2022 Encounters

Encounter #71- Oct 9, 2022
T069F

T069F

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

T069E

T069E

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

T069C

T069C

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

T069

T069

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

T069C

T069C

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

T069

T069

Copyright © 2022 Center for Whale Research

20210930KMJ_SJ1_3.jpg

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EncDate:09/10/22 

EncSeq:1

Enc#:71

ObservBegin:12:44 PM

ObservEnd:01:42 PM

Vessel:Mike 1

Staff:Mark Malleson

Pods:Transients

LocationDescr:Sooke

Start Latitude:48 18.65

Start Longitude:123 50.36

End Latitude:48 19.40

End Longitude:123 44.82

 

EncSummary:

Mark and his First Mutt, Fin left Victoria harbour on Mike 1 at 0745 to survey the Strait to the west of Race Rocks. The conditions were idyllic with not a breath of wind and Beaufort 0 conditions. 
They came across a couple of humpbacks as they worked their way up the Canadian side of the strait, a single juvenile near Church Rocks feeding in the tide line and a west bound adult ~ 1 nm off East Sooke Park.
After getting photos of a humpback cow and calf pair heading west at 9 knots off of Point no Point, 
Mark had a 5 minute binocular scan to the south and west before he heard what sounded like multiple humpback blows well to the south west. As he started to make his way in that direction he saw a back of a humpback and eventually multiple blows in the direction of Clallam Bay.
Between 1040 and 1200 he collected as many of the ~ 80 individuals fluke identification shots as he could before continuing north west back towards the Canadian side of the Strait. After another binocular scan slightly west of Sombrio Point he decided to make his way back to the east.  
At ~ 1215 Mark heard over the VHF radio that his colleague Paul from Sooke Explorations had come across the T069's east bound a little south of Sheringham Point. As Mike 1 neared their location the radio chatter indicated that all the boats had to leave due to time restraints so Mark offered to stop in for a quick encounter and hold onto the T069 group until the next commercial boat arrived.
At 1240 he had his first look at them tightly grouped up doing fairly long dives of 5 - 6 minutes. They appeared to be almost in a partial resting pattern but were making 5 knots in a SE direction. Mark had almost lost them after the first sequence but at around the 5 minute mark of their dive sequence as he was standing up on the front of the console to get a slight height of eye advantage over the minor ground swell, he spotted T069C's large dorsal fin behind him to the west. They appeared like they had stalled on a potential prey but as he trolled over towards them could see that they were still on their south east track.
After 7 or 8 minutes from the end of their second dive sequence Mark knew that he had missed an entire sequence and then another 10 minutes passed and he was quite humbled that they had given him the slip.
One of the large commercial whale watch boats called Mike 1 on the VHF knowing that he was holding onto them but Mark had to tell him that he hadn't seen them in close to 20 minutes. There were now 2 of the large commercial boats in the area looking so after another final scan Mark decided to head for home on a line for the shoreline of East Sooke. He had found the T069's there the day before around the same time east bound and it seemed unlikely that they had turned back west. Mark also felt that the he would have seen the blows to the south with the backlighting.
At 1342, ~ 40 minutes after last seeing them, they appeared off Mike 1's starboard bow 1 nm south west of Secretary Island, moving quickly north east towards the shoreline of East Sooke Park! Mark alerted the whale watch boats that were searching offshore and departed when the first boat layed eyes on them.

Photos taken under Federal Permits

NMFS PERMIT: 21238/ DFO SARA 388