T75C rolls over T69s back
T75C rolls over T69s back

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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T75B2 and T75B
T75B2 and T75B

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Photo by Barbara Bender

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T75C rolls over T69s back
T75C rolls over T69s back

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Encounter Summary: 

Jeanne Hyde called Dave at home in the early morning to report resident whale calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophone. Jeanne headed down to Lime Kiln to scan and sighted a group of transients near Beaumont Shoal. A few resident whales made it up the west side to the park before turning around and heading back down island. Dave headed to Snug Harbor and left aboard Orca at 0735.
Dave headed for where Jeanne last saw the transients and, after a bit of searching, found the whales at 0820 a couple of miles south of Kelp Reef. The T's turned out to be the T36A's, T75B's, and the T69's and they were in a tight group heading north. They stopped and milled shortly after Orca's arrival. It was not clear whether they made a kill then or earlier but T69 was seen with a chunk of red meat in her mouth. The whales continued north again with lots of splashing, rolling, and tactile behavior. They were acting very excited and there were several half breaches, tail lobs, and other body parts being flung around. T75C was seen rolling over T69's back.
The T's passed just a little to the west of of Kelp Reef but headed north east of D'Arcy Island. Dave left the whales off Little D'Arcy Island at 0956 to head back to Snug Harbor to pick up Barbara. Dave and Barbara left Snug Harbor again at 1020 and headed back to the T's for one more brief look. The T's were still off Little D'Arcy Island heading north and they were still in a social/travel mode. We ended the encounter at 1047 just a little north of Little D'Arcy Island as the whales headed north past the east entrance to Hughes Passage. Orca then headed to the residents who were heading north up the west side of San juan Island. See 2015 Encounter 51-2 for that encounter summary.
The T69's are rare visitors to this area and this was CWR's first encounter with them although colleagues of ours have seen them in the past further west or north of our study area. T69D was not present and it is unknown whether he/she is dispersed or dead.







Dave Ellifrit

Barbara Bender

T36A's, T69's, and T75B's

T36A, T36A1, T36A2, T36A3, T69, T69C, T69E, T69F, T75B, T75B2, and T75C

Kelp Reef area

48 30.33/123 13.86

48 34.57/123 15.04



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Encounter #50 - June 21, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits