Rolling
Rolling

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

L121
L121

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16 and J50
J16 and J50

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Rolling
Rolling

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

1/18

Encounter Summary: 

It was a foggy and windy morning in Haro Strait but the J16's at least were found by the whale watch fleet off the south end of San Juan Island anyway. By early afternoon, the fog had burnt off and the seas had calmed some. Part of J pod and L87 along with the K1's were found and were now heading down Boundary Pass. More whales besides the J16's were found down off False Bay and L41 was reported. Melisa Pinnow went from CWR down to Pile Point to confirm some ID's from shore and saw L41 and L25 along with J35 and J47. Melisa also reported that the waters were calm between Bellevue Point and False Bay.
Dave and Melisa met at Snug Harbor and left aboard Orca at 1545. Andrews Bay was still a breezy BF5-6 but the wind waves were only 6 inches to a foot high and the waters flattened out below Bellevue Point. We found L22 and L89 foraging near shore at Pile Point They were pointed south but not really going anywhere and we soon left them to get photos on several spread out whales south of them off False Bay. We photographed J47 fast traveling south off northern False Bay and saw J35 in the distance but did not get a picture of her. We then found L25 and L41 spread out off the south end of the bay. L41 seemed to be foraging but L25 took off and headed south towards a few other whales nearer to Eagle Point. These new whales ended up being L94 and L121 and then L113 joined them soon after.
At 1643, J42 and J50 joined the L94's as they headed south near Eagle Point. For the next 15 minutes, this group was very social and playful. J42 began pushing and shoving J50 around-a couple of times tossing her halfway out of the water and once making her squeak in excitement. While the seas inshore near Eagle Point were relatively calm, there was still a bit of a roll down there and there were lumpy 2-3 footers offshore.
We saw more whales offshore in sloppier waters so we headed out there and found J27, L85 and the L77's loosely spread. J26 was also peripheral to these whales but he moved south and inshore and we never saw him again for the rest of the encounter. J27 and L85 interacted with each other briefly before separating again. At 1740, those four whales ditched us in the glare and rolling seas but we saw some others slightly inshore of us. We photographed J28 and J46 heading north and a few minutes later we found J16, J42, and J50 pointed south offshore of South Beach. They were soon joined by J36, J52, and the L94's and all of them turned back north in an excited and playful group. J16 started pushing J50 around again too. As that group began to spread out a little, we headed north to find other whales.
Around 1825, we found L22 and L89 again offshore and a little north of Eagle Point. These two were milling and were sometimes pointed offshore and sometimes pointed north. We then saw J27 and J31 heading north and L89 and J27 briefly milled in the same area. L94 and L121 showed up again and L121 briefly traveled north next to L22 while L94 moved off for a short while.
We had heard reports of the south bound residents who were north of us as they headed down Haro Strait and by 1930, most of the whales off the south end of SJI were now heading north at a good clip. We could see where the south bound whales were at this point and they were spread out off Hannah Heights. The north bound and south bound whales met without fanfare and most of the whales turned south. We spotted K26 inshore but he soon disappeared. We did have one social group of most of the J14's and L94's that were rolling around and being tactile but it looked like most of the whales were spread out and pointed south. We then found L41 and L89 again along with the J19's heading south loosely spread out and we ended the encounter with them near Kanaka Bay at 2025.

30-Jun-15

1

58

16:08

20:25

Orca

Dave Ellifrit

Melisa Pinnow

J pod, K14's, and the L12's

J14, J16, J19, J26, J27, J28, J31, J36, J37, J40, J41, J42, J45, J46, J47, J49, J50, J51, and J52

K26

L22, L25, L41, L77, L85, L89, L94, L113, L119, and L121

Haro Strait

48 29.10/123 06.48

48 28.95/123 06.55

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Encounter #58 - June 30, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272