2021 Encounters

Encounter #86 - Nov 5, 2021
L54 taillob

L54 taillob

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L123 and L117

L123 and L117

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L88

L88

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L89 taillob

L89 taillob

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J47 and J35

J47 and J35

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L22 and L115

L22 and L115

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

20211105DKE_SJ1-273.JPG_L122 and L91

20211105DKE_SJ1-273.JPG_L122 and L91

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L89 and L94

L89 and L94

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J27 chasing salmon

J27 chasing salmon

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L87

L87

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L88

L88

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L85

L85

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L125 and L86

L125 and L86

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

L85

L85

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J35 and J57

J35 and J57

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

J58_20201222JAZ_JF1 (5).jpg
help
CAN
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TOGETHER

EncDate: 05/11/21

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 86

ObservBegin: 02:50 PM

ObservEnd: 04:17 PM

Vessel: Orcinus

Staff: Dave Ellifrit

Pods: J, L Pod

LocationDescr: San Juan Channel

Start Latitude: 48 35.54

Start Longitude: 123 03.18

End Latitude: 48 33.63

End Longitude: 123 00.42

 

EncSummary:

Dave came home from a trip to town to a phone message from Jane Cogan relaying a report of probable southern residents in President Channel. A little while later, John Durban of the SR3 drone project called to say that they were with at least the K12s and some Ls spread out near Jones Island. Dave headed down to Snug Harbor and left in the boat at 1425. While on the way there, John called Dave on the radio to report that they had seen L94. This meant that the L12s were present in the San Juans for the first time in 2021 since a brief evening visit in sloppy weather back in late July. The first whales were seen on the San Juan Island side of San Juan Channel south of Yellow Island and the encounter began at 1450.
The whales were very spread out in singles and small groups. J38 and J22 were the first whales photographed as they traveled southeast down San Juan Channel. About a quarter mile to the northwest of them was a single male traveling by himself. This was L85. There were lots of other whales around but they were spread from the San Juan Island shoreline to the Shaw Island shoreline. A little to the north of L85, L105 milled with J49 and another juvenile. J37 crossed the stern of the boat on her way to somewhere. L86 and L125 were also seen traveling quietly down the channel by themselves. Dave then saw a small group to the north near the Shaw Island shoreline and headed over there. This was the L22s, L91s, and J47 traveling together. J35 and J57 passed by on the other side of the boat not too far from another pair that turned out to be J46 and J53. South of these whales closer to mid-channel there were more loosely spread whales. J27 was milling in the area and L88 passed him by. L108 was also milling in the area. With the L12s and L54s here, this was the first encounter CWR had had with all of L pod present in inshore waters in over a year. About a hundred yards from where L108 had been milling, J27 began chasing his own fish. While J27 tried to catch his salmon, L85 and L87 passed by on the SJI side of the boat spread apart by sixty to seventy yards. Dave then headed back to the L22s/L91s/J47 group closer to Shaw Island to see if any new whales had showed up there. J35 had joined the group along with L94, L121, and L115 and these whales were loosely spread as they traveled slowly southeast off the Shaw Island shoreline towards Hicks Bay. A few hundred yards to their southwest, L88 traveled loosely with a rambunctious group of juvenile males that included J44, L117, and L123. L108 was also nearby. L88 moved about seventy yards to the south of the group and was joined by L54. Dave stopped a little south of Hicks Bay as the trailing whales trickled by. The L86s and J45 were near the Shaw Island in a tight group while the spread out J16s followed to the southwest of them. J36 still did not have a calf with her. The L82s were behind the J16s and J27 was the last whale to pass the boat. The encounter ended there at 1617 about halfway between Turn Island and Hicks Bay on Shaw Island. The whales eventually headed down SJ Channel towards Cattle Point. The SR3 team had reported seeing the K12s at the beginning of their encounter with the lead whales. Dave never thought he made it to the leaders and did not encounter any K pod whales.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388