2022 Encounters

Encounter #2 - Jan 13, 2022
J38

J38

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J26

J26

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J45

J45

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J45

J45

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J56 and J31

J56 and J31

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J26

J26

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J38

J38

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J26

J26

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

20210930KMJ_SJ1_3.jpg
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EncDate: 13/01/22 

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 02

ObservBegin: 11:45 AM

ObservEnd: 01:38 PM

Vessel: Orcinus

Staff: Dave Ellifrit

Other Observers: Katie Jones, Kelley Balcomb-Bartok

Pods: J

LocationDescr: Swanson Channel

Start Latitude: 48 41.64

Start Longitude: 123 15.22

End Latitude: 48 46.11

End Longitude: 123 21.13

 

EncSummary:

After receiving a report of a large group of whales heading south off Moresby Island, Katie, Kelley, and Dave met at Snug Harbor and left in the boat at 1102. Since the report was an hour and a half old by the time we left Snug, we headed up mid-Haro Strait expecting J pod (who had been in San Juan Channel the previous day) whales heading south anywhere north of Mitchell Bay. When we were off Stuart Island and still not seeing anything, we began wondering if the whales went into Boundary Pass or if they were actually transients who could be a lot of places by now.  
As we neared Turn Point and were preparing to take a route home that might find us some Ts, Katie spotted a whale about a mile northwest of Turn Point at 1145. The whale surfaced cryptically along a tide line a couple/few times and then vanished. Another whale was seen briefly further to the northwest but it too was being hard to re-find. We finally saw a male to the northwest of us and headed toward him while our cryptic whale surfaced a distance behind us after an extremely long dive. The male came up off the southeast corner of Moresby Island not far from where the original report was and it was J26. J26 was traveling slowly north up Swanson Channel. We saw another male almost 3/4s of a mile to the east of J26. This ended up being J27 and he too traveled slowly up Swanson Channel. After J27, we were having a hard time finding any new whales so we went back to J26 to see if he would give us a better photo. J26 was being steady and predictable but he was not arching much. While we were with him, we saw a threesome to the east of us. By the time we got over to those whales, the third whale had moved off to the southeast a little. The pair was J31 and J56 and they were also traveling slowly up mid-Swanson Channel. The third whale was a couple of hundred yards to the southeast of the J31s and this was J42. J42 was the furthest east whale we saw and she was almost a mile off the Pender bluffs. The only other whales we could spot after J42 were on the western side of the channel. As we headed over that direction we could see J38 join up with J22. These two were traveling loosely together when J45 suddenly appeared just slightly behind them. While these three were in a loose group on our starboard side, J16 appeared for two or three surfacings about a hundred yards off our port bow. J16 soon disappeared and J22 also moved off to the northwest. J38 and J45 briefly continued to travel as a loose pair before J38 moved off to the west and they spread out again. We could not see any other whales and we figured the rest of J pod must be spread out to the north of us up Swanson Channel. It was getting dark with rain clouds to the west of us though, so we decided to end the encounter at 1338 about a mile north of Moresby Island.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388