Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16 and J50
J16 and J50

Photo by Barbara Bender


Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Encounter Summary: 

Jeanne Hyde called Dave at 6AM to report J pod on the hydrophone. Dave stumbled around to get ready and had Barbara Bender meet him at the boat. They left Snug Harbor in Orca at 0752.The whales had been going south and we found our first whales off Hannah Heights floating around at the surface in a wicked sun glare at 0810. This was J17 and J44 and they proved elusive so we moved on to whales that were actually north of us as it looked like that was where the new calves were. It was. The J16's were spread out just south of LandBank heading north again with J26 foraging the furthest offshore. J36 was pushing J52 around and we were able to get belly photos to confirm that J52 is a male.After leaving the J16's, we passed up a couple of individuals to head to a larger group inshore near Kanaka Bay. This was the J19's, the J14's minus J45, the J35's, and J31. They were in social mode with a lot of rolling around. J49 did lots of dorsal fin slaps and a couple of spyhops. J41's new calf J51 seemed to enjoy hanging out with J47 and J49. The rest of the J17's were spread out offshore and a little north of this group. At about 0910, the J19's left the larger group and put on a burst of speed as they headed up the SJI shoreline ahead of the rest of the whales. The rest of the group began to dissipate and the J14's moved offshore and spread out. We moved back to the J16's who were still spread out further offshore. Only J36 and J52 were tight with one another and even J50 was quite a ways from both J16 and J42. J50 seemed like she was consistently catching up to J16 and being very flighty and too quick to photograph properly. The J16's gradually came back together and J50 was back at J16's side. Even J26 came over from further offshore and they briefly formed a loose group before fanning back out again.We left the J16's again and found J17, J44, J35, and J47 inshore along the rocks just north of Lime Kiln. J28 and J46 were offshore of them. Just before noon, we headed all the way across the strait to the Kelp Reef line where J27, J39, and L87 were spread out foraging. A little later we headed back east across Haro Strait looking for more whales. The whales were very spread out in mostly pairs and singles. We saw J36 and J52 again and then J28 and J31 traveling together with J46 who a little east of them. We then found J38 and J45 horsing around with one another about a mile southwest of CWR. After that we saw J14 and J40 traveling slowly north together and then J37 and J49 soon after.We moved back across Haro Strait toward the southeast side of Sydney Island to try to find J2 and the rest of the J22's. We soon found J2, J22, and J34 spread out foraging and pointed northwest toward Halibut Island.Behind them were J27, J39, and L87 again and they foraged along a big tide rip in the Halibut Island vicinity. We then headed slowly back east across Haro Strait again and found J26 traveling slowly north by himself mid-strait off Battleship Rock and we ended the encounter with him there at 1439.

Notes-Comments:photos are cropped







Dave Ellifrit,

Barbara Bender

J pod and L87

J2,J14,J16,J17,J19,J22,J26, J27,J28,J31,J34,J35,J36,J37, J38,J39,J40,J41,J42,J44,J45, J46,J47,J49,J50,J51,J52,L87

Haro Strait





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Encounter #24 - April 19, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits