2021 Encounters

Encounter #31 - May 31, 2021
T046B6

T046B6

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B6

T046B6

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Joe Zelwietro.

T046B3

T046B3

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046Bs

T046Bs

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Joe Zelwietro.

T046Bs

T046Bs

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Joe Zelwietro.

T046B4

T046B4

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Joe Zelwietro.

T046B4

T046B4

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B3

T046B3

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B3

T046B3

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B2

T046B2

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B2

T046B2

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B2

T046B2

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B_T046B6

T046B_T046B6

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B

T046B

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B

T046B

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B

T046B

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

T046B

T046B

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Joe Zelwietro.

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

©Center for Whale Research 2021. Photo by Mark Malleson.

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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

EncDate: 31/05/21

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 31

ObservBegin: 07:59 AM

ObservEnd: 08:48 AM

Vessel: Mike 1

Staff: Mark Malleson

Other Observers: Joe Zelwietro

Pods: Transients

Start Latitude: 48 24.7

Start Longitude: 123 17.3

End Latitude: 48 23.3

End Longitude: 123 18.0

 

EncSummary:

Mark received a call early in the morning from Piper Hamilton that Team Haro House had spotted a group of killer whales southbound past their house north of Ten Mile Point and headed slowly for Baynes Channel. Mark quickly mobilized and met Joe at Mike 1, departing Victoria harbour at 0759. Hanna was onshore in Oak Bay and, in the still air, actually heard the animals before she saw them, roughly the same time that Mark and Joe slowed at the cardinal buoy at the east entrance to Enterprise Channel. She dialed the Mike 1 crew in, and they began the encounter at 0759 at 48° 24.7 N / 123° 17.3 W as the whales surfaced roughly 800 metres off the bow, moving out of Baynes Channel toward Brodie Rock. Even at a distance, T046B2’s distinct notch gave the crew a clue as to the matriline, and on the next breathing cycle, the T046Bs were confirmed, still traveling southwest. The dispersed T046B1s were not present, making a total of five Bigg’s killer whales.
Mark and Joe paced the whales for a few moments until all dove. T046B6 shortly reappeared, taking several breaths before the rest of the whales also popped up, milling almost precisely where they had gone under, apparently harassing some prey beneath them. The surfacing quickly became more animated, and a harbour seal finally broke through the water for a breath in the middle of the fray. The Bigg’s appeared to make quick work of the seal, landing the finishing blow just three minutes after the initial milling was observed. However, one of the young females surfaced with the still struggling seal almost six minutes after that. It was not seen again, and prey sharing was still taking place when Mark and Joe ended the encounter at 0848 at 48° 23.3 N / 123° 18.0 W, just east of Trial Island.