2022 Encounters

Encounter #33- June 22, 2022
New calf J59 surfacing with mom J37

New calf J59 surfacing with mom J37

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J44

J44

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L85 surfacing with other whales

L85 surfacing with other whales

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

spyhop

spyhop

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rolling around

rolling around

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J26

J26

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L85 inverted tailob

L85 inverted tailob

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J47

J47

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L85 kelping

L85 kelping

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L85

L85

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

L85

L85

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

L25, L22, and L85

L25, L22, and L85

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J44

J44

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20220622DKE_SJ1-0562_J53 and J56

20220622DKE_SJ1-0562_J53 and J56

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

L85

L85

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L94

L94

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J47 and J39

J47 and J39

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

L113 spypeep

L113 spypeep

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

20210930KMJ_SJ1_3.jpg

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EncDate:22/06/22 

EncSeq:1

Enc#:33

ObservBegin:09:52 AM

ObservEnd:02:41 PM

Vessel:Orcinus

Staff:Dave Ellifrit

Other Observers:Rachel John, Lee Conally

Pods:J, L

LocationDescr:Haro Strait

Start Latitude:48 27.65

Start Longitude:123 04.06

End Latitude:48 28.52

End Longitude:123 04.57

 

EncSummary:

Dave received a call from Jane Cogan saying that they were hearing distant J pod calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophone. The boat crew was then contacted and we all met at Snug Harbor and left in the boat at 0920. There was a leftover 2 ft. lump coming out of the southwest from the previous days’ wind as we bounced our way down the west side of San Juan Island. We finally saw blows a little south of False Bay and the encounter started at 0952.
The first whales we saw were heading toward the San Juan Island shoreline and were backlit but their dorsal fin shapes did not look like J pod whales. This was L22, L25, L85, L94, and L113. J47 was nearby and J39 was inshore of the group. J38 also showed up out of nowhere and joined J47 and the L12s. J44 also showed up. These whales were acting social and there was a lot of milling and splashing. There was another social group a few hundred yards to the north of us and other whales were spread out peripherally in singles and small groups. J44 joined a few of these peripheral whales (the J31s and his little sister J53) on their way north towards the other social group. J44 and J53 joined the group while the J31s passed through it and headed slowly northwest. The rest of the socializing group was all of the J16s plus J22, J35, J40, J45, J46, J49, J51, and J57. Like the other group, these whales were socializing with lots of splashing and surface behavior. Even J56 breached a couple of times as she and her mom passed the group.
We moved back and forth between the two groups a couple times to see if any of the other L12s had joined up with them, while also checking on a couple of single animals in the general area. By the time the northern group (but not the northern most whales) made it to Pile Point, most of the whales in the area turned and began heading back down island. Both groups dissipated a little although there were still milling and socializing whales. Peripheral whales could have been foraging. We found L121 socializing with J44 but were still looking for any of the L77s who should have been around with the rest of the L12s. We headed north towards Hannah Heights with hopes of finding the L77s with the leaders who were coming down. We found J41 with J58 and J37 with J59 heading south in two pairs plus a couple other J pod whales we had seen already that day but no L77s. We then headed back south again to see if we could find them down there. We found most of the whales we had seen earlier between Kanaka Bay and the area just north of Eagle Point. By about 1340, the southernmost whales were heading north again, spread out in small groups and singles. We ended the encounter at 1441 off False Bay as the wind picked up and working conditions worsened.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388