Encounter #20 - Mar 24, 2016

Photo by Melisa Pinnow


Photo by Melisa Pinnow


Photo by Melisa Pinnow


Photo by Melisa Pinnow


Photos taken under
Be Whale Wise Guidelines




Enc Number:

Start Time:

End Time:












Morning Star

Tom & Jane Cogan

Melisa Pinnow

J Pod

Swanson Channel

Encounter Summary: 

With reports of some J pod members heading north up Swanson Channel around noon, Melisa, Tom, and Jane departed Snug Harbor on Morning Star at 1:24 pm to see who was present. At about 2:03, they spotted J17, J44, and J53 slowly heading north up Swanson Channel in a tight group. Further ahead of them were J28, J35, J46, and J54, also slowly heading north in a tight group. J46 then split off from the group and so did J35 a few minutes later. Morning Star moved further up the channel to look for other individuals and then parked in front of Active Pass for a bit to wait to see if more whales would materialize and if they if they would take Active Pass or Trincomali Channel.
The whales eventually aimed for Trincomali Channel and J22 and J34 popped up close to the PrevostIsland shoreline. After traveling loosely and possibly foraging, J34 and J22 joined up and moved up the channel together. On the Galiano side of the channel, J28, J46, and J54 were traveling up the channel.
Further behind them in a tight formation were J17, J35, J44, and J53. J38 and J47 were goofing around just behind them. Melisa, Tom, and Jane then left the J17s and J22s to briefly head north in search of more J pod members. No other whales were found and once at Porlier Pass, they doubled back and re-sighted the J17s and J22s slowly continuing north in a resting line northwest of Parker Island.
J38, J44, and J47 were slightly behind the resting line messing around and showing off their sea snakes.
At 5:06, Morning Star left the J17s and J22s to check out reports of more orcas near Orcas Island. They checked President Channel and then with a little help, spotted the rest of the J pod and L87 southbound in San Juan Channel west of Yellow Island.
J26 was the first whale they spotted, followed by J42, who breached, then J36 and J52, and J2 up in the lead. Behind these spread o
ut whales came the rest of J pod and L87 loosely grouped up along the San Juan Island shoreline. These whales were in an active
mood with tail slaps, inverted tail slaps, pectoral fin slaps, and half breaches as they hugged the shoreline. Morning Star left J pod heading south near Point Caution at about 7:11 pm and returned to the dock at 7:43.