2019 Encounters

Encounter #101 - December 11, 2019

Photo by Mark Malleson

L72 & L105

L72 & L105

Photo by Joe Zelwietro

L122

L122

Photo by Mark Malleson

L118

L118

Photo by Mark Malleson

L106

L106

Photo by Joe Zelwietro

L86

L86

Photo by Joe Zelwietro

L86

L86

Photo by Mark Malleson

L82

L82

Photo by Joe Zelwietro

L72

L72

Photo by Joe Zelwietro

L55

L55

Photo by Mark Malleson

L122

L122

Photo by Gary Sutton

L118

L118

Photo by Gary Sutton

L110

L110

Photo by Gary Sutton

L83

L83

Photo by Gary Sutton

L91

L91

Photo by Gary Sutton

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Enc Date:11/12/19

Enc Seq: 2

Enc#: 101

Observ Begin: 11:44 AM

Observ End: 12:30 PM

Vessel: Mike 1

Staff: Mark Malleson

Other Observers: Joe Zelwietro, Gary Sutton, Tasli Shaw

Pods: L

Location Descr: Albert Head

Start Latitude: 48 21.9

Start Longitude: 123 24.5

End Latitude: 48 20.4

End Longitude: 123 27.9

Enc Summary:

After departing the Bigg's killer whales east of Discovery Island (see Encounter #100), Mark, Joe, Gary, and Tasli traveled west across the Oak Bay Flats, surfing the 3' waves towards Trial Island. The seas flattened out as they approached Staines Point, and they were able to turn offshore for Constance Bank. Meanwhile, Gord Rowles had been scanning the waterfront through Big Eyes from his James Bay apartment. He called Mark at 1139 with good news....killer whales just south of Victoria. The crew turned west from Constance Bank and shortly saw a distant but large group of killer whales just a few miles offshore of Albert Head, pointed south, grouped up, and traveling slowly. They estimated 15 - 20 individuals were present, and a few open saddle patches confirmed the resident ecotype! The encounter started at 1144 (48 21.9/123 24.5). Several L pod killer whales were soon identified, including L72 and L105, L105, L82, and L91. The group was resting and slowly traveling south as ID photographs easily captured all individuals of the L4, L47, and L72 matrilines, along with L90.

After approximately 30 minutes of resting behavior observed, the whales began to spread out offshore of Parry Bay and started foraging. No obvious predation was observed, and the encounter was ended at 1230 at 48 20.4/123 27.9 with the whales now spread out ~1 nm east to west and ~2 nm north to south. They were trending south but appeared to be in no hurry to leave the area. The Mike 1 crew departed and headed southwest in search of more. They came across a large aggregation of ~ 10 - 12 humpbacks feeding offshore of Crescent Bay but no sign of any other killer whales in their search. On their way back to Victoria, they re-sighted the 18 L's spread out trending NE towards the Victoria waterfront. L72 seemed to be the furthest to the southwest within 2 nm east of William Head, and the rest of the group was spread to the northeast towards Constance Bank.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388