2018 Encounters

Encounter #71 - Sept 3, 2018
J50 with the J16s

J50 with the J16s

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L22 and L89

L22 and L89

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L94s and J pod

L94s and J pod

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L121

L121

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L106 breach

L106 breach

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L85

L85

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L89

L89

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J37 aerial scan

J37 aerial scan

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26 and J36

J26 and J36

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L85

L85

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Date: 03-Sep-18

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 71

Enc Start Time: 08:25

Enc End Time: 14:55

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit, Mia

Pods or ecotype: J and L

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 24.91/123 02.21

End Lat/Long: 48 37.18/123 13.18

 

Encounter Summary:

After a 7am phone call from Jane Cogan saying that Tom had driven down the westside and seen whales from shore off Pile Point. Dave headed down to the boat and left Snug Harbor at 0745. “Orcinus” arrived on scene a little north of Hein Bank at 0825. The whales were very, very spread out and L85 was the first whale encountered. He headed westerly by himself at a slow pace. Other whales were hard to find but a group of three appeared and seemed to be socializing. This turned out to be J22, L105, and L109 so now we knew that there were a lot more whales around then first thought. With some searching, more whales began to show up and several spread out small groups and individuals were seen as they all headed slowly southwest. The leaders were south of Discovery Island and the trailers were back near Hein Bank.
Around 1015, word came over the radio that J50 was spotted traveling with the J16s in the trailing group back near Hein. “Orcinus” headed back that direction to help confirm J50’s identity and arrived near the area around 1040. J50 was indeed with the rest of the J16s looking at least as bad as the last time we saw her. The J16s headed slowly west in a tight group. “Orcinus” got a few shots to document J50’s condition and then followed at a distance so the group would not be lost. As the J16s headed west, the leaders looked to be stalling out, grouping up, and pointing back north from an area southeast of Seabird Point. The J16s merged into the other groups and all the whales began heading north. Several large groups formed as all the whales headed back toward San Juan Island. The first group included the J11s, J14s, and the J19s and they were several hundred yards ahead of the other groups. The next group included the L22s, L82s, L86s, and the L94s. Not very far behind them were the J16s, J17s, and the J22s. There were several other small groups and individuals also all heading in the same direction, some of which remained further offshore. All the groups headed north and most of the whales hit the west side of SJI near Edwards Point and headed up island. Once the groups hit the west side, they fragmented into smaller groups and mixed it up some. While it appeared that some of the Ls temporarily stayed south on the west side, all the other whales continued north spread out in groups and individuals. The encounter ended at 1455 off Battleship Island.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238 / DFO SARA 388