2018 Encounters

Encounter #20 - Mar 28, 2018
T49A1 spy hop

T49A1 spy hop

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T124C and T49A1 along the south Halibut Island shoreline

T124C and T49A1 along the south Halibut Island shoreline

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T49A1 carrying seal

T49A1 carrying seal

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T124C and T49A1

T124C and T49A1

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T49A1 carrying seal parts

T49A1 carrying seal parts

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T49A1 and T124C

T49A1 and T124C

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T124C

T124C

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T49A1

T49A1

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T124C and T49A1

T124C and T49A1

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T49A1

T49A1

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569-01/ DFO SARA 388

Date: 28-Mar-18

Sequence:1

Encounter Number: 20

Enc Start Time: 17:04

Enc End Time: 19:18

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit, Melisa Pinnow

Pods or ecotype: T49A1, T124C

Location: Haro Strait/Gulf Islands

Begin Lat/Long: 48 25.207/-123 12.191

End Lat/Long: 48 27.429/-123 16.715

 

Encounter Summary:

At about 1330, killer whales were spotted heading north in San Juan Channel. A few hours later, Dave and Melisa met at Snug Harbor and left aboard “Orcinus” at 1657. At 1704, “Orcinus” arrived on scene with T49A1 and T124C traveling west a few hundred yards off of Kellett Bluff, Henry Island.

The two males often surfaced side by side as they zig-zagged their way across Haro Strait toward Sidney and Halibut Islands. They reached the east side of Sidney Island by 1755 and traveled a few hundred yards off of the shoreline, still heading west/northwest.

At 1805, T49A1 and T124C disappeared between Sidney and Halibut Islands. At 1821, they were relocated a few hundred yards off the east side of Halibut Island. They were on a kill and milled about the same area for half an hour. A nervous Steller sea lion looked on and a large flock of gulls fed on the scraps. Blood was seen in front of T49A1 and photos reveal the he swam past the boat with a chunk of seal meat in his mouth. T49A1 also celebrated the kill with tail slaps and a spy hop.

After the kill, T49A1 and T124C momentarily played in the Halibut Island kelp beds before traveling right up the west side of the island, spooking a Canada goose and the same Steller sea lion along the way. At 1918, “Orcinus” left T49A1 and T124C off the east end of Mandarte Island as they headed toward Gooch Island.