T046F

T046F

Photo by Mark Malleson

T046C1

T046C1

Photo by Mark Malleson

T122

T122

Photo by Mark Malleson

T046D

T046D

Photo by Mark Malleson

T046C3

T046C3

Photo by Mark Malleson

T046C2

T046C2

Photo by Mark Malleson

T046E

T046E

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

Encounter #70 - Sept 1, 2017

Date: 01-Sep-17

Sequence: 1

Sequence: 2

Encounter Number: 70

Enc Start Time: 12:35

Enc End Time: 16:23

Vessel: Orcinus and Mike 1

Observers: Dave Ellifrit in Orcinus and Mark Malleson in Mike 1

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: Juan de Fuca Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 29.30/123 17.42

End Lat/Long: 48 22.56/30.09

Encounter Summary:

Dave was working in the office at CWR when reports of multiple groups of transients in the Strait of Juan de Fuca began coming in over the radios. Mark Malleson, who was out on his morning whale watch trip, said there were a lot of whales out there so Dave grabbed his gear and headed down to the boat and left Snug Harbor at 1135. Right outside Snug Harbor off the south end of Mitchell Bay, two Pacific white-sided dolphins came streaking over to ride the bow of the boat. For about eight minutes, the pair played around the bow and stern wake as the boat chugged north at a slow speed. One of the dolphins had healed killer whale rake marks on it so it had been lucky enough to survive an attack earlier in its life.
Dave soon moved on and headed for the transients off Victoria and arrived on scene with the first group several miles south of the Chain Islets at 1235. This was the T11s and T46Bs and they were in a loose group heading slowly east. Since there was another group about a mile behind this group, Dave soon left the first group and went to the second group. The second group was the T37As and the T65As and they were also traveling east in a loose group. Another group had been found a couple miles north closer to the Victoria waterfront that consisted of the T60s, T124Ds, and T124A1. These whales were heading west in a loose group when the boat first got there but they then turned back northeast.
Another group of transients had been found coming in west of Race Rocks so Dave moved on to that group and arrived at Race Rocks at 1355. A group of about nine whales were cruising around inside the park. On the northwest side of Race Rocks, a large raft of upset Steller sea lions were in the water keeping an eye on the transients as they passed closely by. The whales finally exited the park on the east side and headed north towards William Head. This group ended up being the T109s (minus the T109As) and the male with them was T69C. T69C seems to be taking a break from traveling with his mother and younger siblings as Dave had seen the rest of the T69s about two weeks before up around northern Vancouver Island and T69C had not been with them then either. The T109s and T69C traveled in a loose group toward the Vancouver Island shoreline, stopping once in a kelp bed near shore. They may have made a kill there as there were several tail lobs and large splashes as the whales milled in the kelp. The encounter with this group ended at 1505 about a half mile west of Albert Head with the whales still heading west near the shoreline in a loose group.
On the way home, the T60s, T124Ds, and T124A1 were encountered again in Haro Strait about three quarters of a mile east of the Beaumont Shoal at 1555. This group was traveling north in a loose group and angling toward San Juan Island. Dave left this group at 1623 a couple miles of Edwards Point. The T60’s, T124Ds, and T124A1 later passed by CWR at about 1720.
After he ended his afternoon trip, Mark went back out on “Mike 1” and encountered yet another group of transients mid-Juan de Fuca Strait off Cresent Bay around 1800. These whales were the T46s and T46Cs and they were heading west. This group put the total number of transients photographed this day by Mark and Dave at 45. This is the most transients photographed by CWR in a single day in this area in the history of the study.

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

2017 Encounters

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