Good news! The audio stream is back.

OrcaLab
26 Mar 2020 10:08:53 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

Nice to know that life goes on. There were orcas in the Strait this morning. Jared saw them from his house in Alert Bay. They headed east. It is another beautiful day here as we get closer to the end of March. Spring already. All good, stay safe and well.

OrcaLab
25 Mar 2020 14:30:32 PDT



Performing maintenance

Unfortunately, we are experiencing difficulties with our audio stream. Thank you for your patience.

OrcaLab
24 Mar 2020 18:34:41 PDT



Distant calls audible.

We have Pacific White-Sided Dolphin chatter on CP!

Orcalab
21 Mar 2020 12:42:22 PDT



No orcas present.

We have a large group of Pacific White-Sided dolphins passing through Blackney. Watch them with us! https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-steller-sea-lion-haulout

Orcalab
21 Mar 2020 12:33:07 PDT



There are calls on our Parson Island hydrophone right now! Listen in at http://www.orca-live.net/community/

Orcalab
13 Mar 2020 19:09:58 PDT



No calls but orcas nearby

We heard very faint A calls from the house about 30 minutes ago, but by the time we got to the lab they had stopped. Haven't heard anything since... A couple of our hydrophones are out of the mix right now (the result of not enough sun!), so we know the calls were in Johnstone Strait and picked up by either our hydrophone at Cracroft Point or in the Ecological Reserve. Our most educated guess is that it could be the anticipated A42s who were last seen heading north off of Campbell River, a few days ago. However, we cannot say that with any certainty - we have learned never to make any assumptions of these whales! Listen out with us: www.orca-live.net

OrcaLab
06 Mar 2020 21:42:28 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

A group of Biggs have showed up in Blackney Pass! Watch live at: https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
03 Mar 2020 08:38:45 PST



Superb sounds!!

Clear calls on Critical Point right now! We believe them to be Biggs. Beautiful. Listen with us: www.orca-live.net

OrcaLab
20 Feb 2020 01:10:49 PST



Another brief passing from Biggs today! We first spotted them mid channel in front of the lab at 2:54PM but they were elusive, only surfacing two or three times before clearing our view to the north at 3:42PM. Quite different to the feeding frenzy we had yesterday. We did however, capture some faint vocalisations on our local hydrophones. Jared Towers later confirmed that these were the T046B1s and the T123s.

Orcalab
18 Feb 2020 21:16:47 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

A group of Bigg's orcas in Blackney Pass going back and forth mid channel. http://explore.org/live-cams/player/orcalab-base

OrcaLab
17 Feb 2020 13:57:13 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

There are currently 4 Biggs orcas in Blackney Pass preying on Sea Lions! No vocalizations are heard. Watch it live on Explore.org! https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

Orcalab
17 Feb 2020 13:49:23 PST



Distant calls audible.

Distant orca calls in the Johnstone Strait! We are unsure who it is yet - stay tuned...

OrcaLab
10 Feb 2020 16:15:12 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

We had a small group of Bigg's pass to the north at 12:13pm. The group consisted of 3 plus and adult male. When past the Lab only the male was seen once before he took a long dive and disappeared. These whales were first seen by the crew who were working on the sea lion system further south of the Lab. No time for pictures and they were silent as well.

OrcaLab
05 Feb 2020 14:41:02 PST



Distant calls audible.

The orcas turned and headed west. Looks like it is the A42s back!!!

OrcaLab
03 Feb 2020 15:23:09 PST



Distant calls audible.

The possible A34s turned and are now headed west off Cracroft Point. http://explore.org/live-cams/player/orcalab-cracroft-point-surface

OrcaLab
03 Feb 2020 14:39:41 PST



Superb sounds!!

Northern Residents back in Johnstone Strait right now. Not sure just who. This has been a lovely winter!

OrcaLab
03 Feb 2020 13:31:18 PST



Superb sounds!!

The A34s are back in Johnstone Strait! Calling now on our Cracroft Point hydrophone.

