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2022 Encounters

Encounter #44- July 25, 2022


Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research



Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research



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ObservBegin:09:52 AM

ObservEnd:11:37 AM


Staff:Dave Ellifrit

Other Observers:Stewart Macintyre



LocationDescr:Haro Strait

Start Latitude:48 34.27

Start Longitude:123 11.68

End Latitude:48 29.04

End Longitude:123 07.41



The team was working in the office when we received word that southern residents were heading south off the north end of Henry Island. There was talk of there possibly being more than just J pod present, so we decided to go out to see if we could find some Ks or Ls. We then headed down to Snug Harbor and left in the boat at 0950. We arrived on scene shortly afterwards at the north end of Mitchell Bay. A large group of J pod whales that included the J37s, J19, J45, J46, and a few others was milling vigorously. We stopped several hundred yards away due to another research boat being on the group while Dave looked at the whales through binocs and Stewart took a few photos. After determining that there were only J pod whales in the milling group, we left to find other whales. A quarter mile to the southwest of the milling group, J27 was traveling south by himself about a mile offshore. We got more photos of him to document his skinny condition before we moved on.  
Other whales could be seen traveling quickly down the San Juan Island shoreline and we decided to head down to Kanaka Bay and wait for the leaders to arrive. While we were waiting, we heard that the milling group of J pod whales we had seen earlier had actually been harassing a young harbor porpoise. Giles aboard the Wild Orca research vessel said that a little later, two of the whales were carrying the carcass with them as they headed down the west side. We began seeing whales around 1115 where we were and had several spread-out whales pass us in waves. J19 headed south near the SJI shoreline while J46 was offshore of her. A few other random J pod whales were photographed as they passed by heading down island including J41 with J58 and then J35 and J57. J45 and J47 were also spread out in the area. We ended the encounter at 1137 a little south of Hannah Heights after we determined that only J pod was present.

Photos taken under Federal Permits


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