2019 Encounters

Encounter #6 - Jan 30, 2019
L105

L105

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L55, L109, and L86

L55, L109, and L86

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L106

L106

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L55, L123, and L109

L55, L123, and L109

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L118, L55, L123, and L109

L118, L55, L123, and L109

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L103

L103

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L83 and L110

L83 and L110

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L72 and L105

L72 and L105

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

L90 and L105

L90 and L105

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

20160331DAG_SJ1-179_J53 spyhop.jpg
help
CAN
we
TOGETHER

The Southern Resident orcas need your help like never before.
BECOME A CWR MEMBER;
together we will be a strong collective voice for the whales.

Date: 30-Jan-19

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 06

Enc Start Time: 11:25

Enc End Time: 14:15

Vessel: Orcinus and Morning Star

Observers: Dave Ellifrit, Kelley Balcomb-Bartok on Orcinus, Melisa Pinnow, Tom and Jane Cogan on Morning Star

Pods or ecotype: L pod

Location: Canadian side of Haro Strait and Juan de Fuca Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 30.59/123 13.33

End Lat/Long: 48 22.48/123 22.36

Encounter Summary:

Jane Cogan called Dave at home to report that she was hearing resident calls on her hydrophone. Dave then called Kelley and they met at Snug Harbor and left in the boat around 1115. Jane had called again to say the whales were heading south way over on the Canadian side of Haro Strait so we headed southwest and around a freighter to where they ought to be.
We saw our first whale at 1125 about a mile or so south of Kelp Reef. The whales were extremely spread out over the Canadian side of the strait and we only saw a few individuals and one small group. All the whales we could see were heading southerly toward Beaumont Shoal and Seabird Point on Discovery Island. The first whale we saw was L115 before we moved to a distant small group that included L72, L105, L90, and L103. So, we had at least the group of 18 L pod whales that included the L4, L47, and L72 matrilines plus L90. Since the other whales were so sparse and hard to find, plus the lack of any males larger than L105, it made us suspect that these 18 Ls were the only residents here. Most of the whales were taking long dives and a few distant individuals looked like they could be foraging.
A little after we left the group of four, we found L83 and L110 but other whales were still just singles in the distance until we started to approach Seabird Point. As we had expected, the distant animals started to funnel together as they approached Seabird Point around 1245. All the other L4s appeared along with our L72s, L90, and L103 group. As the whales rounded Seabird Point, they turned southwest and traveled toward Trial Island in several small groups. Other than a small tight group of L4s, the whales began to spread out again as they crossed the Oak Bay flats. By this point in the encounter, we had seen 15 of the 18 whales we had expected to see that day and suspected that the three we were missing (L47, L91, and L122) were well to the south of us. The Cogans came out in their boat “Morning Star” with Melisa aboard and we sent them to look to the south for our last three whales. They soon called to say that they did indeed find the remaining L47s that we hadn’t seen yet. From the look of it, the L47s were a good three to four miles south of the more northerly whales we were with. The whales were still heading west when we ended the encounter at 1415 off the Victoria waterfront.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

and Be Whale Wise Guidelines