Encounter #23 - April 18, 2020
Enc Seq: 1
Observ Begin: 10:51 AM
Observ End: 12:35 PM
Vessel: Mike 1
Staff: Mark Malleson, Hanna Malleson
Location Descr: Monarch Head
Start Latitude: 48 46.2
Start Longitude: 123 04.5
End Latitude: 48 43.9
End Longitude: 123 13.8
Mark received a second-hand report of the T018's headed southeast outside Active Pass at 0825, so he and Hanna mobilized Mike 1 and left the dock at Victoria harbour at 0930 to look for them.
The distance from Active Pass to East Point is ~ 11 nm, so with the ebb current, Mark figured that they would likely be at East Point by 1030 and hoped they would make the turn and come down Boundary Pass. At ~1050, as they approached Monarch Head, he gave Hanna the helm to go outside the cabin to spot, and before he made it to the front of the console, Hanna slowed down and turned towards the shore. She had spotted T019C surface close to the Saturna Island shoreline traveling south towards Monarch Head. This was the last dive of his sequence as a few minutes went by before they spotted him or any others again. The oldest unmistakable bull T019B was slightly inshore of T019C, and the matriarch, T018, was paralleling them a half-mile offshore, but there was no sign of T019. They hoped that she was either lagging way behind or perhaps well offshore towards the middle of Boundary Pass.
As they crossed the mouth of Plumper Sound tracking for South Pender, the two bulls, T019B and T019C, joined up while T018 continued paralleling them, now within a couple of hundred meters. While continuing to scan for the missing T019, Hanna spotted a humpback whale within a quarter-mile to the west of them. Mike 1 broke away from the T018's for several minutes to get a fluke shot before reacquiring the trio skirting the shoreline of South Pender Island at Gowlland Point. They were now grouped up, and T019 appeared out of nowhere.
Mike 1 ended the encounter at 1235 as the T018's now in their entirety crossed the mouth of Bedwell Harbour and slowly headed west towards the North Pender shoreline. No predation was observed during the encounter.
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388