T101B

T101B

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Whale peoplewatching

Whale peoplewatching

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T102

T102

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T101s, all four including T102

T101s, all four including T102

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Seals whalewatching

Seals whalewatching

Photo by Ken Balcomb

People whalewatching

People whalewatching

Photo by Ken Balcomb

People whalewatching

People whalewatching

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Encounter #49 - July 6, 2017

Date: 06-July-17

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 49

Enc Start Time: 09:08

Enc End Time: 10:23

Vessel: Shachi

Observers: Ken Balcomb

Pods or ecotype: T101's & T102's

Location: Haro Stait

Begin Lat/Long: CWR Porch

End Lat/Long: 48 35 58.494N  123 12 16.614W

Encounter Summary:

The whale day began with Jeanne Hyde phoning a report of T101s heading north nearshore off Lime Kiln Lighthouse shortly before 9 AM. A dozen harbor seals were hauled out or hauling out on the reef in front of the Center for Whale Research and a few more were in the water as the whales rounded Bellevue Point and non-chalantly proceeded past them a couple hundred yards away. The seals seemed aware of potential danger and were glancing out over the water, but the closest approach of the whales was made underwater and they surfaced in a group a few hundred yards northwest of CWR. Sometimes the tactic is to have one or two of the whales lag behind and catch an unaware seal when it thinks the danger has passed. Apparently the whales were not hungry in this pass. Distant identification photos were made of the whales from the porch, and then Ken launched in “Shachi” from Snug Harbor in hope of obtaining some well-lit right side identification photos in the relatively calm water. A few photos were taken, but the whales were conducting long unpredictable dives off Open Bay and Kellett Bluff and seemed more interested in observing the stationary whalewatchers than the mobile researcher or the mobile yacht, so the encounter was cut short when the whales headed out into mid-Haro Strait into the welcome view of the whale-watching fleet. For the remainder of the day the position of this group of Bigg’s Transient whales and at least two other groups of “Ts” in the core area of the Salish Sea was dutifully recorded from reports from the fleet. There is no doubt that a truly amazing identification catalogue and database of all species of the whales and their utilization of the Salish Sea is facilitated by having so many people “tuned in” to their presence. The “Transient” ecotype whales offer an interesting demographic comparison with the “Resident” ecotype whales that is worthy of more study.

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Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 15569-01/ DFO SARA 388

2017 Encounters