2021 Encounters

Encounter #43 - June 24, 2021
T075Cs

T075Cs

Photo by Joe Zelwietro

T075C2

T075C2

Photo by Mark Malleson

T075C2

T075C2

Photo by Mark Malleson

T075C, T075C2

T075C, T075C2

Photo by Mark Malleson

T075C

T075C

Photo by Mark Malleson

T065Bs, T075Cs

T065Bs, T075Cs

Photo by Joe Zelwietro

T065B2

T065B2

Photo by Mark Malleson

T065B1, T065B2

T065B1, T065B2

Photo by Joe Zelwietro

T065B

T065B

Photo by Joe Zelwietro

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

Humpback mom and calf

Humpback mom and calf

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T75Cs and T65Bs

T75Cs and T65Bs

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T75Cs

T75Cs

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

T65B1 and T65B

T65B1 and T65B

Photo by Dave Ellifrit

help
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TOGETHER

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

EncDate: 24/06/21

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 43

ObservBegin: 10:50 AM

ObservEnd: 12:25 AM

Vessel: Mike 1

Staff: Mark Malleson

Other Observers: Joe Zelwietro

Pods: Transients

LocationDescr: Race Passage

Start Latitude: 48 18.6

Start Longitude: 123 31.3

End Latitude: 48 23.5

End Longitude: 123 25.8

EncSummary:

Mark and Joe were gearing up to depart Victoria when they received a report of a small group of killer whales heading east at Beechey Head. They fired up Mike 1 and departed the harbour at 0940. As they approached Race Rocks it was clear that thick fog in the Pass could make finding the whales difficult. At this point, a commercial whale-watch boat had located the animals, and confirmed their eastbound direction of travel, though they had not been seen in over ten minutes.
Mike 1 came to a stop in the fog and listened for blows; Mark heard two after roughly six minutes, but nothing further. They decided to round the shore of Bentinck Island and with the help of a MMO colleague monitoring the military blasting at Bentick Island they were soon able to relocate the whales, now clear of the fog and still eastbound. The encounter began at 1050 at 48° 18.6’ N / 123° 31.3’ W with just two animals, shortly confirmed to be T075C and her young offspring T075C2. After following the pair for a sequence of breaths, three more animals were spotted just ahead of them. The T075Cs and Mike 1 soon caught up to the leading T065Bs. They dove, and were next seen a mile astern of the research boat, now travelling northwest.
The five whales had grouped up and significantly slowed their pace through the water, though were still making good time in a strong flood current. As they continued north-northwest for Royal Roads the Mike 1 crew moved off, staying well outside a kilometer as the whales began several sequences of 10 to 12-minute dives followed by just 1-2 minutes of surfacing. After 45 minutes of restful wandering and no sign of predation, Mark and Joe ended the encounter at 48° 23.5’ N / 123° 25.8’ W, just southwest of Victoria, at 1225 and entered the harbour. The group of five were last seen trending to the east, and were later encountered by Dave at Battleship Island. Mark was out at 1700 on a commercial whale watching boat and was the last to see them at 1817 as they headed east in New Channel on the north side of Speiden Island.