Orcalab
28 Jan 2020 00:24:02 PST



Superb sounds!!

Sooo pretty! The A34s travelled east in Johnstone Strait and are now off the Bight.

OrcaLab
26 Jan 2020 19:39:55 PST



Superb sounds!!

We have the A34s calling in Johnstone Strait! Beautiful, clear calls. Tune in with us!

Suzie
26 Jan 2020 17:13:26 PST



No orcas present.

The T46s travelled west in Johnstone Strait and past Alert Bay around 2pm today. Jim Borrowman saw them first when they were of Telegraph Cove and Gary Sutton kept watch for them as they neared Alert Bay where he was able to identify them from shore. Donna Mackay later reported that a group was headed north from Seymour Narrows around 4:30pm. A good effort from everyone!

OrcaLab
23 Jan 2020 21:39:04 PST



Distant calls audible.

Ah maybe now we will hear those Gs from yesterday. Incredibly distant in Blackfish Sound but occasionally audible. Listen carefully!

OrcaLab
21 Jan 2020 16:26:55 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

Summary for 20 January 2020 T002Cs What a Bigg day we had! The morning brought glorious sunshine and tropical temperatures of up to 13C (!) - a welcome change after the deep freeze of last week. Due to Jared Towers' report of the the G17s, G46s and I4s easting at Bere Point around 2pm, Suzie and Quin were keeping one eye and ear on Blackney Passage at all times in case they decided to pass in front of the lab. At 3:52pm, Suzie spotted the anticipated fins mid-channel headed south! They scrambled to their stations in the lab and managed to locate the group on base camera. There was one large male fin and around three smaller fins in view. They were expecting the Northern Resident groups, but this group made no calls and took deep dives, which are more characteristic of Bigg's orcas... They were fighting a strong ebbing current and at 3:57pm they had decided the fight wasn't worth it, and turned back north. The main group were cleared into Blackfish Sound by 4:05pm, and at 4:22pm Suzie caught sight of another fin deeper into Parson's Bay - yet another sign that they may be Biggs - and that individual was only seen twice before they lost the light. Our suspicions were confirmed as we looked to ID the group from our photos - it was the T002Cs! Many thanks to Jared for his help with the ID work. Just goes to show we must never make any assumptions, hey! Not the orcas we had expected to see, but a treat nonetheless! Now we wait to hear more from those Northern Residents, our eyes ever scanning the horizon...

OrcaLab
21 Jan 2020 13:49:06 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

Elusive! These orcas might be Bigg's orcas, deep dives, changing direction, no calls - stay tuned!

OrcaLab
20 Jan 2020 16:25:59 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

Northern Residents in Blackney Pass headed south. Earlier today we heard from Jared that the I04s, G17s,G46s were headed south in Queen Charlotte Strait off Bere Point at 2:45pm. https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-base

OrcaLab
20 Jan 2020 15:49:05 PST



No orcas present.

Today we learned that the A42s finally came away from Georgia Strait. Jared Towers saw them westbound in Cormorant Channel around 10am. At the same time the G17s were seen westbound off Donegal Head. Alert Bay experienced a power outage through the night. When power came back at Noon these reports were a welcomed surprise! Thanks once again Jared and glad you could get pictures from shore rather having to go out in this stormy weather.

OrcaLab
18 Jan 2020 16:30:46 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

The orcas are going east in Johnstone Strait. We did find them on the CP cam. https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-cracroft-point-surface Great waves right now in this winter storm!

OrcaLab
17 Jan 2020 16:28:07 PST



Superb sounds!!

The winter Gs have arrived! Susie began to hear calls a short while ago off the entrance to Blackney Pass in Johnstone Strait. Trying right now to find them on the cameras.

OrcaLab
17 Jan 2020 16:17:42 PST



Distant calls audible.

We hear calls in the Johnstone Strait!! Not sure who it is yet but keep on listening!

Quin
10 Jan 2020 11:11:21 PST



No orcas present.

