Friday, July 29, 2022

7-29-2022 What a Day - J Pod, L12s & L54s

When just arriving at a location to see if you can see the whales, pay attention to the watchers.  They'll give you a clue!

...the whales going down island the sailboat going up island with the current.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

07252022-SRKWs-the Next Day Humpbacks

 July 25

J Pod came down from the north, as they have been making a lot of 'round trips' to the Frazer River and the west side of the island this month. There was a bit of foraging and direction changes going on it was hard to keep track of who was where, because they were also moving down island!

The whales were spread out. Cookie J-38, Mike J-26 and Blackberry J-27 were spread out offshore and spread out from one another.

Off in the distance as J Pod is approaching.

Blackberry J-27

Toward the end of the pass at the lighthouse, one whale who was approaching, had me wondering what was going on.  She had 'something' with her.  I later learned that she had a dead harbor porpoise she was carrying on her rostrum.  As she was approaching the lighthouse, I did not see that, but I did see something was 'a miss'...just not normal.

Mike J-26
The whales stayed down island most of the rest of the day.  Some came up to the lighthouse and then went back down island again.  Nice to have The Whale Museum web cam.  I watched from home because I had already driven enough for one day.

July 26 J Pod had gone north in the night and stayed north as they have been doing.  However, there was a humpback mom/calf pair who came along.  Nice!

And then later in the day there was another humpback.  

Sunday, July 24, 2022

7-24-2022 - J Pod is here even if in the distance

July 23 and July 24

Nice to be posting again.  Will catch up on previous encounters...

On July 22nd there was a report of J Pod inbound.  They made it to the west side and traveled up island. By the time they got to where I was it was dark.  I heard their exhales as they passed by close to shore.

Knowing they were here and going north presented the possibility they would be back down the next day or two (hoping there was enough salmon to cause them to want to stay up in the Strait of Georgia).

However, there didn't seem to be, as they were reported coming down much earlier than anticipated.

The whales were very spread out across Haro Strait and by the time they reached the lighthouse the bright sun was 'right in your face'!

Proof of presence images of a few of J Pod.  A couple individuals did a moment or two of foraging off the lighthouse one and then the other - both in what appeared to be the same exact area - and on down island they went.

...early the next morning (7/24)...I didn't get out the door quick enough...this time they were not spread out but they were silent as they went north...

Hope they are finding enough to eat. It's a matter of survival for all of them.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Been A Long Time Since Last Posting

Now I know why it has been so long since my last post.

J Pod and the L12s, consisting of 10 whales, except that Solstice L-89 has been missing, so it's 9 of the L12s.  This group of nine have historically traveled together. And we know that because of the years and years of work the Center for Whale Research has done. I can only imagine how many encounters it took to figure out who belonged to who and which family units travel together.  I'm feeling very grateful for all the history CWR has gathered/figured out/etc. which makes it easy in this day.  Thank you!

Can you imagine having only a film camera.  There is no 'instant gratification' of 'you got the image' but you wouldn't know, because the film had to be developed.  Just think on that for a while. You didn't have to get a negative strip.

(What's that? the younger generation of people say!) to then figure out the bits and pieces of identifiable marks on each individual.  Just think about it.  It's mind boggling!

Now we know the history of the family units and it's a heck of a lot easier to figure out who belongs to who.

However, sometimes it has to wait a while, like in the case of Spock K-20 who was seen off the coast of Oregon in late April. The folks who took the video didn't know what a 'gem' they had.  Luckily, it was posted to social media and was seen by a local gal who knows her stuff.  She immediately knew that this was someone "NEW"!  K Pod was seen again in May off the coast of Oregon, but there was no additional information to tie that calf to a specific family.

We had to wait and hope that the calf would come into the inland waters with a mom by his/her side. That day finally came.

But do I have an image to show you?  Of course not.  I too will have to wait until I'm in the right spot and Spock and her oldest, Comet K-38, along with new baby, K-45, surface while I have the camera ready at the right moment.  Oh, the anticipation!

So when you see the SRKWs remember what went into learning who they are, who they belonged to, who their close companions are.

We think of ourselves as 'loving the SRKWs' but what are we 'the humans' doing to actually make a difference 'for the better' for this community of orcas.

Think on that too. And then follow through to help these whales recover.

Thanks for reading this.