2021 Encounters

Encounter #13 - March 12, 2021
J57, J35

J57, J35

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J57

J57

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J46

J46

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J44, J57, J35

J44, J57, J35

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J44, J47

J44, J47

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J44

J44

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J35, J47, J44, J53

J35, J47, J44, J53

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J35

J35

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J35

J35

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J53

J53

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J58_20201222JAZ_JF1 (5).jpg
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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

EncDate: 12/03/21

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 13

ObservBegin: 09:08 AM

ObservEnd: 09:53 AM

Vessel: Mike 1

Staff: Mark Malleson

Other Observers: Brian Gisborne

Pods: J

LocationDescr: Discovery Island

Start Latitude: 48 24.5

Start Longitude: 123 15.9

End Latitude: 48 26.3

End Longitude: 123 12.2

EncSummary:

Mark received a call at 0753 from his friend and colleague Brian Gisborne who had spotted a small group of eastbound killer whales within a quarter-mile of shore south of Beacon Hill Park. He confirmed at least four individuals with a newish calf but felt there could be others in the area as his instinct was that he was looking at fish eaters as they appeared to be foraging along the current line.
Mark picked Brian up in James Bay on his way to mobilize Mike 1, and the two of them departed Victoria harbor at 0842. Mark had contacted Gordon Rowles to reacquire them from his 23rd-floor perch after Brian had left the lookout at Beacon Hill. Gord had recently seen them pass south of Trial Island, and it appeared they were making their way towards Discovery Island before they disappeared from his line of sight.
The Mike 1 crew stopped for a scan when they were off the southern tip of the Victoria Golf course, and Mark re-sighted them through his binoculars in the Oak Bay Flats north eastbound for Discovery Island. The encounter started at 0908 at 48 24.5/123 15.9.
As Mike 1 got abeam of them, Mark confirmed that they were the J17’s. Fish eaters, as Brian had suspected! The J17’s were last seen two days prior westbound in Race Passage but must have decided to turn back rather than connect with the rest of J pod, which had headed west out the Juan de Fuca 24 hours ahead of them. 
The family of six were traveling in a tight group as they crossed the Oak Bay Flats and then sped up and spread out slightly as they approached Seabird Point, Discovery Island. J35 and her calf J57 led the charge past the steller sea lion haulout at Brinn Rock, and a few minutes later, it was apparent that J35 caught a fish (48 25.9/123 12.4).
Mike 1 trolled over towards their footprints moments after a gull made an attempt to grab a scrap left behind, and Brian poised with the dip net stared down into the water also with hopes to scoop a fish scrap but unfortunately also came up empty. 
The J17’s came back together in a tight group a few minutes later as they continued north across Haro Strait on a line slightly north of Limekiln Lighthouse, San Juan Island.
Mike 1 ended the encounter at 0953 ~ 1NM SW of Beaumont Shoals (48 26.3/123 12.2).