L88 and L54

L88 and L54

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

the L54s

the L54s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J35, J22, and J37

J35, J22, and J37

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L84 and L117

L84 and L117

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J pod south of Active Pass

J pod south of Active Pass

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L84

L84

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

the L54s

the L54s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26 and BC Ferry

J26 and BC Ferry

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

cormorant

cormorant

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

Encounter #98 - Oct 24, 2017

Date: 24-Oct-2017

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 98

Enc Start Time: 09:08

Enc End Time: 13:03

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit

Pods or ecotype: J and L pods

Location: Haro Strait and Swanson Channel

Begin Lat/Long: 48 33.56/123 11.09

End Lat/Long: 48 51.36/123 20.03

Encounter Summary:

The day started with emails from Jeanne Hyde saying she was hearing southern residents on the hydrophone in the wee hours of the morning. A little after 8am, Jane Cogan called Dave to say that she was hearing whales on the hydrophone and Tom found them in the spotting scope while we were talking. Dave headed down to the boat and left Snug Harbor at 9am. Less than ten minutes later, the first whales were seen just north of CWR. L88 was the first whale visually identified and he was several hundred yards in front of the others and moved off to the northwest. The other whales were the L54s and L84 and they were spread out and actively foraging off Smugglers Cove and the south end of Mitchell Bay. By about 0940, the L54s had grouped up and were now fast traveling north up Haro Strait. L84 was as much as half a mile southeast of the L54s but he charged north and caught up to them by about 1020. L88 reappeared north of Gooch Island well over on the Canadian side of the strait and, he too, was fast traveling north towards Moresby Island and Swanson Channel. Since the first boats of the day were arriving on scene, Dave left L88 off the southeast tip of Moresby Island with the others about a mile to the southeast at about 1050.
It seemed odd that only those five whales were around since Jeanne had heard J pod whales in the night so Dave went north up Swanson Channel to find more whales. Sure enough, at about 1105, Dave saw more whales north of Mouatt Point on North Pender Island. J pod and L87 were spread out and heading north in groups and individuals from the North Pender shoreline to about mid-channel. The whales continued north toward Active Pass and by about 1200, J pod and L87 were all together in a loose group along the shoreline. Dave ended the encounter with them a quarter mile south of the Pass shortly after with hopes of re-finding the five Ls on the way home.
Fifteen minutes later, the L54s, L84, and L88 were found again north of James Point on North Pender Island in a tight group heading slowly north. By this time, J pod and L87 had been reported to have entered well into Active Pass before turning around and then coming back out before heading north up Trincomali Channel. The L54s, L84, and L88 continued north and, by 1250, had hit the Mayne Island shoreline about a quarter of a mile south of Active Pass. The Ls entered the pass and Dave followed them almost halfway through it before ending the encounter at 1303. The L pod whales must have turned around right after Dave left since they were reported traveling south fast off Navy Channel less than an hour after the encounter was over.

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

2017 Encounters

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