Sunday, December 2nd ...as a friend and I were talking yesterday...'always do today what you can because you never know what will happen tomorrow'... ...I did. ...it worked... ...SRKWs over the hydrophones early this morning!!!
...added the following day... ...confirmation that the whales I was seeing the in the distance were the SRKWs because of where they were seen the following day...coming back down and this time in Rosario Strait...but I heard that only K and L Pod whales were seen...so where were those J Pod whales who were in the mix the day before?...hum... (there are a few very clear J Pod calls - on the clip toward the end)
Monday, October 23th ...early in November it was surprising to hear lots of 'fish sounds' over the Lime Kiln hydrophones, since there just haven't been much of any of those sounds for a long, long time they really got my attention... ...so when they all-of-a-sudden began and continued - okay, something had changed... ...though I don't know exactly which fish species is making those 'burp' sounds...I know there is a relationship between those sounds and the SRKWs showing up because it has occurred many times in the past...it's not harbor seals as some say (they sound completely different)...it's fish, but is it fish that are moving ahead of the fish that the whales eat? ...don't know...but I do know there is a relationship sounds-to-SRKWs appearing... ...it wasn't long before I learned that J Pod had shown up in Puget Sound...normal at this time of year but with so many challenges it was unknown as to what/if any the chum salmon return would be...
...I wondered if K Pod (some? all?) had been there too...there was some great video done by two different news stations, from their helicopters, and it looked like there were a couple open saddle patches that belonged to K Pod whales...but not being there, I could only wonder... ...K Pod whales did eventually show up... ...the whales were in Puget Sound for many days... ...K Pod left a day before J Pod left...they appeared to all be heading back out toward sea, but maybe not :) ...their length of stay is an indicator that the chum salmon were abundant...abundant enough for the whales to not need to go searching great distances for a meal...glad for them to have food, at least for a few weeks... ...not sustainable for the long term though... ...this male California sea lion certainly got a big salmon at Cattle Pass...
...the above was taken on November 8th...the Js and sometimes Ks came and went a few times...down into Puget Sound... ...early morning about 05:30 on November 22nd I heard two very faint calls and that was all...the first call sounded like a Resident but the second sounded more like a Transient - so much for that! Later I heard from a friend on the west side that they had heard whales exhaling a bit earlier than when I heard those extreme faint calls...but there was no way of telling, who, what, or where! Keeps one listening for more information! There have been a few humpbacks seen in Haro Strait in the last few days but no singing males over the hydrophones...maybe another few chances of hearing one before they all depart for their winter places...
...while Ts were going down Rosario, coming in Juan de Fuca-up Haro-and to the north, and J Pod was down in the 'big water' slowly heading west toward Race Rocks...well, that was in the daylight... ...but how about the night? It was close to the end of the 19th, when a humpback whale 'showed up' on the Lime Kiln hydrophones for more than a half hour... ...here's a short clip of the sounds he made...
...in the busy, fast paced world of today, a question: Did you listen to the whole 2+ minutes? ...if so, what did it bring up for you? ...for me - a smile, slowing down the pace, being peaceful, being grateful to have these humpbacks returning to the Salish Sea where they once roamed in great numbers...and most of all it gave me pause...
-being thankful to be able to hear the sounds of the sea.
If you didn't listen to the whole 2+ minutes, what is it that took you away from hearing this being of the sea?
...it's been just about a month since posting... ...don't know why... ...just couldn't... ...and today... ...I met a couple... ...who, for some reason... ...caused me to get 'unstuck'! Thank you two!
...I have no images of the Southern Residents for a while...they have been gone... ...I have no story to tell today... ...when looking for an image for someone, one caught my eye, so I decided to look at other similar ones. ...when a whale exhales...well, when they do, they are doing it with great force and within a few seconds, inhaling before disappearing beneath the surface...
...seeing their exhale when backlit.
...this exhale gives one the idea that they are 'spouting' water.
...and this one too. But they aren't.
...he looks all tangled up in his exhale.
...and this one made me laugh, looks like he is exhaling from his side.
...and this one brought me pause. See the heart shape?
