WEEKEND OF WHALES

By: joealaska , 4:37 AM GMT on August 28, 2012

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Well I got my 40 hours in. Trouble was it was over the weekend.

Our weekly container vessel has been late a lot the last few weeks. This weekend the first of 6 containers arrived at 5 PM. Boats are waiting for their product. One boat order is often spread through all the containers. So we have to go through it all before we can leave.

We had a 6AM delivery the next morning, so I sent people home early so they could get some sleep. GNU and I were the late workers, sitting around at 11PM after starting at 8 AM, waiting for that last container to show up. We unloaded it and made the final delivery ourselves.

When I am driving the forklift and making deliveries it is not good. I actually find it fun, but I have other stuff to do. Like sleep.

This weekend was very unique, a first in my 4.5 years here. We get visits by humpback whales as they head to and from Hawaii. Smart animals. I have seen them and got photos and film. The most I have ever seen were 6 or so at a time. This weekend I was driving home Saturday night and I saw a plume of mist on the water, a whale spouting. Then a couple of plumes. Then I saw they were everywhere. I can only guess. 50 whales? Spread all around the bay, a big area. The spoutings were near and far, way off in the distance and right in front of me. Unbelievable and incredible.

Whales are hard to photograph. It takes patience and time. I do not have the time. They pop up, and they are gone in a few seconds. I have seen a couple leap from the water and crash down, hearing the crash a couple seconds later. But have not caught that on film. Yet.

That night I set up a tripod on my front porch, turned on the film and let it run. I had a far view of a big area, better than nothing. But it showed the plumes all around.

When I came back Sunday morning they were still around. The conditions were perfect. Calm. You could hear the huge gasps as they surfaced for air. There were many people taking photos.

But shortly after I stopped to take pictures, my memory card filled up. We had a busy morning at work, but I was not personally needed for a bit. So I headed back to dump my film in the computer.


This took longer than expected, as we are having major construction on our roads. The roads are blocked for 5 or 10 minutes. Finally I got back to the beach and got some footage. But the phone was ringing and I had to exit stage right (Snagglepus).

Later that evening I got more footage. Will be putting it all on youtube as JAYEMPTY. My initials are JMT.

Warm weather here. Sweating. The fog has come in tonight heavy. Hard to see the water from the beach.

NOBLE DISCOVERER has left town as of two days ago. Two weeks ago they were loose and on the rocks. Now northbound. I heard there is an oil spill vessel still in Seattle that must be on site before drilling starts. The time window is closing.

Anytime I leave the window open for a period of time, Dutchie brings in a bird. Last night was no exception. Vacuuming feathers tonight.



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17. dotmom
8:22 PM GMT on September 02, 2012
BRLAgirl Sorry about what all you are having to go through to try to get back to normal. Hope you can do that soon. Looks like a lot of folks are going to be working with it for awhile. No choice.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1218
16. BRLAgirl
2:49 AM GMT on September 02, 2012
.. Sorry I have not been able to let you know how things are here. We lost power on tuesday . That storm just sat here with constant winds. We are 25 miles outside of baton rouge and had more tree damage here than from Gustave 4 years ago. The center of Isaac passed us around 2 pm on Thursday but i was already at my office by then and have worked thru today (saturday). We got power at home late last night. I will not work on Sunday but will be back on Monday. Many still without power and lots of traffic lights not working in the city. Rivers are now flooding. I-10 to new Orleans has been totally closed but this afternoon they opened 1 east and westbound lane. There had been a traffic back up to the west of baton rouge of people trying to go home after evacuating. Just a mess but we will survive. I needed to clean out our big freezer anyway! Preparations are essential in making these trials somewhat bearable. Some of my friends who laugh at my plans are sure not laughing now. Glad we all made it thru this one! Let's hope we get to wait another year at least before we get a do over!


Rotty the levee they opened was way south of new orleans in an area that all the work had not been completed. It's my understanding that there was bad flooding there with people InTheir attics again and rescues before the levee was opened.. I only had radio so didn't get the best info. I also heard from a friend that east new Orleans had very bad flooding. The current river flooding will be awful but you will probably not hear much about it on the news. Lots of people are loosing everything. My grandmother used to say "run from the water , hide from the wind". It's scary if you have nowhere to run. Thanks for thinking about us!!!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 24
15. ycd0108
5:26 AM GMT on September 01, 2012
Evening Joe:
Two folks have returned here from the Yukon with some kind of bug: Headache and stomach serious discomfort. Have you seen stuff like that lately?
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 177 Comments: 4620
14. skagitwalker
1:59 AM GMT on September 01, 2012
The whale video is fantastic! A real thrill.
Is this a regular seasonal occurrence? Have you seen such before in the time you have been there?
Member Since: August 11, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
13. cholla
10:53 AM GMT on August 31, 2012
JMT:
DONE ! Check your email.
Member Since: July 16, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 176
12. joealaska
5:21 AM GMT on August 31, 2012
CHOLLA. EMAIL ME!
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 797 Comments: 624
11. dotmom
12:10 AM GMT on August 31, 2012
I like the whale video. People pay bucho bucks to take a cruise for whale watching. Wow, looks like you could go home for lunch and come back and see more of them.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1218
10. insideuk
8:51 PM GMT on August 30, 2012
This article helps explain the different models a bit more. http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/models.asp

Dr Masters says there is not that much in it ROTTY, but ECMWF model has performed best over the past couple of years.

