No calls but orcas nearby

After waiting for a very long time after the excitement of the early morning (last calls were around 7am) we finally got word at 2:27pm from Marie aboard the Vector that the orcas were not far from Bold Head. Not a peep! So more waiting. They were further reported spread out between the Penfolds, Donegal Head and Bold Head and directionless. More waiting. Finally, we heard calls at 3:53pm off the western end of Blackfish Sound. The word they were easting sounded promising but alas the whales elected to go via Weynton Pass at 5:15pm and not through Blackney so more waiting. By 5:30pm they were entering Johnstone Strait and through a combination of the cameras and the hydrophones we were able to track them eastward to just before Robson Bight when it became too dark to see and the whales stopped calling. We only heard G clan calls - possible I31, then G2 and G17 type calls. No A34s. From Marie we learned that G2 herself was there along with some of the G17s - a rather mixed and odd group. We are assuming they all carried on to the east. Some distant dolphins closed out the session.

Helena
25 Sep 2017 21:19:42 PDT



No orcas present.

If you happened to be awake before 6am (PDT) then you probably heard the orcas in Blackfish Sound. There were, by the sounds of it, several groups including A34s, at least some of the I31s and then G01s as well. The G01s seemed to be trying hard for Blackney Pass and we even heard their calls spill over from the Flower Island hydrophone in Blackfish to the Local one at Burnt Point. The A34s were never close and faded off fairly soon into the recording followed by the I31 calls. The G01s took longer to leave but then quite suddenly their calls dropped. This happened just as it was getting light and we were distracted by a humpback in close to Hanson Island with sea lions all around, leaping and splashing. It has been quiet since. We were further distracted by some technical difficulties which we may have solved. Meanwhile, it is a blustery, grey day.

Helena
25 Sep 2017 14:00:01 PDT



Distant calls audible.

Well a lot has happened this afternoon and just now coming up for air! (and a coffee) Today, Suzie, Kate and Momoko all left OrcaLab. Like all the assistants this year we will miss them, especially their good natures, good humour and good company. Bon Voyage! So after they left it was time to figure out what was happening in our world. Immediately heard the dolphins (again) at 12:40pm and, as they seemed to be getting closer to Robson Bight I turned the camera on them. They were eastbound, in a hurry, mid strait. I happily followed them until they were opposite the beaches but then became suddenly aware of vocal orcas very close to Robson Bight (1pm) so switched views in time to see the whales heading west. I started a recording but the calls were never as close. I probably missed them going past the Main rubbing beach when I was so focused on the large group of dolphins heading in the opposite direction. Never mind, I collected myself and followed the orcas on their way west close to the Vancouver Island shore. At first they were very distant on both the CP cam and Robson Bight cam but after they passed Izumi Rock (2:14pm) they seemed to angle toward CP. Their calls at this point were being picked up by the CP hydrophone. I continued to follow them as they moved into Blackness Pass (2:50pm). I later found out out that there may have been a small group of orcas already in the Pass nearer to Baronet Pass as seen by the Naiad Explorer. Perhaps Bigg's orcas? The residents continued through Blackney Pass and eventually after a few stops and starts into Blackfish Sound. About half way through they finally "opened up" and began calling. It was a lovely mix of A34, I15 and I31 calls. They kept this up well into Blackfish Sound. We are not sure of exactly who was all there, certainly the A34s, some of the I15s at least and perhaps the I68s.

Helena
23 Sep 2017 17:10:53 PDT



No orcas present.

Yesterday morning began at 7am with a surprise look at a Cormorant's nest in a crevice on the Parson Island "wall". Both the adults and young were there at first. At the same time we could hear distant dolphin calls in Johnstone Strait. A Humpback not far from the Lab going north completed the hour as we drank our coffee and prepared for the day. At 8:55am there was a report of orcas off Growler Cove. It took us a while before we located the orcas. They obliged by becoming vocal as they entered Blackney Pass between 10 and 10:30am. We heard A34, I15 and I31 calls, and on review of the pictures and the visual count we could account that at least some of the I15s (I4s) and that perhaps just the I68s from the I31s were with the A34s. We kept watching as the whales moved further into Blackfish Sound. They were not in any particular hurry stopping to forage and rest along the way. We lost track of them at 11:10am. A sizeable group of dolphins on the Parson Island camera at 11:44am helped fill in the time until the orcas passed through Weynton Passage and arrived back in Johnstone Strait around 1:40pm. They were too distant for our cameras but we could make out the cluster of whale watching boats and pick up their distant calls as they moved slowly eastward from the entrance to Weynton Passage. By 3:30pm the whales were again off the entrance to Blackney Pass but this time chose to remain in Johnstone Strait. Eventually, after more foraging off the Cracroft Point area, and as the A34s hung back a bit closer to the entrance to Blackney Pass, others pushed on toward the Ecological Reserve. At 4:36pm we could make out blows between the western boundary of the Ecological Reserve and Izumi Rock. By 5pm, the A34s were moving eastward as well and I68 and I136 were well inside Robson Bight. As they passed the eastern headland of the bight (Critical Point) we could see other whales (possibly the I15s) further off shore also heading east. Around 6pm we heard the A34s once more. By now, whales were approaching the Main rubbing beach. Two (perhaps the I68s) came in close to the beach. They were followed by a larger group. After some back and forth, at 6:51pm, it appeared that the whales were heading back to the west. And although dolphin calls continued to be heard past 8pm we never saw or heard the orcas return to Robson Bight. The rest of the evening, night and early morning was uneventful. Fog has now descended on our morning but the sun is promising to break through again. Perhaps when this happens we will be enlightened as to the whereabouts of the orcas. Meanwhile, we are listening, of course!