...the heart shape is not a common shape to see with an orca exhale, but you get lucky once in a while when all things line up just right. ...and that's what I hope for these whales, that things will line up just right. That those who are making decisions about how they are going to 'help' these orcas, will actually set aside their personal interests and their personal gains and put the Southern Resident orcas FIRST. I think maybe that is why I have been stuck. I am holding my breath, hoping, against all odds, that substantial decisions will be made to really, truly, help this community to get on the road to recovery. ...for if they don't, the day will come when those exhales will be no longer... and that breaks my heart.
Saturday, October 6th ...the rain had come yesterday and today was a beautiful day... ...off to the lighthouse to talk to folks today and hope that J Pod might reappear...haven't seen them since they went north on Oct. 3rd...no telling where they are...but not seen nor heard from in the last few days... ...meanwhile some Ts showed up! Now that was interesting...All of a sudden some boats began appearing from down island... ...it was the T49As and the T65As...both families have a teen/adult male...both families have a baby - one about a year old and the other about 5 months old...both families have a few other kids mixed in the middle... ...when they passed the lighthouse today, there were two who went by - 'middle-school' sized kids...a good distance behind them were the two 'big-boys'...and far offshore were the rest of them...and they were split into a couple groups for a while too... ...they went by at a steady pace but spread out...
...a woman told me that she had walked along the path from the parking lot to the 'wall' (at the south end of the park) not thinking she would see any whales - you know there is a sign that points to that path that says something about whale viewing...(ha-ha)! ...well, she is now officially spoiled...because no sooner did she get there is when the two 'big boys' surfaced right in front of her!!!
...while I was putting pics together tonight...I heard Ts over the Lime Kiln hydrophones for close to 2 hours...interrupted by some loud ship noise...but they were still there...it's now about 10:35pm and it's quiet now...no ship or killer whale calls...at the moment...but that can change at any time...
...hoping to hear J Pod - maybe?...will find out at some point...
This is from July 26th of this year.. ...a late day watching some of the Southern Residents as they struggled their way through the summer in their 'summer core habitat aka summer home area' where the fish are supposed to be plentiful... ...late on this day, a few whales came up island, pretty far offshore...Cappuccino K-21 was one of them...and Hy'Shqa J-37 and her boy, T'ilem I'nges J-49 were the others...what an unusual combination...there were a few others far offshore...none had gone very far up island from the lighthouse before they started to come back down... ...they were all on a food search... T'ilem I'nges J-49 was close to shore and echolocating...with 'flair!
...Best I've ever heard...
...I knew I had the images and the audio, it just took this long to find the time to get it all together...
Sunday, September 23rd ...What's it like to sit on the shoreline and watch whales for hour upon hour?
...Amazing is what it is.. ...Being September, it's been more quiet of boats. ...Private boats have been more respectful when the whales have been present. Thank YOU! It's wonderful to see more awareness. ...the Whale Warning Flag might be helping in that... ...the tanker, bulk carriers, etc. who are participating in the ECHO Program - a voluntary vessel slow down are also slowing down, which in-turn reduces the noise, which helps the whales when foraging...Thank YOU! ...the people who come to visit are asking questions, not questions like 'when do they breach' but questions that reveal that all that Tahlequah J-35 went through, was not for naught, but that she 'spoke to the world'. Thank YOU for caring!
...a few images, from today...
...it was especially, special...when they came up to the lighthouse and proceeded to spend the next 3...oh, no, it turned into 4 hours... ...it was good to see Tahlequah J-35 mixed in with others - Hy'Shqa J-37 and Oreo J-22...it was an afternoon of foraging... ...the whales were spread all the way down island... ...our hope is that they are getting enough to eat...
...it's been a tough season in many areas...tough for the whales of the SRKW community and tough for the people who care so deeply about these whales... ...it's been tough personally...as we all go through 'stuff' in our lives...mine, no different from anyone else...but it's still 'stuff' - 'my stuff' to deal with...
...I've listened and read others' accounts of their struggles about the whales - from sadness, to giving up, to anger... ...I've listened. I've made a few suggestions to others too...
