2018 Encounters

Encounter #5 - Feb 2, 2018
Js resting

Js resting

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J38

J38

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J41 and J51

J41 and J51

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J51 and others at Kellett Bluff

J51 and others at Kellett Bluff

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J pod in Spieden Channel

J pod in Spieden Channel

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L87

L87

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J pod

J pod

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J17 tail slap

J17 tail slap

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J16 and J42

J16 and J42

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

J19

J19

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

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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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569-01/ DFO SARA 388

Date: 02-Feb-18

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 5

Enc Start Time: 13:16

Enc End Time: 16:47

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit, Melisa Pinnow

Pods or ecotype: J pod

Location: San Juan Channel

Begin Lat/Long: 48 35.31/123 03.08

End Lat/Long: 48 35.14/123 12.14

 

Encounter Summary:

At about 1210, a few killer whales were reported in San Juan Channel. Dave and Melisa hurried to Snug Harbor and left aboard “Orcinus" at 1250. With help from Jeanne Hyde, “Orcinus” located the first group of whales a mile northwest of Yellow Island at 1316.

The first group was made up of J16, J41, J42, J50, and J51 and they were slowly traveling northwest. Trailing few hundred yards behind them was another group that contained J22, J36, J37, J38, J40, J45, and J49. J26 appeared further inshore toward the San Juan Island shoreline and paralleled the two groups while J19 and J39 surfaced a few hundred yards ahead of everyone. J27 and J31 also trailed behind the groups.

By 1340, J19, J26, J27, J31, J36, and J39 had all trickled over and joined up with the first group. However, J22, J38, J40, J45, and J49 continued to trail behind the larger group for a little longer. At 1418, they finally joined up with the others and all the whales formed a resting line ¾ of a mile southeast of Green Point, Spieden Island. The only whales missing from the resting line were the J17s and L87.

Surprisingly, the J17s and L87 suddenly materialized a few minutes later. They were hugging the San Juan Island shoreline and did not join the resting line. Instead, they slowly passed the resting line, moved past Lonesome Cove, and swam between Barren Island and its kelp beds.

At 1549, the J17s and L87 reached Battleship Island and swam between it and Henry Island. Once in Haro Strait, the J17s and L87 turned south. “Orcinus” stayed with the J17s and L87 for a few more minutes before turning around and waiting for the resting line to swim between Battleship and Henry Island. By the time the big group was in Haro Strait, the resting line had switched into a loose group in travel mode. “Orcinus” left the big group heading southwest at Kellet Bluff in rough seas at 1647.