OrcaLab
22 Sep 2017 09:05:31 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

It's been quiet around the lab. We were unsure if the group that headed west from Cracroft Point in the afternoon of the 18th was the A34s. During that day we received a report that T49C was near Port McNeill, breaching 5 times, and then headed west with other orcas at 7:03pm. Another group of orcas was reoported off Holford Islets in Queen Charlotte Strait. On the 19th, Bill on the Naiad Explorer found orcas off Round Island, and was hearing A and G clan calls at 2:37pm. This morning, we got a report that the A34s and others were foraging off Penfold at 8:54am!

Momoko
20 Sep 2017 09:35:29 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

The first burst of energy this morning was from a pod of Pacific White Sided Dolphins heading North through Blackney Pass at 9:34 am. Then at 9:45 am the T19's were spotted in front of the lab, also traveling North. They took a few long dives and cleared our view at 10:04am. In the afternoon at 12:35 there was reports of Orcas traveling West in Johnstone Strait. At 1:06pm we had a group of orcas heading west on our Cracroft Point Camera, but there were no calls. At 1:30 pm there was one male and two small fins at the Entrance of Blackney Pass heading West close to the Hanson Island shoreline within the view of our cameras. It was later confirmed that these were the A 34's. At 1:57pm we received a report that there was another group of orcas on the Vancouver Island side of Johnstone Strait. At 3:16 pm we received a report that the A 34's were now in Weynton Passage.

Kate
18 Sep 2017 18:19:13 PDT



We are hearing Pacific white-sided dolphin calls. It sounds like they are off Cracroft Point!

Momoko
18 Sep 2017 05:50:08 PDT



No orcas present.

Yesterday we received the reports that the T55s who passed Blackney Pass earlier went to Weynton Passage to Beaver Cove where the predated on a Pacific white-sided dolphin at 10:36am. At 11:00am, the A23/25s headed west from Cracroft Point on the Hanson Island side despite of the A34s staying there. At 13:50, the A25s, A23s and A34s entered Weynton Passage and then headed north. The A23/25s abruptly went back to the Strait. The A34s kept going north and passed through Weynton by 2:30pm. At 6:19pm, Wendy Davis reported that a small group of orcas was heading west on the Malcolm Island side of Haddington. Jared Towers reported that orca blows (at least 6 individuals) were heard from Alert Bay, passeing to the west by Alert Bay at 11:30pm. This morning we found orcas on our Rubbing Beach camera but lost track of them. At 9:40am, we spotted at least two small fins in the entrance of Blackney Pass. At 9:52am, they came our Cracroft Point camera view and headed east in the Strait. It was difficult to keep track of them because of the weather conditions. At 10:57am, the group which identified as the A23/25s by the whale watching boats reached Swaine Point. We were wondering where the Bs were, then we received a report about them that they were 1.5 miles west of Duval Point, going west at 10:30am.

Momoko
17 Sep 2017 22:06:20 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

The orcas spent one hour and a half off Cracroft Point after the last update. Around 12:11pm, they headed west from off the entrance of Blackney Pass. The last calls we heard were at 12:51pm, very distant on our Cracroft Point hydrophone. Meanwhile, there are some humpback whales and lots of sea lions in Blackney Pass. We are trying to identify the humpback whales. It's a beautiful afternoon at the lab!

Momoko
16 Sep 2017 13:51:44 PDT



Distant calls audible.

What a morning! The waters of Blackney Pass were smooth and calm, and no calls were audible on the hydrophones. With no prior warning, a large male appears mid-channel at 7:43am, right in front of the lab. He was accompanied by four smaller fins, and the troupe passed silently through Blackney Pass, heading towards Cracroft Point. We believe these were Biggs orcas, and at 8:12am we heard some faint vocalisations as they milled around Parson Island. At 8:23am they turned round and headed north through Blackney once more. Suddenly, again with no warning, the A23s and A25s appeared, mid-channel, right in front of the lab! They zoomed through Blackney Pass, vocalizing only a few times, and must have crossed paths with the Biggs orcas - how exciting! At 9:00am, the Biggs orcas had cleared our view to the north, and the A23s/25s were joined by some A1s (perhaps the A34s again) around Cracroft Point. They have spent the past hour and a half in Johnstone Strait; milling, foraging and switching directions as they cross over to the Vancouver Island side. We can still hear their calls and see them in the distance on our Cracroft Point camera. Let's see what they do next!

