Ivan called Dave at home in the AM to say he had whales in San Juan Channel headed toward Spieden Channel. Dave and Giles headed to Snug Harbor and left aboard Orca at 0930. Ivan stayed with the whales until Orca arrived on scene at 0944 a couple hundred yards south of Battleship Rock. Ken and Heather came out in Chimo a little later. The whales were in three groups heading south with the K13's trailing the J14's, J2, and L87 by about a hundred yards. The J16's and J19's were a couple hundred yards offshore of the others in a loose group. J39 was traveling with the J16's and J19's but we did not see any others of the J11's, J17's, or J22's.
By the time the whales reached the south end of Kellett Bluff, the K13's passed up the J pod whales and spread out over Mitchell Bay. The J16's stalled out and remained mid-strait in the Kellett Bluff area. The J14's along with J2 and L87 were a bit south of the J16's and still in a tight group and milling around together as they moved offshore toward Kelp Reef. J41 and J51 were milling between the J14's and J16's and J39 was foraging alone not too far away from the J41's. Both J39 and J41 were doing a lot of tail lobs as they pointed west- southwest.
Orca took one more brief look at J26 as he foraged alone before ending the encounter at 1050 about a mile west of Kellett Bluff and Chimo came home shortly afterwards too due to deteriorating sea conditions. Ivan Reiff reported later (around 1415) that he was on J pod whales in SJ Channel near Wasp Passage. He saw at least J27, J28, and J34 so that explained where the rest of J pod was!
Orca and Chimo
Dave Ellifrit and D. Giles aboard Orca, Ken Balcomb and Heather McIntyre
J pod and K13's
J2, J14, J16, J19, J26, J36, J37, J39, J40, J41, J42, J45, J49, J50, J51, and J52K13, K20, K25, K27, K34, K38, and K44...and L87
48 38.00/123 10.00
48 34.95/123 14.00
• Encounter #99 - Dec 1, 2015 •
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 272