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2022 Encounters

UAV Encounter #2 - May 6, 2022
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UAV Enc#: 2

ObservBegin: 02:30 PM

ObservEnd: 04:46 AM

Vessel: Orcinus

UAV ID: Columbia

Pilot: Michael Weiss

Operators: Michael Weiss

Staff: Dave Ellifrit, Michael Weiss

Other Observers: Darren Croft, Mia Lybkaer Kronborg Nielsen

Pods: Transients

LocationDescr: north Boundary Pass and southern Strait of Georgia

Start Latitude: 48 45.57

Start Longitude: 123 02.07

End Latitude: 48 53.09

End Longitude: 123 00.84


The team was working in the office when we heard about a group of transients that had been found east of Skipjack Island. We grabbed our gear, headed down to Snug Harbor, and left in the boat at 1345. “Orcinus” arrived on scene around 1430 about 3/4s of a mile southeast of East Point. The T34s, T37, T37Bs, and T75Bs were in a tight group heading north with T49A1 following behind them by about a hundred yards. The whales passed between East Point and Patos Island and then continued on a northerly course towards Point Roberts. T49A1 would sometimes wander farther away to the east before moving back towards the others. 
When the group had made it to a little less than halfway between East Point and Point Roberts, a few whales split off to the east of the others and began foraging in an area where we were seeing harbor porpoises. At about 1550, the foraging whales found a porpoise and began chasing it. The whales to the west came over to help out in the hunt. We quickly got the drone back up and Michael was able to obtain video of several whales pursuing the harbor porpoise before T34 came up and grabbed it by the peduncle. The whales then turned north again, carrying the porpoise for a bit before feeding upon it. We ended the encounter at 1646 about halfway between East Point and Point Roberts with the group tight together again and T49A1 following behind by a hundred yards or so.

Photos taken under Federal Permits


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