2022 Encounters

Encounter #22 - May 11, 2022
T124A and T124A7 breach

T124A and T124A7 breach

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

T124A and T124A7 breach

T124A and T124A7 breach

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

2022T124A7 and T124A4A's belly shot

2022T124A7 and T124A4A's belly shot

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

T124A7 and T124A

T124A7 and T124A

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

T124A4 and T124A

T124A4 and T124A

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

T124A4A and T124A4

T124A4A and T124A4

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

20210930KMJ_SJ1_3.jpg

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EncDate: 11/05/22 

EncSeq: 1

Enc#: 22

ObservBegin: 10:56 AM

ObservEnd : 12:03 AM

Vessel:  Orcinus

Staff:  Dave Ellifrit, Michael Weiss

Other Observers: Mia Lybkaer Kronborg Nielsen

Pods: Transients

LocationDescr: Haro Strait

Start Latitude: 48 36.73

Start Longitude: 123 11.61

End Latitude: 48 33.16

End Longitude: 123 10.73

EncSummary:The team was working in the office when Michael got a phone call from Lodie relaying a report of whales feeding right outside the west entrance to Roche Harbor. We left in the boat at 1034 and headed through Mosquito Pass and out the west entrance to Roche Harbor. Not long after exiting the west entrance, we got a brief whiff of a kill slick but did not see anything immediately. Once we got far enough out so we could see down Spieden Channel, we stopped and turned off the engine to scan and listen for blows. While we were scanning, a small inflatable putted up to us. This boater was the source of the original sighting and we had a pleasant conversation about what he had seen earlier. He said the whales had been milling and feeding just a little northwest of the west entrance and well inside of where we were. As we were talking, “Odyssey” came around the west end of Spieden Island. Since “Odyssey” had a good view east down Spieden Channel, we decided we would go take a look towards Kellett Bluff. We then headed between McCracken Point and Battleship Island and turned south. Not long after, Michael spotted whales ahead of us.  
The encounter started at 1056 off mid-Henry Island. The whales were the T124As and they were milling and socializing. T124A’s newest calf T124A7 and T124A4A were very active and playful. T124A7 breached and is a female. T124A4A did a big tail wave shortly after and is also a female. Michael and Mia quickly got the drone up while the whales milled around. After about twenty minutes of milling, the five T124As went on a long dive and finally came up heading south down Henry Island toward Kellett Bluff. The whales were near the rocks as they passed south along Kellett and passed up a Steller sea lion at the south end of the bluff. The T124As then traveled across the mouth of Open Bay before turning south in Mitchell Bay and heading down San Juan Island. The group loosed up some with the T124A4s a little inside and behind T124A, T124A6, and T124A7 by the time they made it to CWR. We ended the encounter there at 1203 due to worsening sea conditions.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388