J26 chasing salmon

J26 chasing salmon

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26 chasing salmon

J26 chasing salmon

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J52

J52

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16 and J42

J16 and J42

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16 and J36 milling just north of Kellett Bluff

J16 and J36 milling just north of Kellett Bluff

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16

J16

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J42

J42

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16

J16

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16 and J50

J16 and J50

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26

J26

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Encounter #4 - Jan 9, 2017

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

Date: 09-Jan-17

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 04

Enc Start Time: 11:42

Enc End Time: 13:28

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit

Pods or ecotype: J16s

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 33.71/123 11.08

End Lat/Long: 48 37.22/123 11.42

Encounter Summary:

Jeanne Hyde called Dave at home in the late morning to report that she was hearing calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophone. Dave was getting ready to go when Jane Cogan called a few minutes later to report that she too was hearing calls and then Betsy Blinks called a few minutes after that to report that she had just seen a small group of whales head north past her place near Bellevue Point. It is nice to know that we have so many eyes and ears on the water during the wintertime these days!

Dave headed down to Snug Harbor and left aboard "Orcinus" around 1130. The first whales encountered were right off Smugglers Cove at 1142. This was J16, J42, and J50 and they were doing some milling as they headed slowly north. J42 was slightly ahead and offshore of J16 and J50 who were tight together. There was a male about three quarters of a mile or more to the west-southwest of this group and Dave headed out to him next. The male was J26 as expected and he was foraging as he moved slowly north. J26 was going on some very long long dives but was staying up for a couple of extra breaths during his short dives. At about 1236, J26 began vigorously chasing a salmon. The chase lasted for about three minutes before J26 continued slowly north about a mile off Kellett Bluff.

Due to the lack of whales being seen, it became apparent that only members of the J16 matriline were here today. "Orcinus" headed back inshore toward Battleship Rock in an effort to find the rest of the J16s. Dave saw blows north of the cormorant rookery on Kellett Bluff and headed that way. It was J16, J42, and J50 again and this time J36 and J52 were with them. The five whales were loosely spread out and milled briefly before heading northeast toward Battleship in a group. J36 and J52 soon dropped behind the other three and looked like they were having a small social moment with J52 rolling around at the surface and in front of his mom's nose. J16, J42, and J50 moved on ahead and also seemed to be doing some milling as they were not going anywhere fast. J36 and J52 found another salmon and they did a quick chase before slowly heading northeast over a quarter mile behind the others. "Orcinus" ended the encounter at 1342 as J16, J42, and J50 were about one third of a mile southwest of Battleship Rock. As "Orcinus" was at Roche Harbor at the fuel dock, radio talk had the J16s turn and head east into Spieden Channel.

2017 Encounters