Encounter #117 - Oct 28, 2016

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L84 and L88
L84 and L88

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L121 and L41
L121 and L41

Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Photos taken under Federal Permits



Enc Number:

Start Time:

End Time:





Begin Lat/Long: End Lat/Long:







Dave Ellifrit

L pod

Haro Strait

48 29.82/123 08.34

48 29.70/123 08.27

Encounter Summary:

Jane Cogan called Dave at home several times to relay reports that whales had been found off the west side of San Juan Island and that they turned out to be L pod. Dave headed down to Snug Harbor and left aboard “Orcinus” at 1505.
“Orcinus” got on scene at 1525 as all the members of L pod (minus L87, of course) were slowly heading north in a single group near shore at Edwards Point. L pod continued traveling slowly north with the incoming tide past Land Bank until they got to Deadmans Bay where they began milling and then turned around and headed back south. Off Land Bank, the whales began milling again and spreading out. Most of the L12s and L4s drifted north to just a little north of the Lime Kiln lighthouse where they foraged and slowly milled spread out in singles and pairs. The other whales, including the L94s, spread out south of Lime Kiln although no one was heading more than three quarters of a mile offshore or heading south past Hannah Heights.
After about ten minutes or so of the northernmost whales milling, they all turned south again and started to form up loosely. L41 and L85 headed offshore briefly while some of the other L12s and L4s were in a mixed loose group with L119 playing with L82 and L116. The L82s moved off while the L22s, L25, L77 and L86 formed a tight slow moving group that turned east towards Edwards Point where another group was forming near shore. L41, L85, L106, and L119 soon joined the more northwesterly eastbound group and they loosed up a bit but were still pointed toward the other large group near Edwards Point. “Orcinus” left the group with most of the L12s and the L86s at 1654 and headed over to the whales at Edwards Point. The L94s were in this group and the L82s and the rest of the L55s that had been up near Lime Kiln had also made it back to this group by this point. The rest of the group included the L26s, L47s, L54s, L72s, L84, and L88. This large group was a little on the loose side as they headed slowly down island at Edwards Point but weren’t really going anywhere fast as they were fighting the tide. “Orcinus” ended the encounter there at about 1710.