Encounter #7 - Jan 31, 2021
Photos taken under Federal Permits
NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388
ObservBegin: 02:08 PM
ObservEnd: 03:07 PM
Vessel: Mike 1
Staff: Mark Malleson
Other Observers: Joe Zelwietro
LocationDescr: Ten Mile Point
Start Latitude: 48 27.4
Start Longitude: 123 15.7
End Latitude: 48 31.6
End Longitude: 123 17.5
At 1323 as Mark was as the hardware store, he received a call from George Hamilton reporting seeing a pair of killer whales while fishing in Oak Bay. They were heading north into Baynes Channel so Mark called Joe to mobilize Mike 1 and pick him up on the rocks in front of his apartment rather than waste time by going home to grab his gear and then drive back downtown to the boat. Like a well-oiled machine, Joe arrived with Mike 1 at the shoreline in Oak Bay and they were on their way at 1401. Within seven minutes of departure they started the encounter within a quarter mile north of Ten Mile Point light.
Upon arrival they could see that they just missed a kill as the two individuals were milling about in a large sweet-smelling slick amongst scavenging gulls (48 27.4/123 15.7). As Mike 1 eased into the area to confirm their identity, Joe was slightly quicker than Mark to confirm that it was the two brothers T060D and T060E. He second guessed himself for a moment as he saw in the back of his camera his distant photo showed a second notch in who he thought was T060E’s fin. It did turn out to be him, now with a new notch half way down the trailing edge just below his known notch.
The pair had finished up their snack upon Mike 1’s arrival and were working their way along the shoreline of Ten Mile Point before they zagged slightly offshore on a line toward Zero Rock.
This pair, often quite elusive and difficult to photograph well, were very cooperative this time perhaps because they were especially well fed on the Oak Bay seals. Mark and Joe were able to get decent left- and right-side pictures of them early on in the encounter and then shadow them for the duration as they tracked towards Zero Rock. Disappointing to the Mike 1 crew, the whales calmly continued on past the reef at Zero Rock without making any predation attempt on one of the numerous seals wallowing in the shallows. Mike 1 ended the encounter here (48 31.6/123 17.5) at 1507.