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Thursday, July 9, 2015

June 28th: The Morning Encounters Continue (OBI #14)

Pile Point near False Bay has been our magical spot - on the morning of June 28th it was again where we caught up with the whales, J-Pod Group A and the K12s, K13s, and K14s. We've seen a lot of the K14s this summer - they've been a part of almost every research encounter - and K26 Lobo was the first whale we got a good look at.

K26 Lobo

Lobo's group booked it north, and we hung back with K22 Sekiu and her son K33 Tika who were hanging out and foraging. At one point Tika unexpectedly did a huge dolphin jump - something I've seen transients do before, but never residents! Unfortunately he only did it once and I wasn't ready with the camera.

K33 Tika

Meanwhile offshore was L87 Onyx. He's also been around a lot, but has mostly been off on his own, sometimes a mile or more away from all the other whales. We're keen to get some recordings of his vocalizations, because he's a unique whale: he was in L-Pod, then traveled with K-Pod for several years, and now travels with J-Pod. But on this occasion he was only echolocating. 

L87 Onyx

 As we continued north, we again got a good look at K37 Rainshadow who we had spent a lot of time with the day before.

K37 Rainshadow
Then we caught up with the leaders again, a group made up of the K14s, J2s, and J19s.

J51 right alongside mom J41 Eclipse

Another look at K26 Lobo

Off San Juan County Park they milled around for a while, and the light was amazing for seeing the blows.

Eventually they all grouped up and continued north again:

It was about time for us to head in, but it's so much fun to watch the whales cross Open Bay that we had to hang out a bit longer.

J40 Suttles
As the lead group continued on, K22 and K33 caught up to us again.

K33 Tika trailing some eel grass

Again we started heading for home, but the sight of a line of seven whales cruising towards us made us stop again. It was the K13s all together; it's so cool to see a tight group of whales like this approaching.

The K13s

K25 Scoter on the left and K44 Ripple in the middle

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