2021 Encounters

Encounter #11 - March 7, 2021
T124A6, T124A4, T124A

T124A6, T124A4, T124A

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A6, T124A4, T124A4A

T124A6, T124A4, T124A4A

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A6

T124A6

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A4A, T124A4

T124A4A, T124A4

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A4A

T124A4A

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A4

T124A4

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A4, T124A6

T124A4, T124A6

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A3A

T124A3A

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A3A

T124A3A

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A1

T124A1

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A1

T124A1

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A1

T124A1

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A, T124A4A, T124A4

T124A, T124A4A, T124A4

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A, T124A4, T1245A4A

T124A, T124A4, T1245A4A

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A

T124A

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A

T124A

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A

T124A

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T124A, T124A1

T124A, T124A1

©Center for Whale Research 2021

help
CAN
we
TOGETHER

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

EncDate: 07/03/21

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 11

ObservBegin: 11:16 AM

ObservEnd: 12:22 PM

Vessel: Mike 1

Staff: Mark Malleson

Other Observers: Joe Zelwietro

Pods: Transients

LocationDescr: Baynes Channel

Start Latitude: 48 26.4

Start Longitude: 123 15.7

End Latitude: 48 29.1

End Longitude: 123 10.9

 

EncSummary:

Mark received a call at 1016 as he was about to park at Gonzales lookout to spot for killer whales that some had just been spotted from Clover Point! Sure enough, he immediately spotted a group of 4 or 5 females and juveniles with an obvious new calf upon arrival at the hilltop. They were within a mile of shore heading towards Trial Island. Mark hustled back to the truck and arranged to meet Joe at Mike 1. They departed Victoria harbour at 1045.
Mark picked up the faint scent of a fresh predation as they passed Staines Point at the south end of Trial Island moments before his friend and colleague, George Hamilton, fishing in Oak Bay radioed to report the animals moving north into Baynes Channel. Mark and Joe turned north and passed through a large oil slick and detected a second strong-smelling predation just south of Great Chain Island. They shortly caught up to the whales as they charged into a building ebb current in Baynes and began the encounter at 1116 (48 26.4/123 15.7). The whales were mid-channel and being pushed north while facing east with the strong current. The crew on Mike 1 counted five animals, but George called again to say there was a straggler around 300 meters from the group. The main group was quickly identified as members of the 124A matriline, including a new calf! The little one was travelling alongside the 11-year old T124A4, and would be her first offspring! The T124A group is quite prolific, the matriarch having given birth to six of her own offspring, three of them now with calves of their own.
The whales were somewhat hard to follow, as they zigged and zagged their way slowly east upon entering Haro Strait, presumably well-fed with long dives. Mark and Joe were able to confirm the entirety of the T124A matriline (less the dispersed T124A2s) including T124A1, who is not always with the group. The whale that had been gallivanting about alone proved to be T124A3A, who unfortunately lost his mother late last year. He has remained with his grandmother and the rest of the family, and eventually did join the group before they crossed into the United States shoulder to shoulder. Mike 1 ended the encounter at 1222 as the animals crossed the border offshore of Lime Kiln Point (48 29.1/123 10.9). They were last seen angling ESE as Mike 1 turned for home.