J50 with J16
J50 with J16

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J50 with J16 and J26
J50 with J16 and J26

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J pod heads down San Juan Channel
J pod heads down San Juan Channel

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J50 with J16
J50 with J16

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Encounter Summary: 

Ken was off island when he called Dave at home somewhere between 0800-0830 to report that J27's satellite tag had him near East Point just before 0700. Dave scrambled for the boat and left Snug Harbor aboard Chimo at 0935 to go on a whale search. When Dave was heading up Haro Strait off Battleship Rock, Dan Wilk aboard Orcas Express radioed to report that he had found whales heading down San Juan Channel.

Dave arrived on scene near Turn Island at 1010 and immediately found J16, J42, and the new calf J50 about a half mile northeast of Turn Island. The rest of the whales were spread out nearer to the Turn Island shoreline as they turned the corner and headed south down San Juan Channel. About fifteen minutes into the encounter, J26 and J36, along with several other whales, moved offshore and toward the other J16's. The lead whales started to group up and pick up just a little speed as they headed south. The J14's, J2 and L87 were the lead group to the southwest of the others. The J11's,J17's, J19's and J22's were just a little behind the leaders, and the J16's brought up the rear. The J16's soon caught up and all the groups came together a few miles north of Goose Island and slowed back down again. The whales continued heading slowly south out Cattle Pass as one group. Dave left them at 1240 about 2 miles south of the Salmon Bank marker still pointed SSE.The new calf J50 looked healthy and energetic. She is still a bit beat up but her scratches seem to be healing and she has filled out some since our first encounter with her. J50 was traveling next to J16 for most of the encounter with J42 often nearby too. While all the J16's traveled together, J36 was consistently the farthest of the group from J50 so whatever doubts remained about J16 being the mother are about gone.

19-Jan-15

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3

10:10

12:40

Chimo

Dave Ellifrit

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,L87

San Juan Channel

48.32.37/122.57.53

48.24.36/122.56.82

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Encounter #3 - Jan 19, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272