Encounter #29 - May 24, 2020
ObservBegin: 02:22 PM
ObservEnd: 03:18 PM
Vessel: Eagle Dancer
Staff: Mark Malleson, Hanna Malleson
Location Descr: South of Discovery Island
Start Latitude: 48 22.81
Start Longitude: 123 12.56
End Latitude: 48 22.85
End Longitude: 123 11.72
At 1224 Mark received a call from Jasper Hamilton, who saw a group of killer whales heading south along the shoreline past his house between Gordon Head and Ten Mile Point.
Mark and Hanna headed for town to mobilize Mike 1 but found that the ignition keys were missing due to a thief's tampering with the boat.
They loaded their gear into the truck and headed to Oak Bay to mobilize Eagle Dancer. With the ~ 1 hour delay, the trail was getting cold as they departed Cadboro Bay at 1348 and headed southwest for Trial Island.
Mark had called Gord Rowles earlier to let him know of Jasper's sighting to have him keep a lookout from his perch on the 23rd floor near Beacon Hill. As Mark and Hanna were stopped scanning southwest of Trial Island, they received a VHF call from Gord that he had seen a bull dorsal fin on the horizon through his Big Eyes to the south of Discovery Island.
They worked their way east a few miles before spotting a group of 4 or 5 females and juveniles following a pair of bulls traveling southeast.
Mark recognized them as the T060's along with T002B, who he had confirmed the day before by a colleague's photos. Chris Bain and Lewis Freeman came across them at 1613, traveling north in Sidney Channel while transiting through on a commercial tug, and they were later reported by Simon Pidcock at the mouth of Cowichan at 1813.
Mark and Hanna's encounter began at 1422 as they watched the two bulls, T060C and T060D, join the others after ~10 minutes and turn to the southwest to face the building flood current. It appeared they were in a resting formation as they made very little progress over the ground and did consistent 4-minute dives between breaths for the next 50 minutes. Mark and Hanna ended the encounter at 1518 and headed back to the dock at Cadboro Bay.
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388