2021 Encounters

Encounter #28 - May 22, 2021
the T75Bs

the T75Bs

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T75B4 and T75B.

T75B4 and T75B.

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T75B4

T75B4

©Center for Whale Research 2021

©Center for Whale Research 2021

©Center for Whale Research 2021

the T75Bs

the T75Bs

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T75B4 and T75B

T75B4 and T75B

©Center for Whale Research 2021

T75B2 and T75B

T75B2 and T75B

©Center for Whale Research 2021

©Center for Whale Research 2021

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TOGETHER

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

EncDate:22/05/21

EncSeq:1

Enc#:28

ObservBegin: 03:00 PM

ObservEnd: 06:05 PM

Vessel: Orcinus

Staff: Dave Ellifrit

Pods: Transients

LocationDescr: Stuart Island

Start Latitude: 48 40.42

Start Longitude: 123 09.58

End Latitude: 48 38.00

End Longitude: 123 08.20

 

EncSummary:

Jane Cogan called Dave to relay a report of a couple groups of transients heading up San Juan Channel. There was also a new calf said to be somewhere in the mix. Dave headed down to Snug Harbor and, after tip-toeing around a wedding getting ready to get started right near the dock, left in the boat at 1430. “Orcinus” arrived on scene around 1500 immediately after coming out of Johns Pass where a small group of Ts were heading west off the north side of Johns Island. The situation was “busy” and it was another fifteen minutes before Dave could get close enough to get the first photos. The whales zigged offshore a little and then on the next series they zagged back toward the Stuart Island shoreline. It took longer than normal but the whales finally showed themselves to be the T75Bs. T75B has a new calf of the year, T75B4. The T65As plus T77 and T77E were also reported to be heading up President Channel. The T75Bs headed west near the Stuart Island shoreline until they started milling around 1550 about a quarter mile east of Turn Point. They had made a kill since T75B and T75B2 were carrying something when they passed the boat but the water clarity was not good enough today to confirm that it was a seal. After some more milling and feeding, the whales continued west toward Turn Point before rounding it and heading southeast. Dave tried to end the encounter here at 1610.
However, as “Orcinus” approached the entrance to Snug Harbor, Dave stopped and took a quick look through the binocs to see what stage the wedding was in and saw that the ceremony was still in progress. Not wanting to be a major wedding crasher, Dave decided to head back out to see if he could get the photos he wasn’t getting before. The T75Bs had headed southeast along the Stuart Island shoreline and “Orcinus” arrived back on scene at 1700 off the mouth of Reid Harbor. The whales continued southeast into New Channel until they were almost to the Cactus Islands when they turned around and headed west toward the west end of Spieden Island. They rounded the corner and headed southeast along the Spieden shoreline and inside of Sentinel Island. The T75Bs then angled out into mid-Spieden Channel and were heading east when Dave ended the encounter again at 1805. As “Orcinus” was slowly leaving the scene, the whales looked like they may have changed direction again and were pointed southwest toward the north San Juan Island shoreline.
The wedding was now in the party stage so it was safe to come in. Dave managed to sneak around the quietest edge of the gathering to get out of there and go home.