Encounter #110 - Oct 2, 2016

Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Photo by Ken Balcomb

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K22 chasing salmon
K22 chasing salmon

Photo by D. Giles

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Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Photos taken under Federal Permits



Enc Number:

Start Time:

End Time:






Begin Lat/Long: End Lat/Long:


1 & 2




Chimo and Orcinus

Ken Balcomb, Giles & guests

J and K pods

Hein Bank

48 21 15N/122 57 35W

48 17 10N/122 58 46W

Encounter Summary:

After meeting Erica, environmental writer from the Carl Safina Center & professional artist Jen at Snug Harbor, we departed at 11:14 aboard R/V Orcinus heading for Salmon Bank with hopes of catching portions or all of J pod and K pod who were reported as being in the area. When we arrived on scene at exactly noon we observed two groups of two and two additional whales on their own. The first two whales we encountered were K33 & J44 and the other group of two whales were J17, and her youngest calf, J53. The single whales we documented were K22, who was actively engaged in chasing a fish and J47 observed swimming alone but alternately near to his grandmother (J17) and his uncle (J44). While the two groups were considered “spread” meaning they were more than 100 meters away from each other, within the groups the whales were documented as “tight” or being from 0 to 10 meters of each other. At different times during our 65 minute encounter we documented the whales alternating between foraging (as evidenced by high-arch dives and fast-non-directional surfacings) and slow, directional travel in a South-Southeast direction. As it was becoming more apparent that the whales were heading for Admiralty Inlet, we left the Southern Residents at 13:04 and headed back toward Snug Harbor with the hopes of seeing the Biggs/Transient whales reported near Kellett Bluff.

Notes-Comments:The most notable observation for Ken in “Chimo” who had arrived on scene at 1154 was that of J28 and her calf J54, still alive but looking very gaunt. Nearby, J36 and her calf J52, however, were looking healthy, though not robust. Both of these mother/calf pairs have mothers who also recently gave birth to calves (J17 and J16 respectively), and thus they provide some data for analysis of the importance of grand-mothering and mothering simultaneously.