2022 Encounters

Encounter #39- July 11, 2022
L105 full breach

L105 full breach

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J16 cartwheel

J16 cartwheel

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breach

breach

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tail lob

tail lob

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K34

K34

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

L105

L105

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J59 and J37

J59 and J37

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L125 and L86

L125 and L86

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K20 and K45

K20 and K45

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

K38, K45, and K20

K38, K45, and K20

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K45 and K20

K45 and K20

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

K45

K45

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

K45 and K20

K45 and K20

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

L105 half breach

L105 half breach

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

L105 half breach

L105 half breach

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L105 and K34

L105 and K34

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

Breach with Mt Ranier

Breach with Mt Ranier

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

L122 breach

L122 breach

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J26

J26

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J22 and J37

J22 and J37

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K35

K35

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

20210930KMJ_SJ1_3.jpg

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EncDate:11/07/22 

EncSeq:1

Enc#:39

ObservBegin:09:35 AM

ObservEnd:05:45 AM

Vessel:Orcinus

Staff:Dave Ellifrit

Other Observers:Rachel John, Lodie Budwill

Pods:J, K, L

LocationDescr:Boundary Pass and Haro Strait

Start Latitude:48 41.60

Start Longitude:123 12.21

End Latitude:48 27.31

End Longitude:123 06.71

 

EncSummary:

The day started with a call from Lodie relaying a report of southern residents heading down from the north end of Boundary Pass. Since J, K, and L pods had spent the previous day up near the Fraser River, and this was probably them coming back down, the team mobilized and left Snug Harbor in the boat at 0910. Hoping to catch the whales in Boundary Pass, we went through Johns Pass. We got a report that the leaders were passing Turn Point so we turned west after exiting Johns Pass. We saw our first whales about three quarters of a mile northeast of Turn Point and the encounter started at about 0935. The first group we saw included the K16s, J45, and L106 and they were heading southwest toward Turn Point but then took a hard left and headed toward the north shoreline of Stuart Island. Behind this group we found another large group of J pod whales that included all the J16s, J22s, J37s, plus J46 and J53. This group was very active as they headed southwest toward Turn Pt. and there were several breaches (one by J38) and cartwheels along with other splashy behavior.  

We moved off to let these groups go around the lighthouse and then headed to another group who had already rounded the point. This was another active group that included the J35s and the K22s. Nearby were other whales loosely spread out in singles and pairs including L87 and L90 who were interacting with one another. The L83s and L86s were also in the area and all these whales formed one loose, socially active group as they headed south. Behind them was a similar spread of small groups and individuals. The J31s and J40 formed one small tight group with the K14s sprinkled around them. J27 was following these whales and the K35s with J51 were following him. We then saw J44 and L106 traveling quickly together while, farther offshore on the Canadian side of the strait, J16 and J26 were traveling tightly together. Behind the loose group by a few hundred yards was another group of J pod whales that included the J19s, J37s, J39, J42, J46, and J53. One of the last whales we saw north of Henry Island was J38 and he was foraging by himself on the Canadian side of the strait.

We left J38 at about 1110, pulled wide, and headed south far offshore while the whales traveled down the west side of San Juan Island. We parked ourselves down by Kanaka Bay and waited for the whales to arrive as they bucked an incoming tide for almost an hour and a half. Eventually, we saw a few scattered whales off Pile Point including the K14s, K34, and L91. Off the south end of False Bay, we saw L55 and L109 chase a salmon. After L55 and L109, we saw a few spread individuals and a couple more pairs including L72 and L105 who were heading south. We then found J40 and K36 but they turned west. After them, we found K34 again and he was traveling southwest and offshore. We followed him for several surfacing’s as he was being cooperative and predictable. As K34 headed offshore, we saw another active group that included the L72s, L91s, and K27. K34 soon joined them. These whales were social, milling, and non-directional at the time. L105 was particularly active and was doing half breaches repeatedly. We left this group to check out a smaller group to the north of them and this was all three of the L86s traveling together. We got photos of the L86s and then went back to the larger group. The larger group was still very active and several members of the group breached. L123 and L103 had joined them while we were there. This group turned south-southwest and spread out some.  

We then headed southeast to find more whales. We made it to an area several miles southwest of Eagle Point but could only find a minke (or maybe two) down there. We moved back toward False Bay and found a few random individuals before finding another tight, social group that included the J35s, K22s, J46, J53, and K43. This group was pointed south. We saw some more individuals and pairs that we had already seen as we worked our way north. Off the north end of False Bay we finally found the K20s with the new calf K45. The group was tight and moving slow with some milling. K45 looks like a normal, healthy calf but both K20 and K38 looked skinnier than usual. We will try to keep an eye on this situation as the summer progresses. After the K20s, we saw L86 and L125 again and then ended the encounter at about 1745 a couple of miles of False Bay after J37 and J59 passed us heading south.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388

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