Encounter #60 - September 3, 2019
Encounter Number: 60
Enc Start Time: 11:45
Enc End Time: 13:25
Observers: Dave Ellifrit, Michael Weiss, Stewart MacIntyre
Pods or ecotype: Transients
Location: lower Gulf Islands
Begin Lat/Long: 48 38.25/123 18.23
End Lat/Long: 48 41.21/123 18.54
We were working in the CWR office when we heard reports of a group of transients a little north of Halibut Island. The whales were said to be the T60s and, since they were not far away and a new calf had been reported with them earlier, we decided to go out on them. Dave, Michael, and Stewart headed down to Snug Harbor and left in the boat around 1120.
We arrived on scene just northwest of Mandarte Island to find the T60s plus T2B and T59. All of the T60s were present including a new calf with T60. The calf had not been there when we had seen T60 in mid-July and it looked like it could be about three weeks old. T60D and T60E, who had spent a good part of the spring and summer traveling separately from their mother and siblings, were back traveling with the rest of the family again. At the age of fifteen, T60D finally looks like he is sprouting.
The whales were traveling in a loose group, changing directions often but were generally heading north. There was some occasional milling and one brief period of social splashing including a couple of breaches. After a zig to the west, the whales made a zag back northeast toward Tom Point on Gooch Island. Once they passed Tom Point, they continued north and we left them at 1325 off the east side of Moresby Island.
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388