Encounter #51 - Sept 21, 2020
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388
Enc Date: 21/09/20
Enc Seq: 1
Observ Begin: 08:53 AM
Observ End: 10:38 AM
Vessel: Mike 1
Staff: Mark Malleson
Location Descr: Sheringham Point
Start Latitude: 48 20.5
Start Longitude: 123 56.2
End Latitude: 48 16.3
End Longitude: 123 48.3
Mark left Victoria Harbour at 0705 with plans to head out the Juan de Fuca with hopes to find killer whales. The conditions were ideal with no fog and flat calm Beaufort 0 seas.
He stopped halfway from Victoria to Race Rocks for a listen and scan while watching a small naval submarine patrol the waters.
As he continued west of Race Passage, he spotted a pair of humpbacks eastbound off the entrance to Becher Bay. It turned out to be a mom and calf, so after a few minutes with them, he could only get a fluke shot of the mom and continued westward.
Another stop offshore Sheringham Point lighthouse proved successful as he heard several humpback blows to the south, saw some humpback tail flukes through binoculars as they dove, and then heard a smaller blow to the north of him. Scanning with the binoculars, he saw the distinct fin of T019B heading eastwards.
When he got a good bearing and distance, he slowly headed that way until he saw him again several minutes later, this time with T018 nearby.
The encounter started at 0853 (48 20.5/123 56.2) 2nm SW of Sheringham Point. After several minutes of tracking T018 and T019B, Mark was able to locate T019 and T019C well south of the pair, and they appeared to be surfacing in unison with T018 and T019B even though they were separated by ~ 2 nm. Both pairs were traveling around 4 knots and doing long dives from 6 - 8 minutes.
Mark arrived with T019 and T019C at 0911 (48 17.9/123 55.0) and spent the rest of the encounter observing them.
He saw them take two seals within 10 minutes, the first one at 0931 (48 17.6/123 53.5) and the second one at 0941 (48 17.3/123 52.7), as they worked their way along a tide line. Both kills were very subtle, and they continued tracking east as they prey shared.
Mark ended the encounter at 1038 (48 16.3/123 48.3) as T019 and T019C were tracking to the northeast and appeared to be closing in on T018 and T19B.