2020 Encounters

Encounter #39 - Sept 3, 2020
J53 and J56

J53 and J56

© Center for Whale Research 2020

J44 spyhop

J44 spyhop

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J26

J26

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J37 and J49

J37 and J49

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J pod

J pod

© Center for Whale Research 2020

J27

J27

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J26 half breach

J26 half breach

© Center for Whale Research 2020

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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

Enc Date: 03/09/20

Enc Seq: 1

Enc#: 39

Observ Begin: :45 AM

Observ End: 12:50 PM

Vessel: Orcinus

Staff: Dave Ellifrit

Other Observers: Katie Jones

Pods: J

Location Descr: Haro Strait

Start Latitude: 48 28.51

Start Longitude: 123 06.14

End Latitude:  26.51

End Longitude: 123 03.26

 

Enc Summary:

Katie called Dave in the morning to relay a report of residents off the south end of San Juan Island. Katie and Dave then met at Snug Harbor and left in the boat around 0920. We saw our first whales off Pile Point and the encounter began at 0943. J19 was foraging offshore by herself while J37 and J49 chased a salmon to the southeast of her. To the south of the J37s, we found J46, J53, and J56 milling and rolling around together. About a quarter mile west of this group, we found another threesome rolling around together. This was J44, J47, and J51 and they, along with all the other whales we were seeing in the distance, were generally heading south. Offshore of the playful trio we saw J35 and J41 both traveling slowly south by themselves. Further offshore and south of the last whales we found J38 and J22 spread out and foraging. These two soon came together and turned back north toward San Juan Island. We then moved way inshore where J26 was slowly heading up island between Eagle Point and the south end of False Bay. J26 did a couple of belly flops, a half breach, and then a full breach (which we both missed) as he travelled northwest. He then took a hard left and chased a salmon before heading offshore. J16 was logging and splashing at the surface by herself just south of False Bay. We then moved back offshore and found J27 foraging by himself. Back inshore of him, J44. J47, and J51 were still rolling around together as they headed back north. To the south of them, a large, active, and tightly packed group was bringing up the rear. This was over half of J pod together and the group included J37, J49, J40, J45, J16, J36, J42, J31, J56, J46, J53, and J22. We had a quick pass with this group before ending the encounter at about 1250 offshore and a little south of Hannah Heights with all the whales pointed up island.

 

Ken went out later for sequence two but didn't get there in time before J pod crossed the border north of Turn Point.

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