2021 Encounters

Encounter #89 - Nov 26, 2021
T167A

T167A

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

T167

T167

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

the T167s

the T167s

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

T167A and T167C

T167A and T167C

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

T167B and T167A

T167B and T167A

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

T167C and T167A

T167C and T167A

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

T167A and T167C

T167A and T167C

Copyright © 2021 Center for Whale Research

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EncDate: 26/11/21

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 89

ObservBegin: 12:05 PM

ObservEnd: 12:25 PM

Vessel: Orcinus

Staff:Dave Ellifrit

Pods:Transients

LocationDescr: Haro Strait

Start Latitude: 48 39.84

Start Longitude: 123 13.51

End Latitude: 48 40.38

End Longitude: 123 13.30

EncSummary:

Jane Cogan messaged Dave relaying a sighting of transients in western Spieden Channel. Dave talked to Mark Malleson on the radio and learned that the whales were the T167s, a group that he wanted to see. Dave departed Snug Harbor at 1125 and transited Mosquito Pass to the northwest entrance to Roche Harbor, only to find that the T167s had pulled a vanishing act for a series of surfacings.  After waiting longer than even lengthy-long dives usually last, he decided that the whales must have given everyone the slip, as Transients often do.

 

Turn Point was considered a good potential option to re-find the whales, so Dave turned northwest toward Stuart Island. After maybe ten minutes of heading in that direction, he saw a large splash offshore of Tiptop Hill on Stuart Island. Shortly after, he spotted fins where the splash had been, and the encounter began at 1205. The whales were in a tight group heading north about three-quarters of a mile south of Tiptop Hill, at which point they submerged again before “Orcinus” was anywhere near them. When they came up after a dive lasting four and half minutes, they were closer to shore and still in a tight group moving up the Stuart Island shoreline. Dave got just close enough to get a few ID shots before the whales went on another long dive. After another four and a half minute dive, the whales came up about a hundred yards ahead of the boat and Dave took a few right side photos of the group before they took their next long dive. When the whales surfaced again, they were far up ahead and past Turn Point, and it was obvious that better ID shots would be hard to come by in the open water of Boundary Pass. Dave ended the encounter there at 1225, a little north of Tiptop Hill on Stuart Island. That was twenty minutes well spent with a group of Bigg’s Transient whales that we do not see that often, and it was merely a nanosecond in their lifetime.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388