Suzie
16 Sep 2017 10:30:15 PDT



No orcas present.

It's been pleasantly busy here at the lab! Yesterday afternoon, we continued to track the A23s/25s, B01s and A1s (we believe the A34s) through the Johnstone Strait. At 4:51pm we saw the A23s and A25s in Robson Bight, foraging and heading east. At 5:25pm we saw them on our Rubbing Beach cameras, and at 5:33pm the B01s came to rub also! The B01s are easily identified by the presence of B10, a large male with a distinct dorsal fin, and B13 who's fin is completely collapsed. Whilst we were watching them rub, we heard A1 calls still around Critical Point, which we believe were likely the A34s again. At 9:49pm we heard faint A calls once more in Blackfish Sound: which makes us think that the A1s and possibly A23s/25s headed back to the west in the dark. The calls became steadily louder over the next few hours, and we believe they passed through Blackney Pass (unfortunately accompanied by lots of boat noise) and we heard them again at Cracroft Point at 11:31pm. These were a mixture of A1 and A5 calls; which we believe were the A34s, 23s and 25s. It was difficult to track which direction they went with the boat noise, and we last heard them at 11:47pm.

Suzie
16 Sep 2017 10:17:06 PDT



Distant calls audible.

This morning we were surprised by the A34s. We started hearing them on our Local Left hydrophone at 6:55am. They were in front of us, half way to Blackfish Sound, heading north. The A23/25s were silently in the lead. We continued hearing them in Blackfish Sound. At 9:59am, we spotted them on our Sea Lion camera, heading towards Blackney. At 10:06am, the A23s came into view, headed south. They stopped opposite of the lab and made excited calls. Shortly after A61 rushed into Blackney and then joined them. At 10:35am, they cleared from view to Johnstone Strait. At 11:05am, the A23/25s reached our Cracroft Point camera, kept going east. At 12:43pm, they came into Robson Bight and cleared to the east at 12:46pm. We identified A61. Some of them visited the Rubbing Beach at 1:32pm but they appeared to turn back to the west. At 2:07pm, we spotted some small fins and A61 in the Bight. They headed west. The A34s stayed in Blackfish Sound and became quiet after 12:06pm. Then we received a report that the A34s were with B01s off Donegal Head! They took Weynton Passage and then entered the Strait around 2pm. We started hearing them at 2:22pm. Now they are approaching Robson Bight, sticking to the Vancouver Island shoreline and it sounds like the A23/25s are meeting up with them. Meanwhile, Claw the humpback whale was reported in Weynton Passage, heading east at 11:34am.

Momoko & Kate
15 Sep 2017 16:04:20 PDT



No orcas present.

We first received a report about the whales at 9:57 am, from a whale watching boat at Bold Head. The first calls we received were in Blackfish Sound at 12:33pm. They came into our view at 2:14pm. A61 and a small fin were in the lead. Then at 2:34pm they took a long dive and all surfaced together. They cleared our view at 2:43pm. We continued to follow them on our cameras. The A23/25s came into the Bight and left view of our Robson Bight camera at 5:17pm. We received a report at 3:00pm from Marie about the A34's who were traveling to Weynton Pass. We heard our first A1 Calls at 5:51pm. Then they travelled past the Robson Bight Camera at 6:51pm heading East. While most of the whales travelled offshore one went in for a quick rub at 7:09. We think that all of them kept heading East.

Kate & Momoko
14 Sep 2017 21:13:48 PDT



Distant calls audible.

It's been a busy few days! The evening of the 11th marked the arrival of the sea lions back to the rock! Yesterday morning at 10:42am, we received a report that a group of orcas at the east end of the Reserve. We spotted them on our Rubbing Beach camera at 10:48am; they were offshore, heading west, and cleared from view at 11:24am. At 11:50am, we captured them on our Robson Bight camera and then started hearing their echolocation and calls. There were also some Pacific white-sided dolphins - it was difficult to follow them because of the choppy weather! At 1:45pm, we started picking them up on our Parson Island hydrophone. It sounded like they were off the entrance to Blackney Pass but we were not able to find them on our Cracroft Point camera. They were the last calls that day, but we suspect the orcas kept going west in the Strait. Today we received a report that the A23/25s and another group were off Plumper Island at 1:48pm. We started hearing A5 calls at 2:05pm in Blackfish Sound. At 2:12pm, we confirmed that the A34s were there! We kept hearing distant calls for more than 2 hours and then finally saw them in Blackney Pass at 4:38pm. The groups seemed to be mixed, and were favoring the opposite side, but we made out A60 at the rear. We also saw A55 but couldn't find A46. At 5:33pm, the lead group reached our Cracroft Point camera. They headed east, hugging the Cracroft Island side. At 7:22pm, the leading group came for a beautiful evening rub at the Rubbing Beach. They all looked like going to the east but around 7:55pm, 2 males and lots of small fins came back from the east, rubbed, then headed west. Around 8:20pm, we saw some small fins were going back to east, off shore of the Rubbing Beach. We then lost light and could no longer track them, but now we are hearing A1 and A5 calls on our Cracroft Point hydrophone (since 10:03pm). It sounds like they are heading west in Johnstone Strait. Phew!

