Whales: Orcas and more

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oldsalt
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Whales: Orcas and more

Post by oldsalt » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:56 pm

I keep whale journal, kind of like a dive log. Virtually every day this year, I have an entry of seeing gray whales from my home at Tulalip. I have ventured out from my Covid hideaway a couple of times. Once was to watch orca in Saratoga Passage near Camano Island. By now, most of you know we encounter two populations of orca in the Salish sea. One population, commonly called "residents" eat salmon. ^The other, labeled "transients", eat mammals. They were named that by Dr. Michael Biggs who identified individuals and recognized that there were distinct populations. The ones I saw were "transients" which are now the more commonly seen animals locally because we have more seals and fewer fish. They shared a kill while I was watching them. Here are some photos.
DSC_4812.JPG
Mother and daughter
DSC_4831 (2).JPG
spyhopping
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pair
DSC_4850.JPG
trio
My other outing was with Westport Seabirds. We saw humpbacks, orca, Dalls porpoise and the ubiquitous harbor porpoise. Dall's porpoise are so fast, that getting a picture is difficult. This shot gives an idea of their speed.
DSC_4896.JPG
Dalls porpoise
We also saw mola mola or ocean sunfish. One individual topped five hundred pounds. Also lots of blue sharks and fur seals.
Still watching the sea, Curt :rawlings:
Happy to be alive.

coldfinger
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Re: Whales: Orcas and more

Post by coldfinger » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:49 pm

Very cool, thanks! Any recommendations for locations having a decent probability of seeing orcas from shore? We've lived here 22+ years and I've seen 1 doral fin (male) once, from the Tsawassen ferry. Skunked at Lime Kiln Park. If COVID ends and we're still here, we should definitely go out with Westport Seabirds, based on your postings.
Thanks!

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oldsalt
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Re: Whales: Orcas and more

Post by oldsalt » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:07 pm

coldfinger; Watching from shore is a challenge. Living on the water gives me a huge advantage. My best luck has come at Turn Point Light on Stuart Island. We were supposed to be docents at the light, but BLM (the federal agency, not the social movement) closed the Light station for the season. The whale watching services Puget Sound Express (out of Edmonds) and Island Adventures (Anacortes) will give you good looks each time. Westport Seabirds is more of an adventure, leaving from Westport early (5;30 0R 6 AM), and going 40 miles offshore, returning at 3:30. I'm a huge fan, but it isn't for everybody, especially those prone to seasickness.
=Curt
Happy to be alive.

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ScubaJess
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Re: Whales: Orcas and more

Post by ScubaJess » Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:11 pm

Amazing!!!!!!!! :)
Live Long And Prosper!!!

Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

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Jan K
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Re: Whales: Orcas and more

Post by Jan K » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:43 pm

Looks like you have front seat for some amazing action. Thanks for sharing. I can see water from my porch, but no whales ...

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McGlencoe
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Re: Whales: Orcas and more

Post by McGlencoe » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:59 pm

Very neat, thanks for sharing!

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Gdog
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Re: Whales: Orcas and more

Post by Gdog » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:16 pm

That is really very cool. Thank you very much for sharing!

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YellowEye
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Re: Whales: Orcas and more

Post by YellowEye » Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:32 pm

Nice!!

In what form do you see the blue sharks? From the surface, or perhaps by fishing line?

How many mola molas did you see?
Kind request: Always keep your reg in your mouth when entering/leaving the water! There's always a chance of a slip or a rogue wave, and several locals have perished from not having their regs at the ready over the years.

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oldsalt
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Re: Whales: Orcas and more

Post by oldsalt » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:00 am

YE: No fishing lines, blue sharks were seen from the surface, like this one.
Blue Shark3.JPG
I saw two mola molas.
DSC_4966.JPG
molamola1
This one was really big.
DSC_4981.JPG
It doesn't take much to entertain me.
-Curt
Happy to be alive.

coldfinger
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Re: Whales: Orcas and more

Post by coldfinger » Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:08 pm

Yeah, hard to imagine anyone being entertained just by watching amazing creatures swimming in the water. :clap:

Thank you again for sharing!

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