Good news! We've had a break in the weather so our team have managed to replace batteries at three of our hydrophone stations. Critical Point, Cracroft Point and Parson Island are now back into the mix and able to stream live at www.orca-live.net

Orcalab
09 Jan 2020 09:26:25 PST



No orcas present.

Good news, everyone! Our remote cameras are streaming again at www.explore.org so you can enjoy the sea lions once more. We are still experiencing problems with the hydrophones so unfortunately the live stream at www.orca-live.net is still affected, but we hope to resolve this soon. Stay tuned!

Orcalab
07 Jan 2020 09:09:38 PST



Performing maintenance

Happy New Year everyone! We are experiencing some technical issues compounded by the stormy weather of late. Hopefully we will get back on track before long. Wishing everyone a healthy and safe year ahead.

OrcaLab
01 Jan 2020 09:02:54 PST



No calls but orcas nearby

We see 5-7 orca blows in Johnstone Strait on our remote camera at Cracroft Point. No calls yet but we're listening out! https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-cracroft-point-surface

Suzie
15 Dec 2019 10:02:04 PST



Distant calls audible.

We hear beautiful calls on CRPT!

Claire
30 Nov 2019 03:33:59 PST



Can't believe it is almost the end of November. The weather has turned cold (- temperatures) and the water lines have frozen and we have had to dip into the stored reserves - no worries - the stars are out in force with the clear skies, taking their turn from the new moon lighting up the night! Salt water baths are the ticket, in the dark, in the cold, under that amazing, wondrous sky. Daytime has been just as good with the snow covered mountains of Vancouver Island, frost on the ground and sunny, sunny, clear skies. Not hard at all - just more socks and as Megan would say "more jumpers" too. Claire and Jérémie composed the following summary for the 23rd-26th: Summary for November 23 to 26 2019 Bigg’s, A42s, A34s, Humpbacks The last few days have been pretty quiet on Hanson Island but not completely silent. On the 25th, we heard brief Bigg’s calls at 3:40pm in Johnstone Strait on our hydrophone located in the Robson Bight. At 8:15pm, we heard distant calls again on our Cracroft Point hydrophone. The orcas were vocal a bit longer this time and we believe they were Bigg’s but boat noise increased by 8:26pm and we stopped hearing them after that. That same day, we had a report that the A42s were traveling North from the west side of Cortes Island into Calm Channel. Another report indicated that the A34s (minus the A62s) were in Douglas Channel, headed North, on the 24th. Thanks Jenny Rietz for sharing the reports with us! On the 26th, Claire was woken up by a humpback song at 1:07am. What a lovely surprise to hear beautiful “woos” again! She first heard him on the Robson Bight hydrophone and eventually moving to our Cracroft Point hydrophone by 1:14am. The song was distant though and it is possible that there were 2 humpbacks there! Later in the day, the sea lions were in great numbers on their favourite haul-out on the Hanson Island shore in Blackney Pass. Our remote camera is streaming live again on explore.org and we took great pleasure watching them living their sea lion life. We even saw a pup suckling up close! We’re planning to install the microphone soon but in the meantime we enjoy hearing them growl with our own ears directly from the lab! This afternoon, Paul and Helena came back from Alert Bay with Mark. There will be some great improvement of the main house ceiling soon! And we’ll also work on the maintenance of our remote stations power supplies.

OrcaLab
29 Nov 2019 22:51:27 PST



Performing maintenance

Hi again, everyone, the changes have been made, but in order to hear the live stream, you will need to clear the cache on your browser. It now works on phones, too!! Many THANKS to JSStream, Seiji Inagaki, and Jeremie Collado for making this great improvement!

Paul
27 Nov 2019 07:51:06 PST



Performing maintenance

Hello everyone, we are making changes to our system for streaming audio, so will be down for a little while. We'll let you know when we're back!

