2018 Encounters

Encounter #109 - Dec 25, 2018
T75C1 and T75C

T75C1 and T75C

Photo by Jane Cogan

T38A and T65A4

T38A and T65A4

Photo by Jane Cogan

T65A4

T65A4

Photo by Jane Cogan

T65A4, T38A, and T75B

T65A4, T38A, and T75B

Photo by Jane Cogan

T75C, T38A, T38A1

T75C, T38A, T38A1

Photo by Jane Cogan

T75 and T75B2

T75 and T75B2

Photo by Jane Cogan

T75B, T75B3, T35A1

T75B, T75B3, T35A1

Photo by Jane Cogan

The Southern Resident orcas need your help like never before. For these whales to survive, and for their community to grow, they need us to be their voice.
BECOME A CWR MEMBER; 
together we will be a strong collective voice for the whales.

we can 
HELP
TOGETHER

Date: 25-Dec-18

Sequence: 5

Encounter Number: 109

Enc Start Time: 11:30

Enc End Time: 13:05

Vessel: Morning Star

Observers: Tom and Jane Cogan

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 32.10/123 14.20

End Lat/Long: 48 28.30/123 12.00

Encounter Summary:

Despite the storms we have experienced in November and December, Morning Star has been able to make a number of trips to document killer whale presence during the winter months. Tracking the changing use of this area by both resident and transient (or Bigg’s) killer whales has been a project at the Center for Whale Research for more than 40 years. Although the resident killer whales are typically scarce in the winter months, it is becoming more and more common to find at least one group of transient or Bigg’s killer whales somewhere in the area at this time of year. In addition to killer whales, there are still quite a few humpbacks scattered about the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is prudent for boaters in this area to always be on the look-out for humpbacks and slow down in their presence because humpbacks are more prone to vessel strike than killer whales. “See a blow, go slow”.

Today’s trip was prompted by killer whale calls on one of the San Juan Island hydrophones. Breaching whales were spotted from shore, on the other side of Haro Strait near Halibut Island. The whales were heading south in Haro Strait.

Morning Star left the dock and headed west toward Kelp Reefs. Blows were spotted in the distance, to the south of Kelp Reefs. The blows belonged to a group of a dozen transient or Bigg’s killer whales: the T35A’s, T38A’s, T75B’s, T75C’s, and T65A4. T35A, T38A, T75B and T75C are mothers of young calves. As for T65A4, based on sighting reports available to the CWR, it appears that T65A4 and the older brother, T65A2, separated from the rest of the T65A's a few months ago. T65A2 has been recently sighted with T49A2 on more than one occasion, but until a few days ago, the whereabouts of T65A4 were a mystery.

These whales made their way south on the Canadian side of Haro Strait, socializing along the way. The whales began to disperse as they headed south, with small groups splitting then re-joining the larger groups.

Morning Star handed the whales off to Mark Malleson on Mike 1. Mark left the whales off Seabird Point on Discovery Island.

 

Photos are taken under Be Whale Wise Guidelines