J42 breach

J42 breach

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J42 breach 2

J42 breach 2

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J45 breach

J45 breach

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J51

J51

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J39

J39

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J38

J38

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J31

J31

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J16

J16

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J27

J27

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J22

J22

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

Encounter #26 - Mar 29, 2017

Date: 29-Mar-2017

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 26

Enc Start Time: 08:40

Enc End Time: 10:50

Vessel: Morning Star

Observers: Tom Cogan, Melisa Pinnow, Johnny Berg

Pods or ecotype: J pod

Location: President Channel

Begin Lat/Long: 48 42.117/122 57.711

End Lat/Long: 48 43.3/122 51.5

 

Encounter Summary:

At 7:00 in the morning on 29-Mar-2017, Tom Cogan, Melisa Pinnow, and Johnny Berg departed Snug Harbor aboard ‘Morning Star’ in search of whales. They passed Henry Island, headed down Spieden Channel and rounded Green Point, preparing to head towards Stuart Island and then Swanson Channel. A report then came in of whales close by at West Beach, Orcas Island.

Morning Star headed to their last known location through slightly lumpy seas and rain and Johnny spotted them offshore of Freeman Island at about 8:40. It was J pod and they were in two resting groups paralleling each other as they slowly moved north in President Channel. The larger group was made up of the J11s, J14s, J19s, and J22s. The other group was made up of the J16s and they were closer to the Orcas Island shoreline. The J17s and L87 were not located during the encounter.

The two groups then moved away from each other as the J16s continued around Point Doughty, Orcas Island, while the J11s, J14s, J19s, and J22s aimed for Patos Island. Both groups woke up soon after with multiple breaches, belly flops, spy hops, tail slaps, and cartwheels. The J11s, J14s, J19s, and J22s moved further away and eventually disappeared in the choppy seas and rain.

The J16s headed east between Sucia and Orcas Island and eventually, J26 split off from them and aimed for the gap between Patos and Sucia Island. After a while, the rest of the J16s also turned in that direction. The now spread out J11s, J14s, J19s, and J22s re-appeared with some making their way along the Sucia shoreline, while others were further out in the channel. The J16s paralleled the other whales and they soon all passed Parker Reef heading southeast. The seas quickly deteriorated and the encounter was ended at 10:50 as J52 breached, cartwheeled, and tail slapped alongside J36 in sharp 3-5 foot waves and building winds.

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

2017 Encounters