OL crew
27 Nov 2019 07:09:57 PST



A tenderness moment on the Sea Lion Rock camera! Watch a Steller sea lion nursing her pup live at https://explore.org/livecams/orcas/orcalab-steller-sea-lion-haulout

Claire
26 Nov 2019 12:45:22 PST



Superb sounds!!

A humpback whale is singing in Johnstone Strait on the CP hydrophone.

Claire
26 Nov 2019 01:25:04 PST



Distant calls audible.

Brief orca calls on our hydrophone in the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve (CRPT) possibly transients, tune in!

Jeremie
25 Nov 2019 15:59:32 PST



Summary for November 22 2019 Bigg’s The day started with another amazing sunrise, with nuances from yellow to pink painted in the sky. And like the last few days, the sea was calm, so were its inhabitants. Jérémie went to help Mike in Telegraph Cove for a few hours and on their way back, with the tide changing the weather changed too. The south eastern winds started to blow and the rain was back by midday. There were no sea lions on Sea Lion Rock today, maybe they are getting used to the new camera stand over there. By 5:23pm, we were surprised to hear calls on our Parson Island hydrophone, even more surprised to be hesitant about who those calls belonged to. First, we thought a humpback whale was having a fairly unique recital, but when we noticed more than one individual at 5:39 pm, followed by sounds similar to echolocation at 5:41 pm, we corrected our thinking, Bigg’s orcas! The calls were beautiful and unique, it almost felt like there was some imitation of humpbacks whistles and sometimes even Resident calls. The Bigg’s were getting closer to Parson Island and made beautiful calls at 6:03pm. They travelled further into Blackney Pass as they reached our local left hydrophone by 6:34pm, and stayed around for an hour and a half calling continually. Was there a sea lion hunt going on? Unfortunately, it was completely dark and choppy out there so we were not able to see or even hear any blows outside the lab. The Bigg’s were very vocal and close to the hydrophone between 6:50pm and 7:43pm. Then, they eventually headed south again, passing very close to our Parson Island hydrophone at 8:00pm. The group of orcas travelled into Johnstone Strait and headed east, possibly along the Cracroft Island shore towards our hydrophone located in the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. Their calls were sporadic but with a few close calls at 11:40pm and 12:48am on the morning of the 23rd. We last heard them at 2:48am! It had been a week since we last heard orca calls on our hydrophones. So today was an amazing day, listening to these incredible Bigg’s calls for more than 8 hours!

OrcaLab
23 Nov 2019 19:11:33 PST



Summary for November 20, 21 2019 The last couple of days have been pretty sunny and chilling at OrcaLab. We are still scanning the calm sea for any kind of blows, but despite the pleasant sunny weather, it really feels like we have entered a new season. Without the humpbacks and orcas around all the time, our attention is more and more focused on birds and sea lions. Mergansers and harlequin ducks are common visitors as well as the great blue heron and bald eagles watching for any food opportunities. We could see and hear the sea lions as usual, 10 hauled out on Parson Island shore and 31 on one of their favorite spots, Sea Lion Rock. Speaking of which, it is time to put the Sea Lion Rock camera back in place! And in order to do so we spent the day of the 20th to think about a plan and prepare the gear and material for the next day. On the 21st, Claire heard a very brief humpback call at 2:30am and then another one at 5am but as soon as she entered the lab, the whale stayed silent. With the amazing morning light, Matchu and Mike from Double Bay, came to help Paul, Claire and Jérémie to set the new Sea Lion Rock camera stand, a big thick piece of log, that will now hold the camera at its very end. This was the inspiration of Matchu now necessary after the original camera metal stand was literally destroyed when some of the 2000 pound sea lions leaned on it. Later on, after an intense and physical effort, the log was set in place and the camera back on a live stream! It took almost the full day but this was a great job done. There is still work to do over there (set microphone back in, level the camera, connect the underwater camera... but this is another story for another day.

OrcaLab
23 Nov 2019 18:45:49 PST



Superb sounds!!

Amazing Bigg's orcas in Blackney Pass right now.

