2018 Encounters

Encounter #53 - July 25, 2018
K16 belly flop

K16 belly flop

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K16 belly flop

K16 belly flop

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J47 and K35

J47 and K35

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J17, J53, and J46

J17, J53, and J46

Photo by Michael Weiss

K35 pec wave

K35 pec wave

Photo by Michael Weiss

J47 and K35

J47 and K35

Photo by Michael Weiss

K21

K21

Photo by Kelly Balcomb

J38 with kelp

J38 with kelp

Photo by Michael Weiss

spyhop

spyhop

Photo by Michael Weiss

taillob

taillob

Photo by Michael Weiss

J38

J38

Photo by Kelly Balcomb

J17 and J53

J17 and J53

Photo by Kelly Balcomb

K35 and J44

K35 and J44

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K21

K21

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Date: 25-Jul-18

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 53

Enc Start Time: 13:00

Enc End Time: 14:20

Vessel: Orcinus, Chimo

Observers: David Ellifrit, Michael Weiss, Flora Miles, Ken Balcomb, Kelley Balcomb, Gail Richards

Pods or ecotype: J, K Pod

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 32.34, 123 10.21

End Lat/Long: 48 34.56, 123 11.51

 

Encounter Summary:

Southern Resident killer whales had been reported off the westside of San Juan Island early in the day, spread between Pile Point and Eagle Point. Reports from shore suggested that J35 may still be carrying her deceased calf. As the whales moved north, Dave, Michael, and Flora headed out on Orcinus, finding the whales off San Juan County Park at 1300. They found the same group of whales that they encountered the previous day, with the addition J31, in roughly the same sub-groupings. The J14s, J22s, J31, and L87 were in the lead, followed by the K16s, K21, and the J17s. As in the previous encounter, J44 and J47 were socializing with K35, while J35 followed a bit behind the rest of the J17s.

The team confirmed that J35 was still carrying her neonate, and proceeded to get more identification shots of the other whales present. When the whales hit Open Bay, they spread out and began to mill, possibly foraging. At 1345, Ken, Kelley, and Gail arrived on scene in Chimo with video equipment, to document J35’s behavior towards her deceased neonate. After helping Chimo locate J35, Orcinus moved off and focused on photographing “the boys,” K35, J47, and J44, as they continued to socialize. Briefly, the rest of the group appeared to turn back south, and the group of whales that had previously passed heading north, the J14s, J22s, and L87, came back into sight.  Orcinus left the scene at 1420, as the whales circled back north, while Chimo remained with the whales past Kellet Bluff.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238 / DFO SARA 388