T137B and T137A

T137B and T137A

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T36 and T137A

T36 and T137A

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T36, T37A4, and T37A

T36, T37A4, and T37A

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T100C

T100C

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T124D and T124D1

T124D and T124D1

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46E

T46E

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46s

T46s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T137B, T37A4, and T37A

T137B, T37A4, and T37A

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T124Ds

T124Ds

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Encounter #68 - Aug 29, 2017

Date: 29-Aug-17

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 68

Enc Start Time: 13:40

Enc End Time: 15:43

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: Rosario Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 37.88/122 45.97

End Lat/Long: 48 41.72/122 46.98

 

Encounter Summary:

While Dave was working in the office at CWR, reports started coming in over the radios of transients being found in Rosario Strait. There had also been an earlier report of the T137s and others coming south near Pt. Roberts. Dave grabbed his gear and headed down to the boat and left Snug Harbor at 1235. After heading through the middle of the San Juan Islands, the boat arrived on scene near the Pea Pod Rocks in Rosario Strait at 1340. The T100s, T124Ds, and T124A1 were in a tight group heading south at a medium speed. Around that time, “Triton” had found another group of transients near Barnes and Clark Islands. Since the T100s, T124Ds, and T124A1 were heading south into slightly lumpy seas, Dave left this group at 1355 about a half mile south of Pea Pod Rocks and headed for the other group.
The new group turned out to be the T46s who were in a tight group traveling slowly southeast about a half mile west of Lawrence Point on Orcas Island. Dave only stayed for one pass and let them file past him at 1415. “Triton” had moved on and found yet another group of whales, including the T137s, north of Sucia Island. Dave headed there next and arrived on scene at 1437 about halfway between Sucia and Matia Islands. The whales were traveling southeast toward the north side of Matia Island with one larger tight group and a few individuals loosely spread out a little to the southwest. The other whales with the T137s turned out to be T36 and the T37As, including T137A1 who does not always travel with its mom and siblings. The group moved quickly along the north side of Matia Island before angling southeast, grouping up, and passing between Matia and Puffin Islands. The whales milled in the gap between the islands and may have made a kill there around 1455 before continuing on in a southeast direction. As he was traveling, T137A arched and acted like he could have been feeding on something and, while they were traveling toward the Barnes and Clark Islands, T36 and T137 were seen with chunks of something in their mouths. The whales hit the west side of Barnes Island and headed south along its shoreline before turning southeast again toward Lawrence Point. Dave ended the encounter there at about 1545.

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

2017 Encounters