2018 Encounters

Encounter #15 - Mar 13, 2018
T46, T46E, and T46F

T46, T46E, and T46F

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T137, T46E, and T137A

T137, T46E, and T137A

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46E and T46

T46E and T46

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46s and T137s

T46s and T137s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

the T46s plus T137

the T46s plus T137

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46s and T137s

T46s and T137s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46E and T137A

T46E and T137A

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46s and T137s

T46s and T137s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

the T2Cs

the T2Cs

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T2C1

T2C1

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46F

T46F

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T46 and T46F

T46 and T46F

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T137A, T46E, and T46

T137A, T46E, and T46

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Date: 13-Mar-18

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 15

Enc Start Time: 17:00

Enc End Time: 18:25

Vessel: Orca

Observers: Dave Ellifrit and BarbaraTodd

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 30.90/123 09.56

End Lat/Long: 48 34.12/123 12.18

 

Encounter Summary:

Jane Cogan had been keeping Dave abreast of the day’s whale sightings while he worked at home. By late afternoon, reports had multiple transient matrilines heading north in Haro Strait at Middle Bank. Dave and Barbara Todd headed down to the boat and left Snug Harbor around 1645 in a light rain. Expecting to have to go all the way down to Middle Bank in the rain, we were surprised to find whales mid-Haro Strait off the north end of Land Bank at about 1700. The whales were the T2Cs, T46s, and T137s and they had all been reported previously to be among the whales at Middle Bank. The whale watch boat “J1”, who had been waiting for us to make sure we got on whales, still had other Ts down south of us in the gloom.
We stuck with the northern groups who had been altogether when we first got on scene before the T2Cs split off and were traveling north fast about a quarter mile ahead of the T46s and T137s. T2C2 was not present with the T2Cs and it was not known how far behind the others he was. The T46s and T137s were also traveling north quickly in a tight group. The group loosened up some a few times throughout the encounter although the whales always tightened back up again. By about 1745, the T46s and T137s group were back within a couple of hundred yards to the southwest of the T2Cs when something kinda confusing happened. Through rain covered glasses, small splashes that might have been Dall’s porpoise were seen almost a half mile ahead in the direction of D’arcy Island. The T46s and T137s were on a long dive and we started to putt in the direction of the splashes when the T2Cs came up once beside us and then completely vanished for the rest of the encounter. A couple minutes later, whales came up where we had seen the splashes and this was the T46s and T137s who must have moved very quickly underwater to get where they were when they came up. They then did a wide circle of the area as a group before going on a long dive. It was unclear if this was unsuccessful hunt or an extremely inconspicuous kill. When they came up, they were heading north again in two tight groups that merged soon after. We left the whales still cruising north about a mile southwest of the south end of Kellett Bluff at 1825.

Notes-Comments:

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569-01/ DFO SARA 388