2021 Encounters

Encounter #46 - July 27, 2021

Photo by Katie Jones

Photo by Katie Jones

Photo by Katie Jones

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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

Date: 27-Jul-21

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 46

Enc Start Time: 13:21

Enc End Time: 14:57

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: MNW, KMJ, LBG

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: Haro Strait

Begin Lat/Long: 48 30.80/123 09.78

End Lat/Long: 48 31.88/123 10.35

 

Encounter Summary:

On the morning of July 27th, Michael began to receive reports that southern resident killer whales were inbound from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We also received reports that a group of Bigg’s killer whales, identified as the T37As, were slowly moving north through Haro Strait. While the southern residents were still quite a ways out, the team decided to try to maximize their time by first getting a quick photo-ID pass of the T37As, and then wait for the residents to make an appearance.
Michael, Katie, and Lodie left Snug Harbor just after 1300 and headed south down the west side of San Juan Island. They arrived on scene at 1320, about a mile west of Lime Kiln Point. The T37As were in a tight group resting, moving north-northeast. The whales gave only brief surfacing sequences and long downtimes. The whales hugged close to the shore of San Juan at Deadman’s Bay, and very slowly made their way up the shoreline of Lime Kiln park, as the team observed from a distance. Once the whales made it north of Lime Kiln, the team attempted to parallel them and do one or two photo ID passes. After a couple brief passes, the team had acquired proof of presence shots of all individuals. The team ended the encounter on the south end of Andrew’s Bay at 1457 and headed down south to wait for the residents to arrive. Unfortunately, weather conditions quickly deteriorated, and the residents made their way into the islands very slowly. The team called off their search and returned to Snug, and photographed the southern residents from shore later that evening.