...well, today it was time I listened to what I had suggested to others, because I was feeling at a total loss...what to do... ...I decided to go out the door and to the park, like I do everyday...but today I felt it would be difficult to talk to others...
...'In, Step the Whales'...
...coming into view just few minutes after I got settled in for a 'hoped to be' happy day...the whales came into view as they came up island...
...I thought it would be a pass-by, maybe an hour. ...But it wasn't. ...It was a forage and stay and goof-around day.
...the whales gave me the answer I needed, to the questions that were running around in my head... ...Just Be... ...Okay... ...How about for 4 hours. ...Yes, for 4 hours they were there.
...Thank you whales for filling me up once again...
...It is not easy sometimes, to let go, but today was the day. ...It is time to let go of the sadness of what Tahlequah J-35 went through. ...It is time to let go of the sadness of the loss of Scarlet J-50 - aka-'Catch-Up' (I used to call her)... What I 'saw' as I watched those who came up to the lighthouse:
...We bring you joy. ...We bring you peace. ...We bring you moments of just being one with us.
...Now please don't let us down. ...We need you humans now more than ever. ...There are 74 of us, and we need everyone of you humans to help us.
...we need quiet seas...(maybe like the example today) ...we need a place to rest...(like some did today) ...we need a place to play...(like the play they had today) ...and most of all we need salmon...(like we had today)
Today was a gift, as it is each time we are in their presence. Today was an example of how it can be. Today was a message to all who saw that each of us can do better.
It's for the whales. It's not for us. And when it is for the whales it will ultimately be for us.
So go be a better steward of the land and sea and skies. Everyday ask yourself, "what will I do today to make a positive difference?"
I learned today, September 13, that it has been announced by the Center for Whale Research that Scarlet was last seen on the day mentioned below. At that time I had to hold on to hope. But now that hope is gone. With tears streaming down my face, I am glad she is no longer suffering.
Slick J-16 and Scarlet J-50
was such a fighter, right from the very beginning. As sad as I am, I am
glad your suffering is over. You taught us all, to continue on, to not
give up until there is no other option. We all must keep on doing all
we can to restore this community of
Endangered orcas. Scarlet, you gave us such joy when you were in our
presence. I cannot begin to image the loss your mother, brother and
sisters, especially Echo J-42 must feel.
Below was written on September 7, when I still had hope. Friday, September 7th J Pod and many L Pod whales had been north for a couple days...they came down last night...likely via Rosario Strait. Earlier there was a large group of Transients who were coming down ahead of them and they were looking like they were aiming for Rosario Strait. Later, J Pod was in Boundary Pass and to us humans 'that means' they'll be coming down to Haro Strait sometime in the night and passing by the Lime Kiln hydrophones...NOT!
...instead of hearing J and L Pod calls in the night I heard Transient calls!
Now it's the afternoon, Sept 7th... Ls and Js coming up island... I love the lighthouse, but sometimes the lighthouse walls get in the way... ...inside talking to folks and based on info I had the whales were still coming up island...NOT! ...hearing one call on the hydrophones I chased everyone, including me, out the door! Oh, my they're here already! ...the whales were spread, moving quickly with the current...Cookie J-38 was chasing a fish...Moby J-44 chasing a fish...and others were too! ...the last of the whales to come by were Slick J-16...4 minutes behind her were Echo J-42 and Alki J-36, sisters...4 minutes behind them was brother, Mike J-26...and 4 minutes behind Mike was Scarlet J-50... ...they were together, though not in a bunch...the physical distance between them was not that far...they appeared to be going up island at about the same pace... ...after passing Lime Kiln, I could see that Scarlet was moving offshore...
...'bye folks'...and off I went up island to see what I could see of the J16s... ...Soundwatch and a research boat were far offshore... ...hmmm...where was Scarlet...lousy lighting and such distance I doubted I would see her... ...but then I saw someone coming back down - that whale was foraging...it looked like Echo J-42 (from my image) and another whale was foraging too - it was Mike J-26... ...I knew that Scarlet was in the area because Soundwatch and the research boat had her as their focus...of course... ...I did find out later that Scarlet, Echo, and Mike were seen together up island from where I had seen them... ...I know she is not 'out of the woods' yet...but they were together, sometimes spread and sometimes close...but still together.
