Encounter #48 - May 24, 2016
T123 right eye
T123 right eye

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T123A right eye
T123A right eye

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T123 right eye
T123 right eye

Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 288

Date:

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24-May-16

1

48

1404

1430

Tonto

Ken Balcomb
VIP guests

Bigg's Transient whales

T123, T123A, T123C

Haro Strait

48 36.20N/123 15.0W

48 35.29N/123 12.11W

Encounter Summary: 

“Tonto” was busy in mid-day spreading the ashes of a dear friend when a call came over the radio that a group of three Bigg’s Transient whales, the T123’s, were inbound off Trial Island, and with a little luck we might find them in Haro Strait later in the day. We were in luck, and the whales had continued inbound and up Haro Strait where they briefly paused near Sidney Island at 1604, just before a predation event presumably involving a porpoise. We never saw the porpoise, and the entire event was rather slow and deliberate with all of the action taking place underwater. The whales then continued to the northwest toward Mandarte Island where we left them at 1630. The whalewatchers had identified them correctly, and we did not need to linger after taking “proof of presence” identification photographs. This group was among the assemblage of 40+ Bigg’s whales that have been around the Salish Sea for the past several days, and they had already been well-documented several times. So far, we could call this the year of the Transients!

On the way back to Snug Harbor we passed by an eagle perched over its nest on Henry Island to round out the day.