No orcas present.
All quiet now, but the night was a mixture of continued A5 rubs (8;39 to 8:48pm and (9:26 to 9:36pm) and not too distant and distant, A30 and A24 calls, west of the beaches. Then, only incredibly distant calls from 9pm till just before midnight when the very distant frequent calls became slightly stronger. It sounded as if the whales must have been on the Cracroft Island shore heading west and possibly eastward (perhaps a split in the larger group?). Around 3am, there were also frequent Pacific Whitesided dolphin calls, some very close to Critical Point. After 4am, the A30s could be heard in Blackfish Sound. Possibly, they went north through Blackney Pass (mostly silently) as a few of their calls were echoing back to the Local Left hydrophone. A24 and A5 calls were not heard during this time suggesting that they may well have (at least the A5s) stayed east of the Ecological Reserve. But we will see what the morning brings. 10 whales have already been spotted heading east in Queen Charlotte Strait this morning. This may well turn out to be the A30s returning.
17 Aug 2009 07:52:02 PDT
Orcas rubbing on the shore bottom.
sorry, our internet connection has been very erratic for the past while. i'm taking this 'connected' opportunity to post the following summary of the day: the large group did not apparently split during the night. But the A24s and A5s were the silent partners to the A30s, who we know, went out to Blackfish Sound and Queen Charlotte Strait as we heard them at 4am. This morning, whales came out of Queen Charlotte Strait, through Weynton Pass and then east in Johnstone Strait. Most of this latter part was silent. Eventually, the A30s (travelling with the A23s), the A24s and the rest of the A5s arrived at the Ecological Reserve, displacing the dolphins who were hanging out deep in the Bight. The groups then found their way to the beaches where they have been for the last while. The dolphins right now are heading east under the Cliff toward Boat Bay after heading west to the entrance of Blackney Pass earlier. There are transients at the very far eastern end of Johnstone Strait. also, jared Towers thinks A69 (Midsummer) has a new calf. Paul believes he had taken a picture of the calf earlier in the summer. This will be Midummer's first!
17 Aug 2009 13:14:22 PDT
Orcas near mics.
Just before 2pm the A30s with the A23s filed back into Robson Bight after the beaches. The others are now following their lead.
17 Aug 2009 14:43:21 PDT
Distant calls audible.
I need to correct the impression that the A24s were with the A30s and the A5s when they came into Weynton Pass before 9am. Right now, the A30s and the A5s are far to the west again, close to where they were this moning when they came in. They started west after the beaches and passed Critical Point at 2:15pm. By 3:25pm, they were west of Kaikash Creek. From there they continued west past Blinkhorn and beyond.
17 Aug 2009 19:17:15 PDT
Orcas near mics.
These A24 calls are both close and further away from Critical Point. But it seems as if they have rounded Critical Point from the east so perhaps our original idea that the larger group split up last night was correct based on what we know from the visual reports for the day and the scanty acoustic clues we had. Now it seems probable that it was the A24s who stayed east while the A30s and the A5s did the circuit around Hanson Island and Johnstone Strait last night and today. It is so nice when there are solid acoustic clues. Just now, CP reports that the A30s and A5s have turned and are eastbound (still west of CP) from Blinkhorn.
17 Aug 2009 19:49:22 PDT
Distant calls audible.
The A30s and the A5s have brought themselves back to the area near the Reserve and closer to the A24s. interesting calls even if a bit faint at times.
17 Aug 2009 22:30:45 PDT
It was not long after leaving the dock at Alder Bay this morning that orcas were sighted in the distance travelling towards Johnstone Strait in Weynton Passage. As we neared Weynton Island passengers watched as the groups of orcas entered the Strait and began making their way slowly to the east. The A30’s stalled initially on their entry and the young calves were observed spyhopping and three had their tails high in the air making head stands. A38 and A39 had separated from their family and had commenced foraging a distance away. The A23’s were travelling close to the A30’s while the other pods: the A25’s, A8’s and ?A24’s headed over towards the Vancouver Island shore. All were eastbound in the flood current that was pushing them along.