inverted pec slap

inverted pec slap

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J38

J38

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L87

L87

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26

J26

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J27

J27

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

pec slap

pec slap

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J31 chasing salmon

J31 chasing salmon

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J51 and J39

J51 and J39

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

Encounter #16 - Feb 18, 2017

Date: 18-Feb-17

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 16

Enc Start Time: 10:58

Enc End Time: 12:15

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit

Pods or ecotype: J pod and L87

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 35.60/123 12.29

End Lat/Long: 48 31.38/123 10.53

 

Encounter Summary:

Jeanne Hyde called Dave at home at 1013 to report that a friend of hers on the north side of San Juan Island saw killer whales heading west and exiting Spieden Channel. Dave gathered his stuff and headed down to Snug Harbor and left aboard “Orcinus” at 1045 in a light rain. Rounding Kellett Bluff, Dave spotted blows off north Henry Island and the encounter started at 1058.

The whales were spread out in singles and small groups and heading south in Haro Strait. Along with the light rain, there was about a one foot chop to the water. A first quick photo of a distant whale turned out to be J16. The first group to file by “Orcinus” was J19, J39, and J51. J39 did several dorsal fin slaps. J41 was following and soon joined J19 and J51 as they traveled south into Mitchell Bay. J36 also snuck by un-photographed. There was a larger loose group a little offshore that included all the J14s along with J27 and J31. This group moved to the mid-strait area off the south end of Henry Island where they all engaged together in an active chase of one or more salmon.

Another quarter mile west of the fish chasing group were J26 and J16 heading south spread out. West of J26, J22 was seen and photographed while another bull was seen west of her. This was L87 and he was heading south on a bee-line for Sea Bird Point on Discovery Island-passing Kelp Reef by only a couple hundred yards to the east of it. About a quarter mile to the north of L87, J38 was also traveling south by himself on a bee-line for Seabird Point. “Orcinus” left J38 in the Kelp Reef area at about 1150. “Orcinus” then headed back east across the strait toward Bellevue Point and Lime Kiln but could not find any more whales as most of the whales had headed toward Discovery Island on their way back out. The rain was back after stopping for a while and the water conditions were deteriorating so Dave called it quits and headed home at 1215.

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

2017 Encounters