T85s and Mt. Baker

T85s and Mt. Baker

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85A in Miners Channel

T85A in Miners Channel

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85B and T85A

T85B and T85A

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85s

T85s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85A and gull

T85A and gull

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

20170127DKE_GI3-0467_T85A and T85D

20170127DKE_GI3-0467_T85A and T85D

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85C and T85B

T85C and T85B

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85C breach

T85C breach

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85A and T85C flukes

T85A and T85C flukes

T85 and T85A

T85 and T85A

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85D ID shot

T85D ID shot

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85C ID shot

T85C ID shot

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85 ID shot

T85 ID shot

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T85B ID shot

T85B ID shot

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

1_T85A ID shot_20170127DKE_GI3-0853

1_T85A ID shot_20170127DKE_GI3-0853

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Mark and Hanna in Mike 1

Mark and Hanna in Mike 1

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Encounter #9 - Jan 27, 2017

Date: 27-Jan-17

Sequence: 2 & 3

Encounter Number: 9

Enc Start Time: 13:42

Enc End Time: 14:55

Vessels: Mike 1 & Orcinus

Observers: Mark and Hanna Malleson aboard Mike 1

Dave Ellifrit aboard Orcinus

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: Kelp Reef

Begin Lat/Long: 48 31.3 123 16.8

End Lat/Long: 48 33.6 123 15.2

 

Encounter Summary:

We arrived as Ken was waiting on Tonto and looking in the area where he thought the whales would be off Gordon Head. We decided to push a little further north towards Zero Rock. We pointed the boat towards Sidney Channel as Mark was looking through the binoculars. Hanna suspected she spotted blows in that direction and Mark confirmed after seeing the trailing edge of one of the bull's dorsal heading north several miles ahead. We caught up with the whales a half mile south east of the Zero Rock marker. They turned out to be the T085's. They were grouped up except for T085A who was a half mile to the east of them. They zig zaged their way towards Kelp Reef where he joined them. They then stalked a probable seal for several minutes before killing it. They celebrated for a couple of minutes with a few jumps and tail lobs and upside down swimming as they continued north sharing the prey. They were leaving lots of scraps behind as the gulls were picking up pieces following the whales. We left the whales with Dave Ellifrit who had arrived just before the predation event started.

Dave arrived, aboard “Orcinus”, to the scene of the T85s just starting their seal kill as described above by Mark and Hanna at about 1420.  T85C was the breacher and he appears to be another male.  After Mark and Hanna left at 1455, the T85s traveled slowly north in a tight group past the east entrance to Hughes Passage.  They spread out briefly before coming back together.  At about 1530, the whales milled some and gulls began diving on the spot again.  The whales had probably been carrying a part of a seal as it did not look like another kill.  T85C and T85D dropped back and appeared to feed on a dropped piece of seal while T85, T85A, and T85B took a brief nap.  T85C and T85D soon caught back up and the group continued traveling north until they turned northwest into Minors Channel.  Dave left the T85s at 1601 still traveling northwest in Miners Channel between the northwest side of Sydney Island and Mandarte Island.

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

2017 Encounters