L85 bellyflop
L85 bellyflop

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Photo by Melisa Pinnow

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Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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L85 bellyflop
L85 bellyflop

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Encounter Summary: 

After receiving numerous calls from Jeanne Hyde saying lots of whales were going various directions near Lime Kiln, Dave and Melisa met at Snug Harbor and left aboard Orca at 1313.
At least two to three groups had already gone north but Jeanne had said the L12's, L54's, L26's L84, and L88 as well the J22's and J17's had turned south. We decided to go to the closest northbound whales first and found them at 1324 off north Kellett Bluff. The first two whales we saw were K16 and K35 but they dropped back while we were getting ready and disappeared before we could photograph them. The K12's and K13's were in a tight group though, moving slowly north. We stayed with the K12's and K13's until 1355 before leaving them about one mile south of Tiptop Hill on Stuart Island. We found K21 traveling north by himself off Battleship Rock and stayed with him until 1416 before heading south to find the whales that went down San Juan Island.
At 1450, we passed up a few foraging whales, including J34, L92, and L105, off Hannah Heights to try to find some L54's and L12's farther south. At 1458, we found L88 foraging as he headed south off Pile Point. We saw him stop and chase at least one salmon before continuing south and, a little later, offshore. Ken had come up from Sequim aboard Chimo and was working whales inshore near the north end of False Bay. Orca then found L22 and L89 spread out foraging off the south end of False Bay. Afterwards we found more L11's including L121 as well as J35 north of Eagle Point. L121 briefly hung out with L22 before moving back to his mom. Most of the whales spread out again and began heading offshore into sloppier seas.
For the next two and a half hours, Orca bounced around in 2-3 foot seas a couple miles offshore of Eagle Point getting ID photo's of the whales who were spread out in singles and small groups. While the single whales may have been foraging, the small groups were quite social and rolling around and being tactile. We saw members of the L12's, L54's, L26's, L72's, J22's, and J35's mixed up together in various spread out small groups but they would frequently split up again and change directions. We ended at 1814 with L54, L117. L84, and L88 in a tight group moving very slowly back in the direction of False Bay.
The J16's had been reported coming south and were at the south end of Kellett Bluff when we arrived in Mitchell Bay at 1900. J26 was foraging alone a little south of Kellett Bluff while the rest of the J16's moved near the Henry Island shoreline east of Open Bay. We left the J16's there after getting proof of presence photos of them at 1908.


1 & 2




Orca and Chimo

Dave Ellifrit,
Melisa Pinnow on Orca, Ken Balcomb on Chimo

J, K, L

J22, J34, J35, and J47

K12, K13, K20, K21, K22, K25, K27, K33, K34, K37, K38, and K43

(K16 and K35 were seen but not photographed)

L22, L25, L41, L54, L77, L84, L85, L88, L89, L90, L92, L94, L105, L108, L113, L117, L119, and L121

Haro Strait

48 37.15/123 12.50

48 34.78/123 11.72



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Encounter #71 - Aug 24, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits