J2
J2

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L54's and L26's traveling together
L54's and L26's traveling together

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L108 and L117
L108 and L117

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J2
J2

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

1/12

Encounter Summary: 

Jeanne Hyde called Dave at home near 0900 to report whales on the west side and then again at 0945 to say the whales were heading north in large groups. Dave headed over to CWR and then Snug Harbor and left aboard Orca at 1100. While in the Snug Harbor cell service/radio dead zone, Dave received a barrage of messages from Jeanne and Jane Cogan saying that they thought L84, L88, and the L54's had finally arrived in Haro Strait.
As Orca left Snug and got into Mitchell Bay, Dave finally got the messages about the new whales about the same time Jim Maya called Orca on the fleet radio to say he and Jeanne were seeing L84 and L88 in the trailing group just ahead of them off the south end of Kellett Bluff. Dave got on scene off Kellett shortly afterwards.
The L54's, L84, and L88 along with L90 and L92 were in a tight group moving slowly north a little off the bluff. Orca moved in to get ID photos of the new arrivals and to document L84's satellite tag scars on his dorsal fin. This group continued slowly north off Kellett Bluff, drawing a lot of attention from boats so Dave decided to head up to the leaders approaching Stuart Island and left the trailers at 1128.
Orca reached the leaders at 1140 near Tiptop Hill on Stuart Island. All of J pod and L87 along with the K12's and K14's were in a tight group along the shoreline as they headed toward Turn Point. Orca stayed for just two passes on this group to get proof of presence photos. J39 was at the far side of the group and only seen briefly but seemed to be looking and acting normal. Orca left the J's and K's at the bluff just before Turn Point and headed back south at 1158. A few minutes later the next whales came along. Again off Tiptop Hill, this was the K13's and K21 was about 100 yards away from them. The K13's blew by Orca and K21 moved inshore so Orca moved on. K35 was a couple minutes behind the K13's. Orca went back to the trailing group in Haro Strait off Spieden Island and got on them at 1215. By now, the L26's had been joined by the L4's, L43's, and L47's and they were all in a tight group heading slowly north toward Stuart island. The L54's, L84, and L88 were also tight and moving slow just ever so slightly apart and a little ahead of the larger group. All the L's continued north and Orca left them off Tiptop Hill at 1231.

22-Aug-15

1

70

11:06

12:31

Orca

Dave Ellifrit

J,K,L

J2, J14, J16, J17, J19, J22, J26, J27, J28, J31, J34, J35, J36, J37, J38, J39, J40, J41, J42, J44, J45, J46, J47, J49, J50, J51, and J52

K12, K13, K14, K20, K21, K22, K25, K26, K27, K33, K34, K35, K36, K37, K38, K42, K43, and K44

L47, L54, L55, L72, L82, L83, L84, L86, L87, L88, L90, L91, L92, L95, L103, L105, L106, L108, L109, L110, L115, L116, L117, and L118

Haro Strait

48 35.16/123 12.11

48 40.11/123 13.51

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Encounter #70 - Aug 22, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272