2018 Encounters

Encounter #29 - Apr 25, 2018

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Photo by Kara Burgess

T101

T101

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Off Henry Island

Off Henry Island

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T36A

T36A

Photo by Ken Balcomb

T36A1

T36A1

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Tail Lob

Tail Lob

Photo by Kara Burgess

Lucky guess

Lucky guess

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Heading toward New Channel

Heading toward New Channel

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569-01/ DFO SARA 388

Date: 25-Apr-18

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 29

Enc Start Time: 13:45

Enc End Time: 14:52

Vessel: Chimo

Observers: Ken Balcomb and Kara Burgess

Pods or ecotype: Transients

List individuals present (Whales Photographed): T36As, T101s, and T102

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 35 29.292N/123 12 42.948W

End Lat/Long: 48 38 58.818N/123 10 1.902W

 

Encounter Summary:

Whales were reported inbound off Constance Bank in the morning, and they had rounded Sea Bird and headed up Haro Strait by noon. They were being slowly escorted by several boats as they approached in mid-Haro in two small groups. We launched from Snug Harbor in “Chimo” and joined the entourage about one mile off Kellett Bluff as the whales proceeded leisurely north toward Speiden Channel, variously spreading out and coalescing a bit. Off the west end of Speiden Island, they dove for about five minutes and we made a lucky guess that they were heading toward New Channel north of the island. We did not observe any predation events while we were with them as they headed into the New Channel toward Green Point. Meanwhile, another group of Bigg’s whales that were reportedly T137s was coming south in Swanson Channel. We did not attempt to encounter them, but a small group of whales that might have been them passed by heading southeast in Haro Strait in front of the Center for Whale Research. These and other small groups of Bigg’s killer whales have been wandering around in the southern Strait of Georgia/San Juan Archipelago for several days while another group has been in Hood Canal, and yet others are in Puget Sound. It sure seems that the word has gotten around the community that there are lots of seals to eat in the Salish Sea nowadays.