2021 Encounters

Encounter #54 - Aug 20, 2021
T18, T19, and T19B all surfacing together

T18, T19, and T19B all surfacing together

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

T18 and T19C

T18 and T19C

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

T18s

T18s

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

T18s

T18s

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

Date: 20-Aug-21

Sequence: 1

Encounter Number: 54

Enc Start Time: 12:46

Enc End Time: 15:10

Vessel: Orcinus

Observers: Michael Weiss, Charli Grimes

Pods or ecotype: Transients

Location: San Juan Channel

Begin Lat/Long:  35.388 N/123 02.586 W

End Lat/Long: 48 37.555 N/123 05.116 W

Encounter Summary:

Late in the morning Michael and Charli heard reports of unidentified whales off Yellow Island, in San Juan Channel. They quickly mustered and headed to Snug, leaving the dock at 12:09. En route, they heard that the whales had been IDed as the T18s. While the team had successfully gotten ID photos of these whales in recent encounters, weather and location had prevented drone flights. The team decided to focus on collecting behavioral data on the group using the drone, rather than doing a photo ID focused encounter.

Michael and Charli arrived on scene at 12:46 near Yellow Island. When they arrived the whales had split into two groups, with T19B and T19 near the team and T18 and T19C much further east and out of sight. The team took some time to get the lay of the land, as the whales bounced between the several small islands in the area.

At 13:15, the eastern whales barreled west to meet up with the others. When the whales came together, the team took the opportunity to launch their research drone and begin some behavioral sampling.

After joining up, the whales headed west across the channel, towards San Juan Island, and then headed north. As they made their way up the shoreline, the whale watch vessel Imagine reported that T60D and T60E were making their way south, close in to the San Juan shoreline, however the team never acquired these whales before the blew past the T18s and towards Friday Harbor.

After reaching Reuben Tarte park, the whales broke offshore and headed east towards President Channel. As the team launched for their sixth research flight of the day, the wind picked up and became too strong for safe drone flights. The team called it a day and left the scene at 15:10 as the whales continued east.

Michael and Charli arrived on scene at 12:46 near Yellow Island. When they arrived the whales had split into two groups, with T19B and T19 near the team and T18 and T19C much further east and out of sight. The team took some time to get the lay of the land, as the whales bounced between the several small islands in the area.

At 13:15, the eastern whales barrelled west to meet up with the others. When the whales came together, the team took the opportunity to launch their research drone and begin some behavioral sampling.

After joining up, the whales headed west across the channel, towards San Juan Island, and then headed north. As they made their way up the shoreline, the whale watch vessel Imagine reported that T60D and T60E were making their way south, close in to the San Juan shoreline, however the team never acquired these whales before the blew past the T18s and towards Friday Harbor.

After reaching Reuben Tarte park, the whales broke offshore and headed east towards President Channel. As the team launched for their sixth research flight of the day, the wind picked up and became too strong for safe drone flights. The team called it a day and left the scene at 15:10 as the whales continued east.