Monday, April 10, 2023

April 5 - Part 3 - J Pod

 This is the 3rd & last post of a very good day!

The inset highlights the harbor seals hauled out at the north end of Goose Island. Of course the seals were paying great attention to the orcas :)

...some of the whales had made the turn and were coming down close along the SJI shoreline. 

Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41, Crescent J-58

(recap of Cattle Pass encounter: first seen coming down far offshore...then another group of J Pod whales were coming down a bit closer and they were heading into the really rough incoming current...then this group paused and changed direction and went north a short distance and then turned toward shore and came down between Goose Ialand and SJI - the images on this page show that.)

And then...After it seemed that all had exited Cattle Pass, a person I was talking with noticed some whales really far across and further down from where the first of the whales were seen.

They were some of the J Pod whales and their behavior looked as if they were foraging.  To say the least, it was a confusing afternoon...but the whales knew what they were doing!

This 'event' raised a few questions...

I had heard that the whales had been in mid-channel and were foraging, taking their time before getting to Cattle Pass.  Then seeing some of the whales (maybe all - they were so far away) appearing to be foraging off the south end of Lopez Island...hmmm...What are they foraging on?

Was there a herring run somewhee??? that brought in salmon? 

Had there been a salmon release from a hatchery?

Were the Spring Chinook returning?

All questions?

On this day as the seas began to get rough and the wind picked up and some Transient orcas had been seen in a totally different area, the SRKWs had only the ocean to contend with - YAY!  

We can only hope they will have a successful year.

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