2019 Encounters

Encounter #3 - Jan 12, 2019
K25

K25

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K25

K25

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K20

K20

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K21

K21

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K25

K25

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K27

K27

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

K21

K21

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

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Date: 12-Jan-19

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 03

Enc Start Time: 15:30

Enc End Time: 16:15

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Dave Ellifrit

Pods or ecotype: K pod

Location: Juan de Fuca Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 22.39/123 19.48

End Lat/Long: 48 21.17/123 23.36

Encounter Summary:

Ken called Dave at home in the early afternoon to report that he was seeing whales heading south a little north of Beaumont Shoal. Since the whales were reported to be K pod, Dave grabbed his gear, headed for Snug Harbor, and left in “Orcinus” at 1455. Dave arrived on scene about a half mile south of Trial Island at 1530. The whales were very spread out and traveling slowly west. K21 and the K20s were the first whales encountered and seemed to be the most northerly and westerly of the whales. Since there was not much daylight left and the whales were so spread out, the priority was to find K25 and document how he was doing health-wise.
After looking all over, and seeing a few more spread out whales like the K27s, Dave was able to get on K25 with the help of “Strong Tide” who re-found him and called Dave over. Upon approach, K25 surfaced from a very long, long dive and seemed to be foraging. He soon straightened out and headed west-surfacing many times in a row, cooperatively, and Dave was able to get the shots he needed before it was time to leave due to failing light. The encounter ended with K25 heading west south of the Victoria waterfront at 1615. While K25 did not look 100% healthy, neither did it look like his health worsened much since we last received really good photos of him from October 12th. It is too early to say whether he will survive this latest health scare but it is encouraging that he has not deteriorated further since looking pretty bad back in September and may have actually improved some.
Many thanks to “Strong Tide” for helping "Orcinus" get on the whales and finding K25.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388