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UAV Encounter #3- April 3, 2024
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Vessel:KCB III

UAV ID:Skagit

Pilot:Michael Weiss

Operators:Michael Weiss

Other Staff:Dave Ellifrit

Other Observers:Darren Croft

Pods: Bigg's killer whales

LocationDescr:Spieden Channel

Start Latitude:48 37.10

Start Longitude:123 11.72

End Latitude:48 37.83

End Longitude:123 07.63



KCB III was re-launched at the Jackson Beach boat ramp after its first engine service. Darren took the trailer home while Michael and Dave took the boat up San Juan Channel towards Snug Harbor. There were multiple reports of Bigg’s in the Haro Strait area so there was a possibility of seeing whales on the way home. T11A was in Cordova Bay and T63 and T65 were a couple miles to the southeast of him. Mark had already got these whales in Mike 1 but another group was found near Mitchell Bay.
We arrived on scene a little north of Kellett Bluff at 1335. The T65Bs were finishing up a kill not too far off the Henry Island shoreline. There was a lot of milling and T65B spy-hopped once. Then the T65Bs started traveling slowly up the Henry Island shoreline in a tight group. We had a couple of short passes on the them but they were not arching much. The T65Bs went between Battleship Island and McCracken Point. We then decided to head to Snug Harbor and pick up Darren and the drone so we could get some drone footage on the whales. We left at 1350, picked up Darren, and got back on scene by 1430. The T65Bs were now heading easterly along the Spieden Island shoreline. We got the new drone up for one short flight before realizing we had no memory card on board for the new drone camera. We left the whales for a second time at 1445 as they were nearing the boathouse on the east end of Spieden.

Photos taken under Federal Permits


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