Wednesday, September 19, 2018

9-19-18 You Know When the Time Comes

Wednesday, September 19th

...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?"
 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

9-13-18 Hope for Scarlet J-50 is Now Gone

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

She 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.

Monday, September 3, 2018

9-3-18 They Came Back In!

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.

...to a brighter future...
 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

8-30-18 News Came Today !!

8-30-18

...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:

...here's the link:  it's about - Trans Mountain, the Canadian Federarl Court of Appeals...
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tasker-trans-mountain-federal-court-appeals-1.4804495

 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

8-15-18 Are You Doing Your Part to Help the SRKWs?

 Have been offline for several days now, dealing with a back problem...
Lots has gone on and I am sorry to have missed so much.

I am thankful to NOAA for posting updates on their FB page:  NOAA Fisheries West Coast  regarding Scarlet J-50.
There is also a web page:  http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/


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.