Encounter #44 - May 13, 2016

Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Photos taken under Federal Permits



Enc Number:

Start Time:

End Time:










Orca ID's:


Begin Lat/Long: End Lat/Long:


2 & 1




Mike 1,Orcinus & Morning Star

- Mark Malleson in Mike1

-Ken Balcomb &
Dave Ellifrit in Orcinus

-D.Giles, Tom & Jane Cogan with film crew in Morning Star


J pod, K12's, K13's, L87

Haro Strait

48 26.31/123 01.43

48 21.39/122 56.14

Encounter Summary: 

The morning started before 9am with Jane Cogan calling to relay an earlier report of 20+ whales coming in off the Victoria waterfront and that she was now hearing them on the Lime Kiln Hydrophone. Mark Malleson got out on the water and found the whales in Mike 1 and then reported to us that the K12's and K13's were present along with J pod and L87.

We had a German film crew here for the last couple of days waiting for a moment like this. It took us a bit longer than usual to get going but we finally got all the people on the boat they were supposed to be on. Two of the film crew went with Ken and Dave aboard Orcinus while the rest of the film crew went with Giles and joined Tom and Jane Cogan aboard their boat Morning Star to see what they could get while working under Be-Wise whale watching guidelines.

Both boats left Snug Harbor around 1030 and arrived on scene a mile or two southeast of Eagle Point at 1056. The whales were incredibly spread out and it took us a while to find whales close enough to photograph. J27 foraged by himself and was taking some very long dives. Not too far away from him, we had J39 and J47 pass us traveling together briefly. Other then a few mom and calf type whales about a half mile to the south of us, we weren't seeing too many whales so we headed inshore toward Salmon Bank. We found the J19's and L87 but they soon began heading southwest toward Hein Bank. Since there did not seem to be a lot of whales anywhere, we headed back offshore and saw J27 and J39 again. We went south to see who those earlier moms and kids were and they turned out to be J17, J28, J44, J46, J53, and J54. These whales were spread out in singles and twos that mixed it up a little. We heard over the radio that there were more whales way inshore toward Middle Channel so back inshore we went. We saw the J19's and L87 again on our way to another group. The other group, which was another half mile to the north of L87 and the J19's, turned out to be all the K12's along with J2 traveling in a tight slow moving group-our largest of the day. J2 and the K12's milled a little but basically headed slowly southeast. There were other whales starting to appear and we left the K12's and found the K13's minus K34 in a loose group just a little to the southeast of them. Despite various direction changes, all the whales seemed to be moving southeast toward MacArthur Bank several miles south of Iceberg Point on Lopez Island.

Around 1345, most of the whales started to head south southwest toward Eastern Bank. The whales began speeding up but remained spread out in singles and small groups. Since everyone was pretty pleased with what we had so far, we decided to pull the plug a little after 1400. Dave dropped Ken and the two film crew people off on Morning Star so that they could do interviews with Ken and Giles while Dave headed back in Orcinus. Dave briefly saw some of the J14's and J16's on the way home and ended the encounter at 1440 somewhere north of MacArthur Bank.