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Sunday, October 15, 2017

10-15-17 The Whales Came In and They Ate!

Sunday, October 15, 2017
...a sunshiny morning, no clouds for the day...by noon there were whales coming up island!
...what a surprise and it was J Pod too!...and the L54s and Nyssa L-84 and Wave Walker L-88 had come in with J Pod and Onyx L-87.  Now that is extra special...
..Nyssa was way far offshore when I was first taking pictures...I had no idea it was him until I looked at my images later!
...a while later he was foraging in one direction while Mike J-26 was going in the opposite direction...

...there were salmon and that's why the whales were here today...perhaps again tomorrow but that's 'salmon dependent'...

...it was about 12:30 when they were off Lime Kiln...spread way out - inshore and up to a couple miles offshore...they were spread from the north to the south...eventually the last of the whales passed by at about 1:30...







...whale watching boats were way north but they weren't going too far...
...



...there was a disturbance to the encounter...it was a boat that was coming down island very fast and it wasn't paying attention.  In the State of Washington, just in the last couple months they passed a law about Distracted Driving...how about making a law against Distracted Boaters.  This is about the closest I ever seen...
...it took the boater a few minutes to slow down, well, actually he stopped and watched the whales...at one point I was feeling that people, including me, on shore shouldn't have motioned the driver the slow down, but you can't just sit there and watch a potential problem happen or do you?
...when he decided to leave he started up and went 'at speed'  - sort of like peeling out of a parking lot...looks like there needs to be some education about noise pollution too...

...back to enjoying the whales as they continued down island...

...when I last saw the whales they were a good way down island and so were the purse seiners...wonder where they will be in the morning...same place?

...if you saw Southern Residents today, consider it very fortunate...the whales need salmon filled days more than just once in a while...

Saturday, October 7, 2017

10-7-17 Salmon and Floodgates-CBC News Article

Saturday, October 7th



This article is one of the most 'concrete' pieces of 'cause and affect' that I have seen. The next best piece would be to act on it.

