Encounter #61 - September 4, 2019
Enc Start Time: 18:21
Enc End Time: 18:46
Vessel: Mike 1
Observers: Mark Malleson, Joe Zelweitro, Gord Rowles
Pods or ecotype: K pod
Location: Oak Bay Flats
Begin Lat/Long: 48 22.9/123 16.9
End Lat/Long: 48 24.8/123 13.0
Mark, Joe, and Gord left Victoria harbour at ~1800 to catch up with the Souther Residents who were eastbound south of Victoria. Earlier in the day at around 1430, Joe had heard a call on Victoria traffic that a cruise ship had called to say that they were stopped to watch three groups of killer whales off of East Sooke. Joe and Mark were both out guiding trips for Prince of Whales so went to confirm who they were. They immediately confirmed that they were Southern Residents as saw what looked like all of J and K Pods traveling along the Vancouver shoreline near Becher Bay. They were quite grouped up and very animated as if they were herding fish. There was a lot of tail lobbing and several breaches as they worked the way in quickly with the flood current. Joe and Mark departed shortly after confirming they were residents as an agreement was made between the Canadian government and the Pacific Whale Watch association they would refrain from watching the endangered Southern Residents.
Within a few minutes of leaving Victoria harbour on Mike 1, Joe, Mark, and Gord could see what were likely the trailing animals well south of Clover Point. They continued southeast until they caught up what they believed was the lead group. They came across the K14's, and the rest of K pod traveling very quickly in the Oak Bay flats headed for Discovery Island at 1821. They worked their way through as many as the group as time allowed knowing that they wouldn't be able to get to them all as they could see several individuals well to the south and the day was coming to an end. They ended the encounter at 1846 as the whales passed by the south end of Discovery Island and watched the T060's along with T002B and T059 cross in behind the trailers. The Transients were heading south after leaving the Chain Islands and had been observed predating on seals for close to an hour amongst the rocks prior.
Joe, Mark, and Gord ended the encounter at 1846 to finish the day with a short encounter with the T060 group.
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388