Encounter #114 - Oct 19, 2016
J17 and J53 chasing salmon
J17 and J53 chasing salmon

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J38 ans K42
J38 ans K42

Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J17 and J53 chasing salmon
J17 and J53 chasing salmon

Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Photos were taken under Whale Watch guidelines with a telephoto lens and cropped.



Enc Number:

Start Time:

End Time:







Begin Lat/Long: End Lat/Long:






Morning Star

Dave Ellifrit, Tom and Jane Cogan

J and K pods

Members of the J16s, J17s, J22s, K13s, and K14s

Juan de Fuca Strait

48 16.37/123 23.84

Encounter Summary:

Dave had been invited by Tom and Jane Cogan to join them aboard their boat “Morning Star” in an attempt to go see some transients with CA numbers that had been found earlier in the day southwest of Race Rocks. We ended up seeing the T46Bs as they headed southeast and a male in the distance that was reported to be CA166. Unfortunately, the CAs vanished from the area before we were able to get a look at them. A little before 4pm, one of the Victoria boats found a few more whales back near Race Rocks. Thinking these whales might be the missing CAs, we headed that direction. The whales soon revealed themselves to be residents and we got on scene southwest of Race Rocks at 1610.

The first whales we saw were J38 and K42 socializing together and K26 was foraging by himself nearby. We next saw a small group that included J42, J50, J52, and K44 playing together with J36 a couple of hundred yards behind them racing to catch up to them. About a half mile southwest of them, we found J26 foraging by himself although J35 and J47 were milling a few hundred yards north of him. J26 looked like he was chasing a fish for a few moments before he headed off slowly to the southeast. There were several humpbacks spread out throughout the area and we had one cruise by us heading in the same easterly direction the Js and Ks were going. A little to the north we found a group of socializing juveniles who turned out to be K38, J44, and J47. The whales were rolling around and logging at the surface with a spyhop or two. J35 was also nearby. About ten minutes later, this group was joined by J46 and J54. K38 and J44 dropped behind the others to continue playing with each other while the J35s along with J46 and J54 grouped up tight. J54 was tight by J46’s side and he looked extremely emaciated. We did not see J28 but the whales were very spread out and the light was fading.

To the east of this group was another tight group of the J16s (minus J26), the K27s, and K36. As we started to work our way homeward to the northeast, we saw J38 and K42 again and they were still tight together. East of that pair we found J17 and J53 foraging in the same area but spread by almost a hundred yards although they soon closed the gap between them. To the southeast of them a bull was cruising southeast and this turned out to be J34. We left him as soon as we got a proof of presence shot as it was getting dark. On our way back north, we passed J17 and J53 again and this time they were actively chasing a fish together. We did not stop for them as it was 1745 and, due to rough seas in Haro Strait, we did not get back to Snug harbor until after dark.

Notes-Comments:(Lisa/Erin- please put something along the lines of: Photos were taken under Whale Watcher guidelines [whatever it is officially] and were taken with a telephoto lens and are cropped. Thanks!)