Momoko
13 Sep 2017 23:57:38 PDT



No orcas present.

After a brief lapse in calls, we started to hear the A5s again at 6:45pm; very faint at Cracroft Point. We continued to listen to their calls, and at 6:37pm we located them in Johnstone Strait (from mid-Strait to Vancouver Island shore), travelling west. At 7:15pm they had moved closer to the Cracroft Island/Hanson Island shoreline and it looked like they might be angling into Blackney Pass. We identified A61 at 7.18pm and waited to see where they would travel next. Unfortunately, they didn't come into Blackney and the light was too low for us to find them on the cameras. Hopefully we will hear them again as the night closes in!

Suzie
11 Sep 2017 22:05:29 PDT



Distant calls audible.

We have seen neither hide nor hair of the A23s/25s this afternoon, last hearing them very faintly in the Strait at 2:23pm - until just now. At 6pm they began vocalizing again, distantly, in the Strait, but their exact location was not clear. It is unclear whether they traveled further east in the interim. We last heard them on our Cracroft Point hydrophone at 6:21pm, which gives us some indication of their whereabouts, but the calls are still very distant. Hopefully we can locate them on our cameras before dark!

Max
11 Sep 2017 18:31:19 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We had a quiet night at the Lab. At 10:12pm we heard distant A5 calls in Blackfish Sound and then again at 10:18pm, but nothing after that. This morning, we received a report at 10:32am that the A23s and A25s were at Telegraph Cove, heading west. They were seen with a group of dolphins as they headed into Beaver Cove. At 11:21am we received another report that these orcas have left Beaver Cove, and are now travelling back to the east. Perhaps we will hear them over the next few hours!

Suzie
11 Sep 2017 11:28:57 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

After foraging in the entrance of Blackney Pass the A5s decided at last to go north through Blackney Passs, where they came into our view at 15:16. They fought hard against a flooding tide, with A60 and some small fins in the lead followed by A61 and A85. At 17:11 we started hearing them on the Local left hydrophone and the last orca cleared our view at 17:30 into Blackfish Sound, where they kept calling until 18:54. We were just having dinner when we started hearing them again (at 19:55) and Kate could locate them still in Blackfish Sound. We heard the last call here at 21:02.

Hanna
10 Sep 2017 21:43:50 PDT



Superb sounds!!

We have A5 calls in the entrance to east Blackney Pass!

Suzie
10 Sep 2017 14:43:28 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We heard a single call last night around 12:30am, but could not figure out where it came from. At 8:18am, we spotted a group of orcas off the entrance of Blackney Pass, heading west. There were two males in this group. They were resting near the surface, slapping their tails. They kept going to the west in Johnstone Strait. They probably passed Turn Point and entered Weynton Passage.

Momoko
10 Sep 2017 09:27:37 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We followed the A23/25s on our Cracroft Point and then lost track of them. At 6:34pm, we spotted them again on our Robson Bight camera. They were in line with Cracroft Point, mid-strait. At 8:10pm, they were spread out all over Robson Bight, it looked like they were foraging. We could see there were two males. We last saw some of them heading east on our Robson Bight camera at 8:30pm. The last calls we heard were at 8:22pm. We think they then went to the east from the Bight.

Momoko
09 Sep 2017 20:57:06 PDT



Distant calls audible.

While all of us went to join the Fishfarm protest on Swanson Island, the A23s/A25s headed west in Johnstone Strait.when we came back they were west of Cracroft Point heading east.Right noe they are off the entrance of Blackney Pass.watch them now on Cracroft Point camera and on Parson Rock camera as they are heading East! http://explore.org/live-cams/player/orcalab-cracroft-point-surface http://explore.org/live-cams/player/orcalab-parson-island

Hanna & Momoko
09 Sep 2017 16:51:34 PDT



No orcas present.

At 00.31am we started to hear the A5s again on Critical Point, but very distant. After a break from 00.49 until 02.07am we heard them once again on Critical Point, but only for a short time. We had some humpback vocalizations on Critical Point and Flower Island until 03.57am, after which we had a silent night and morning so far. The A5s possibly went east from Critical Point, but we are not certain.