Catching up from 8-31 through 9-3 ...The Southern Residents (SRKWs) were out west, somewhere... ...Transients (this community is known as Bigg's killer whales, in honor of Dr. Michael Bigg)...there were small groups, taking seals and porpoise, in many parts of the inland waters...
August 31st: J Pod had come in late on August 31st and went went up island in the early hours of of Sept. 1st. September 1st: ...this is harbor seal weaning time and the Ts know when that occurs...what a surprise it was to have two family groups of Ts show up close to shore just south of Lime Kiln...and then right in front of the lighthouse...and then off of County Park...the kayaks were rafted up at the point south of County Park...they didn't know that a whale had already gone by them until she surfaced!...
...as they ate their way up Haro Strait...I heard that they did this most of the day as they kept on going wherever they wanted to! ...here's a bit of what we saw from Lime Kiln...
September 2nd: J Pod came back down from the Fraser River area, passing the lighthouse in the afternoon...
..no one had been able to verify if Scarlet J-50 was present or not - on either day...with so many experienced eyes, researchers and others, out on the water looking, one would have thought that she would have been seen... ...as they were approaching the lighthouse I saw Mike J-26 and a ways behind him it looked like Slick J16 and someone next to her, but my camera only got a tiny splash and nothing else...I kept the camera on Slick, but didn't ever see another whale surface near her...hmmm...will never know...Echo J-42 and Alki J-36 came along behind Slick - all were spread out...but no one had anyone else surfacing next to them...a mystery... ...late in the day while J Pod was down island and spread out, L Pod whales were coming in and coming across Haro St. toward the west side. I didn't realize it until the next day but the only whale I got an image of, because it was just about dark, was Fluke L-105 - oh, my...had I looked I would have known that more than just the L12s were here!...
September 3rd... ...in the early morning a FB post stated that hope was fading for Scarlet J50 because she hadn't been seen in the last two days - that's two whole days of many, many eyeballs searching for her - the mystery got even greater!...because Odyssey (whale watching boat, out in the early morning) thought they saw her with her brother...Soundwatch and CWR verified that she was here!!! Oh, my...did I ever get on social media to 'shout it out' that Scarlet is still here !!! WOW! ...it was early afternoon when the whales came up island...and in a tight group was Scarlet in between her mother and brother, surrounded by the J17s, J11s, and J22s, all passing by together...oh, my! ...here is just one image which caused me to pause...thinking of how low of a profile she was showing...which could play a role in why she was so difficult to find...can you see her?...easy to miss...
...others who I 'got on my camera' - were Surprise! L-86 and her offspring, Pooka L-106, Marina L-47 and her offspring, Mystic L-115, Muncher L-91 and her offspring, Magic L-122, Kasatka L-82, maybe others but not sure yet, J Pod of course, and the L12s...wow - maybe about 45 SRKWs in these inland waters now...
...and the salmon...hope their numbers have increased too - to feed all the whales who are here now...
...glad but cautious...Scarlet has a long way to go...hoping all is successful with the Response Team doing all they can to help her. ...keep your hopeful feelings going... AND while you're at it, ask yourself, "What can I do differently to help affect a positive change to the eco-system, the one here and where you live?" What changes are you willing to make? It takes everyone to start doing things differently.
...when something showed up in the news this morning...some cried, some got goose bumps, and everyone that I know of likely has a big smile on their face right now... ...maybe the whales are smiling like this:
Also the Center for Whale Research reported the day that Tahlequah J-35 and the rest of J Pod returned after being out toward the outer coast for a few days, that on that return, they stated that she had let go of her calf and was seen with a few others and looking well. I came across this, that I had posted a long time ago. I can only hope that more and more people are... A message from a concerned whale watcher - me ...if you watch or watched the whales from
land or sea and you continue to use harmful, to the environment, chemicals
and other harmful products then you just didn't 'get' the whales... ...if
you watch or watched the whales and have gone home asking yourself the things
that you could do differently and are making changes then 'the whales got you'... Which is it for you?I
hope 'the whales got you', because it will change how you look at
everything from now on, and that is something that is sorely needed for
the environment now and into the future. Thank you.
