2021 Encounters

Encounter #73 - Sept 14, 2021
L124, L94, L77, L119

L124, L94, L77, L119

Photo by Mark Malleson

L119

L119

Photo by Mark Malleson

L119

L119

Photo by Mark Malleson

L113, L124

L113, L124

Photo by Mark Malleson

L113, L77, L124

L113, L77, L124

Photo by Mark Malleson

L108, L85

L108, L85

Photo by Mark Malleson

L94, L121

L94, L121

Photo by Mark Malleson

L89 missed breach

L89 missed breach

Photo by Mark Malleson

L89

L89

Photo by Mark Malleson

L89

L89

Photo by Mark Malleson

L88, L54, L117, L25

L88, L54, L117, L25

Photo by Mark Malleson

L88

L88

Photo by Mark Malleson

L25, L88, L85, L54

L25, L88, L85, L54

Photo by Mark Malleson

L25, L85, L88

L25, L85, L88

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

Photo by Mark Malleson

help
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TOGETHER

EncDate: 14/09/21

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 73

ObservBegin: 08:50 AM

ObservEnd: 11:38 AM

Vessel: Mike 1

Staff: Mark Malleson

Pods: L

LocationDescr: South of Swiftsure Bank-Everest

Start Latitude: 48 29.8

Start Longitude: 124 52.1

End Latitude: 48 31.4

End Longitude: 124 49.98

EncSummary:

Mark departed Gateway Marina out of Port Renfrew at 0650 and worked his way east to 5 nm south west of Sombrio Point. The seas were flat calm with a partly cloudy sunrise making it near perfect spotting conditions. After a long scan with binoculars to the north, south and east he made his way back to the west towards Swiftsure Bank.
The rain started as he was slightly west of the Port of San Juan and the visibility was reduced to 2 nm at best. When he got within 6 nm of the Bank a few humpback whales started to appear as expected. He was approaching the area that he had seen killer whales five out of the last eight days so he stopped for another scan and a listen with the hydrophone. With no sounds and only the occasional humpback seen within his limited visibility he continued south west along the drop off. More and more humpbacks started to appear along with increased bird life and sea lions. Then some small blows slightly to the east of his track line caught his eye. Mark stopped and climbed up on the front of the Mike 1 console to see above the low swell. Sure enough! It was what he was looking for. Killer whales. He could see a tight group of females and juveniles south west bound and was able to quickly confirm members of the L12's; L77 with her two offspring, L119 and L124 and L77's sister, L94 with her two offspring, L113 and L121.
After scanning around in the mist for the rest of the group, L89 appeared charging along up swell a couple hundred metres behind the gang and soon overtook them.
It became clear that the rest were slightly ahead as they too eventually appeared. L22, L85 and L25 were travelling in a trio, L88 was on his own, and L54 had her two offspring in tow.
An hour after spotting them Mark watched them turn around and head back to the north east to where he originally expected to find them, obviously their favourite fishing hole for the time being. He shadowed them from a distance for most of the encounter with hopes to collect some prey samples. He was not convinced they were targeting chinook salmon from his observations over the last week. With no signs of any scraps to be collected he decided to leave them be and end the encounter at 1138. He collected fluke ID's for the next hour and a half of the large aggregation of humpback whales in the area which he estimated to be 40 to 50 animals within a square mile.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388