L105
L105

Photo by Ken Balcomb

L92
L92

Photo by Ken Balcomb

J27
J27

Photo by Ken Balcomb

L105
L105

Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Encounter Summary: 

Out on “Goldwing” for a VIP trip, we departed Victoria at 0900 and headed west at 32 knots to Race Rocks where we looked at seals on the outlying rocks and an elephant seal tucked up between a couple of buildings at the top of the launch ramp. Those big guys sure do make themselves at home anyplace they want, oblivious of people walking around them. After leaving the Rocks, we were heading out into the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca for a big search there and east before going back to the whales I had seen earlier (Enc 54-1), when we got the text from Ron Bates that a group of whales was heading west off Point no Point, about twenty-five miles to the west of us. Paul on “Sonar” was with them and they were spread out and travelling slowly toward the west entrance of the Strait. I really hoped for just such a western search, so we powered up and headed out on the glass calm seas. It was an exhilarating ride!

We finally caught up to the whales around noon-thirty, by which time they were abeam of Clallam Bay on then US side of the border, and were very spread out moving long distances underwater while crossing back and forth from Canada and US jurisdiction. The first distant photo I got was of J27 with America in the background, and ten minutes later he was photographed with Canada in the background. Also in the very spread out formation were J17,J28, J31, and J39. Further south toward the US side of the Strait we saw L72, and I photographed L105 and L92! At last, some of our missing whales are seen again! We had to return to Victoria very soon after making this remarkable find, but I was much relieved to see that Mark Malleson was out there in our CWR Zodiac “cleaning up” on photographing the whales. Way to go, Mark,… we will include your photos later. “Goldwing” returned to the dock at 1400 sharp.

27-Jun-15

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Ken Balcomb on "Goldwing"

SRKW

J27, L92, L105 plus those that Mark Malleson identified to be examined later.

off Clallam Bay, Washington

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Encounter #55 - June 27, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272