Link

Having said that the UKMet office provide all the forecasts I listen to on the BBC and they do OK with letting me know whats going on in my back yard.

Saves me an expensive overseas call to Florida State University to see if my flower pots need watering anyway...
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1402
9. Rotty3
7:24 PM GMT on August 30, 2012
Arbie: thanks. We got about 2.5" in the area. Looked like a non-event... until yesterday afternoon - of course, right when I was going to have to head to riding lesson. SIGH.

Lightning and horses don't mix, so we moved the lesson (missed last week's due to truck not starting, so this is frustrating).

That brings the total here to around 43 inches / 110 cm (give or take a few fractions of a inch or a few millimeters).

I hope BRLAGirl is okay. Haven't heard anymore about the situation from BRLAGirl - has anyone else? (Funny, I checked the blog here just as I'm listening to the fact that some NoLa levees are supposed to be opened... Katrina flashback here on my part, though I didn't even live in LA during that event).

UK: one of the best models out there is the GFDL - they are usually pretty much on target of the final track taken (one of the ensemble members is supported by Florida State University's Scientific Computing Services, btw). Sorry, UKMET isn't that great lol.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1593
8. Arbie
6:20 PM GMT on August 30, 2012
Wow, the view of the whales (video) from Joe's porch really puts the animals' size in perspective. It is amazing.

I am feeling for Rotty, because I know they have to be getting a lot of rain. UK--you and Betti stay safe.

Maybe this is strange, but I kind of like how Africa, America and the UK all share a big weather loop. It gives us a connection.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1101
7. insideuk
4:51 PM GMT on August 30, 2012


This FISHY FELLOW by the name of Kirk needs to get a shift on or Betti and I could be meeting him head on in Scotland...

Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1402
6. insideuk
4:38 PM GMT on August 30, 2012
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Viewed from a distance you might believe the area was experiencing a heavy aerial bombardment of some kind.

Glad it was JUST whales.

I'd have found it hard to drag myself away from this view! Amazing stuff.
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1402
5. ladyhomer
3:33 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
oh boy I bet Joe was sweating today!!!!! The Alaska weather has just been awesome lately but Dutch made the state high today of 70 some degrees wow for Joe!!!!
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 119
4. Rotty3
2:08 PM GMT on August 28, 2012
MissNadia: I think the beaching in Cape Cod Bay is more a factor of shallow, sloping sandy beaches. If memory serves me well, it's pretty rocky around Dutch Harbor, which would allow the whales to stay off the beaching areas (not that I saw too many sandy beaches to start with).

Joe, thank you for taking time to share your world with the rest of us. Please take some time to rest, too. I know, I know... sleep is overrated lol.

Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1593
3. MissNadia
1:59 PM GMT on August 28, 2012
Joe, do the whales get trapped in Dutch Harbor? They are forever getting trapped in Cape Cod Bay and beaching themselves.
Member Since: July 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3002
2. cybersuze
1:52 PM GMT on August 28, 2012
Looking forward to your shots of that! Assume we can just press your link to the right here! Coooooooooooooool!
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 276
1. insideuk
11:03 AM GMT on August 28, 2012
I think the whales are not just there GAMMING IT UP in larger numbers this year but they are also a bit earlier than usual aren’t they? Just by a week or two?

Maybe it’s the warmer weather that has attracted them. OR, maybe it’s the scent of all that sweat dropping off you as you play hunt the celery salt in the back of a packed container van late on a Friday night with GNU.

You two know how to live it up.

You’d only get bored sat at home, twiddling your thumbs, plucking bird brains out of your deep shag pile carpet…

I’m looking forward to seeing the whale video. You make Captains Bay sound like a giant Vegas style Jacuzzi, chock full of snorting, gasping, humpy stuff, all cavorting around and having a whale of a time. If you have any whales left that you haven’t yet named as pets then can I put in a request that one of largest be crowned ‘Prince Harry’?

You could offer a whale version of your famous alfresco diner at this time, somewhere off a deepwater dock area. Though they are probably better adapted to seeking out krill and plankton than you and GNU, even when it’s hidden in container vans, since they can dive deeper and for longer than you two ever could. Perhaps you could provide some nice drinks? Saltwater must get boring after a bit. I know Prince Harry would enjoy a large Bloody Mary – and you already found the celery salt…

Come to think of it, Krill and Plankton would make great names for two of your new employees. I’m assuming we will be allowed a naming session once they have settled in? And you must formally introduce us to your new ground squirrel friends when you find you have a moment and a few spare jpeg files.

You know your life is too busy Joseph, when you can only just find time to dash home during a 5 minute road blockade for an overdue dump.

Sometimes that very thick fog on the beach can come as a blessing in disguise, eh Pud?


Dotmom - Ruby anniversary = 40 years. I think Papa JoeKy may owe you a trip to a nice jeweller's if you didn't know about that one...
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1402

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About joealaska

On June 4th I left Kentucky driving my RV known as Leggs. The trip is mostly unplanned, it will be interesting to see where I end up. Let's GO!