Encounter #17 - March 19 , 2020
Enc Date: 19/03/20
Enc Seq: 2
Observ Begin: 05:00 PM
Observ End: 06:18 PM
Vessel: Mike 1
Staff: Mark Malleson
Other Observers: Val Messier
Location Descr: Sooke
Start Latitude: 48 20.5
Start Longitude: 123 45.8
End Latitude: 48 18.9
End Longitude: 123 39.7
A little after 1200 Mark had received a second hand report from Paul Pudwell that a fisherman had seen east bound killer whales in the shipping lanes south of Sooke at ~1000.
After scanning from the Gonzales lookout Mark decided to take advantage of the calm seas with hopes to find this group even though it was becoming a cold trail.
Val Messier joined him and they departed the dock at Victoria harbour at ~1400.
Gord Rowles was scanning from his perch at his 23rd floor apartment but was limited to seeing well south due to the hazy conditions so Mark and Val went well south on a line from Victoria over the east edge of Constance Bank towards Dungeness. Five hours had passed since the 1000 report and when they were ~20 nm south east of the reported position they scanned for close to 15 minutes in flat calm seas to only see many harbour porpoise. They felt that with the building ebb current it was unlikely the whales were to the east so they proceeded west as far as Victor Foxtrot and after another good binocular scan they headed for Race Rocks and then made their way to Victoria harbour. At 1618 they received another second hand report from Paul that a group of east bound killer whales were spotted from shore near Otter Point. Mike 1 turned around and headed that way and Paul departed his dock and located the reported whales within a half mile of the Sooke bluffs a few minutes before Mark and Val arrived at 1700. They quickly confirmed the T010's, T063 and 065 along with the T086A's and another unidentified matriline of 3 or 4 individuals later to be confirmed as the T068A's.
The group continued east and worked their way into the shoreline of East Sooke Park after passing through the kelp bed at the south edge of Secretary Island. No obvious predation was observed and Mike 1 ended the encounter at 1818 as the group continued east past Bechey Head.
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388