J27 half breach with J2
J27 half breach with J2

Photo by Barbara Bender

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L87 heads south into slop
L87 heads south into slop

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Photo by Barbara Bender

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J27 half breach with J2
J27 half breach with J2

Photo by Barbara Bender

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Encounter Summary: 

Ken called Dave at home around noon to report that the fleet had found J pod near East Point. Barbara Bender met Dave at Snug Harbor and they left aboard Orca at 1313. We were in Boundary Pass when we heard that the whales were only the J16's but we were close enough that we kept going and got on scene at 1400.The J16's were spread out foraging in the Boiling Reef area where the water was relatively calm compared to Haro Strait and Boundary Pass. For most of an hour, the J16's zig-zagged back and forth around the area staying spread out. J50 and J52 were usually close to their mothers and J42 moved between the two pairs. Around 1455, all members of the J16's began traveling in the direction of East Point and, less then ten minutes later, Simon aboard Skana found more J pod whales near Patos Island coming from the east.The rest of J pod was already heading south spread out in small groups in Boundary Pass. J2 and L87 were in the lead although the J19's could have got by us since we never saw them from the boat. J27 and J39 were also pointed south behind J2 and L87. Behind them were J40, J45, and J49 who were rolling and playing around with one another. J49 was breaching repeatedly throughout the day. J14, J22, J34, and J37 were spread out in the same general area.Around 1615, all the J14's and J22's plus J27, J39, J2, and L87 came together in a loose group for about 20 minutes before fanning back out again. All whales were heading toward Turn Point. Near 1700, we saw what had to be the J16's and hopefully other whales we had not seen yet way over near Blunden Island. We headed over there and immediately found J31, J35, J47, and all the J16's. They went right along the east shoreline of Blunden Island and pointed southwest toward Gowland Point on South Pender Island. The rest of the J17's showed up coming out of the east end of Plumper Sound and they briefly joined the others in a loose group before spreading out again as they all headed for Turn Point.We saw J42, J46, and J47 porpoising together briefly in choppy water before we headed to the calmer water right around Turn Point to watch whales pass there. We had the J14's, J35's, and some of the J16's go by us into the much lumpier water in Haro Strait south of Turn Point. J27 and L87 came around the corner and, along with J39, loosely headed south into the slop. We left L87 and J39 off Tiptop Hill on Stuart Island at 1840.Near 2000, the leaders began passing CWR and Ken got photos of J41 and J51 from the porch.

Notes-Comments:photos are cropped







Dave Ellifrit

Barbara Bender

J pod and L87





KCB later took photos of J41 and J51 from the deck at CWR

Boundary Pass





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Encounter #35 - May 22, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits