J37 and J49
J37 and J49

Photo by Ken Balcomb

J34 fluke
J34 fluke

Photo by Barbara Bender

Photo by Barbara Bender

J37 and J49
J37 and J49

Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Encounter Summary: 

We departed Snug Harbor at 1710 and began an encounter off Kanaka Bay at 1734 with J pod and L pod members in mixed groups getting together and then dispersing continuously as their general travel was northwesterly in an incoming tide in Haro Strait. There was much socialization near the surface between all individuals in the groups that gathered. There was occasional rapid swimming and circling suggestive of prey chasing, but we did not see any successful catches. The mood seemed more like that of a mini superpod gathering, with some sexual activity noted. We had seen J pod in the AM very spread out heading southeasterly in Haro Strait off CWR, and the fifteen L’s of previous encounters were reported near Eagle Point. The groups got together near False Bay and spent the mid-day going back and forth, inshore and offshore, coalescing and dispersing.  Perhaps they were feeding at that time. The general trend late in the afternoon was for the groups to move up Haro Strait, so we stayed with them to Bellevue Point at 2010 – almost three hours. 

At least some of the whales continued their northwesterly travels after we returned to the CWR. By nightfall they were past Turn Point, still moving north. The next morning found them off the Fraser River. 

Note: There were moments of flat calm water, and moments of tidal turbulence with chop as the tide was incoming. It seemed that the aggregation was inspired by prey, but by the late afternoon it seemed to evolve into tactile social behavior. The whales continued up Haro Strait after our encounter

09-Jun-15

2

43

17:34

20:10

Chimo

Ken Balcomb

Barbara Bender

J pod and L subPods

All of J's, L87, and the fifteen L's in previous encounters 39 and 40

Pilt Pt to Bellevue Pt

48.28.436/123.05.282

48.32.468/123.10.695

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Encounter #43 - June 9, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272