OrcaLab
22 Nov 2019 18:51:18 PST



Orcas near mics.

Listen to these lovely humpback calls on the Parson Island hydrophone 🐋

Claire
22 Nov 2019 17:45:20 PST



Summary for November 19 2019 We were greeted into this sunny day by vocal sea lions hauled out on their favourite rocks on Hanson Island. The sun was very welcome by our solar panels recharging the batteries after a few days of bad weather forcing us to use the generator. We decided to spend most of this beautiful day processing wood for the winter to come. At 11:30am, Claire was looking for humpback blows from the lab deck when she saw a weird looking seal swimming near the June Cove mooring. As she looked through the scope, she realized it was not a seal but a sea otter! She grabbed her camera instantly and took a few shots to share with the team. The sea otter only surfaced a few times while travelling north and quickly cleared our view. Sea otters are a rare sight here in Blackney Pass. According to Oceana, they are foragers, mostly eating hard-shelled invertebrates such as sea urchins. By keeping the population of kelp-grazing sea urchins to a minimum, sea otters are vital to the health and stability of the kelp forest, and in turn, all the species that depend on kelp forests for survival.

OrcaLab
20 Nov 2019 22:38:58 PST



Summary for November 18 2019 Humpbacks - Claw, Ripple Today was another quiet day on the hydrophones. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t hear a sound, on the contrary! About 40 sea lions were growling on the Hanson Island rocks and probably as many were hauled out on the Parson Island shore. We also heard a great number of Trumpeter Swans high above Blackney Pass. About 150 of them were flying south at 10am and more followed later in the day. They rest in the Nimpkish River and winter in Courtenay. Mike came to visit us in the morning and brought a new piece to replace the broken mount of our sea lion camera housing. We’re hoping to put the camera back online this week! At 3:54pm, we saw a humpback blow in Parson Bay. A quick look at the dorsal allowed us to identify this one as Claw who we regularly see. A few minutes later, another humpback surfaced mid channel in Blackney Pass, travelling North. Nicole Doe, Director of Operations at MERS, helped us identify her as Ripple from a photograph of her left flank. We are excited to see that not all humpbacks are gone yet! The rest of the day was pretty quiet. With the afternoon rain stopping us from working outside, we decided to get warm inside and bake a yummy banana bread and some roasted autumn veggies.

OrcaLab
19 Nov 2019 23:55:36 PST



Summary for November 17 2019 T68,T68A, part of T68Bs After yesterday’s stormy weather, today was a pretty calm day on both the sea and the hydrophones. In the early morning light, a harbour seal was slowly waking up on the rocks by our main beach. We saw one humpback blow close to Parson Island at 9am but there was no whale to be seen later in Blackney Pass. Claire sat down with Janie for an intense instagram lesson while Jérémie and Mike (from Double Bay) went to change the battery of our Local Left hydrophone. About 25 sea lions were hauled out on the Hanson Island rocks, 10 were at Parson Island light and 24 were on the Parson Island rocks near Second Bay. At 9:30am we had a report from Jared Towers that orcas were spotted off the Pearse Islands, travelling east. They were Bigg’s orcas, identified as T068, T068A and some of the T068Bs when Jared saw them later at 11am in Johnstone Strait off Kaikash Creek favouring the Vancouver Island side. They continued east and did not visit Blackney Pass. Janie left Hanson Island around midday and the team is now reduced down to Claire and Jérémie who are hoping to meet Janie again and talk more about these amazing giants of the sea who she has been studying up north for many years. At 3pm, we went to Parson Island Rock to check the fuel cell levels and returned by 4pm. Half an hour later, Jared Towers indicated that T068 and others were westbound off the southeast end of Cormorant Island still close the Vancouver Island side. The light came down as early as 5pm. We can feel the days getting shorter now but are really hoping that the whales will continue to visit Blackney Pass a little longer! The night sky was clear and full of stars and Jérémie took a lovely snap of the moonrise behind Harbledown Island at 9:37pm while our hydrophones remained silent for the rest of the night.

