north.

added 10-13:  J Pod did come down a couple days ago and went west.