J16 and J50

J16 and J50

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J17 and J53

J17 and J53

Photo by Kathy Babiak

L110 and J38 flukes

L110 and J38 flukes

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L105

L105

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L87

L87

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J27

J27

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L105

L105

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26 and J36

J26 and J36

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J19s and J42

J19s and J42

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J41 and J51

J41 and J51

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Encounter #93 - Sept 27, 2017

Date: 27-Sep-17

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 93

Enc Start Time: 09:05

Enc End Time: 13:00

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit and Kathy Babiak

Pods or ecotype: J and L pods

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 34.49/123 11.39

End Lat/Long: 48 27.49/123 05.24

Encounter Summary:

Ken called Dave at home at about 0800 to report that he was seeing whales, including J26, off of Bellevue Point. Dave and Kathy grabbed their gear and headed for the boat and left Snug Harbor at 0855. We saw our first whales off of Smugglers Cove at 0905. J38 came from offshore and passed us on his way inshore at the south end of Mitchell Bay. The whales were very spread out and, after a scan with binocs, we realized that a group of whales had got by us and were up near Kellett Bluff. We headed up that direction to find that the whales up there were the J16s and J19s and they were now headed south in Mitchell Bay just a little north of Snug Harbor. The J19s and J42 were tight together while J16 and J50 were about fifty yards to the west and J26 was traveling just a little behind those two. We could still hear blows behind us back toward Open Bay so we dropped back to see who was back there. J36 and L105, loosely spread, came steaming south from near the shoreline on the east side of the entrance of Open Bay and L72 was briefly seen a couple of hundred yards in front of them.
We then decided to head offshore and down island to see what other whales we could find. We found J27 traveling slowly south by himself about mid-strait in front of CWR. More offshore whales did not materialize so we headed back inshore toward Bellevue Point. Here, we found J45, J47, L87, and L116 spread out and traveling slowly south. J45 and L116 were seen milling briefly near a kelp mat. J39 was seen farther offshore from these whales. Behind these whales back near Smallpox Bay, all the J16s along with J19 were traveling south in a tight group. The L72s were just a little offshore of the J16s and J19. All these whales headed over toward the SJI shoreline near the old lime kiln north of the lighthouse and continued down island.
Offshore of Limekiln, we found a tight group of four consisting of the J37s and J41s. J17, with J44 and J53, were seen in the same area. J38 and L110 were also seen socializing with one another. We then moved back inshore and down island towards Kanaka Bay, passing L86 on the way. Near Kanaka Bay, we found J31, J40, and several members of the L55s spread out and heading down island although several whales stopped to mill along the way. Offshore (again) of False Bay, we found J22 traveling southeast very slowly all by herself and L87 later passed us again very lazily. About a mile off of False Bay, we found J38 and L110 still socializing with one another but J49 had now joined them. We ended the encounter off False Bay with those three at 1300. All the whales were still spread out and heading south-southeast down SJI.

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

2017 Encounters

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