Lea & Kate
09 Sep 2017 09:47:35 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

It's been a quiet evening since our last update. We continued to hear A5 calls in the Johnstone Strait; very distant around Cracroft Point until 7:36pm. We saw one orca on our Cracroft Point camera, mid-Strait, at 7:39pm, heading east. We continued to hear sporadic A5 calls until 8:50pm on Critical Point. We have just heard A5 calls once more at 9:39pm in the Johnstone Strait - now we wait to see what they do as the night continues!

Suzie
08 Sep 2017 22:07:32 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

It was a quiet night. The A23/25s, who ended up in Blackfish Sound last night silently went to the east in the Strait. We received a report that orcas were at the east of the Reserve, heading west. These orcas enjoyed rubbing at Strider Beach and then went to the west. We started hearing their close calls and echolocation at 12:19pm from Robson Bight. There were some Pacific white-sided dolphins with them. At 2:42pm, they were off Cracroft Point, mid-strait. We heard A5 calls on our Cracroft Point hydrophone and saw two males with some small fins. They had a bite to eat off the entrance to Blackney Pass and then continued to the west. At 3:44pm, they were roughly off Big Bay, still heading west. They are probably now around the top end of Hanson Island.

Momoko
08 Sep 2017 17:02:45 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

So 5:07pm.... we were making dinner and someone rushed in to say there was a humpback very close to the Lab. We all rushed out and when standing on the deck we watched Lucky fluke ever so close. Then not far away Lucky bubbled netted, coming up eventually in the middle of the circle. Amazed by how close, we watched until Lucky moved on to the next bay to the south. So a little while later, 5:57pm...... we were eating dinner, Lea looks up and sees orca in the Pass. No warning, just there heading south. We all jump up and went to the deck (again), some grabbing another taco just in case. There, we watched some of the A23s heading south in Blackney. They were very spread out. One individual was ahead of A60 who was foraging mid channel off Compton Island. So 1844.... while still watching the silent A23s, Lucky caught our attention once again when coming back toward the Lab. Again, Lucky astonished everyone by bubble netting close to the Lab three times. Finally, we saw Lucky round the corner at Burnt Point. So...7:03pm after a random conversation of how similar A60 was to T60C when Jared Towers told us the T60s were off Swaine Point in Johnstone Strait heading west, a weird coincidence. A short while later, the A23s abandoned their attempt to travel through Blackney Pass against the tide and turned north, calling when they got into Blackfish Sound. Their calls were close to Flower Island but were almost drowned out by the bubble netting and humpback sounds even closer to Flower Island. As the humpback settled down and the A23 calls grew distant our search for the T60s with our CP camera finally produced results and we could see them approaching the entrance of Blackney Pass. That was our evening, all that squeezed into 31/2 hours. We will all have visions of humpbacks dancing in our heads tonight!

OrcaLab
07 Sep 2017 20:53:31 PDT



No orcas present.

The last calls we heard in Blackfish Sound were at 9:26am. At 10:53am, we received a report that one lone male orca, who has a nick on the bottom part of his dorsal fin, was heading east on Hanson Island shoreline towards Cracroft Point in Johnstone Strait. This orca was identified as T49A1 by Jared Towers. We caught him on our Cracroft Point camera at 11:31am. He was heading east off the entrance to Blackney Pass, and then disappeared into the fog. No report of the A5s at the moment.

Momoko
07 Sep 2017 14:41:54 PDT



Orcas relaxing.

After a quiet night we started hearing resting calls at 8:59 off the Entrance of Blackney Pass. At 9:08 We could detect some blows -possibly the A5s - going north through Blackney Pass with an ebbing tide in thick fog.We are still hearing some resting calls in Blackfish Sound,getting more distant on the hydrophone.

Hanna
07 Sep 2017 09:34:14 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

A fairly straightforward day today at the Lab. At 1:34pm we began to hear A5 calls again at the western edge of Johnstone Strait. They slowly travelled through the Strait over the course of the day. By 2:14pm they had reached Cracroft Point where we followed them on our camera: milling and foraging. They continued east through the Strait and at 6:07pm we saw a lone male enter Robson Bight. We identified him as A60 (from the A23 matriline). A60 spent a good 45 minutes foraging on his own in the Bight, and at 6:47pm he made his way east once more. At 6:56pm we saw five more orcas (no males) passing the Bight to the east, and at 7:02pm we saw A61 (from the A25 matriline) on their tail; also passing the bight to the east. This confirmed that it was the A23s and A25s that we had been watching all day. We waited for over an hour for them to appear on our rubbing beach cameras, but sadly they did not pass before the light faded! Perhaps they continued to the east, or will turn back to the west... we shall see as the night draws on!

