Encounter #54 - August 21, 2019
Encounter Number: 54
Enc Start Time: 18:20
Enc End Time: 19:40
Observers: Dave Ellifrit, Michael Weiss
Pods or ecotype: J and L pods
Location: Haro Strait
Begin Lat/Long: 48 28.00/123 07.00
End Lat/Long: 48 34.10/123 12. 04
Whale reports had been filing in for most of an extremely gray and rainy Wednesday. Most of J pod was heading south from Pt. Roberts and the J16s, Ks, and Ls had been coming in from Sooke since the early morning. There were also several groups of transients scattered about the central Salish Sea. The rain just about stopped by 1430 and we made an attempt to encounter the SRs coming in off the Victoria waterfront. We made it out into the middle of Haro Strait but a breeze had now picked up and it looked really, really wet where the whales probably were so we turned around and headed back home.
By about 1730, the sky had cleared up and the water had calmed down so Dave and Michael made another attempt to encounter the Ks and Ls. Lodie had reported whales off Eagle Point and others were reported to be still coming in at Middle Bank. We left Snug Harbor at 1800 and saw our first whales at 1820 near Kanaka Bay. We caught a glimpse of L47 and L115 milling before they disappeared and we moved on farther south. At the south end of False Bay, we found L103 and L123 who were heading south into deteriorating sea conditions. Due to reports of a wind line heading north from the south end of the island and 2-3 foot roll coming in from the west, we decided it would probably be a good idea to be heading home so we headed back north. We found L82 and L116 heading south off Pile Point, got a couple of quick pictures, and kept heading north.
We found the southbound J pod whales at 1915 less than a mile south of Kellett Bluff off the mouth of Mitchell Bay and spread out across Haro Strait. We ended the encounter at 1940 at the south end of Mitchell Bay with J pod still heading south. Unfortunately, the SRs left the area that night and were seen the next morning near Sheringham Point heading west again.
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388