..and for this whale watcher...no more stress, no more worry, slow down and enjoy every moment, because when your back says, "No more!" ouch!...it really hurts.
If everyone would pull together, everyone acknowledge their part, or what could be their part, in the struggles regarding the SRKWs, and if everyone would agree (that's a tough one), then just maybe we all could turn this corner for a brighter future, not only for the SRKWs, but for the eco-system (ours, yours, and the whales), and the salmon who sustain it all. After all: Salmon are the backbone of the Salish Sea and the Pacific Northwest.
Even before moving here in 2004, I had heard that the SRKWs were referred to 'as like the canary in the coal mine'. -And now they are the 'canary'.
The SRKWs had been demonstrating, by their travel patterns and locations, that the wild salmon were declining, but it seems that little attention was paid to the plight of the whales. -After all, they were still showing up in these waters.
In 2010, the sockeye preseason predictions were for a 'moderate return' of 3,000,000 sockeye. Three months later it had proved to be the largest sockeye return in 97 years - the number? 34,000,000. (The whales were here over 120 consecutive days.) It was anticipated that with a 4-year cycle, the 2014 could be even larger. -But it wasn't. It was below the lowest predicted return numbers. Then Dec 2014-Dec 2015 there were several babies born into the SRKW Community...and 'all of a sudden' everything was 'just fine'. -But everything wasn't 'just fine'.
Now the SRKWs are barely in their core-summer-habitat. -There isn't enough food. Wild salmon are the Backbone of the Salish Sea. -Waiting to make decisions is NOT a viable working model. Waiting, begets more loss, more decline...and now on the road to extinction for the SRKWs? The Salish Sea is broken. It's broken in Canadian waters. It's broken in U.S. waters.
It needs to be fixed before it's too late. Too late for the SRKWs. Too late for the wild salmon. Too late for all other marine life. Too late for humans.
What about YOU? What are you willing to do everyday to make changes that will help planet earth heal? The government isn't doing it, so it's up to each of us.
You've seen the lists, links, about things you can do. Start doing them and do more.
Vote - It matters. Vote for those who see the value in thinking into the future while actively fixing the present.
Here is an image taken of Slick J-16 with Scarlet J-50 by her side, as they passed Lime Kiln lighthouse, on July 23rd. I thank them for giving us this look, a look that will not reveal just how bad Scarlet is.
Tuesday, July 31st All of J Pod took all day, yesterday, to get from the Strait of Georgia to Haro Strait...being heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones at about 1:00 a.m. This morning the seas were choppy, the wind was strong...and where the whales were remained unknown until late in the morning.
They made their way up island, the leading group, by about 5pm...the seas were still choppy and the wind wasn't as strong, but the sun glare was providing for many back lit images. They were spread out,
moving quickly with the current, the and lighthouse was in my way...so I
ran from one side to the other to get pictures...I would look later to
verify just who was in my images, but for those moments it was to get
them on the camera. Tahlequah J-35 had not been seen yet, so that was the 'mission' to get her in an image...mission accomplished.
The L12s were evidently here...but one of the first whales to go by was Kasatka L-82 and that was a surprise!
...similar but different...
Seeing Kasatka meant that the L55s were here, at least, and they travel with the Ballena L-90, the last surviving member of the L26s. Also should be Surprise! L-86 and her offspring, the L47s - Marina L-47 and her family members, the L72s - Racer L-72 and her offspring Fluke L-105. Many of those showed up on the backlit images. July 31st is the ONLY day L Pod whales have been in Haro Strait in the month of July. Glad they are here.
The whales were mixed, Js and Ls, some in very close to the shore. Dr. Otis' two interns, Amanda and Sarah, had the opportunity, since it was past the documenting hours (daily 9-5), to get all the way down on the rocks with the hope that some of the whales would come in close...the smiles on their faces gave the answer to that!
