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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Dall's Porpoise, Humpback Whales, & J Pod - audio clip

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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!


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