T60F and T60E tail waves
T60F and T60E tail waves

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T60F and T60
T60F and T60

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Photo by Jeanne Hyde

T60F and T60E tail waves
T60F and T60E tail waves

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

1/14

Encounter Summary: 

Jeanne Hyde spotted transients off Bellevue Pt. from her home and called Dave at home. Jeanne re-spotted the whales again a little later from the County Park as the whales surfaced somewhere off CWR. Jeanne saw them make one probable kill while she was observing from shore. Dave called Tom and Jane Cogan to say look out the window and they were able to keep the whales in sight from their porch while Dave and Jeanne scrambled for the boat.
Dave and Jeanne were leaving Snug Harbor aboard Chimo at 1220 when Tom called to say the whales were milling right off Kellett Bluff and had probably made a another kill. As we rounded the south end of Kellett Bluff, we immediately saw a couple of whales milling and we caught a whiff of blubber oil on the wind so it seemed likely the whales were finishing up a kill there. Another four whales, including a big sprouter, surfaced in a tight group a little ahead of the two milling whales as we were approaching the area and getting ready for the encounter. The next time the whales surfaced, all six were in a tight group and we were able to ID them as T2B and the T60 group. For about the next twenty minutes the whales appeared to be resting as they slowly headed north up Henry Island.
A little after 1300 off the north end of Henry Island, T60 and her younger offspring surfaced huffing and puffing like they found something. They milled around for a few minutes and then dove on a long dive. Then T2B and T60C surfaced all huffy/puffy and milled around for a few minutes and then they swapped with T60 and kids again. The two teams swapped positions for over thirty minutes as the whales moved slowly inshore toward the reef near the northwest tip of Henry Island. It was obvious the group had split itself in two in order to keep eyes on a harbor seal they had pinned to the bottom as it tried to make its way up the slope to the safety of the reef. While T60 and her offspring were on the surface, T60E and T60F seemed excited and maybe a little bored as they goofed around and waved their flukes in the air. T60D was a bit wayward and started coming up whenever and wherever he/she wanted to. Finally, after over half an hour, the seal had to surface and all the whales appeared to take part in finishing it off not far from the reef.
After the kill, the whales started heading north again and entered Spieden Channel after going between Battleship Rock and the north tip of Henry Island. T60E lagged behind to feed on seal parts a bit longer as gulls swooped down to pick up the smaller pieces. T60E porpoised to catch back up to the others as they started heading east in Spieden Channel. The whales changed direction and headed north towards Sentinel Island. They went around Sentinel Island and then headed west around the west tip of Spieden Island and back east again into New Channel. We left the whales at 1445 when they surfaced about half a mile away from us heading east along the north side of Spieden Island. They appeared to be making another kill as we were leaving the area.
Tom and Jane Cogan aboard their boat Morning Star followed the whales through New Channel, around the Cactus Islands and into Minke Lake before leaving them later in the afternoon heading west in Boundary Pass.

15-Jan-15

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2

12:30

14:47

Chimo

Dave Ellifrit, Jeanne Hyde

T2B, T60's

T2B,T60,T60C,T60D,T60E,

T60F

Kellett Bluff/Haro Strait

48.35.54/123.12.38

48.37.72/123.09.39

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• Encounter #2 - Jan 15, 2015 •

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272