2018 Encounters

Encounter #77 - Sept 15, 2018
K43, L123, L103

K43, L123, L103

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K26

K26

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26 chasing salmon

J26 chasing salmon

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K37

K37

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

J26

J26

Photo by Astrid van Ginneken

K26

K26

Photo by Astrid van Ginneken

Photo by Astrid van Ginneken

Photo by Astrid van Ginneken

K21

K21

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K34

K34

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Date: 15-Sep-18

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 77

Enc Start Time: 16:50

Enc End Time: 18:45

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit, Astrid van Ginneken, Stewart MacIntyre, Kathy Babiak

Pods or ecotype: J, K, L

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 39.59/123 13.57

End Lat/Long: 48 34.28/123 12.20

 

Encounter Summary:

Dave was home on Saturday afternoon when he got a call from John Durban saying that he and his drone crew were with members of J, K, and L pods in Boundary Pass heading southwest toward Turn Point. Dave, Astrid, Stewart, and Kathy all met at Snug Harbor and left in the boat at 1635.
We got on scene at 1650 off Tiptop Hill on Stuart Island. K34 was in the lead and he was foraging. He was taking lengthy long dives but staying up from extra breaths on his short dives. A group was seen to the north of him near the Stuart Island shoreline and it was largely made up of the K14s and L55s. K43 was also in there. Other whales were more spread out and we saw several singles and small loose groups spread all the way over to the Canadian side of Haro Strait along the lower Gulf Island shorelines. We were only seeing K and L pod whales although J pod had been confirmed present. Most of the Js must have been on the far side of the strait and we did not make it to them. Around 1750, John D. informed us he had just left J16 and J26 off Tiptop Hill. Since we were off of north Kellett Bluff at the time, we had to head back north and we found J16 and J26 about 15 minutes later right about where John said they should have been. They were loosely spread and J16 continued slowly south while J26 got side-tracked by a salmon and went on a rather slow fish chase. There were not any other whales in the area except for one nice group offshore that already had a research boat with them, so we headed south again. We found the K14s, L55s, and K43 group again heading south off Mitchell Bay and we ended the encounter with them at 1845. On the way home we briefly saw three slow moving Pacific white-sided dolphins in front of Snug Harbor but they disappeared before we could photograph them.

Notes-Comments:

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238 / DFO SARA 388