2021 Encounters

Encounter #48 - Aug 6, 2021
T37

T37

Photo by Michael Weiss

T37 and T37B

T37 and T37B

Photo by Michael Weiss

Harassing a murre fledgeling

Harassing a murre fledgeling

Photo by Charli Grimes

Harassing a murre fledgeling

Harassing a murre fledgeling

Photo by Charli Grimes

T34

T34

Photo by Charli Grimes

T37B

T37B

Photo by Charli Grimes

T34A

T34A

Photo by Charli Grimes

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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

Date: 06-Aug-21

Sequence: 2

Encounter Number: 48

Enc Start Time: 14:50

Enc End Time: 15:52

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Michael Weiss, Charli Grimes, Nikhela Motha de Silva, Minola Motha de Silva

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: San Juan Channel/Spieden Channel

Begin Lat/Long: 48 36.237 N/123 03.976 W

End Lat/Long: 48 37.685 N/123 07.180 W

Encounter Summary:

After leaving a small group of 3 transients off the Cactus Islands (see Encounter 47), the team headed south towards a report of a larger group of whales heading north from Friday Harbor. At 14:50, the team arrived on scene with the whales about a mile southeast of Reuben Tarte Park.

The whales were split into two tight groups, one much further inshore than the other. The team first got photos of the offshore group, which contained T37 and the T34s. After a brief pass on this group, the team pulled offshore as the whales made their way past Reuben Tarte, and rounded the corner into Spieden Channel.

Once the whales were in Spieden, the team slowly made their way inshore to try to document the rest of the whales present. As they made their way towards the inshore subgroup, the whales suddenly cut off shore and made their way to meet up with the other group. After meeting up, the whales turned towards a group of private boats that had been at whale watching distance, briefly "mugging" these vessels before continuing west through the channel.

The team managed to get another photo ID pass as the whales headed west in a tight group. As they passed, T34A1 had fallen a bit behind and quickly porpoised to catch up with the group. As the whales passed the research vessel, one of the adults took a moment to harass what appeared to be a Common Murre fledgeling. The whale took a few lunges as the bird, and then continued on its way, leaving the bird shaken and possibly injured but still alive and floating.

The team left the whales at 15:52, as they continued to head west through the northern side of Spieden Channel.