Having heard the Southern Residents were inbound on the evening of September 8th, September 9th seemed like a good morning to head out to Lime Kiln. I was the first person in the park, and the morning was beautiful....except for the unanticipated fog!
The fog kept lifting and getting denser, so I was hopeful it would clear if the whales were going to come by. In the meantime, the constantly changing lighting made for some interesting photographic opportunities!
Turns out I wasn't the only one with the idea of watching whales in the fog, and a small group of us gathered on the shoreline in anticipation. Sure enough, here came the whales - we heard them before we saw them, and for many of them, we never saw them at all!
|J2 Granny in the fog|
The whales were really spread out, and it seemed the fog would lift in the gaps, and then grow more dense as soon as we could hear whales approaching. It was a bit frustrating to be honest, but also a pretty ethereal whale watching experience. Thankfully some whales were right off the rocks, and we could only see them for about 1-2 surfacings.
It's hard to be pointed in the right spot at the right time for whale photography anyway, but the challenge becomes that much harder in the fog, especially for focusing! I tried to take a few video clips to capture the sound of what I called "Whale Listening Park" that morning, and also to capture some of the whales that came by right off the rocks in the fog. In the first two clips, listen for the blows. The third clip will show some whales. It was hard to see what I was filming, hence the whales being a little off-center!
Finally the fog clearing aligned with some whales coming by - J37 Hy'shqa and her son J49 T'ilem I'nges along with K34 Cali.
But of course it didn't last long....
At this point it was time for me to go to work, but I heard later the whales continued to come by in ones and twos, and the fog DID eventually lift, providing better viewing for the shore-based whale watchers. But honestly, I kind of liked having such a unique experience in the fog.