OrcaLab
18 Nov 2019 23:15:01 PST



Summary for November 16 2019 Today was one of those days calling for a hot chocolate and a book by the fire. The wind picked up early morning and it rained all day. But we chose to stay in the lab and spend some time editing videos for the new OrcaLab website (coming soon!) and looking at photos of humpback whales we took earlier this month. Speaking of humpbacks, we did not see a single blow today. They would have been easy to miss in this weather but we got a feeling that some humpbacks have started their migration south. All marine mammals stayed quite discreet in this choppy weather and there was no sound on our hydrophones. But we got to see a fair amount of birds! Two harlequin ducks were feeding in front of the lab and a massive bait ball attracted seagulls and bald eagles into an incredible feeding frenzy at the entrance of White Beach Pass.

Orcalab
17 Nov 2019 22:52:29 PST



Summary for November 14 2019 A34s, Humpbacks - Backsplash, Bumpy, Meniscus and more After a few hours of silence, the A34s were vocal again on our Cracroft Point hydrophone at 3:05am. At the same time, a humpback was singing on our Parson Island hydrophone. The A34s calls were distant with a few mid range calls at 3:50am and active calls at 4:10am. We stopped hearing them at 4:15am. An hour later, a humpback was vocal in Blackfish Sound for a few minutes. The A34s resumed calling at 7:19am. They were in the entrance of Blackney Pass. We spotted them on our Parson Rock camera at 8:20am and started to scan the horizon from the lab deck, expecting to see black fins coming into our view. But they completely vanished from our hydrophone at about the same time and we did not see them coming through Blackney Pass. A few humpbacks were here though, including Backsplash, Bumpy and Meniscus. We heard the Northern Residents again at 9:17am in Johnstone Strait. Their calls were distant but slowly approaching our hydrophone in the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. We heard echolocation sounds and pings at 10:33am and 10:41am before they continued east, clearing our hydrophone’s range. We said farewell to AJ, Lucas and Megan that morning. Megan had been on Hanson Island and Cracroft Point since June and wrote these beautiful words reflecting on her 9th season at OrcaLab: “Today I left Hanson island after 5 months. Suffice to say I’m feeling pretty emotional about it. Oodles and oodles of ridiculous sunsets, mind blowing encounters, new friends, wonderful memories and of course, lessons learned and a rather large amount of images and footage to sift through! For now all I can do is just say thank you. Thank you Paul and Helena for shining a light so bright on this earth, thank you Hanson Island for being the centre of my universe, and most importantly, thank you whales for teaching us all constantly how much more we have to learn.”

OrcaLab
15 Nov 2019 20:14:21 PST



Summary for November 13 2019 A34s, Humpbacks - Squiggle, Bumpy and more In the soft yellow morning light, we observed six humpback whales in Blackney Pass, including Squiggle and Bumpy foraging near Harbledown Island. About 17 sea lions were hauled out on the shore of Hanson Island. But there was none on their favourite rock so Megan and Lucas took this opportunity to dive and install an underwater camera. Once it’s hooked up, we’re hoping to get some nice footage of sea lion pups or other marine life during the winter! No promises yet - still lots to do, including repairing the sea lion surface camera. lAfter that and before the tide changed, Paul and Jérémie headed to Parson Island for some regular hydrophone maintenance. Meanwhile, AJ was busy stringing wires, plugs and lights around the main house. A productive day for sure. The day was pretty quiet on our hydrophones so we had time to enjoy another gourmet dinner all together, and only at 7:51pm did we hear the sounds of a humpback singing in Blackfish Sound for a few minutes. At 10:29pm, we once again heard the A34s, back from parts unknown, in Johnstone Strait on our Cracroft Point hydrophone. From 11:22pm until 11:55pm, they were between Vancouver Island and Blackney Pass. They seemed to get excited around 11:39pm and then they went silent just after midnight.

OrcaLab
15 Nov 2019 20:06:51 PST