Encounter #21 - April 6, 2020
Enc Seq: 1
Observ Begin: 01:38 PM
Observ End: 02:06 PM
Vessel: Mike 1
Staff: Mark Malleson, Hanna Malleson
Location Descr: Boiling Reef
Start Latitude: 48 48.2
Start Longitude: 123 00.8
End Latitude: 48 48.7
End Longitude: 123 00.5
At ~1100 Mark received a report relayed from Alisa Lemire Brooks of Orca Network that at 1055 ~9 orcas in a tight group were se bound from South Pender through Boundary Pass.
Mark and Hanna mobilized Mike 1 and departed Victoria harbour at ~1200 and made their way north up Haro Strait expecting to find them somewhere in Boundary Pass.
At ~1230, as they were north of Kelp Reef they spotted Gary Sutton and Tasli Shaw on Sonic south bound in Haro Strait to the west of them near Halibut Island. They had received a vague second hand report of a sighting near Pender and assumed that it was J pod as they had been seen south bound near Nanaimo the evening before but after consulting with Mark decided to turn around and head north into Boundary to help search for what Mark believed were Bigg's earlier spotted.
Mike 1 ran the border, stopping to scan several times before stopping for a longer scan and lunch break at East Point. Sonic ran along the shoreline of South Pender and Saturna and continued out past Mike 1 at East Point and stopped to scan to the north east of Boiling Reef.
While Mark and Gary were making a game plan to continue north west out the Strait of Georgia thinking they would be looking for new whales at this point Tasli spotted killer whales in the tide rip to the east of them at ~1335.
Gary quickly identified them as the T049A's less T049A1 and T049A2 along with the T049B's.
Both crews watched them prey share in the tide rip for ~ 30 minutes before seeing them continue off to the north east towards Alden Bank and they ended the encounter at 1406. Mike 1 decided to continue on towards Active Pass running out in the middle of the Strait of Georgia while Sonic ran the shoreline of Saturna and Mayne.
They received a 4 hour old report of the T069's in Ganges harbour so Sonic went home to Cowichan Bay via Trincomali Channel and nipped out Porlier Pass for a scan while Mike 1 ran south along the bottom of Saltspring Island and past Swartz Bay and Sidney and continued home along the Vancouver Island shoreline. They later found out that the T069's had been seen in Dodd's Narrows north bound at ~1750.
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388