Thursday, February 16, 2012

2-16-12 Sooke L-112

Thursday, February 16

(link here for a radio broadcast regarding the sonar incident)

Sooke L-112
January 2009 - February 2012
She is the second offspring of Surprise! L-86.
She was full of energy.
We got a chance to know her.

She and Pooka were very playful.
 With her mother.

With family and pod mates.
She and her brother could really make you laugh.
We last saw her on October 21, 2011.

It's not known how she died.
It may take a while to find out.

An answer may never be revealed.

It's so very sad to have lost her from this fragile Community.
She was one of only two females born in L pod between 2003 and 2009.

She carried the great responsibility
of bringing offspring of her own into this world one day.

Her death has changed her role.
She will now be a teacher.
To educate researchers and scientists,
and 'whale huggers' young and old.

Usually when a whale is lost from the
Southern Resident Community there is time to prepare.
Usually, at first, a whale is not seen during an encounter.
Then, during the next encounter, all eyes are looking for that whale.
After several encounters of not being seen
a whale may be listed by CWR as missing.

In the winter L pod is not commonly seen in the inland waters.
Sometimes L pod shows up off Monterey Bay, California.
It is standard to wait until spring for L pod's return.
It is then we look for the presence of every member.
Sometimes it takes weeks to locate each member.
Sometimes only a few days.

It's not known how Sooke died.
There are enough scenarios to keep one awake at night.
But wait we must, for the test results.

The Whale Museum has announced that
Sooke's skeleton will come to reside at The Whale Museum.
link here and scroll down on their home page.
As the whales give us the opportunity to see them again,
we each will have changed from this significant event.
I only hope that her death will not have been for naught.

Monday, February 6, 2012

2-6/7-12 Sonar in Haro Strait - Again!

February 6th and 7th
Early morning February 6th
...SONAR! WHAT?...not again!

...well if the whales were here that's what they'd be saying...matter of fact there have been some Transients in Puget Sound the last few days and they could very likely have been coming back out and in the area of that ship...hope they weren't... was not quite 5 a.m. and I am awakened to what sounds like sonar on the Lime Kiln hydrophones...

...not knowing what anyone else out there might be doing, I call the USCoast Guard...I knew there was a Canadian Navy ship out there, so guessed it would be the one using the sonar...the USCG fellow said he would call them...'s an 11 second clip...the sonar was spaced at about 30 second intervals, so I condensed it...

...whether my phone call, someone else, or it was the ship's plan...the sonar did stop - I reviewed the recording - the sonar lasted about 40 minutes (not 20 as I first stated)...
...didn't want a repeat of what happened back in 2009 - here's the all night post on that...that had been the first time I had experienced such a disturbance in these waters...that time it was the U. S. Navy...

Read this: compiled by Scott and Jason of the Orca Sound hydrophone system regarding this current sonar incident.

February 6th - afternoon mid afternoon I was zooming my way to the other side of the island to try to catch a glimpse of some whales!
...when I got to where the whales had last been seen I was met with lots of white caps...they had been heading north up San Juan Channel, seen at Yellow Island...but there was a strong ebb current...I didn't know how far they had gone or even if they had changed direction...
...that was until I saw the gulls...and then a blow! Yes! there they were!

...they seemed to be finishing up a meal, and soon they began heading my direction...they came around the corner and into Spieden Channel...
...and then the action began...

...there were some Steller sea lions in the water and the whales appeared to be after didn't last long and soon the seven Transients headed west in Spieden Channel, then turned north...

...I wonder just where they were earlier in the day when that sonar was pinging off the south end of San Juan Island...

February 6th - Night - 10:15 pm.

...K and L and pod calls were coming over on the Orca Sound Hps... they faded off, being a quiet night I stepped outside and heard their blows...
...then their calls came over the Lime Kiln HPs...indicating they were going down island...

Tuesday, February 7th
...Tuesday morning I went to the south end of the island at about 8:00 a.m. and scanned for a long time, but came up empty...little did I know that I was actually looking in the right direction...

...then Tuesday afternoon - someone had taken a video of whales in Discovery Bay...

...the first whale is Cappuccino K-21...I could see Nyssa L-84, Tanya L-5, Grace L-2, Gaia L-78, Wave Walker L-88, and several others...the little one surfacing...hum...made me wonder if maybe Ino L-54 and her 3 kids were there too... was later confirmed that the whales present in Discovery Bay were:
...Cappuccino K-21, Raggedy K-40, Opus K-16, Sonata K-35;
...L2s -Grace L2, Gaia L-78, Wave Walker L-88; 
...L9s -Tanya L-5, Nyssa L-84;
...L-35s - Ino L-54, Indigo L-100, Coho L-108 and baby L-117

They were seen over the next few days in Puget Sound...
also go to Orca Network post from February 10, 2012 

end of year note 2012:  of these 13 whales 3 went missing in 2012.

Tanya was not seen when all the whales came in on May 29, 2012
Raggedy was last seen on June 11 and 12, 2012
Gaia L-78 was last seen on July 19 and 20, 2012

Why?  there is no is just curious that it would happen in that manner.

These groups of whales were known to spend time together.