Encounter #26 - April 6, 2016
T49As, T123s, and Mt Baker
T49As, T123s, and Mt Baker

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T123A and T49A1
T123A and T49A1

Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Photo by D. Giles

T49As, T123s, and Mt Baker
T49As, T123s, and Mt Baker

Photo by Dave Ellifrit


Photos taken under Federal Permits




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Dave Ellifrit, D. Giles


T36A's, T99's, and T137's in one group and T49A's and T123's in another

lower Strait of Georgia

48 48.17/123 04.29

48 47.25/122 53.42

Encounter Summary: 

After part of J pod had been found near the east entrance of Active Pass, Mark Malleson saw some more whales south of where J pod was. These turned out to be at least two large group of transients who started porpoising south away from J pod. The T's continued their fast travel toward the Belle Chain Islands before Mark reported that they slowed down to attack a Steller sea lion near the Belle Chains.

Dave and Giles headed to Snug Harbor and left aboard Shachi at 1250. After a quick trip to Roche Harbor to top off on fuel, Shachi arrived on scene just north of Tumbo Island at 1346. The T36A's, T99's, and T137's were in a tight group heading east at a fast pace. The T49's and T123's were in another group following the lead group by about half a mile. T49A2 was not present with the T49A's so there were seven whales in the trailing group and another twelve whales in the lead group so there were a total of nineteen transients today!

As the lead group approached Boiling Reef, they slowed down some while the trailing group caught up and then passed them up. The T49A's and T123's continued easterly but were now traveling slowly and appeared to be resting. The males T49A1 and T123A dropped behind their mothers and siblings by about a hundred yards. We left T49A's and T123's about 3/4's of a mile northeast of the Patos Island Lighthouse at 1455 still traveling slowly east.

The T36A's, T99's, and T137's stalled out at Boiling Reef and we heard over the radio that they were attacking another Steller sea lion and had sent it airborne at least once. But of course the whales gave up on the attack before we could get there just five minutes later. The group was loosely spread out in small groups and heading east again at a medium clip with some occasional social milling. We left the T36A's, T99's, and T137's at 1623 heading slowly east southeast about a mile northeast of the Patos Light.