Gray whale behavior

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oldsalt
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Gray whale behavior

Post by oldsalt » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:19 am

Watching whales provides me with some compensation for having to give up diving. In addition my travels to see whales, I am fortunate that I can observe them from my home here on the sound. One difference I have noticed is that the whales seem to be more social this year. Normally solitary, they hang out in pairs. I went out by boat yesterday, while never out of sight of my home, it was still a remarkable day. I could see the pairing up close, the whales even touching at times. Another behavior common with these grays is their curiosity. When I had my own boat I could attract whales by simply drifting with the engines off and the sails down. They would often approach, sometimes unnervingly close. They did the same yesterday.
DSC_0634.JPG
boat approach

An in usual behavior yesterday was spyhopping, rising out of the water to observe us. While Orca do this often, I had not seen this before with grays. This individual was identified to me as "383". Notably, this 45 foot long animal was in 20 feet of water, so he was standing on his tail to do this.
DSC_0554.JPG
383

No set of whales pictures is complete without a fluke.
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fluke

-Curt :rawlings:
Happy to be alive.

ohopdiver
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Re: Gray whale behavior

Post by ohopdiver » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:13 pm

Last Sunday I was diving Hat Island barges. Just as I was getting back on the boat a gray whale surfaced about 50 feet away. It showed its back and then flukes. It resurfaced a few hundred yards away in the bay south of the marina, splashed around a bit in shallow water then did the spy thing in your photo and stayed up like that for what seemed like minutes.

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oldsalt
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Re: Gray whale behavior

Post by oldsalt » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:42 pm

ohopdiver wrote:Last Sunday I was diving Hat Island barges. Just as I was getting back on the boat a gray whale surfaced about 50 feet away. It showed its back and then flukes. It resurfaced a few hundred yards away in the bay south of the marina, splashed around a bit in shallow water then did the spy thing in your photo and stayed up like that for what seemed like minutes.

When I read "diving Hat Island barges", a swell of envy washed over me, then I suppressed it. While I wish I were still diving, I know I still have a good life. I suspect the whale you saw was the same one I saw. He poked his head up again when I was out there. I post this picture to show Hat Island in the background.
[attachment=0]DSC_0589.JPG[/attachment
I consider the barges to be a marvelous dive. Is the "No Scuba Diving" sign still on one of the barges?
-Curt :rawlings:
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Jan K
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Re: Gray whale behavior

Post by Jan K » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:52 pm

Great shots Curt!
Somewhere I recall reading that the Hat Island barges are no more there, Unfortunately I forgot who posted that they were gone due to dredging activity. It has been now many years since I dived there ...

ohopdiver
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Re: Gray whale behavior

Post by ohopdiver » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:56 pm

I did not see the "No Diving" sign. The barges are still there, just decayed almost to the point of rubble.
I don't believe they were dredged. Here's the marina plan that shows dredging was planned inside and was authorized only to the entrance.
http://www.hatisland.org/library/timely ... UCTION.pdf
The 3 Vermilion are still at 95 FSW. There are still some frame, a little decking, hawsers floating 10 feet up with fishing line attached but without anemones, still a lot of Rockfish, Perch, Painted Greenling but it's not what it used to be. I didn't see any Ling or Cabbies.

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Jan K
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Re: Gray whale behavior

Post by Jan K » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:25 pm

Interesting. I dug out an old report:

https://nwdiveclub.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20636&p=265533&hilit=hat+island#p265533


Hat (Gedney) Island Barges have been removed.
Postby Jaksonbrown » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:51 pm

Went to do one of my favorite dives today. One of my favorite Ling Cod spots. The Hat Island barges. Much to my dismay, they have been removed in the process of improving the break wall of the Marina. I ran a dozen side scan's of the entire area. You can see the dredge patterns on the bottom of the ocean. Very systematic removal of all of the old barges. Nothing more than junk left. Nothing protruding more than a couple of feet off the bottom.

This is a great loss. Not only of a great dive site, but of some incredible habitat. I am amazed that this was allowed to happen.
Very sad day.

Cory-

ohopdiver
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Re: Gray whale behavior

Post by ohopdiver » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:02 am

Maybe a combination of dredging a bit too far and decay. Toss in some damage due to anchoring the construction barge. It's still a decent dive but not a Ling hot spot.

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