Encounter #123 - Dec 7, 2016
J53 and J35
J53 and J35

Photo by Jim, CWR volunteer

J53, J17, and J35
J53, J17, and J35

Photo by Jim, CWR volunteer

J34
J34

Photo by Jim, CWR volunteer

J53 and J35
J53 and J35

Photo by Jim, CWR volunteer

1/9

Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 388

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07-Dec-16

1

123

14:50

15:38

R/V Orcinus

D. Giles and Jim, CWR Volunteer

J Pod subgroups

Haro Strait

48°32'20.1"N / 123°10'38.6"W

48°30'07.5"N / 123°11'18.1"W

Encounter Summary:

While concentrating on database updates, Giles was surprised to look up and see small groups of whales porpoising south past the windows of the Center for Whale Research! After a short moment of deliberation to considering the diminishing daylight and weather conditions, Giles grabbed Center for Whale Research volunteer Jim and headed for R/V Orcinus at Snug Harbor; they arrived on scene, offshore of the San Juan County Park at 14:50. While the leaders were long gone, the trailers were spread out, slow traveling west-southwest. While Giles drove, Jim first photographed J34, followed by photos of J47 and J44 engaged in social behavior including rolling over on each other. The next whale photographed was J45, youngest calf of deceased J14, who was observed swimming nearest to J34. J22 was first photographed alone heading south but within a few minutes she was joined by her son J34 and both whale changed direction, as did the other three young males, and headed west southwest toward Discovery Island. As preparations were made to leave the whales, Giles and Jim were thrilled to see one last group of whales who passed by close enough to document: matriarch J17 and her remaining daughters J35 and J53. While it was wonderful to see this amazing matriline the encounter was bittersweet given the notably absent pod members J28 and her son J54 who both died in October. R/V Orcinus left the scene at 15:38, arriving back at Snug Harbor at 16:10, just before sunset.