2022 Encounters

Encounter #66- Sept 25, 2022
J42, J36

J42, J36

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J53

J53

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J51

J51

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J51

J51

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J46

J46

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J47

J47

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J42

J42

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J40, J59

J40, J59

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J35, J46

J35, J46

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

J26

J26

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

20210930KMJ_SJ1_3.jpg

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EncDate:25/09/22 

EncSeq:1

Enc#:66

ObservBegin:01:40 PM

ObservEnd:03:05 PM

Vessel:Mike 1

Staff:Mark Malleson

Other Observers:Rod King, Cari Van Camp

Pods:J

LocationDescr:Tatoosh Island

Start Latitude:48 26.76

Start Longitude:124 46.77

End Latitude:48 28.56

End Longitude:124 41.64

EncSummary:

Mark departed the Port Renfrew dock on Mike 1 at 1012 with his colleague and longtime friend Rod King along with his partner Cari Van Camp. They took advantage of the near perfect weather and set off to the west towards Swiftsure Bank after a good scan and hydrophone drop south of the mouth of Port of San Juan. They could see humpbacks galore to the south and east but no sign of any killer whales so they stuck to their westward planned trek. After another hydrophone drop and scan and getting some opportunistic humpback identification fluke pictures north east of the Bank they worked their way south west to where the Northern Residents were foraging the day before. Mark hoped that some of the Southern Residents would be taking a turn at that area today. With no sign of life at “yesterday’s hot killer whale spots”, Mark decided to take a run south east towards Cape Flattery. As they approached Tatoosh Island they got into moderate north easterly winds making spotting a bit difficult with the spray hitting the windshield but they continued to slog their way towards the Cape. The seas flattened out as they got into the lee and the trio trolled the cliffs and majestic rock formations while they had a quick lunch.
After lunch Mark decided to take a tack back to the north west towards Swiftsure Bank to maximize their search efforts. At 1340, as they were passing Tatoosh Island, Rod spotted what he thought could have been a killer whale. A humpback whale blew in the direction of where he pointed out his sighting and then Mark finally saw several swells away what Rod had previously seen and said “That looked very killerwhale-esque” and a couple of seconds later they saw an obvious breaching killer whale emerge at the top of the swell!
As the whales approached them, Mark was able to confirm immediately they were Residents and soon confirmed members of J pod. J42's distinct saddle could be seen as she and her sister, J36, went ripping past Mike 1 as they surfed down the large ocean swell. They were averaging 8 knots for several minutes as they travelled east until they got inside the entrance to the Juan de Fuca and the swells had settled. They then slowed down, spread out even more and started foraging. The Mike 1 crew spent the next hour scanning around in an effort to find other members of the Clan but concluded that it was only members of J pod present. At 1505 they ended the encounter and returned to Port Renfrew.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388