Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L87 and J45
L87 and J45

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J pod heads up Tincomali Channel
J pod heads up Tincomali Channel

Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Encounter Summary: 

Jeanne Hyde called Dave at 0550 to report J pod calls on both the Lime Kiln and OrcaSound hydrophones-a little louder on OrcaSound. Tom Cogan called at about 0700 to say that he and Jane would be heading north to look for the whales aboard their boat Morning Star. Tom and Jane found the whales around 0915 off Mouat Point heading north up Swanson Channel.
Dave got on Chimo and left Snug Harbor at 1005 and headed north in a light rain. Morning Star reported that they were with the J19's and the newest calf on the north side of Enterprise Reef and believed they had the leaders. Dave found his first whale at 1042 mid channel between Navy Channel and Prevost Island. This was J26 and he soon dove deep and Dave moved on to other whales that were beginning file around the southeast side of Prevost Island. Mark Malleson was also out working under permit in his own boat and we agreed to go different directions since the whales were spreading out as they approached Enterprise Reef. Dave spent some time documenting J27's satellite tag scar since the tag had come off a few days before. J27 and J31 headed slowly north mid channel while other whales like J2 and the J22's were on the shoreline near Portlock Point on Prevost Island. Other whales were spreading out in singles and small groups to the west of Enterprise Reef.
Around 1130, Dave found a group to the northwest of Enterprise Reef that included J39, J40, J17, J44, J35, and J47. The younger whales were rolling around while J17 and J35 were nearby. J28 and J46 were spread out to the east of this group with J27 and J31 about a quarter mile to the southeast of those two. J37 was a little southwest of the larger group and J49 soon showed up to join them. The whales passed up Active Pass and were heading slowly up Trincomali Channel by 1145.
Dave moved on and found J26 again mid channel just north of Active Pass. J36 was west of him and then J16 and J50 showed up on the shoreline of the southwest corner of Galiano Island. J42 soon joined them and, by 1220, J26 and J36 joined the rest of the J16's and they formed a loose group near Julia Island. Dave soon left the J16's and found an excited group that included J14, J40, J37, J31, J28, J46, and J47. To the southeast of them, L87 and J45 were fooling around with one another. After that, Chimo had a quick pass at J2 and the J22's who were the farthest west whales. Chimo then went north up toward the leaders where Morning Star had reported that the J19's had showed up again and had been joined by the J16's. Chimo got there by 1255 to find the J19's milling and the J16's had already moved on. The J19's headed slowly north with J51 being quick and hard to photograph.
The J19's seemed like they wanted to be left alone so Dave soon moved off and went back for a better pass at J2 and the J22's at about 1320. After a good, quick pass on those four whales, Chimo moved east toward a large group that included the J11's, J14's minus J45, and most of the J17's. The other J17's were spread out inshore of the larger group. This group rolled north with lots of rolling and tactile whales. L87 and J45 were still rolling around together to the outside of the large group. Chimo ended the encounter at 1355 between the southern end of Wallace Island and Galiano Island with the whales still slowly heading north spread out in groups. Morning Star reported that all the whales later grouped up and headed through Porlier Pass and into the Strait of Georgia by late afternoon.







Dave Ellifrit

J pod, L87



J46, J47,J49,J50, J51and L87

Trincomali Channel





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Encounter #7 - Feb 19, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits