Encounter #52 - June 6, 2016
spy hop off Turn Pt
spy hop off Turn Pt

Photo by Jeff Hogan

J's and K's fooling around
J's and K's fooling around

Photo by Jeff Hogan

J45 and J34
J45 and J34

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

spy hop off Turn Pt
spy hop off Turn Pt

Photo by Jeff Hogan

1/15

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

Date:

Sequence:

Enc Number:

Start Time:

End Time:

Vessel:

Observers:

Pods/ecotype:

Location:

Begin Lat/Long: End Lat/Long:

6-Jun-16

1

52

16:20

18:47

Orcinus

Dave Ellifrit, Jeff Hogan

J, K, and L87

Haro Strait

48 34.56/123 11.94

48 42.09/123 14.22

Encounter Summary: 

J and K pods had been working the west side of San Juan Island for most of a breezy day before they finally committed to heading north. The seas were calming down and J and K pods with L87 made it to CWR and were still heading north in groups around 1545 so Dave and Jeff Hogan headed down to Snug Harbor and left aboard Orcinus at 1615. Jeff had been volunteering at CWR for the last week when he wasn't teaching classes of school kids about whales down at Lime Kiln.

The whales had stalled out in Mitchell Bay so Orcinus was on scene shortly after leaving the harbor. Most of J and K pods along with L87 were spread out in groups and were socializing across Mitchell Bay. There was some serious tidal action happening in the bay and near Kellett Bluff making it difficult to photo identify non-directional whales in the sloppy water. There was a large active loose group with various members of the J14's, J19,s, J17's, J19's, J22's, K14's, and K16's engaged in social behavior with lots of splashing. J34 and K35 were hanging out together. The whales remained non-directional for about the next thirty minutes before groups began moving north. The water flattened out north of Kellett Bluff as the whales continued to be social while heading slowly north up Haro Strait spread out in groups.

The whales rounded Turn Point at about 1830 and began heading up Boundary Pass still spread out in groups. Orcinus ended the encounter at 1847 with an active group consisting of the J22's, J40, J44, J45, J47, J51, K36, K42, and K43 that was still socializing and rolling around with one another about three quarters of a mile north of Turn Point. The K16's, K21, K33, the rest of the J14's and J19's along with the J36's were loosely spread out ahead of the active group.