J52
J52

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J52 and J36
J52 and J36

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26 ID shot
J26 ID shot

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J52
J52

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

1/11

Encounter Summary: 

Jeanne Hyde called Dave at home at about 0820 to report echolocation clicks on the OrcaSound hydrophones. Dave and Barbara Bender left Snug Harbor aboard Orca at 0915 after some spread out whales including J16 and J26 headed north past CWR.
We found J26 chasing a fish off the mouth of Mitchell Bay about a half mile or so southwest of Kellett Bluff. We could not find another whale on the horizon until we saw a small group also actively foraging and chasing fish near Open Bay. We left J26 still foraging and headed over to the other whales who turned out to be the rest of the J16's including the new calf J52. The new calf stayed pretty glued to J36's side for entire encounter and appeared healthy and energetic. The J16's minus J26 came together briefly with J16 and J50 floating around at the surface a little.
Unlike our last encounter with J pod on April 3rd, today was a perfect day to answer any J16's calf questions. Not only was the weather beautiful (if a little chilly), but it soon became clear that the J16's were the only residents around. The J16's split up a little and turned south. J52 remained at J36's side as they passed CWR again while the others spread out. J50 was spending quite a bit of time away from J16 although J42 was often near her. We saw a couple more bouts of active foraging that brought the whales back together briefly. J50 seemed to be enthusiastically joining in the fish chases.
The whales made it down to the north end of False Bay before turning around and heading back north. J26 had remained offshore of the others and was now oozing his way back inshore toward them as the approached Hannah Heights. By the time the whales reached the south end of LandBank, all six of the J16's were on the shoreline in a loose group. Orca ended the encounter at 1247 near Edwards Point with the J16's still heading north close to shore. The J16's passed CWR still heading north by about 1440.
Since J52 was next to J36 for the entire encounter, there is no reason to believe it is anyone else's calf other than J36. We will let everyone know if the situation changes in any way.

07-Apr-15

1

18

9:20

12:47

Orca

Dave Ellifrit,

Barbara Bender

J16's

J16,J26,J36,J42,J50, J52

Haro Strait

48.34.51/123.11.73

48.29.97/123.08.42

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Encounter #18 - April 7, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272