Saturday, January 28, 2017

1-28-17 Sounds From J Pod

Friday into Saturday, January 27, 28th had been quiet in these waters since the last sighting of the J16s on January 9th...they had, however, been seen in the Strait of Juan de Fuca...
...late afternoon, and totally by chance, I saw a blow just south of Andrews Bay (County Park) was quite far but when I got my binoculars on it - it was a humpback!

...out on Peregrine with Capt. Jim and was a pretty day, the most calm water and sunny whales but nice to be out there...


Friday, January 13, 2017

1-11-17 It's the Art of It All

Wednesday, January 13th
 - whether carrying it or wearing it -
...for the Seahawks playoff game on 1/14 - Sequim K-12 is set to go!!

on Wednesday - 1/11
 ...this BC ferry...built on the other side of the world...this ship was built in Poland...
...with the help of my friend, Ron, it was tracked all the way through the Panama Canal and along South America and up the west coast...
...we were trying to figure out if it would pass through Haro Strait in the daylight or not... was close - made it by 8 a.m.

...I wanted to see this ferry because of the artwork...I had seen pictures but I wanted to see it with my camera!

It's all about the artwork!'s likely the only time it will be in these waters is when it goes to Esquimalt, near Victoria, BC, for maintenance.

No word on the J16s since January 9th...

Monday, January 9, 2017

1-9-17 What An Encounter With the J16s Today!

Monday, January 9th
...heard something unusual over the Lime Kiln hydrophones at about 10:15 or so...but not enough 'information' to get me out the door...
...a while later - there! - Residents!
RUN!!!!!!! to the park and it took quite a while to find anyone...and when I did it one one lone male at least a mile offshore...
...I knew they were Residents and J Pod whales, so I expected to see to the next spot...
...I get a reply, "sure, you know we have SRKWs on the west side?"

...out on the Peregrine with Capt. Jim we first see Mike J-26...he was the lone male I had seen earlier from Lime Kiln...and he was quite a ways behind the rest of the family...then again that is not unusual for him...

...Dave from the Center for Whale Research was already on scene...he had moved over to locate Alki J-36 and Sonic J-52...I had only seen 4 of the 6 of this family, from shore, as did others, so we definitely wanted to located the other two...
...that didn't take long - Dave located them - they were half way up Henry Island and a bit closer in...and it was very interesting to watch some of the things they were doing...
...they were basically not going anywhere...I took video and it shows a lot more of what they were is the link
...and here are some images of them...

...not this time :)
...coming back into Snug Harbor... in the car and since the whales were in Spieden Channel I couldn't just go home...if they are here I have to continue to watch them... ha! they time they got to the eastern end of Spieden Channel and Spieden Island, Mike had caught up and they looked to be in travel mode now...
...the seas were getting rough, the current was flooding very strong...not sure which way they actually went...up President Channel?  or  down San Juan Channel? 
...only they know for sure...and I hope that wherever that is there is plenty for this family of six to eat. 


Saturday, January 7, 2017

1-7-17 Transient Orcas on the West Side

Saturday, January 7th
...lucky to be at the right when I see a message that says whales on the west side, probably up island...I went outside and stood there lamenting..."every time I go to town...." (I had just gotten back)...
...oops! One surfaced!  

...and when these two surfaced I knew right away who... was just about 4pm...the seas were calm...and this time all four were present...

...last time I remember them being around was on December 24th...they had gone up island in the afternoon, I had only seen three (I did not see T18)...they were very vocal over the Orca Sound hydrophones (for Ts) and then about 30 minutes later off the Lime Kiln hydrophones...but they had been traveling up island so hearing them again, faint, over the Lime Kiln HPs they had either crossed a distant spot that LK could pick them up or they had changed direction... I don't know if they vocalized over the Lime Kiln hydrophones before I had seen them but they were completely quiet over the Orca Sound hydrophones and also the Lime Kiln, and nothing heard since then...

...this will show you why he got the nickname Mr. Floppy heck of a huge, broad dorsal fin!

And where is J Pod? far as I know there has been no word on J Pod since they were last seen on Dec 28th...

Monday, January 2, 2017

1-2-17 The Loss of Granny J-2

Monday, January 1, 2017

When Granny turned 100...I made a birthday card...(that was 5 years ago)

Granny is gone. It breaks my heart.  I loved saying (loudly) "there's Granny"...I wanted everyone on the shore to meet Granny, the most famous whale in the wild.  Because until they knew who they were seeing they were only seeing a whale.  
Often she would come in close to the shore at the lighthouse.
She sure seemed to be looking at us there on the rocks looking at her, awe struck as most were.
Granny was royalty.  As one boat operator used to say when he saw Ruffles and Granny, "his and her majesty..."

yes...the end of an era...sadly in more ways than one.

...the last image I have of Granny was on 9/22. It was almost dark (I lightened the image so she was more visible) as the whales were coming down island.

...were there enough salmon, were there clean waters, no threat of more noise or oil spills, we could sit back and watch as the next in line takes over and helps to manage their reign...
...but I am afraid that this next generation and the little ones who belong to the generation after that are in for a very rough time...I hope I am wrong.

...if the humans worked to have a better world for our next human generations there would then be a better world for the orca generations too.

Granny lived a long life. It would have been nicer if she could have left this world knowing that her kin had an abundance of salmon, healthy seas, clean air to keep them strong.
Instead you already know what the whales face.

As we move forward, after we process this loss, our energy needs to look at what is ahead for there are 78 whales we need to turn our focus to.

Here are some questions:

Who will be the leader of all three pods now?
Will they become more disjointed than they have been?

What about the K14s? Is there a role that Lea K-14 will take up? After all she and her family spent an extraordinary amount of time with Granny's group - Group A. Will she become a leader of J and K pods combined?

What about L Pod?  Do they know that Granny is gone? L Pod came into Haro Strait on the same day that there was a press conference in Seattle about the deaths of Polaris J-28 and Dipper J-54.  All of L Pod was here. Some thought they were here to pay tribute to Polaris and Dipper.  I wonder if anyone has a proof of presence image of Granny from after that date?  If not, maybe L Pod knew and they were paying tribute to Granny.

What about Onyx L-87?  So what if he is a male, will the role of this male change?...or will he find another female to attach himself to?
And Se-Yi-Chn J-45...he worries me...he lost his mother and now his first I saw him with his sisters and as time passed I was seeing him with Onyx L-87 and Mako J-39 a few times...

Will it be seamless or will we notice things that will help us understand?

A couple times I noticed Shachi J-19 by herself, not off by her self, but traveling in the middle of spread out whales and by herself.
Would she become the next matriarch?

Late this past season I noticed Granny with the J16s.  That was very curious.  It was out of the ordinary.  Slick J-16 in the lead with Granny behind her a ways, and Mike J-26, Slick's oldest male, on the offshore side...hum...highly unusual...

In the late part of the year the J Pod whales acted, to me, like they were they didn't know which way to go or they didn't know what to do...their travel also seemed unusual... 
...they have lost their will that impact this community who has not ever been without a leader?

...Will we see a big 'whale convention' where they hash it all out and 'elect' a new leader?  Is that how they do it? It doesn't seem, to me, that K Pod ever got a clear leader after Lummi K-7 and then Georgia K-11 died...but they seem to be doing least for now... we even know what their process is?

...and for now we can only watch and record what we see and hope to someday put the puzzle together, even though we will likely have to do it by working backwards.