2020 Encounters

Encounter #48 - Sept 14, 2020
T010, T010C

T010, T010C

© Center for Whale Research 2020

T010

T010

© Center for Whale Research 2020

T010C

T010C

© Center for Whale Research 2020

T010C

T010C

© Center for Whale Research 2020

T010C

T010C

© Center for Whale Research 2020

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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

Enc Date: 14/08/20

Enc Seq: 1

Enc#: 48

Observ Begin: 03:07 PM

Observ End: 03:35 PM

Vessel: Mike 1

Staff: Mark Malleson, Hanna Malleson

Other Observers: Joe Zelwietro, Bill Moore

Pods: Transients

Location Descr: Cullite Cove

Start Latitude: 48 33.7

Start Longitude: 124 35.9

End Latitude: 48 34.1

End Longitude: 124 37.9

Enc Summary:

Mike 1 left the Gateway Marina out of Port Renfrew at 0820 with Mark and Hanna along with Joe Zelwietro and Bill Moore.
With limited visibility they zigzagged their way out to Swiftsure Bank with hydrophone stops along the way.
At 1016 they came across 3 humpbacks at 48 30.3/124 50.8. They could hear a lot more in the area to no surprise as this was the hot spot for life the past 5 days. For the next 2 hours they moved slowly through the area getting opportunistic humpback fluke ID's as they continued listening and looking for killer whales in the less than 1nm visibility.
The wind was starting to come up from the southeast with moderate seas so the Mike 1 crew took a tack to the southeast as far as the Juliet Alpha buoy (48 29.6/124 43.6). They then quartered their way towards the Vancouver Island shoreline to get some lee and perhaps get lucky with some Bigg's along the shoreline. They found flat water once they got within a quarter-mile of the VI shoreline and worked their way southeast, starting at Walbran Creek.
The world-famous West Coast Trail is spectacular, especially when you can view it without carrying a large backpack on your back so Mark decided to find a nice protected bay to duck in and get the crew to shore for a lunch break. The came across the perfect spot, Cullite Cove (48 33.9/124 35.9), and put a stern anchor out and took a line to shore keeping Mike 1 out far enough to not get beached. After the crew took a quick break and were able to stretch their legs on this beautiful section of the trail they got back on the boat, pulled anchor and trolled out of the bay. At 1507 before they exited the bay Mark yelled out "killer whale!" as a bull dorsal fin came up in the kelp on their port side. Joe then spotted a female and immediately knew it was the T010's, mother and son. Mike 1 followed along with the north westbound pair for close to 30 minutes before Mark received a text from Pete Zelen on the Pacific Scout, the Victoria Pilot boat which was westbound near the mouth of the Port of San Juan at that time on their way to Cape Beale. They had passed by a group of westbound Southern Resident killer whales spread out in the fog at 1440.
Mike 1 ended the encounter at 1535 (48 33.7/124 37.9) as the T010's were approaching Walbran Creek cruising the kelp line northwest.

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