2018 Encounters

Encounter #16 - Mar 15, 2018
T2C1 and T2C2

T2C1 and T2C2

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T60 and T60C

T60 and T60C

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T60 and T60F

T60 and T60F

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T60C

T60C

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T60C and T60

T60C and T60

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T2C1 and T2C3

T2C1 and T2C3

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

the T2Cs

the T2Cs

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T2Cs

T2Cs

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

the T46Bs

the T46Bs

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T137A, T46E, and T46

T137A, T46E, and T46

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T137B and the T46s

T137B and the T46s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

the T46B1s and T122

the T46B1s and T122

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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.

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TOGETHER
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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569-01/ DFO SARA 388

Date: 15-Mar-18

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 16

Enc Start Time: 13:30

Enc End Time: 15:15

Vessel: Orca

Observers: Dave Ellifrit and BarbaraTodd

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: Middle Channel/SJ Channel/West Sound

Begin Lat/Long: 48 26.34/123 56.59

End Lat/Long: 48 35.34/123 57.47

 

Encounter Summary:

The morning started with a flurry of phone calls to Dave from Jane Cogan relaying reports of groups of transients in several places in San Juan Channel with a lead group having already exited Cattle Pass. Dave headed over to CWR and got Barbara and they headed down to Snug Harbor and left in the boat a little afternoon with the hopes of getting as many groups as possible. By the time we made it to American Camp, the lead group was reported to be already nearing Smith Island and pointed for Puget Sound. We were not going to get those whales but Jeanne Hyde took photos of them from shore at Cattle Point and said she got members of the T100s and T101s. There was another group heading south off Griffin Bay that were reported over the radio to be the T46s and T137s plus some extras. The T2Cs were north of them and another group was spotted heading west in Thatcher Pass.
We got on scene with the T46s/T137s group at about 1300 as they were passing the sea lions on Whale Rock in Cattle Pass. The whales were in a fairly tight group heading south-southwest in Middle Channel. The extra whales turned out to be all six of the T46Bs and they were in front of the group with T122 while the rest of the T46s and T137s were a few whale lengths behind. We left this group at 1325 and headed north through Cattle Pass toward the T2Cs who were now off Griffin Bay. The T2Cs were off Shark Reef when we got there at 1340. T2C, T2C1, T2C3, and T2C4 were on a long dive together on the Lopez Island side of the Channel. T2C2 was by himself about a half mile to the northwest. The other four T2Cs eventually came up and were still milling off Shark Reef when T2C2 began heading over to them and he joined the group a few minutes later. The T2Cs milled briefly as a group before heading slowly north. By this time, “Blackfish 3” had found the Thatcher Pass whales right before they entered Harney Channel. These whales were identified as the T60s and they headed west in Harney Channel and entered West Sound. We left the T2Cs heading slowly north up San Juan Channel at 1407 and went for the T60s in West Sound.
“Blackfish 3” helpfully waited for us and we arrived on scene at about 1445 when the T60s were still deep in West Sound. The whales were about a half mile north of Victim Island heading slowly back south toward the entrance on the west side of the sound. T60 and T60C were tight together while the other three were in a group about a hundred yards to the east. T60 and T60C passed along the east shoreline of Victim Island and then the east Double Island shoreline. Here the other three joined them and they all continued slowly south in a loose group. We ended the encounter at 1515 just on the inside of Broken Point on the north side of Shaw Island as the whales pointed east back toward the Shaw Island ferry landing.