2021 Encounters

Encounter #67 - Sept 9, 2021
L119, L77, L124

L119, L77, L124

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L117, L121

L117, L121

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L108, L54, L108

L108, L54, L108

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L89

L89

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L85

L85

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L88

L88

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L88

L88

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L85

L85

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L77

L77

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L22

L22

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L54s

L54s

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

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Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

EncDate: 09/09/21

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 67

ObservBegin: 11:10 AM

ObservEnd: 01:05 AM

Vessel: Mike 1

Staff: Mark Malleson

Other Observers: Joe Zelwietro

Pods: L

LocationDescr: Everest

Start Latitude: 48 31.8

Start Longitude: 124 50.0

End Latitude: 48 31.8

End Longitude: 124 48.5

EncSummary:

Mark and Joe departed Port Renfrew at a leisurely 1000 in an effort to let the fog clear out of the west entrance to the Juan de Fuca Strait. They steered directly to where the large groups of Ks and Ls had been found Monday (see Encounter #65) and Wednesday (see Encounter #66) mornings. They slowed in a nice clear patch just a few miles southwest of Carmanah Point and spotted a large group of humpbacks just ahead. Before they could put the binoculars up for a scan, a large bull surfaced just 200 metres off Mike 1’s starboard bow. The encounter began here at 1110 at 48° 31.8’ N / 124° 50.0’ W.

That first bull was shortly identified as L89, who was traveling near L25. L85 appeared as well, and Mark and Joe realized they were with at least some of the whales absent from the previous day’s encounter. The whales were trending south-southwest, and there were more ahead, so Mike 1 moved off in that direction and confirmed the L77s were present, along with L22. The L117 and L121 were traveling together not far from the L77s, and the rest of the L54s were with L88 just ahead. The animals flipped back and forth for a little while and several times were seen apparently chasing fish, though no predation was confirmed.

After an hour of this back-and-forth behaviour, Mark and Joe had yet to see any whales outside of the L12 and L54 sub-groups, and with reports of J pod in the southern Strait of Georgia and a large group of Southern Residents reportedly inbound off the Victoria waterfront, Mark and Joe concluded that the 14 present were the only ones yet to move into the inside waters of the Salish Sea and ended the encounter 1305 at 48° 31.8’ N / 124° 48.5’ W, now just slightly east of where they began.