2018 Encounters

Encounter #69 - Sept 2, 2018
J51 spyhop

J51 spyhop

Photo by Kelley Balcomb

J26

J26

Photo by Kelley Balcomb

pec slap

pec slap

Photo by Kelley Balcomb

pec slap

pec slap

Photo by Kelley Balcomb

L85

L85

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L85

L85

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26

J26

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L25

L25

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J51

J51

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26

J26

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J51

J51

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L41

L41

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J27 and J31

J27 and J31

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J16 and J36

J16 and J36

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Date: 02-Sep-18

Sequence: 2

Encounter Number: 69

Enc Start Time: 12:00

Enc End Time: 18:55

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit, Kelley Balcomb-Bartok, and Kara Burgess

Pods or ecotype: J Pod

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 34.00/123 10.00

End Lat/Long: 48 27.52/123 05.05

 

Encounter Summary:

J pod was found in the morning heading south off Mandarte Island in Haro Strait. The plan of the day was to find the J16s and determine if J50 was still with them. Dave, Kelley, and Kara met at Snug Harbor and left in the boat at 1150. We putted out of the harbor and J pod was spread out heading south off Mitchell Bay. The encounter started at noon.
The leaders were J16 and J36, and they headed south down SJI loosely spread out about a quarter to a half mile offshore. We followed the pair down island in an effort to keep them in sight to see if J50 joined them at some point. J35 and J47 were also spread out in the same area. When J16 and J36 were off False Bay, J26 showed up, but he stalled out and foraged off False Bay while the other two went south. We stayed with the pair until they were just north of Eagle Point and about to enter the zone where all the sport fishing boats were off the point. We left them at 1415 and J50 had not joined them yet.
We putted back north looking for more whales and saw J35 and J47 again heading slowly south just south of False Bay. J26 was still foraging off False Bay, and J42 showed up too and was also foraging within a couple of hundred yards of him. We scanned the area well with binocs but did not see any sign of J50. After a little while another loose group filed by and this was the rest of the J17s along with J40 and J51. The young whales were rolling and playing with a little foraging mixed in. J27 and J31 headed south together in a tight pair further offshore. The whales remained spread out in singles and small groups heading south toward Salmon Bank and beyond. Kelley and Kara had prior evening plans, so we ended that part of the encounter at 1635 and headed back to Snug Harbor. The L12s had been reported heading east and were east of Trial Island when we made it back to Snug.
Dave dropped Kelley and Kara off at the dock and headed back out to see the L12s at 1730. The wind had picked up a little and the next thirty-five minutes were a long, lumpy, and wet boat ride out toward Beaumont Shoals in 2-3 foot seas. “Orcinus” arrived on scene again around 1805 southeast of Beaumont Shoal to find all ten of the L12s heading east across Haro Strait toward False Bay. The L12s were loosely spread at the beginning of the encounter but soon began to spread out more as they approached SJI. J pod was reported to be heading north again in groups near Salmon Bank. The L12s turned southeast and headed for J pod with L41 and L85 seeming to make a bee-line for them. Spread out Js and L12s merged in the same area with the Js heading northeasterly toward False Bay. J16 and J26 were seen again, and J50 was still not with them. The encounter ended at 1855 off the south end of False Bay.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238 / DFO SARA 388