T36A2

T36A2

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

half breach next to T99

half breach next to T99

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

milling Ts

milling Ts

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T124C, T18, T19

T124C, T18, T19

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T99

T99

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T99 & T99D

T99 & T99D

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T46s

T46s

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Female

Female

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T19B

T19B

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T36s

T36s

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T36 & T36As

T36 & T36As

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Encounter #19 - Feb 18, 2017

Date: 23-Feb-17

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 19

Enc Start Time: 15:00

Enc End Time: 15:40

Vessel: Shachi

Observers: Ken Balcomb

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: Satellite Channel

Begin Lat/Long: 48.72336N123.40155W

End Lat/Long: 48 42.176N123 27.182W

 

Encounter Summary:

Mark Malleson received several calls in the morning from a friend of his reporting several groups of whales seen from the BC ferry departing from Sidney, BC to Tsawassen. It happened that Mark had a commercial whale-watch trip scheduled and he located a group of whales (T18s and T19s with T124C) throwing around a Steller sea lion (Eumatopias jubata) near Moresby Island. He notified Ken (immersed in paperwork of reports, permit applications, meeting schedules, and vehicle registrations – all important behind the scenes work) and he deferred until the paperwork was done. By mid-afternoon, after listening to the radio and phone reports of the predation event continuing in much the same area, and additional killer whales moving into the area, the paperwork was put aside and Ken departed Snug Harbor in “Shachi” at 1424, now with 80% fuel indicated after filling up.

 

With the help of whale-watchers on scene (notably, “4Ever Wild”), Ken arrived on scene northwest of Portland Island in Satellite Channel and observed three groups Bigg’s killer whales of mixed assemblage traveling toward the entrance of Saanich Inlet. They were T18s, T19s, T36s, T46s, T99s, T122, and T124C alternately “porpoising”, traveling, cartwheeling, and exuberantly splashing as they swam along with no obvious reaction to the presence of at least three whale-watch boats and a DFO Fisheries Enforcement RIB. Everybody seemed relaxed except the whales that were in a usual post-predation rambunctious mode. Ken only spent forty minutes with the whales, documenting as many individuals as he could before Dave Ellifrit arrived in “Orcinus” at 1545 to verify whale identifications and note that they headed into Saanich Inlet prior to sunset.

 

Some days are like this – there is plenty of work to do in addition to actually conducting encounters, but the photo-documentation of every individual killer whale that comes into the Salish Sea is of primary importance. That is why we are here.

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Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 15569/ DFO SARA 388

2017 Encounters