Encounter #20 - Mar 19, 2019
Encounter Number: 20
Enc Start Time: 15:15
Enc End Time: 16:30
Vessel: Morning Star
Observers: Melisa Pinnow, Jane Cogan, Tom Cogan
Pods or ecotype: J pod
Location: Georgia Strait
Begin Lat/Long: 49 04.390/-123 34.070
End Lat/Long: 48 59.771/-123 28.069
After ending Encounter 19 off the north end of Saltspring Island, “Morning Star” continued north through Dodd Narrows and into Georgia Strait to search for more killer whales. At 1500, a report came in of killer whales, possibly J pod, outside of Porlier Pass. Luckily, “Morning Star” was not too far away and arrived on scene at 15:15. The whales were spread out across Georgia Strait as they traveled south a few miles east of Valdes and Galiano Islands.
The first whale to be confirmed was J27 and he wasn’t in any hurry as he swam along. A few hundred yards to the east of him were J19 and J41, associating with each other occasionally and also in travel mode. To the east of them were J42 and J51 and they were more grouped up. At one point, J42 and J51 found a salmon and worked together to try to catch it. They may have caught it in the end but it was not entirely clear. J36 passed by J42 and J51 just before they had started foraging but quickly backtracked and joined up with them right after they had either caught the salmon or lost it.
At 1610, J16 and J26 was spotted foraging together to the east. Soon after, J31 and J39 were found near each other even further east. With no other whales in sight, the encounter was ended at 1630 as J pod slowly continued south in Georgia Strait, about half way from Porlier Pass to Active Pass.
Photos taken under Be Whale Wise Guidelines