2018 Encounters

Encounter #57 - Aug 1, 2018
spyhop

spyhop

Photo by Michael Weiss

L72 Breach

L72 Breach

Photo by Michael Weiss

J26 pec slap

J26 pec slap

Photo by Michael Weiss

J38

J38

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L91 and L122

L91 and L122

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L91 and L122 flukes

L91 and L122 flukes

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J38, J22, and L72

J38, J22, and L72

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L105 taillob

L105 taillob

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J39 and L106

J39 and L106

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Date: 01-Aug-18

Sequence: 2

Encounter Number: 57

Enc Start Time: 13:30

Enc End Time: 16:05

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: David Ellifrit, Michael Weiss, Flora Miles

Pods or ecotype: J and L Pod

Location: Georgia Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 53.20, 122 56.45

End Lat/Long: 48 47.38, 123 01.17

 

Encounter Summary:

After leaving the T18s (see previous encounter), the team headed across Georgia Strait to the last reported location of J pod and the 18 members of the main L pod subgroup. At 1330, they encountered this group halfway between Point Roberts and Patos Island. When they were first arriving on scene, whales appeared to be spread in small groups, but these groups quickly coalesced into larger units. The first group they encountered consisted of the J19s, J22s, J11s, L72s, L47s, L86s, and L90. There was a great deal of socializing in this group, with lots of rolling, percussive behavior, and obvious sexual behavior. The team then encountered a group consisting of the L55s and J16s, showing many similar behaviors. J16, J26, and J50 swam a bit separated from this main group. J50 was photographed to assess her body condition, which appears to still be slowly deteriorating.

The only J pod matriline that was not located by 1400 was the J17s. Soundwatch had circled behind the main group, and located the J17s a long way behind the rest of the whales. Soundwatch asked Orcinus to photograph this group to confirm whether J35 was still carrying her deceased calf. At 1330, the team photographed the J17s, confirming that J35 still had the neonate.

The whales changed direction slightly, from pointing southeast to southwest, reorienting to point at Boundary Pass. As they headed towards Boundary, the subgroupings fanned out across the waterway. The team photographed re-encountered the J11s, J19s, and L86s, as well as J40, in a group headed towards boundary, as well as a subgrouping of immature males, J44, J45, and L116. J26 continued to travel west alone, while J38 and L115 seemed to be associating. They left a group consisting of L90, the L72s, L47s and the J22s as they continued west, ending the encounter a bit after 1600.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238 / DFO SARA 388