2021 Encounters

Encounter #32 - June 4, 2021
T069A5, T069A

T069A5, T069A

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

T069A5

T069A5

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

T069A4, T069A2

T069A4, T069A2

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

T069A2

T069A2

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

T069A2

T069A2

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

T069A2

T069A2

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

T069A2

T069A2

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

T069A2

T069A2

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

T069A2

T069A2

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

T069A

T069A

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

T069A

T069A

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

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

T069A

T069A

©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: 04/06/21

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 32

ObservBegin: 08:17 PM

ObservEnd: 09:03 PM

Vessel: Mike 1

Staff: Mark Malleson

Other Observers: Joe Zelwietro

Pods: Transients

LocationDescr: Parry Bay

Start Latitude: 48 21,0

Start Longitude: 123 31.6

End Latitude: 48 22.9

End Longitude: 123 30.1

EncSummary:

Mark and Joe had reports of an inbound group of four or five killer whales from Sooke late in the afternoon, and after some hesitation and dinner, decided to head out to meet them around William Head or Parry Bay. The commercial whale-watch vessel Goldwing had just departed the animals rounding Bentinck Island for Pedder Bay as Mike 1 powered up out of Victoria’s inner harbour at 2002.
Mark soon spotted the whales coming out of Quarantine Cove and began the encounter at 2017 at 48° 21.0 N / 123° 31.6 W. The four animals were spread across 200m travelling very close to the shore of Parker and Parry Bays, and were soon identified as the T069As! Rare visitors to the Salish Sea, the T069As were last documented by the Center in August of 2017 when Dave Ellifrit was on a busman’s holiday at the north end of Vancouver Island with Jared Towers out of Alert Bay. The T069A’s are more often seen along Vancouver Island’s west coast and the central coast of BC. Mark last encountered them over a decade ago in the Salish Sea.
The group made quick work of a harbour seal at 2042 as they combed through kelp beds in about 20 feet of water, and spent just a few minutes prey sharing before moving off in the direction of the Haystock Islets. The matriarch and her eldest, sprouting T069A2, travelled between the Islets and Vancouver Island, while the two youngsters who had been dawdling at the site of the last meal raced to catch up via the east side of Haystock. Mark and Joe momentarily lost sight of the two larger animals as they slipped behind the Islets, but no signs of predation were observed from either pair. As light faded and the whales seemed content to continue their shoreline foraging, Mark and Joe broke off for Victoria at 2102, leaving the whales approaching Albert Head (48° 22.9 N / 123° 30.1 W). T069A3 was not observed throughout the encounter.