2018 Encounters

Encounter #46 - July 13, 2018
K33

K33

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K34 breach

K34 breach

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K25 breach

K25 breach

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K43 taillobs next to K37

K43 taillobs next to K37

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K12 and K43

K12 and K43

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K43 and K12

K43 and K12

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K43 tailob

K43 tailob

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K25

K25

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

inverted tail lob

inverted tail lob

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K33 chases salmon

K33 chases salmon

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16 and J42

J16 and J42

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16s with J42 vocalizing at surface

J16s with J42 vocalizing at surface

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Date:13-jul-18

Sequence:1

Encounter Number: 46

Enc Start Time: 12:55

Enc End Time: 15:20

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit

Pods or ecotype: J and K pods

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 36.13/123 12.43

End Lat/Long: 48 27.13/123 06.15

 

Encounter Summary:

We were working in the office at CWR and listening to the radio when residents were found near Mandarte Island heading south. Most the whales headed south past CWR where we photographed them from the deck and managed to get photos of the three whales not seen the day before: K43, J17, and J53 plus several others. After it looked like most of the whales had passed, Dave headed down to the boat and left Snug Harbor at 1240. There was another group reported well behind the lead whales near Battleship Rock heading south so Dave went there first and got on scene around 1255 off the north end of Kellett Bluff. The K13s were spread out in loose pairs from near the bluff to about three quarters of a mile offshore. K25 and K38 blew by while others escaped un-photographed. Since this was not a very workable situation, the decision was made to head south to find the other whales who had hopefully stalled out down island somewhere. After leaving the scene and committing to heading south, word came over the radio that the K13s slowed down and began foraging around southern Kellett Bluff and Open Bay.

 

Around 1335, the first down island whales were encountered off the south end of False Bay. These whales were the J16s, minus J26, plus J31 and J46. The whales were in a loose group and were slowly heading offshore. There was some rolling and splashing in this group and J42 logged at the surface and vocalized in the air enthusiastically. An adult male was foraging to the north off False Bay and taking extremely long dives.

South of the group, K33 was actively chasing a salmon. K22 was also foraging in the area but almost a quarter mile to the north. K33 milled around in the same area before he found another fish to chase. K12 and K43 were found a little offshore and they were mostly traveling southwest with K43 doing occasional lazy tail lobs. J27 showed up out of nowhere, passed up K12 and K43, and headed off to the southwest too. Perhaps he was the male foraging off False Bay earlier. K37 was another half mile offshore of K12 and K43 and he also was heading southwest. He briefly intersected with a small, loose foraging group of J31, J36, and J46, before turning back and eventually rejoined K12 and K43.

 

By 1515, the K13s were offshore of False Bay, still spread out in loose pairs. As they filed by, K34 breached twice in a row which was followed by another breach by K25. The encounter ended at 1520 about 2 miles southwest of False Bay with most of the whales still very spread out heading southwest.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238 / DFO SARA 388