2018 Encounters

Encounter #94 - Nov 07, 2018
T38A spy hop

T38A spy hop

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

double spy peep, T38A (left)

double spy peep, T38A (left)

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T137B spy hop

T137B spy hop

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T137 spy hop besideT35A

T137 spy hop besideT35A

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T65A4, T65A2, T49A2

T65A4, T65A2, T49A2

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

double spyhop with T137B (right)

double spyhop with T137B (right)

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

circling the stellers

circling the stellers

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T137B, T35A1,T38A

T137B, T35A1,T38A

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T38A

T38A

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

T35A2, T137A, stellar in background

T35A2, T137A, stellar in background

Photo by Melisa Pinnow

The Southern Resident orcas need your help like never before. For these whales to survive, and for their community to grow, they need us to be their voice.
BECOME A CWR MEMBER; 
together we will be a strong collective voice for the whales.

we can 
HELP
TOGETHER

Date:07 - Nov-18

Sequence: 5

Encounter Number: 94

Enc Start Time: 08:45

Enc End Time: 12:45

Vessel: Morning Star

Observers: Melisa Pinnow, Jane Cogan, Tom Cogan

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: Partridge Bank

Begin Lat/Long: 48 13.881/122 49.935

End Lat/Long: 48 14.947/122 55.143

 

Encounter Summary:

Melisa, Tom, and Jane met at Snug Harbor and left the dock at about 7:00 aboard “Morning Star”. They headed down Haro Strait and spotted blows off of Pile Point at 7:45. These blows belonged to T49A2, T65A2, and T65A4. The three whales were northbound close to shore and “Morning Star” stayed for one surfacing to get proof of presence photos before continuing toward Admiralty Inlet.

At 8:45, breaching whales were spotted near Partridge Bank. The whales were soon identified at the T35As, T38As, and the T137s. They were attacking not just one but THREE Steller sea lions. The sea lions were huddled together, each facing out in different directions and ready to defend themselves. It appeared that one sea lion was injured while the other two were still perky. The whales tried to separate them multiple times but were unsuccessful. 

A pattern then started to emerge. The whales would back off and trail behind or circle the sea lions from a distance, likely patiently waiting for the injured sea lion to die. As the whales kept their distance, they would constantly spy hop to keep an eye on their prey. There were a few dozen spy hops during the encounter with T137B spy hopping the majority of the time, but spy hops by T35A, T38A, and T137 were common too. The sea lions would then take off in an attempt to escape and the whales would chase after them, block them, and then back off again.

“Morning Star” watched from a distance as the sea lions tried to escape again and again. By 12:45, the sea lions were suddenly no longer in sight and it appeared that the whales had abandoned them. The T35As, T38As, and T137s formed a resting line a few miles west/southwest of Partridge Bank and “Morning Star” ended the encounter as they slowly headed toward Admiralty Inlet.

 

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238 / DFO SARA 388