2020 Encounters

Encounter #34 - July 24, 2020

The Southern Resident orcas need your help like never before.
together we will be a strong collective voice for the whales.

Photos taken under Federal Permits


Enc Date: 24/07/20

EncS eq: 1

Enc#: 34

Observ Begin: 05:05 PM

Observ End: 07:25 PM

Vessel: Orcinus

Staff: Dave Ellifrit

Other Observers: Kelley Balcomb-Bartok

Pods: K, L

Location Descr: Boundary Pass and Haro Strait

Start Latitude: 48 41.43

Start Longitude: 123 12.35

End Latitude: 48 35.48

End Longitude: 123 12.38

Enc Summary:

After receiving various reports of Southern Residents having been found in Boundary Pass near Waldron Island, Kelley and Dave met at Snug Harbor and left in the boat around 1645. Our colleague, Jared Towers, had encountered a few K pod whales and a little over half of L pod in Johnstone Strait two days earlier and they had arrived down here more or less when we expected them to. We arrived on scene with the leaders about a quarter mile north of the west entrance to Prevost Harbor at 1705.
L105 was the first whale we saw and a couple others were on the Stuart Island shoreline heading west toward Turn Point. Others, like the K16s and the L82s, were loosely spread behind the leaders and a larger group was reported to be behind these whales. L105 did several half breaches as he moved inshore towards the leaders and members of the K16s and L82s also did several taillobs along with a couple of cartwheels and breaches along the shoreline. L82 gave us a big spyhop too. The leaders rounded Turn Point at 1730 and began to spread out more as they headed quickly south in Haro Strait. The larger group also rounded Turn Point a little afterwards and this was the bulk of the L4s and L47s. L87 was also nearby.
Sub-adult males L106 and L110 were playing and rolling with each other as they broke off from the larger group. All the whales fanned out across the American side of Haro Strait as they headed rapidly south. There were a few pairs and briefly a couple of threesomes but the whales were very spread out. By the time we made it to Battleship Island, we received word that the leaders were already south of Smugglers Cove and out of reach. We were able to find everyone who should have been there that evening except for L72 and L90 but we could have easily missed them with how spread out the whales were. We ended the encounter at 1925 off Kellett Bluff with L103 and L123 while L86 was foraging by herself off the mouth of Open Bay.

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle

© 2020 Center for Whale Research

The Center for Whale Research is a 501c3 nonprofit organization registered in Washington State.

All rights reserved. No part of the material found on this website may be reproduced or utilized in any form, or by any means, without the prior written consent of the Center for Whale Research.  All members of CWR are non-voting members.