2018 Encounters

Encounter #8 - Feb 16, 2018
T60F, T60C, and T60

T60F, T60C, and T60

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T60 and T60E

T60 and T60E

Photo by Jane Cogan

T60C and T60

T60C and T60

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T60, T60C, and T60D

T60, T60C, and T60D

Photo by Jane Cogan

T60, T60F, T60D, and T60E

T60, T60F, T60D, and T60E

Photo by Jane Cogan

T60F, T60C, and T60E

T60F, T60C, and T60E

Photo by Jane Cogan

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Date: 16-Feb-18

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 8

Enc Start Time: 14:45

Enc End Time: 16:30

Vessel: Morning Star

Observers: Melisa Pinnow, Jane Cogan, Tom Cogan

Pods or ecotype: T60s​

Location: Strait of Juan De Fuca

Begin Lat/Long: 48 22.200/-123 27.710

End Lat/Long: 48 19.214/-123 30.756

 

Encounter Summary:

At about 1230, Mark Malleson reported a small group of transients passing through Oak Bay. Melisa, Jane, and Tom headed to Snug Harbor and left aboard “Morning Star" at 1330. At 1445, “Morning Star” arrived on scene with the T60s about a mile southeast of Albert Head in the Strait of Juan De Fuca.

The whales were heading northwest at first but soon turned southwest after a long deep dive; and then pointed southeast shortly after another, even longer, deep dive. The whales continued to zig-zag and take long deep dives until they found a seal at 1530. The whole family then milled about in the same area and T60C would disappear for a while, then the rest of his family members would disappear while he was at the surface. It is possible that they were taking turns pinning the seal at the bottom.

About twenty minutes later, it appeared that the T60s had killed the seal. T60D separated from the others during this time and milled about on his own. The family then gathered together and started traveling southwest but stalled out again a few minutes later. It is possible that they were still feeding on the seal from earlier, but they could have also located and killed another one.

About ten minutes later, the whales were back on the move, with T60D and T60E goofing off and lagging behind the rest of the family. “Morning Star” left the T60s aiming for Race Rocks off the entrance to Pedder Bay at 1630.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 15569-01/ DFO SARA 388

Photos taken under Be Whale Wise Guidelines