2018 Encounters

Encounter #38 - June 12, 2018
Researchers

Researchers

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Nap

Nap

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Nap in noisy environment

Nap in noisy environment

Photo by Ken Balcomb

Marker Repairs

Marker Repairs

Photo by Ken Balcomb

L pod resting

L pod resting

Photo by Ken Balcomb

L pod off Gooch Island

L pod off Gooch Island

Photo by Ken Balcomb

L pod resting

L pod resting

Photo by Ken Balcomb

L86

L86

Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Date: 12-June-18

Sequence: 1​

Encounter Number: 38

Enc Start Time: 12:20

Enc End Time: 13:13

Vessel: Chimo

Observers: Ken Balcomb

Pods or ecotype: L Pod​

Location: Gooch Island

Begin Lat/Long: 48 38 32.410N/ 123 14 23.958W

End Lat/Long: 48 41 19.596N/123 17 7.182W

 

Encounter Summary:

At 0600, Ken saw L41 and others heading south in Haro Strait near Beaumont Shoals, so he immediately departed in “Chimo” and headed to Seabird, Discovery Island. Although the sea conditions were glass calm and the visibility was more than five miles with binoculars, no whales could be found. Mark Malleson had been notified at 0605 and he went to a lookout near Trial Island, but he also could not find any whales. Where did they go? The tide was ebbing swiftly, and a few hours later the whales were spotted passing Race rocks headed out to the Pacific Ocean. “Chimo” returned to Snug Harbor and “Morningstar” departed to briefly get proof of presence photos as the whales passed Otter Point west of Sooke before noon.
In the later morning whales were reported near Patos Island heading toward President Channel. As the morning progressed it became apparent that these whales were travelling in two groups, with one of the groups (Js) splitting off near Speiden Island and eventually meandering back north to Boundary Pass, while the other (Ls) continued through Speiden Channel and into Haro Strait. “Chimo” departed Snug Harbor at 1140 to meet the L group in hopes that they would come south in Haro Strait; but, they did not. Instead, the Ls gathered into a close resting group and headed west toward Gooch Island, Canada. The NMFS research crew followed them several hundred yards in trail searching for fecal samples, while “Chimo” paralleled the whales and ken took proof of presence photos. Again, L92 was not present, and regrettably we consider him deceased (see press release). The whales meandered west and north and eventually northeast toward Tilly Point, Pender Island, and then reportedly over toward the J whales in Boundary Pass near Monarch Head. “Chimo” had departed by then as there was no point in trying to get catalogue photos of resting whales that did not arch to show their saddle patch. The entire encounter was very tranquil for both whales and observers and researchers.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238 / DFO SARA 388