2019 Encounters

Encounter #73 - September 20, 2019
L109

L109

Photo by Ken Balcomb

L105

L105

Photo by Ken Balcomb

L47

L47

Photo by Ken Balcomb

K21

K21

Photo by Ken Balcomb

K33

K33

Photo by Ken Balcomb

K21 foraging mid-Strait

K21 foraging mid-Strait

Photo by Ken Balcomb

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Date: 20-Sep-19

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 73

Enc Start Time: 14:03

Enc End Time: 15:37

Vessel: Chimo

Observers: Ken Balcomb

Pods or ecotype: K and L subgroups

Location: southwest of Race Rocks

Begin Lat/Long: 48 16 28N/123 42 29W

End Lat/Long: 48 17 35N/123 34 3W

Encounter Summary:

Ken was returning from Port Angeles to San Juan Island in "Chimo" when he heard a report of whales southwest of Race Rocks. He changed course to check them out anf found K and L subgroups very spread out in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the Canada side of the border. The first whale he identified was K37 who was joined by L105, K35, and L109 messing around in trail of L91. L55 was several hundred yards in the lead. Much farther away in mid-Strait, K21 was apparently chasing a fish near the surface, so Ken moved offshore to ID him and see if any other whales were in his vicinity. There were a very few, but they surfaced unpredictably and thousands of yards between. Moving back toward the Canadian shore, the last whale to be identified was L47.

Notes-Comments: It is difficult to census very spread out whales, so we try to identify matrilines present to get an idea of how many whales might be in the area.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388