Encounter #38 - May 3, 2016
T86A damaged jaw and missing teeth
T86A damaged jaw and missing teeth

Photo by Dave Ellifrit (photo cropped)

T's head down Boundary Pass
T's head down Boundary Pass

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T's off Alden Point Lighthouse on Patos Island
T's off Alden Point Lighthouse on Patos Island

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T86A damaged jaw and missing teeth
T86A damaged jaw and missing teeth

Photo by Dave Ellifrit (photo cropped)


Photos taken under Federal Permits



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Ken Balcomb
Dave Ellifrit


T86A's, T100B's, T101's, T124A's, and T87

Boundary Pass

48 47.16/122 58.67

48 44.42/123 05.75

Encounter Summary: 

A large number of transients had been found in the late morning off East Point. Since the whales were still in the Patos Island area and seemed to be pointed toward Boundary Pass by early afternoon, Ken and Dave decided to go out and take a look. They left aboard Orcinus at 1355 and arrived on scene just a little southwest of the Patos Island Lighthouse on Alden Point at 1435.

The T86A's, T100B's, T124A's, and the T101's minus T102 were in a fairly tight group heading slowly southwest pointed down Boundary Pass. The whales were active and were being social. A group consisting of T124A2A, T86A3, and T86A's newest calf T86A4 lagged a little behind the others as they played around with one another. There was a lot of splashing with these three and T86A4 repeatedly breached out of the water.

We had been told that both T102 and T87 had been seen earlier off by themselves in various directions away from the group. Around 1515, another bull was spotted a ways to the east of the others. This turned out to be T102 and he charged back to and joined the big group. T101B breached several times at T102's arrival. The T86A's, T100B's, T101's, and T124A's continued slowly southwest down Boundary Pass with the T101's just a little east of the others.

At about 1545, T87 showed up off Monarch Head about a half mile to the southwest of the group. He went on a long dive and moved to the east side of the border down the middle of Boundary Pass. T87 stayed about a mile ahead of the others and, since it seemed like he wanted to be left alone, we did after getting some quick left and right side shots on him. We took a last look at the larger group and left them at 1613 mid-Boundary Pass on a line between Taylor Point on Saturna Island and Sandy Point on Waldron Island.