2018 Encounters

Encounter #82 - Sept 20, 2018
K34 with kelp

K34 with kelp

Photo by Stewart MacIntyre

Photo by Stewart MacIntyre

L106 playing with ke

L106 playing with ke

Photo by Stewart MacIntyre

Lag

Lag

Photo by Stewart MacIntyre

L72

L72

Photo by Stewart MacIntyre

L106 and K34 playing

L106 and K34 playing

Photo by Stewart MacIntyre

L103 and L123

L103 and L123

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K21 chasing salmon

K21 chasing salmon

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K26

K26

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K33 and K22

K33 and K22

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L015

L015

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K34 kelping

K34 kelping

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Date: 20-Sep-18

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 82

Enc Start Time: 09:55

Enc End Time: 13:10

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit, Astrid van Ginneken, Kathy Babiak

Pods or ecotype: K and L pods

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 28.01/123 04.38

End Lat/Long: 48 29.06 /123 09.15

 

Encounter Summary:

Stewart and Astrid went on an early morning whale search by car down the west side of San Juan Island and saw whales heading south off Eagle Point. They called Dave and Kathy and everyone eventually met at Snug Harbor and left in the boat around 0925. The first whales appeared off Eagle Point at 0955 heading slowly north again. The whales were very spread out in small groups and individuals and we headed for a small group inshore off False Bay. This was L105, L115, and K44 playing with one another while L72 and L47 were peripheral to this group traveling slowly north by themselves. A little south of this group were more individuals and another small group that, among others, included K34 and L106 playing with kelp together. All the whales seemed to be between Hannah Heights and Eagle Point and were heading slowly north before some whales stalled out and began foraging. We saw K21 in a vigorous salmon chase off False Bay before he charged offshore for some more foraging. Earlier, we had seen a group of about ten or so Pacific white-sided dolphins streaking north not far off Kanaka Bay. A bit later, we saw them again a little inshore of where K21 was chasing his fish, fast traveling south again. They did not seem interested in playing in boat wake like they sometimes do but they stayed in the general area of the whales while the encounter lasted. By 1120, all the whales were still spread out in small groups and individuals with many foraging back and forth between Hannah Heights and False Bay. There were some small groups who looked like they were being social-usually involving sub-adult and immature males. We found K21 again offshore of False Bay and he was still foraging. About a half mile south of him, K25 was foraging by himself. We were trying to get body condition photos on him but he was surfacing irregularly and in all directions so we left him alone after less than fifteen minutes of trying. We headed north and found the whales that had been the leaders heading north heading south again off the north end of Hannah Heights. Since these whales were spreading out and moving south fast again, plus there was a big, dark cloud promising rain on the way, we followed them south just a short ways before calling it quits about a mile and a half southwest of Hannah Heights at 1310.
The timing was good as it started raining right after we got home and were downloading photos.

 

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238 / DFO SARA 388