T97
T97

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T97
T97

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T93 and T97 attacking seal
T93 and T97 attacking seal

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T97
T97

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

1/12

Encounter Summary: 

T93 and T97 were found by the whale watch fleet near Bird Rocks in Rosario Strait around noon. Katie Jones and Jeanne Hyde both contacted Dave to be sure he knew who was out there. When it sounded like T93 and T97 were nearing the south tip of Lopez Island, Dave headed down to Snug Harbor and left aboard Orca at 1520.
Orca arrived on scene at 1555 as T93 and T97 were traveling westerly along the south side of Long Island before turning north up Cattle Pass. They passed Whale Rocks on the east side and milled very briefly just south of Davis Point although it was unclear whether they made a kill. The pair then pointed northwest toward the south end of Griffin Bay. T93 and T97 slowed down and appeared to be resting as they pointed west at the south end of Griffin Bay. The pair milled a little and one of them spyhopped but Orca was too far away to tell who it was. Around 1700, they turned north up San Juan Channel again and sped up just a little. As we got closer to Turn Island, a loose group of 10-15 harbor porpoise were seen. Shortly afterward, both T93 and T97 milled briefly mid-channel and T97 was observed to arch his back. He must have bit down onto something as there was a large blood plume around his head immediately afterwards. No parts were seen so Dave wasn't sure if they got a harbor porpoise or harbor seal.
The two whales soon headed north again and started pointing toward Flat Point on Lopez Island. Around 1800 about a mile east of Turn Island, a harbor seal with poor timing popped up near T93 and T97 and the two of them began a vigorous attack that only lasted a few minutes before they dispatched it. The pair then pointed west on the Shaw Island side of the Channel and picked up a little speed. Orca ended the encounter at 1825 as the whales entered a small bay on the south side of Shaw Island across San Juan Channel from Turn Island.

12-May-15

1

30

15:55

18:25

Orca

Dave Ellifrit

T93 and T97

T93 and T97

San Juan Channel

48.26.21/122. 57.09

48.32.76/122.57.67

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Encounter #30 - May 12, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272