This is from CBC News, posted on October 4th: 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/fraser-river-salmon-impacted-by-floodgates-according-to-new-sfu-study-1.4327377

~~~
The Southern Residents want Fraser River salmon, and it is said that they want the Chinook because they are the biggest.  This fall the Chinook took a bump up in #s returning, that is for several days.
The Southern Residents also eat Chum salmon.  At about the same time, Chum salmon took a much bigger bump up in numbers, and those numbers are staying pretty strong. The Albion test fishery chart from Sep 7 - Oct 6:  Chinook 192 to Chum 1,134 and they are only setting test nets every other day.

Last I know of, J Pod was many miles north of the Fraser...that must be where the salmon are - coming back to the Fraser via the north.

added 10-13:  J Pod did come down a couple days ago and went west. 








Friday, September 29, 2017

9-29-17 Day 12 of J Pod Here in the Inland Waters

Friday, September 29th
...on Thursday, the 28th, J Pod was in Puget Sound and the L Pod whales were on their way west...
...and then, on Friday morning, J Pod was leaving Puget Sound and heading...which way???...Up!...ever so slowly...it started out as a calm morning...
... by mid-afternoon it was still nice at Lime Kiln, but I chose the wind and went down island to see if I could find the whales in order to know which way they were going...when I did see them it was from the big pull-out/overlook just south of South Beach...well, actually I saw their splashes mostly...it was windy with very rough seas...

...with binoculars (always have your binoculars handy) of course...what a blast it looked like they were having in those rough seas...they get very surface active in seas like this - sometimes, that is...
...then up island, hoping they were continuing that direction too...

...I stopped a few place along the way to see if they were still coming up...yep!...
...-then on to the park and wait...while waiting with a few other people, we watched one person, who was waiting at the south end of the park...since we couldn't see behind that huge rock that person was standing on and we could only see the person's legs, because the person was blocked by a tree...but that person gave us an indicator...
...then some others appeared...someone near us asked, "Who are they?"  I replied with, "Those are what you'd call an 'indicator species'!"  Sort of how some people tell me that when they see my car in town they know there are no whales on the west side!...well, this time these indicator species were letting us know that whales were soon to appear. Thanks!!

...it wasn't long before I heard the first call...the seas had gotten rough up here too and the lighting was unusual, which added to the challenge of finding the whales who belonged to those vocals I was hearing...
...here's what it looked like when you looked up...like wow!
...and Alki J-36 burst through the surface at just the right moment when the lighting on the water was astounding...

...I could see some of the J16s going by...then I saw Alki J-36 a ways behind them and with Alki, it looked like Suttles J-40 was with them...Blackberry J-27 came by...and a few others...but then it got dark and time to head for home, quickly, so I could listen to the hydrophones...
video


 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

9-27-17 Adjusting to Change

Wednesday, Sept 27th

This is long, but there's lots the whales had to 'say'...no pictures, just observations...

Sometimes it takes a while to adjust to loss and move ahead. That's sort of been my week.

...not only is there on-going concern for each and every member of the Southern Resident Community, at the forefront right now is Sonic's (J-52) family...and especially his mother, Alki J-36...

At the end of the day on the 26th the whales were slowly heading down from the Fraser River and the next morning...well, there were many options for them as to where they might be. 
...I had the car loaded with my gear and was ready to go, but I couldn't decide which place to begin...it was only 7:00am...weighing my options over the next several minutes I got a 'voice mail' from the whales!  One faint J pod call - it was 7:15 a.m. and I was out the door...
...made it to the park and got there in time to see whales more than a 1/2 mile from shore, going up...I could see a group who looked like the J16s and did see Nova J-51 and his mom, Eclipse J-41...
...behind them a ways were Racer L-72 and Fluke L-105...they were spread out...
...eventually I could see others and it looked like maybe they were coming up from Eastern Bank???...not sure, but just way offshore...
...this was the beginning of what would be a 4 hour encounter...puts a smile on your face, helping you to know that the whales will keep on going.  Of course they will, they have to and the humans are not making it easy for them in finding their food.

...some whales could be seen down island...some friends arrived and said they had seen some close to shore...so we waited...but the whales had another idea - food! - they were foraging a lot - good!
...some did come up...Lapis L-103, Moonlight L-83 and their two kids - Lazuli L-123 and Midnight L-110.   Though the seas were choppy and the whales were a good distance from shore watching Lazuli doing back breaches, spitting water as he breached, tail waves - well, he was quite the character...I actually got a belly shot of him.

An interesting combination of whales was Kasatka L-82, Suttles J-40, and Tsuchi J-31...gets me curious, especially because the drone folks from the Vancouver Aq. mentioned that Kasatka appears pregnant AND because both Suttles and Tsuchi have been seen on multiple occasions with pregnant moms, moms with a new baby, or a grieving mom who had just lost her baby...
...so is that Suttles' and Tsuchi's ..well, is that their assignment?  cause for pause on that one...

...over the encounter I did see at least one member of each of the family groups of the L26s, L4s (L55s and L86s), L72s, and L47s, but I didn't see either of the J22s...I'm sure they were out there...just not in my view...

...most of the males were not in the vicinity of where they could easily be seen from the lighthouse, or at least by my camera...of course except for Onyx L-87 - he was way offshore and didn't appear to be with any specific group...

...some of the whales went north, and eventually turned and came back down island...the last of the whales showed up off the point north from the lighthouse...they moved in along the edge of the cove...they didn't seem to be in a real tight group...
...then directly in front of the lighthouse they surfaced - as Shachi dove then Alki surfaced, Shachi and Scarlet surfaced in unison, as did Slick and Echo, etc...they were on the edge of the kelp!
...now this gave my heart pause...Shachi J-19, Alki J-36, Scarlet J-50, Slick J-16, Echo J-42 and also as who appeared to be 'escorts' - Racer L-72, Fluke L-105 and Onyx L-87...Slick's oldest, Mike J-26, was the very last to pass by and he was about a 1/2 mile offshore...
...seeing Shachi, the new leader, with Alki - grieving mother and her family (but not Mike J-26)...reminded me of Granny J-2 and how she tended to her clan members when one was in need...just one example was after Rhapsody J-32 died, Cookie J-38 spent time with Granny, something that was very uncommon.  And the first couple times he was tight to Granny's side.

...after they passed the lighthouse I took off and got down island about a mile...when the whales reached there, the tight group had already disbanded.
Seeing that and looking back on how they approached the lighthouse and how  they surfaced directly in front of the lighthouse, well, there was something more to it than just a group of whales passing by.
...as someone said, everything the whales do they do with intention.  I believe they know the presence of beings at the lighthouse, but what exactly we'll never know...
...did they want to let us know things were going to be okay?
...did Shachi want to demonstrate something she had learned from Granny?
I haven't a clue, but it sure touched my heart.

...later the whales did not come back up island, but instead were heading south and west...
     
 

Monday, September 25, 2017

9-25-17 In Memory of Sonic J-52

Monday, September 25th
The Center for Whale Research announced today that Sonic has died.
 
...In memory of Sonic J-52...
...the reason I mentioned 'blaming' is that so many people are looking outward to lay blame for problems when they might do better to look inward and take responsibility, no matter what the issues are...

...when this little baby was first seen...oh, my, what a day...link to the first post of new baby, Sonic J-52, in 2015...
...a few additional memory images...




...something to think about when you watch the whales of this endangered Southern Resident Community...
Rest in Peace little guy...all our hearts are sad that you are gone.