There were other whales still down island, and since the L12s had not passed by that must be them...and who was with them, but Onyx L-87! Now that was interesting. Onyx (see his story- link on the right column) has traveled with K Pod and then J Pod exclusively since 2006. When J Pod and the L12s are together, Onyx will spend time with his family unit, the L12s but when the L12s turn and go back down island (that is what they usually do), he will continue up island to get back with J Pod. But this time??? The others were a couple hours ahead of this group...
...it was interesting to see Onyx L-87 with the L12s, with them being so far behind the others. Interesting to note that over the last year, Onyx has spent a great deal of time with Tahlequah's family.
At 9:15pm calls were heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...okay, so the L12s are coming back down. But since I wasn't there I could not confirm...that is until I get a message from a friend who was at the lighthouse and who knows what Mega L-41 looks like..."Mega just went by!" was the exclamation!!
So as the day came to a close, J Pod was north, Tahlequah was still carrying her calf, at least some of the L12s had changed direction and went down island. In addition to the many questions regarding Tahlequah, a new question has been added regarding Onyx. Who will he be with next?
The concern for Scarlet J-50 continues. With the backlit issues today, it was tough just getting images and tougher figuring out who is who...but here's Scarlet with her big brother Mike J-26.
...I want to add here that it is with gratitude to the US enforcement boats, who I believe have gotten more funding from WA state for more hours on the water this season...this was before the troubles with Scarlet and with Tahlequah arose...the coordinating efforts of Soundwatch (on the water boater education of The Whale Museum), using the Whale Warning Flag at the lighthouse when whales are in the area, the enforcement boats, The Center for Whale Research, DFO (Canada Dept of Fisheries and Oceans), the PWWA captains all cooperating in the areas around the J16s and J17s and all the SRKWs, as they go through this difficult time... ...so in the efforts to get the Snake River dams removed...how about a shout-out to WA state for what is going on already...more enforcement boats, culverts being replaced to unblock fish passage...hopefully no more video of fish crossing a road with the culverts backed up...bulkheads along shorelines being removed to reestablish a natural shoreline, things of that nature are occurring...so there is good going on - Whitney and Whale Scouts, Laurie has her 'own' stream...all restoration work for helping to improve the environment for salmon to recover... I'm sure there's more going on...but those are a few...
7-29-18 10PM Today, Tahlequah J-35 continued to carry her calf. This was day six.
Today the rest of J Pod returned. Tahlequah's family came down Boundary Pass and into Haro Strait. They passed Lime Kiln lighthouse, going down island. The rest of J Pod came up island at the same time. They met up.
The feelings of relief came over many of us. Their family was back together, at least for today.
To witness them joining back up was heartfelt. They met their friends. They traveled north.
Is it over? Will things get back to normal? What is 'over'? What is 'back to normal'?
Normal is having enough food to eat. Normal is having healthy babies, who will live a long life. Normal is having space to live their lives. Normal is freedom from stress. Begin to look at these whales of J, K, and L Pods differently. They have given the humans an opportunity to understand. They are like us. We are like them. Respecting our neighbors, means respecting the whales and their aquatic world. Celebrating these orcas is a privliege and not a right.
It was learned on 7/24 that Tahlequah had a newborn and the baby died. 24 hours later, to see her still pushing the baby...
As we humans watch, wait - for action to be taken to save these whales
from death, we now have Tahlequah J-35 whose newborn died. She is a
mother and loves that baby. Her family knew a baby was about to be
born. The rest of the SRKW community likely did too. Tahlequah didn't
just accept it and move on. NO...she kept that baby with her the next
day, kept pushing the baby to surface. When she passed by the
lighthouse, Suttles J-40 and Star J-46 were assisting her, helping to
keep the baby at the surface. Not only is she morning the loss of her
baby, SHE WON'T LET GO. Neither should we. I woke this morning
thinking of not only the physical aspect of her having a calf and losing
it, but the stress she is experiencing. What about eating? She can't
take time out to eat when her job as a mother is to protect her baby,
and that means keeping that baby at the surface. Those who are
assisting her are stressed as well, but doing the job that they know
they must do to help her. Every member of this SRKW community is at
risk and every member of the SRKW community is needed to keep this
endangered population alive. My heart breaks....
