Saturday, 28 February 2022

A short Video Clip
posted by janie @ 17:42 | Category: Journal

We added a short video about yesterdays encounter on youtube. Due to our slow upload speed the video quality is not the best but the clip provides a glimpse of what was happening. We hope to add more clips soon.

Friday, 27 February 2022

Once in a lifetime!
posted by janie @ 17:23 | Category: Journal

It was just passed 7am this morning when I started to hear calls from pacific white-sided dolphins on our hydrophone right here in Taylor Bight. It sounded like a lot of dolphins and they seemed to be getting closer and closer. The sun was not about to rise for another hour but because of the clear sky there was already enough daylight to perhaps see them. It is rather unusual for the dolphins to come close into our bay especially in large numbers, so I was pretty excited to go and see them. Just as I was about to open the door to go outside I heard what I thought were faint transient Orca calls among the now close dolphin chatter. Intuitive I grabbed  the video camera instead of binoculars not knowing that I was about to witness something extremely extraordinary.

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Saturday, 03 January 2022

Happy New Year
posted by janie @ 09:13 | Category: Journal

We would like to wish each and everyone of you a peaceful and Happy New Year. Gil Island is a white winter wonderland these days with very cold temperatures. We had a first visit of the year from a humpback whale last night and Pacific white-sided dolphins are chatting away in Squally Channel. All the Best from Gil Island, Hermann&Janie;

Friday, 31 October 2021

A Month full of amazing Songs
posted by janie @ 21:07 | Category: Journal

Today is the last day of October, the north coast of British Columbia is once again in the grip of strong fall storms and declining day light.  However, this past month turned out to be the most amazing in regards to recording humpback whale songs since we began our work in 2001.

Since the beginning of the month we have been recording hours and hours of inspirational humpback whale songs, some of which have lasted for more than an hour.  Even now, as I type this journal entry a humpback whale is once again singing on our hydrophone in Whale Channel.  There are still close to 50 of them present in the traditional waters of the Gitga�at, most of which spend their time in the Douglas Channel area.

Over the years that we have been listening to these complex songs, we have wondered if the whales take advantage of the deep underwater fjords to practise their songs by listening to their own echoes while creating a song.  Perhaps these waters act as a �recording studio� for the whales.

 Who knows how important it is for them to have this opportunity to sing their beautiful songs in an almost undisturbed environment during the later months of the year, when human activity is at a minimum.

It is hard for us to fathom that these waters are subject to a total change as various industrial projects are being proposed which could see huge oil tankers destroying the acoustic peace of the humpback whale song world.

Tuesday, 16 September 2022

Humpbacks Orca and Fog
posted by janie @ 12:00 | Category: Journal

We traveled down the shore of Princess Royal Island during our daily whale survey. A call from one of the KPL boats brought us to the entrance of Cornwall. Here were a group of 3 huge humpback whales and one small calf.

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Monday, 18 August 2022

Orcas to Humpbacks
posted by janie @ 17:33 | Category: Journal

We received a call just before 8am from a friend of ours from Hartley Bay, Marven. He was so excited as he explained that in Estevan Sound there were orca blows everywhere as far as you could see.

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Sunday, 20 July 2022

Herring and Humpbacks
posted by janie @ 09:38 | Category: Journal

Years ago I sat in the back of a truck in the middle of the Serengeti in Tanzania, memorized by a vision of thousands and thousands of wildebeest on their annual migration. Today I am reminded of that same event as I stare out towards the open sea to a herring highway bubbling for miles and miles in the distance.

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Monday, 23 June 2022

An Amazing "All-Clan" Meeting
posted by janie @ 07:48 | Category: Journal

Since about two weeks we are listening to a whole new part of the north coast, as we installed a new hydrophone station at the north east side of Aristabazal Island. We are now able to listen to Caamano and Estevan Sound which the whales use quite often during their travels through this area. The timing of installation could not have been better as late last night the under water world of Caamano Sound was filled by the excited calls from A, G and R-Clan members of the northern resident orcas.

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Wednesday, 21 May 2022

posted by janie @ 08:52 | Category: Journal

 Since the early 1990s, researchers and whale enthusiasts alike were waiting for A28 to have a calf.Born in 1974, she is a member of the A8 matriline. After her mothers death she continues to travel with her sister A42 and her offsprings. Year after year when the whales would return to Johnstone Strait she would not return with a calf of her own and people started to believe that she would not be able to be a mother herself, instead always being an auntie to her sisters offspring. Until Now!