Suzie
06 Sep 2017 20:55:56 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We continued to watch the orcas milling, slightly offshore on our rubbing beach camera. Unfortunately, they did not rub at the main beach. They travelled back to the west and we heard close A clan calls and echolocation in Robson Bight at 8:04am. There were four orcas (no males) in this group. Just before 8am we received a report that there were some, but not all, of the A23s and A25s in Johnstone Strait at Boat Bay (including 2 males and 2 small fins), favouring the Cracroft Island side and heading west. It is therefore possible that the orcas we saw in the Bight also belonged to the A23s/A25s. All orcas headed west, silently, and travelled slowly past Cracroft Point. At 10:31am Megan could make the group out in the haze near Blinkhorn, still westing.

Suzie and Max
06 Sep 2017 11:21:00 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

It was a relatively quiet night here at the lab. We heard no calls overnight, and then at 6.32am we had close A clan calls in the Johnstone Strait. We located three orcas on the camera in the entrance of Robson Bight, foraging and heading east. They travelled as far as our Main Rubbing Beach camera where they have milled and rested; slightly offshore. No rubbing yet - but we remain hopeful!

Suzie
06 Sep 2017 07:37:48 PDT



No orcas present.

We received a report at around 6pm that the A5s came out of Beaver Cove and looked like they were heading north through Weynton Passage. We've had no further reports since then, and it's all been quiet on our hydrophones! Who knows where they will head as the night draws on...

Hanna & Suzie
05 Sep 2017 23:30:30 PDT



Distant calls audible.

It's been a quiet morning here at the lab. We started to hear very faint A clan calls at 12:30pm. We found them on our camera, foraging in Robson Bight, and tracked them moving west through Johnstone Strait. At 13:45pm we heard faint A5 calls at Cracroft Point; possibly the same orcas who were moving west through the Strait a little earlier. The calls are distant and infrequent, so we are waiting to see what they do next!

Suzie
05 Sep 2017 14:09:05 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

The A30s came back with some of the I15s and possibly a part of the I31s from the east last, headed west from Robson Bight. At 10:22am, Marie reported that a group of 4 small fins were heading west, below the Cliff. She heard more blows coming from the east in the fog. At 11:20am, the I16s, I65s, I4s and A23s/25s were reported off the Cliff, going to the west. At 11:19am, Megan at Cracroft Point reported that 3 small fins headed into Blackney Pass. At 11:53am, we spotted them in the south of Blackney. They were struggling the flooding tide. At 12:41pm, they went out of veiw. We think they were Bigg's. The I15s and A23/25s continued to the west, passed the entrance to Blackney Pass. Around 1:10pm, Marie reported that I68 and I136 were playing with Pacific white-sided dolphins, off Western Boundary. Around 2:30pm, the A30s came up to the entrance of Blackney Pass the headed into Blackney Pass. At 3:32pm, the orcas came into our view, heading north from the Strait. The A30s were in the lead, followed by some of the I15s (at least I4s) and A23s. We were busy keeping track of them when we caught sight of some of the I16s and I68s who passed by the lab rather closely. At last the A25s rushed north through the Pass until the last Orca left our view at 4:35 pm. They kept up their pace while going west in Blackfish Sound until their calls faded out. After that we received a report at 7:14 pm that some of the Orcas were going back into the Strait via Weynton Pass. Following this we heard A30 and GI calls in Blackfish Sound. The last calls were at 8:46 pm. At 9:52 Megan at Cracroft Point heard blows (about 7 individuals) coming from the west going east. The whales were travelling quietly, we are now waiting for them to start calling to find out who this was! We will keep you updated!

Momoko & Hanna
04 Sep 2017 23:08:44 PDT



Orcas near mics.

Some days you never know what might happen even in zero/zero fog! Lea was zoning in on a lone seagull standing on the cliffside at the Main rubbing beach (there was fog all around) when an orca appeared suddenly at 9:51am (you can scroll back on https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-rubbing-beach-underwater )! The orca did a quick rub on hurrying to the west. We could not find any others in the fog but got ready, with the suspicion, that whales were returning from the east, at Critical Point in Robson Bight. There we were amazed to watch a gorgeous "fogbow" stretching across the entire Bight. Then came the whales! We first heard I15s followed by the A5s. Quite the day even this early!

OrcaLab
04 Sep 2017 10:44:33 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

After the several hours of break, we received a report that the A5s were near Blinkhorn, going west at 5:29pm. We started hearing them at 5:37pm. The A5s turned to the east at some point. At 8:31pm, we spotted 2 small fins on our Robson Bight camera, heading east. We also saw a male (A61?) was travelling together with some small fins. We followed them until they went out from our view. At 11:48pm, we picked up A5 calls again on our Critical Point hydrophone. At 5pm, the A30s and I15s were reported at Nodales, still heading east.

Momoko
04 Sep 2017 00:38:15 PDT



Distant calls audible.

At 9:58 we could see a big male in Robson Bight and we heard some A5 calls on Critical Point hydrophone,at 10:59 Marie reported the A5s going west off Robson Bight. They slowly made their way to the west ,where Megan heard their blows at 11:45.We started hearing faint calls in Johnstone Strait again at 12:45,shortly after we received reports of them being seen near Blinkhorn. We also got the Report of a big group of about 20 Orcas going east near Kelsey Bay at 12:13.The A30s were not seen to be part of this group,so it is unclear where they are at the moment.

