Encounter #57 - August 26, 2019
Encounter Number: 57
Enc Start Time: 16:55
Enc End Time:1 8:10
Observers: Dave Ellifrit
Pods or ecotype: Transients
Location: Juan de Fuca Strait
Begin Lat/Long: 48 16.31/123 14.04
End Lat/Long: 48 16.54/123 11.22
While working in the office Monday, reports of transients in the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca had been filing in all afternoon. A group including the T10s and the T109As, who were a few miles southwest of Trial Island, sparked Dave’s interest as CWR does not get to encounter the T109As very often. The T46Bs had also been seen in the area. Dave headed down to Snug Harbor and left in the boat at 1600.
“Orcinus” arrived on scene at 1655 about six to seven miles southeast of Trial Island to find most of the boats watching all the T46Bs traveling east in a tight group. Dave stayed with the T46Bs for less than ten minutes before inquiring about the whereabouts of the T10s and T109As. There had been an inflatable about a mile and a half to the southeast of the T46Bs who reported he was with a few whales where he was before he left. This was in the area the T10s and T109As had last been seen traveling southeast. Dave headed down that way to see inf the other Ts would show up. After moving to that area, Dave turned off the engine to listen for blows. Shortly afterwards, a blow was heard to the southwest of “Orcinus” and whales were seen soon after that. So that was where the T10s and T109As went too! Except, upon approach, it became clear that it was not the T10s and T109As-especially after the male T69C surfaced next to the boat. These whales were the T69s and the T37As and they were milling and socializing about a mile and half or more south of the T46Bs. CWR sees the T69s even less often than they see the T109As. Most of the females and juveniles remained in one tight group that appeared to be socializing as they headed slowly east. T69C, T69E, and T37A2 were vigorously socializing about a quarter mile to the southwest of the other T37As and T69s. There was a lot of rolling and inverted whales in this threesome and they socialized with one another for the rest of the encounter. The encounter ended at 1810 about eight or so miles south of Seabird Point with the threesome still socializing between a quarter and a half mile south of the rest of the T37As and T69s who where now about two miles to the southwest of the T46Bs. All whales were heading slowly east.
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388