The Snake River may be far away but holds a major key to restoring wild salmon runs. The SRKWs don't have time for more studies. They can't eat studies! Take action, call your elected officials to get the dams breached.
...the whales of J Pod have split into different groupings than they had before...we will have to wait until they return to see if they all come back in together... ...for the last few days only the J16 family group has been in these waters...and they have been going up into the Strait of Georgia and then back down Boundary Pass...
...on the night of July 21st and the early hours of July 22nd...J Pod calls could be heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones...only this time it was a bit different...
...they were not seen along the west side of the island until this morning, July 23, when they all-of-a-sudden showed up coming down island...and who was it?...the J16s...
so...I guess they were the ones making all those calls the other night!
ADDED 7:25 a.m. MAYBE NOT! Lots of J and K pod calls in the early, early hours of the morning on 7/24! And the Albion numbers are moving up...Chinook and Sockeye!!
Thursday, July 19th ...the four J Pod whales with Onyx L-87, yesterday, left toward the open ocean today... ...the other 19 J Pod whales were still in the inland waters...they came down passing Lime Kiln in the mid-afternoon and turn and went back up island at about 8pm...
Monday-Wednesday, July 16-18 A quick accounting of the last few days, lest I get lost in all this mixing up...I care but the whales don't...they just want salmon, please...
Wednesday 7-16 Only the 10 J Pod whales who were present yesterday, were seen today. The J16 family of 5, and 5 of the J17 family. It appears that Star J-46 was likely with Tsuchi J-31 or Suttles J-40 and the rest of J Pod who had gone west towards the open ocean. (fast forward to the 18th - Star J-46 was with her family.)
The J16s and J17s spent their day traveling southeast the Strait of Georgia, passing Pt. Roberts and heading toward Rosario Strait late in the day.
10 SRKWs who have been in the Salish Sea, had evidently come down Rosario Strait
in the night because they were seen coming up the west side of San Juan Island where they spent
most of the day between Eagle Pt. to just north of Lime Kiln. In the
late afternoon, after they had passed Lime Kiln and were at Andrews Bay,
to the north, other whales - K Pod whales showed up, totally
unexpectedly. No one knew they were 'in', likely because the seas in
Juan de Fuca were rough.
whales present now totaled at least 21 (some Js and some Ks) and all went
back down island. They could be heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones
until about 22:45, until drowned out by ship noise.
Today the total # of SRKWs was 24. All of J Pod and one L Pod whale who travels exclusively with J Pod.
The K Pod whales who were here yesterday were not seen anywhere today.
whales were in Haro Strait all night on the 17th, and into the 18th,
the majority of them heading north towards Active Pass.
was a small group of five, who stayed along the west side of SJI.
those five, three had come up island passing the lighthouse in the
morning with the all of J Pod, except Blackberry J-27...but then, about an hour later, the three - Tsuchi J-31,
Oreo J-22, and Cookie J-38, left the large group and came back down
island to where Blackberry J-27 and Onyx L-87 were.
Late in the day they came up island at about 9pm and could be heard over the Lime Kiln hydrophones until around 11p.m., (while I was writing this post) Onyx L-87 continued vocalizing his distinctive call well into the distance.
...interesting to note...when he did this before it was like he was calling out to others, perhaps other Ls...and the following day it showed that maybe he had, because when he was seen he was with L Pod whales incoming - that was a few years ago...still gets one to wonder...so we shall see what, if anything, occurs.
Food for thought:
Are they splitting and mixing in order to find enough food?
...the Vancouver Port Authority voluntary vessel slowdown is underway... ...Soundwatch is on the water to educate boaters to Be Whale Wise... ...lots of enforcement boats on the water... ...the scat boat is on the water to collect fecal samples for analysis... ...lots of task forces at work for a healthy ecosystem... ...and today a new addition the Whale Warrior!!! The more people who know and understand the better the chances are of restoring not only this population of endangered SRKWs but also the ecosystem that needs so much attention to recover.
...observation...just the two family groups of J Pod in here today...one adult male, 4 adult females, 3 juveniles between ages 8 and 11, and 2 under age 4. Perhaps with this small number they might have a better chance at finding enough salmon. Maybe it's for another reason.