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Tuesday, 29 April 2022

Transient parade
posted by janie @ 07:55 | Category: Journal

It was early Friday morning, the waters were choppy in Whale Channel as we travelled north to Money Point, our day's destination to work on a storm damaged hydrophone station. We were almost there, just halfway across the mouth of Verney Passage, when Hermann yelled "WHALE!!!".

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Tuesday, 04 March 2022

The Bees
posted by janie @ 07:45 | Category: Journal

March 5th 2007 marked the first time that we heard the B7 matriline acoustically in the �Off� season. Almost exactly a year later on March 3rd, they were filling the underwater world with their calls in Caamano Sound once again. Faint calls were first heard early in the afternoon and a little later distant blows were visible in Squally Channel. The �Bees� were on their way north and soon after their blows and calls faded away as they rounded the corner of Gil Island. Just before midnight we heard them once again, this time as they travelled south in Whale Channel. They most likely did a �Gil Island circle�. At 1:30am the B7s were out of our acoustical range and most likely back in Caamano Sound. It sure would be nice to hear and perhaps see them again soon.

Wednesday, 06 February 2022

A new whale year!
posted by janie @ 00:44 | Category: Journal

After a long, silent winter, the new whale year is here. At exactly midnight of February 5th we started to hear faint resident Orca calls which soon turned out to be the A36s!!!!

As I am writing this at1230am the brothers are audible on our �Home� station. They are most likely off Ashdown Island, where Squally Channel and Whale Channel meet.

It is such a blessing to listen to them, no boat noise, just their pure calls and the sound of waves from a diminishing storm.

Who knows, maybe we�ll even get a chance to see them tomorrow�.

Monday, 15 October 2021

A peaceful and quiet encounter
posted by janie @ 15:24 | Category: Journal

As I�m writing this journal entry there are two humpback whales, a mother and calf, in Taylor Bight. While typing, I can see their blows through our living room window.  It is a rare calm, sunny day after the first fall storms were roaring up from the southeast for the last 10 days. The whales are in here since almost two hours now and they seem to be very content and comfortable in here. The hydrophone that we have in front of Cetacealab is not detecting even the faintest hint of a sound. The underwater world is absolutely quiet.

This is what it must have been like for the whales before humans invented the combustion engine in the early 20th century.

This peaceful and quite day, above and below the ocean surface, makes me think about what it could have been like if the proposed Batholiths seismic project would be occurring.  The R/V Langseth could have been in our research area today, blasting the ocean with unbelievable loud acoustic pulses.

With a big smile on my face, I feel at ease, knowing that it won�t happen.  

Thanks to so many people and organizations, it will remain silent underwater along the central coast of BC. As it should, always!

Wednesday, 26 September 2022

Humpback Echoes
posted by janie @ 08:58 | Category: Journal

It is just past midnight and I am sitting here with headphones on listening to one of the most stunning humpback whale songs ever. He began to sing 20 minutes ago; there is no doubt that he is practicing with different sounds.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2022

Stillness of the Mist
posted by janie @ 21:25 | Category: Journal

This experience was written in the middle of Whale Channel, sitting with 2 humpback whales that were asleep, floating on the water, surrounded by fog and absolutely no wind.

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Sunday, 12 August 2022

A Whale for Betsy
posted by janie @ 08:00 | Category: Journal

Sometimes in life a spirit so strong will leave us and take that Journey that passes us from this life and on. Recently this has happened, so this journal entry is dedicated to you Betsy, and the little orca calf we have named after you.

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Friday, 20 July 2022

Oh Those Transients!
posted by janie @ 14:36 | Category: Journal

We were with a couple of humpback whale trying to get an ID photo when Cara from KPL called to report one lone female orca.

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Wednesday, 11 July 2022

Fins, Humpbacks and Transients!
posted by janie @ 12:47 | Category: Journal

How interesting that as each day begins we really have no idea with in the next hours what will be. Will there even be an event that separates this day from all the others? These particular thoughts were on my mind as I was slowly idling our boat out of Taylor Bight.

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Friday, 06 July 2022

Mother and Calf
posted by janie @ 08:46 | Category: Journal

It is hard to explain the relationship one develops with whales when you share time with them on a daily basis. We are so aware of their every movement, when they first arrive, who they are traveling with and when they depart. Today was a perfect example of a highlight of these encounters.

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Wednesday, 20 June 2022

Orca Parade
posted by janie @ 10:44 | Category: Journal

I have sat down at this computer every day for the last week to write in the Journal and whales arrive!! Which of course is a fabulous excuse, so lets see how far I get today before we hear a call on the hydrophone or a report over the radio.

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