T75B cropped
T75B cropped

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T75B
T75B

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Heading to Whiskey Golf
Heading to Whiskey Golf

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T75B cropped
T75B cropped

Photo by Ken Balcomb

1/7

Encounter Summary: 

Today was a stellar whale day, beginning with the T137's that swam north in Haro Strait past the Center for Whale Research from 1039 to 1048. We had a lot of paperwork to do and documented their passage from the porch, so did not launch in response as they reportedly headed on up to Turn Point, Stuart Island and thence to Swanson Channel. At 1515, another group of Transients headed north in Haro Strait past the Center for Whale Research, and with paperwork mostly done the opportunity was irresistible, so Ken launched in "Orca" for a brief encounter near Kellett Bluff. This latter group comprised the T36A's and T75B's just traveling, not foraging as they meandered from the bluff toward the middle of Haro Strait and thence toward D'Arcy Island. They crossed the traffic lanes just in advance of a submarine in transit up the strait, presumably enroute to the Whiskey Golf training area north of Nanaimo. As "Orca" returned toward Snug Harbor, resident whales were reported passing north in front of the Center for Whale Research, so Encounter 80 was initiated with them off Open Bay as those whales swam north.

Notes-Comments:September is typically a good month for killer whale sightings in Haro Strait, and this year is especially good with many Transient (Bigg's) killer whales visiting the core Resident foraging area, perhaps in response to the large population of pinnipeds that has built up since the culls of the 1960's. The Transient culling of pinnipeds is a much more natural and efficient way to bring about an ecological balance to the Salish Sea.

14-Sep-15

1

79

15:44

16:30

Orca

Ken Balcomb

Transient

T36A's and T75B's

Kellett Bluff

48.35.271/123.12.299

48.37.00/123.15.32

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Encounter #79 - Sept 14, 2015

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272