Hanna & Momoko
03 Sep 2017 13:01:00 PDT



Distant calls audible.

Af, in the fog! We got a report at 9:35am of whales heading west along the Cracroft Island side near Boat Bay. Soon after we started hearing distant A5 calls. Possibly the groups are spread out across the Strait, all heading west. After we heard the calls starting at 10:21pm yesterday evening we believe the whales continued east, perhaps closer to the Cracroft Island shore. The last calls were around 2:30am. Marie, at Boat Bay heard blows heading east at about the same time. When they came in we think we heard all the same groups from earlier in the day.

OrcaLab
03 Sep 2017 10:11:59 PDT



Distant calls audible.

We started hearing A5, A30 and G-I calls. It seems like they entered Johnstone Strait via Weynton Passage. Now they are heading east in the strait.

Momoko
02 Sep 2017 22:45:49 PDT



No orcas present.

We started hearing GI calls in Johnstone Strait at 14:22 where the I15s and possibly also a part of the I31s eventually met up with the A23/25s and the A30s. They went to the east to Cracroft Point together at 16:23. They spent about an hour off Cracroft Point in thick fog. At 17:21, we caught a glimpse of a big male in the entrance of Blackney Pass on our Cracroft Point camera as he started making his way towards us. At 17:32, we started hearing them on our Local Left hydrophone, shortly before we heard blows in Blackney Pass. Megan at Cracroft Point reported that the A30s were going into Blackney first, followed by the A5s. It was difficult to see them in the fog. At 17:55, we realized more groups were coming from the strait. They came close enough to identify. We identified I98 in the group followed by the I27s and then I16 with probably I154 and I128. At 18:16, they cleared into Blackfish Sound. We identified the A30s, A5s, I15s and I31s acoustically. The calls were getting fainter as the orcas moved to the top end of Blackfish Sound. The last calls we heard were at 20:17 from the A30s. It seems like the orcas went out to Queen Charlotte Strait.

Momoko & Hanna
02 Sep 2017 20:51:32 PDT



Distant calls audible.

This morning around 7:40am Marie reported orcas heading east from Strider. At least one male, possibly A61, passed the Rubbing Beach off-shore at 7:52am heading east, but he seemed to turned back on himself. At 10:56am we had a report of another group at Lizard Point heading east (they later made it to Donegal Head at 12:56pm), who have since been identified as I15s, and possibly I31s. At 11:08am we heard echolocation in Robson Bight from the group in the Strait. Our cameras followed several individuals past the Bight and on west, and we heard A1 and A5 calls at various distances on Critical until around 11:40am. They began arriving in view of Cracroft Point around 12:20pm taking long dives, along with some very playful Pacific White-Sided Dolphins. They came to the entrance of Blackney but ultimately continued west. The A23/25s were in the lead, with both males close to Hanson Island side, and the others on Vancouver Island side. The A30s remained longer near Blackney Pass entrance for a time, but eventually followed west shortly before 2pm. The most recent reports have the GI group entering the Strait from Weynton Passage, with the As at a similar position. We can still hear distant A5 calls in the area, so it will be interesting to see if they turn to join the GIs on their way in.

Max
02 Sep 2017 15:00:49 PDT



Distant calls audible.

At 10:54pm, we realized there were orca blows in Blackney Pass. They were slowly heading south. There was an active humpback whale who was breaching and tail or pec slapping many times while the orcas were passing. At 11:31pm, blows cleared into the strait. Sounds like the A5s were in lead, followed by the A30s. Megan at Cracroft Point reports that they are now heading east in Johnstone Strait.

Momoko & Hanna
01 Sep 2017 23:46:44 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

The A23/25s and A30s came back through Blackney shortly after the previous update, coming into our view at 7:43pm. We heard A5 calls on our Local Left hydrophone at 7:50pm, and A1 calls a few minutes after. The groups were at least in part intermingled, as A61 was was travelling with A72 and a host of small fins. They were all together at 8:21pm, just before clearing our view at 8:25pm. We followed the group on our Parson Rock camera, and then at Cracroft Point until dark. We later heard blows in Blackney once more at 9:16pm; they were heading back north, and cleared around 9:25pm. Since then, we have heard intermittent A1 and A5 calls in Blackfish sound.

Max
01 Sep 2017 22:55:03 PDT



Distant calls audible.

A5 calls in Blackfish Sound. Who's with them this time?

Max
01 Sep 2017 18:26:44 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We received a report that the group of Bigg's were identified as T37Bs, T37 and T34s, with new babies for T37B and T34!

Momoko
01 Sep 2017 16:33:23 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Bill on Naiad Explorer reported the A23/25s and A30s heading towards Blinkhorn, after the A30s had moved into Weynton Passage a bit and then regrouped with the A23/25s, who left Beaver Cove at 12:30pm. The group of Bigg's went to the west to Weynton then took Cormorant Channel, and were heading west at Mitchell Bay at 1:07pm. We followed the A30s and A23/25s on our Cracroft Point camera. At 2pm, they were in line with Blinkhorn, heading towards Cracroft Point. They started foraging with some Pacific white sided dolphins off of Cracroft Point in beautifully calm water. It was an amazing scene (you can rewind and take a look it on http://explore.org/live-cams/player/orcalab-cracroft-point-surface). At 2:32pm, Megan at Cracroft Point reported the orcas heading into Blackney Pass. We spotted them on our Parson Island camera around 2:35pm. At 2:48pm, they were off of Parson Island, going east, mid-channel. When they came opposite of the lab, A60 started leading others. A61 was with the A30s. At 3:08pm, A60 went out of sight and then the A30s with A61 cleared to the north at 3:13pm. They were really quiet while they were passing Blackney to the north. At 3:38pm, we heard a single faint call (probably from one of the A30s) in Blackfish Sound.

Momoko
01 Sep 2017 16:15:08 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

After a quiet night we had a report at 7.13am of the A23s, A25s and A30s heading west by Boat Bay Island. They were right at Boat Bay Camp at 7.29 am with 100 Pacific White Sided Dolphins and reached Swaine Point at 7.37am. We saw a group of orcas heading west in the Strait near Sophia's. We heard the first calls at 8.25am as the residents were approaching Cracroft Point mid strait. At 9.11am, we had a report of Bigg's going past main rubbing beach. They headed west from Western Boundary at about 9.52am close to Vancouver Island. The resident group split up and the A30s went up the Hanson Island shore and headed up towards Big Bay whereas the A5s went west closer to Vancouver Island and are almost at Blinkhorn now. The Bigg's are in Kaikash area right now and are still going west.

Lea
01 Sep 2017 10:44:29 PDT



No orcas present.

It was quiet all night. The last calls we heard were 10:16pm, from the A30s. We think the A30s kept going to the east from Robson Bight as the A5s did earlier.

Momoko
01 Sep 2017 06:29:34 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Well this has been an extraordinary day. Some of us had to run into town and so missed many of the movements until the afternoon. When we arrived back the A30s were mid channel (favouring the other side), pointing south in a group just about opposite the Lab. As we unpacked, cleaned a couple of fish, showed visitors around, the A30s were steadily being pushed back by the ebbing tide. This went on for a very long time. Eventually the A54s moved slightly ahead of the A50s but it was not long before the two groups reformed into a single unit again. Then just over an hour to the slack tide when the tide was going to move into flood, the A30s picked up the pace. It was now about 7:40pm. We heard a few calls and were startled to understand that the A5 calls in Johnstone Strait sounded like they were already closer to the Bight. Presumably, while the A30s were treading water in Blackney Pass, the A23s and A25s were heading east in Johnstone Strait toward the Bight (after they had doubled back through Blackney earlier). As the A23s/A25s approached the Bight, the A30s went through the last part of Blackney and into johnstone Strait. We were able to follow them on the cameras and Megan at CP reported at 8:42pm that she could see them heading east and angling toward Vancouver Island. The A23s/A25s were eventually found in the fading light off Robson Bight. By 8:46pm their calls were very close as they passed the eastern point of the Bight. The tide is in both groups favour now so we will have to wait to see what the rest of the evening tells us.

OrcaLab
31 Aug 2017 23:14:19 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

It's been a funny sort of day. The A30s and A23/25s continued west slowly for the rest of the morning, with the A30s (leading) eventually appearing at the southern entrance to Blackney Pass around noon, foraging. They began passing through in earnest at 12:50pm, and cleared north by 1:32pm. The A23/25s then followed, beginning a similar trip through at around 1:50pm, and clearing Blackney (north) by 2:15pm. Before we could catch a breath, A60 reappeared a few minutes later, with A61 and a handful of small fins in tow, now heading south! There were no calls. They (A23/25s) continued through but were certainly in no hurry, as they were only just clearing (south) on our Sea Lion Rock cam view at 3:50pm. Before that at 3:20pm we suddenly noticed the A30s had joined us, right in front of the lab, mid-channel. They had formed a beautiful resting line which has remained practically stationary until now. As the tide is ebbing, they have maintained their position by pointing south, and only in the last half an hour have begun to be pulled back north in the Pass. The A5s too, meanwhile, seemed to be traveling in leisurely fashion, and at 4:50pm had only just made it round Cracroft Point. Around 5pm they began slowly crossing over to Kaikash, and are still slowly easting. You can watch the progress of the A30s on the cameras below: http://explore.org/live-cams/player/orcalab-base https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-steller-sea-lion-haulout

Max
31 Aug 2017 17:25:38 PDT