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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Westside Rhapsody

What do I do when I'm not on the boat watching whales? Watch whales from shore, of course! This windy afternoon I was on the westside as J-Pod headed north. There were lots of swells and white caps out there, and it was fun to watch the whales lunge through them. Despite some lunging behavior, they certainly weren't in any hurry to go anywhere and many of them passed by very slowly.

The very last group of whales that came through was the closest to shore. It included J27 Blackberry, J31 Tsuchi, and J39 Mako, but there was another female that was even closer in. She never dove very deep, so from my perch up on the cliff at Land Bank I could see her underwater as she swam along. Right in front of me she turned around and surfaced once going in both directions, giving me a nice ID shot of both sides of her. Turns out it was J32, Rhapsody!


She seemed in a playful mood as she did several tailslaps both as she was approaching and swimming away. Right in front of me she did more of a tail wave, arching her back high out of the water as she dove:


This post is dedicated to Rhapsody (who is a 13 year-old female....she could come back with her first calf sometime in the next couple of years!) but here's a bonus shot. This is a youngster breaching when the J14s were going by. I didn't think it was small enough to be this year's new baby, J45, but from the belly markings I can tell that this is a male. J45 is confirmed to be a male, whereas the next smallest whale in the family, J40, is a female....so this is probably J45!

2 comments:

Jeanne said...

Hi Monika, love your pics - of course - and J-45...I have a few of him from yesterday...those two little guys sure were feeling great!

Monika said...

It was great to see the youngsters, and all of them really, being so active. J45 just looked so much bigger than I expected him to be! Granted when he breached I didn't have any other whales to directly compare him to. In the photo you posted he looks rightfully small next to Hy'shqa!