Isis passed away on Saturday, October 21, at 15:20. I miss you girl, and will see you in my dreams…
Saturday, October 14, 2006
On today’s Ocean Magic II trip we headed south of Victoria to view a mother-calf pair of Humpback whales. The fog had a high ceiling so we could see the animals for quite a far distance. We then headed over to San Juan Island to view J pod, one of the southern resident, fish-eating, killer whale family groups. The whales were foraging near Salmon Bank and taking rests at the surface after pursuing prey. We could hear the whales communicating and using echolocation to navigate and search for salmon.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Reports of killer whales lead the noon Ocean Magic II trip east towards the San Juan Islands. We stopped in the middle of Haro Strait to view a group of Dall’s porpoises. The animals were milling about the area slowly. Then near Henry Island we spotted a Minke whale heading south about a half mile from shore we could hear the southern residents in the distance through the hydrophone. Deeper into Open Bay we met up with J pod and Ruffles / J1 was leading the group southwest. Granny / J2 was not far behind her son and the rest of the animals were traveling at a good pace, some porpoising, and chasing fish along the way. Some were very dramatic high-speed pursuits with lots of whales cartwheeling into the air. Polaris / J26 and Blackberry / J27 were identified among the whales. The family was using vocal calls and echolocation clicks.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
The Ocean Magic II afternoon trip lead us south of Victoria to view Humpback whales. There were two mother calf pairs a couple miles apart circling near Constance Bank. The mother-calf bond is the strongest in Humpback whale society. Females will have one calf every two to three years and they are about 13 feet long at birth and weigh two tons. A group of Steller sea lions were nearby foraging on the schools of salmon. We then headed over to Race Rocks to view sea lions hauled out resting on the rocks. There were lots of Stellers and the California sea lions were on their favorite boat ramp area. Brant’s cormorants were lined up on the rocky edges fanning and drying their wings in the air.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Today was a beautiful sunny day with lots of marine mammals to view on the noon Ocean Magic II trip. First we visited the mother calf pair of Humpback whales near Constance Bank off Victoria. The whales were heading east and taking short dives. Then we headed over to Lime Kiln Lighthouse to meet up with J pod as they traveled and porpoised south along San Juan Island. Mike / J26 and Polaris / J28 were identified as they stopped to forage for prey near the vessel. On the way back across Haro Strait a group of Dall’s porpoises visited the boat for a short wake ride then were on their way.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Another amazing fall whale-watch day. The Ocean Magic II noon trip started out at San Juan Island. There were lots of Dall’s porpoises near False Bay ‘rooster-tailing’ (high-speed travel) and then a group came over and surfed our bow wake. The porpoises traveled with us south for a bit before breaking off then we met up with J pod foraging at Salmon Bank. There were lots of fish chases with whales in pursuit of prey. The killer whales were staying in contact using vocal calls and emitting sonar echolocation clicks. We then headed for Constance Bank where we found a mother calf pair of Humpback whales. The two were accompanied by a Steller sea lion. The mother 'tail lobbed' (raised her flukes out of the water and slapped it on the surface) repeatedly as the whales rolled around on their backs. They headed for the stern of the boat and passed by underwater upside down reflecting back the aquagreen waters of the strait. Their enormous girth and long flippers revealed the massive size of these baleen whales. The most breath taking personal moment of the year!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Today’s Ocean Magic II noon trip lead us south toward Race Rocks to view Humpback whales. We first found a mother calf pair a couple miles east of the ecological reserve. We then headed over to William Head and found another mother calf pair. This calf was very active at the surface with lots of tail and pectoral flipper slapping behaviours. Another solitary Humpback whale was spotted nearby in the Juan de Fuca strait. We stopped over at Race Rocks to view the many California sea lions, Steller sea lions, Harbour seals, Brant’s cormorants, and Double-crested cormorants. On the way home we stopped to view the first mother calf Humpback whale pair as they passed by the stern and headed south towards the Olympic Mountains.