2020 Encounters

Encounter #31 - July 1, 2020
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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

Enc Date: 01/07/20

Enc Seq: 1

Enc#: 31

Observ Begin: 10:45 AM

Observ End: 01:30 PM

Vessel: Orcinus

Staff: Dave Ellifrit

Pods: K

Location Descr: Haro Strait

Start Latitude: 48 27.43

Start Longitude: 123 02.79

End Latitude: 48 32.06

End Longitude: 123 10.50

Enc Summary:

Dave received multiple calls from Katie Jones and Jane Cogan about reports of whales and then K pod heading south down the west side of San Juan Island. The K12 and K13 matrilines had been encountered by our colleague Jared Towers two days before heading south near Hanson Island off northern Vancouver Island. Dave headed to Snug Harbor and left in the boat at 1015.
After a slow slog through lumpy water until past Bellevue Point, Dave saw his first whales right off Eagle Point at 1045. This was K12 and K37 and they were spread out and milling before continuing down island. K22 was foraging by herself another half mile east of them off American Camp and K33 was about a half mile offshore of her. K43 was also in the same general area as K33. All the whales were very spread out and heading southeasterly to just north of Salmon Bank when the offshore whales stalled out, turned around, and began to head north back toward San Juan Island around 1200. K20 and K38 came together and were briefly tactile while K20 had kelp draped over her. By a little after 1200, other small groups were beginning to form a couple miles off South Beach as the whales moved slowly up island and inshore. These small groups were spread out but started to tighten up and were only loosely spread by the time the whales made it to False Bay. All ten members of the K12 and K13 matrilines came together in one tight group off Hannah Heights and they travelled slowly up the west side until they reached Bellevue Point, turned around, and headed back down island again. The encounter ended there at 1330.

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