Photo by Melisa Pinnow

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spy peep
spy peep

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Photo by Melisa Pinnow

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Photo by Melisa Pinnow

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Encounter Summary: 

Ken called Dave with the report that Mark Malleson was with whales coming in west of Discovery Island and that there was a new L pod calf. Jeanne Hyde called a little later to say that the calf was traveling with L91. Dave and Melisa met at Snug Harbor and left aboard Orca at 1200.
We got on scene with the spread out leaders off Deadmans Bay at 1220. Since our colleagues John Durban, Holly Fearnbach, and Lance Barrett-Lennard doing a southern resident health assessment study aboard the vessel Skana were keeping the calf in sight until we got there, we found L91 and her new calf L122 immediately as they milled off the bay. L82 and L116 were also foraging nearby. L91 and L122 moved slowly north past Lime Kiln and were joined by K13, K27, and K44. This group briefly porpoised north near shore toward Bellevue Pt. L47 and L115 moved inshore toward the group with the new calf while K25 foraged alone farther offshore.
Around 1240, the group began to dissipate and L91 and L122 headed offshore. They were briefly joined by L115 and K44 before those two split off again to goof around with one another. Since we felt like we got good left and right eye patch pictures of the calf, we left L91and L122 at 1340 about a mile west of Bellevue Point.
We next found K13 and K25 foraging a little west of CWR before they began heading south. K34 soon joined them and K27 was also nearby. We left the K13's heading south off Bellevue Pt. at 1455 to head down island to see what whales we could find there. We passed Skana photographing J26 off Hannah Heights and also passed J34 and L95 who were foraging separately off Kanaka Bay. We found K33 at 1520 heading slowly south off the south end of False Bay while K22 foraged a couple hundred yards away.
Orca then headed offshore toward Hein Bank where we believed the bulk of the whales to be. For the next two hours, we photographed various individuals and small mixed groups as they headed slowly southwest. Some of the small groups were being pretty social with a lot of rolling around. We got another good look at J39 as he socialized with L86 and J45 and he seemed to be doing fine and looked normal after his last month run in with a fishing flasher.
We had seen L106 socializing in another group earlier and this makes three encounters now that CWR has had with L86 and L106 but no sign of L27 who is usually found somewhere near them. This is worrisome and we feel like she might be gone. However, the whales have been very spread out lately and we have not had the kind of encounters where proper coverage can be accomplished so we will continue looking for L27 throughout the Fall.
All the whales were still heading slowly southwest very spread out in small groups and individuals and we ended the encounter at 1723 with K12, K37, and K43 as they milled loosely a bit north of the other whales who were now south and west of Hein Bank.







Dave Ellifrit

Melisa Pinnow

J, K, L

J14, J17, J19, J27, J28, J31, J34, J35, J39, J40, J41, J44, J45, J46, J47, J49, and J51

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

L47, L77, L82, L86, L89, L91, L95, L106, L115, L116, L119, and new calf L122

Haro Strait, Hein Bank

48 30.63/123 09.43

48 22.80/123 05.83



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Encounter #75 - Sept 7, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits