Ts and Mt Baker
Ts and Mt Baker

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46E
T46E

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

Ts and Mt Baker
Ts and Mt Baker

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

1/17

Encounter Summary: 

Transients were found by the whale watch fleet a little north of Partridge Bank in the morning. We listened to the radio talk of the whales movement throughout the late morning and early afternoon as they headed north. When the whales were north of Deception Pass, we decided to go out so Dave and Melisa headed down to Snug Harbor and left aboard Orca at 1510. We got on scene at 1620 and found the T46's and T137's traveling slowly north in a tight group off the west side of Burrows Island. There were lots of harbor porpoise offshore of the whales but they didn't seem to be in hunting mode at the time. T46D and T137A were messing around with one another. The whales moved closer to the shoreline briefly before moving offshore again. A little after 1650, T46D and T137A surfaced and were both milling like they might have made a kill. The rest of the whales surfaced ahead and inshore again off Fidalgo Head a couple minutes later. They were also acting like they had made a kill with a lot of rolling and splashing. T137 did multiple reverse surfacings like she and others may have been dismembering their prey. The whales began traveling again past Shannon Point and then pointed toward Bellingham Channel. T46D and T137A, who had fallen way behind the others for the past half hour, caught back up with the group and they all headed north in a tight group.At 1828, off Deepwater Bay on the east side of Cypress Island, the whales broke up and began milling. They killed at least one harbor seal and maybe more than one as the whales were now spread out in singles and groups and it looked like more than one group was feeding on something. The whales continued feeding and milling for the next fifty minutes as they slowly moved up Bellingham Channel. There was a lot of social rolling and splashing going on with several more reverse surfacings plus lots of spyhops, tail lobs, and tail waves. T46D and T137A started fooling around with one another again.Off the north end of Guemes Island, the whales put on a brief burst of speed and we were treated to the sight of three whales who we believe were T137, T137B, and T122 do a side by side bow/(too good of an entry to be a...)belly flop in perfect unison. The whales slowed down but stayed a bit more loosely spread then before. We left the whales a little northwest of Clark Point on the north tip of Guemes Island heading north toward the south end of Lummi Island at 1936.

Notes - Comments: photos are cropped

09-Jun-15

1

42

16:21

19:36

Orca

Dave Ellifrit

Melisa Pinnow

T46's and T137's

T46, T46D, T46E, T46F, T122, T137, T137A, T137B, and T137D

Rosario Strait and Bellingham Channel

48 28.46/122 43.46

48 35.62/122 39.43

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Encounter #42 - June 9, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272