L94 and L121

L94 and L121

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J17 and J53

J17 and J53

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K21

K21

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J44 breach

J44 breach

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L25 and L41JPG

L25 and L41JPG

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L94, L25, and L41

L94, L25, and L41

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L22 half breach next to L94

L22 half breach next to L94

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L85 porpoising

L85 porpoising

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L113 breach

L113 breach

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L41

L41

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L12s

L12s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J41 and J51

J41 and J51

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Encounter #74 - Sept 6, 2017

Date: 06-Sep-17

Sequence: 1

Sequence: 2

Encounter Number: 74

Enc Start Time: 11:00

Enc End Time: 13:10

Vessel: Shachi and Orcinus

Observers: Ken Balcomb and Gail Richard in Shachi, Dave Ellifrit, Erin Heydenreich, and Sally Warden in Orcinus

Pods or ecotype: J, K, and L pods

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 39.29/123 13.57

End Lat/Long: 48 31.40/123 10.35

Encounter Summary:

Dave was working at home when John Durban called mid-morning to say the drone photogrammetry team had found southern residents heading our way off Blunden Island in Boundary Pass. Dave and his sister Sally grabbed their stuff and met Erin down at Snug Harbor. Ken had also got the whale report and he and Gail got off the dock and on scene with the whales first in “Shachi”. “Orcinus” left a little while later and got on scene a mile or so southwest of Tiptop Hill on Stuart Island at about 1100.
The first whales the crew in “Orcinus” saw were the J19s, L77s, J39, and L85. These whales were loosely spread in small groups and singles and were traveling south at a high rate of speed. There were short bouts of porpoising but the whales occasionally stalled out to mill briefly before continuing south. Behind these whales were the J14s and J31 and they also hurried south in a fairly tight group. Behind the J14s and J31, scattered pairs and singles of the rest of the L12s began to form up. The L22’s, L94’s, L41, and L25 soon joined into a tight group that was traveling fast southeast towards Kellett Bluff. L113 breached once and L22 did two half-breaches. We left them a couple miles west of Battleship Rock at around 1130 and looked for the another group. The next group of whales behind the L12s were J17, J44, and J53. Some other whales to the southwest of the J17s ended up being the L77s and L85 again. L87 was about a half mile west of the J17s and J46 appeared to the southeast of the boat and milled around a bit until she joined the J17s. L87 also came over from the west and joined the J17s and they all headed south at a pretty good clip. Other scattered whales we ran into were to be members of the L12s again who must have stalled out and milled once they had passed us earlier.
We waited off Mitchell Bay for a bit to see if we could find anymore whales that were not J pod or the L12s. About fifteen minutes later, more whales showed up from the north spread out in singles and small groups. L72 and L105 blew by us and then K14 and K42 followed behind them. K22 and L86 were in a tight pair a couple hundred yards to the northwest of them. K12, K26, K33, L82, L83, L110, L90, and L92 were all seen spread out traveling by themselves. K21 was a ways offshore of everyone else and he headed southeast and a little inshore as he traveled by himself. We ended the encounter with him about a mile west of Lime Kiln at 1310.

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

2017 Encounters

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