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Sightings Archive - Apr 15

April 2015 Whale Sightings

Summarized Sightings map HERE

April 30

April 30, 2015: On the morning of the last update (24 April) L84 and likely at least a few other L pod members were headed north off the Long Beach Peninsula, in southwest Washington. By the morning of the 25th they were off the entrance to Grays Harbor where they remained through the 26th. By the 27th they were headed south, off the entrance to Willipa Bay in the morning and off Cape Disappointment by that afternoon. They made a loop back to the north off the Long Beach Peninsula on the 28th but by the morning of the 29th they were off Nestucca Bay, in northern Oregon. They reversed direction and headed north such that by the morning of the 30th they were off the entrance to the Columbia River and the entrance to Willipa Bay by that afternoon.
Map and update courtesy of Brad Hanson, NOAA-NWFSC - Northwest Fisheries Science Center 2015 Southern Resident Killer Whale Satellite Tagging

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9:00 am - Greetings, I saw your poster on the PT ferry. Orcas off of Point Hudson at Port Townsend. -Bob Garrison

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5:00 pm - Markus and I went for a walk and randomly saw whales! Here is a photo of a J pod mum and calf swimming past the Oak Bay (Victoria, BC) golf course. Prior to that, we watched a number of killer whales traveling east bound in the Juan de Fuca strait from the Victoria shoreline. Spyhops, pec slapping, tail slapping, was observed. -Maria Chantelle Tucker.

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We encountered all of J pod near William Head traveling east towards Victoria waterfront this afternoon! -Andrew Lees

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3 J Pod babies just off Sooke BC, off Otter Point this morning about 10:30/11 am! Captain Paul from Sooke Coastal Explorations had a hunch that Jpod would be coming in front of Sooke. Wendy Cooke Lang and I went with Paul to see. It wasn't far until Wendy spotted at least 7 blows. Paul counted about 20 whales. -Deanna Brett

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3:00 pm - J-Pod headed NE past Metchosin towards Victoria... Watching from shore. They're pretty far out there but the big dorsal fins are easy to see! They're clipping along at a fast pace; about four commercial whale-watch vessels in the surrounding area. 11:34 am - J-Pod swimming east past Sooke Point right now! -Michelle Rachel

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April 30 L84 was just to north of the entrance to Grays Harbor, but well offshore, on our previous update (20 April). The whales moved inshore that afternoon, to just off the entrace to Grays Harbor, but by the morning of the 21st they had traveled due west and were on the shelf break. They headed north/northeast and were just north of Cape Elizabeth on the morning of the 22nd. From there they traveled south and by the morning of the 23rd were near the entrance to the Columbia River. They remained in this general area overnight and as of this morning (24 April) they were just north of Cape Disappointment. Map photo courtesy of Brand Hanson, NOAA, NMFSC Northwest Fisheries Science Center 2015 Southern Resident Killer Whale Satellite Tagging

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10:35 am - Orcas 1 mile north of McCurdy Point (Port Townsend) heading west. -Christopher Hanke

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9:57am - now they're heading northwest across the bay towards the San Juans.
9:54 am - They are right off Point Wilson right now. Look to be feeding just outside current. I see at least one large adult and possibly two small ones. So far have only seen three dorsels at once.
9:16 am - Off Fort Worden, Port Townsend Marine Science Center.
9:07 am - Orca pod off Port Townsend
right now. Just rounded point Hudson heading toward Point Wilson. -Rebecca Samuelson

April 29

With the T124 matriline. We definitely covered some water yesterday, leaving these orcas at Salamanca Point (Galiano Island, southwest Georgia St.). -Heather McIntyre, Legacy Charters,

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We headed out at 1:30pm and encountered TO49c near Becher Bay (west of Victoria) heading East. Whilst we watched TO49c, he continued to travel east towards Race Rocks. He did enter the park and the three WW boats stayed outside the park as he hunted and traveled along the main channel. Eventually he exited the park close by the Sea Lions and continued East. The final boat left TO49c heading for the VH marker. -Andrew Lees

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3:00 pm - Two orcas in front of Westbay Marina (Olympia). -John Glacken

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5:48 am - 2 Greys 50-60 yards off the beach. Cleaning and feeding. Traveling into Tulalip Bay. -Christopher Klaschik

April 28

8:02 pm - A small group of whales just turned up west sound on Orcas Island. -Brian Schmitz

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So, we are watching the humpback, Big Mama, just south of Patos Island. One of the passengers asked about Orcas. I told her that some had been sighted earlier in the morning near here, but no one had seen them since. I also mentioned that they could pop up any time and BOOM! THERE THEY WERE, Ts HEADED TOWARD US AND BIG MAMA! Squeals of laughter and delight! We followed the T36As, T49Bs past Patos Island as they headed toward East Point, Saturna Island, BC. Pics of mine from aboard the Peregrine, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching. -James Mead Maya

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6:35 am - Very active orcas east of Sucia island, seen through binoculars out of Echo Bay. 5-12 individuals although difficult to see as they were staying close together. Traveling slowly northbound. -Jennifer Smith

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Today we found two humpback whales near East Point, Saturna Island. One of the whales was a large female named Big Mama and the other was a younger, smaller animal (later ID'd as "Windy"). We watched them zig zag back and forth near the shallows of Boiling Reef and I couldn't resist snapping a shot with a humpback tale, the Patos Island Lighthouse, and Mt. Baker in the background. It was just too good to pass up. After this happened, the whales surprised us with a closer look. I will say this - It's not every day I have to go home and shower because I have whale snot all over me. And as a side note: humpbacks decidedly do not smell good. -Katie Jones

April 27

Some shots from today's encounter with the T36A's and T49B's near Salmon Bank! Another sweet day out there! -Gary Sutton

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Lovely day with T49Bs and T36s, south of South Beach, San Juan Island. -James Mead Maya

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Transients seen off the west side of San Juan Island from the Odyssey, San Juan Excursions whale watching boat out of Friday Harbor. -Carol Allen

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We watched the T036A's and T049B's take out a Harbour porpoise south of Discovery Island in the morning. They got another one at mid day north of Middle Bank. They continued traveling east along the west side of San Juan Island past Eagle Point and then jagged out to Hein Bank before continuing east to Rosario Strait. -Mark Malleson

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Today was awesome! Another beautiful day on the water. Sooke Whale Watching was going out on an adventure, so I jumped on for a ride! Transient Killer Whales off Victoria. -Deanna Brett

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12:30-1:00 pm - I saw 2 -3 Orcas between Bowen Island and Worlcombe Island (appr. 8 miles NW of Vancouver BC). They travelled quickly on the south side of Bowen passing Cape Roger Curtis. Looked like a large male and 2 smaller orca. They were spotted again near Deep Bay on Bowen around 3:00 pm and were headed north. Sorry no photos. Was a magical few minutes to see them. -Dianne Felsmann

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1:00 pm - My wife, Erika, and I saw a male orca swimming just south of Point of the Arches around the southern tip of Shi Shi beach (very northern end of Olympic National Park, south of the Makah Indian Reservation.) We had just walked through one of the smaller set of arches south of the point when we saw the huge, 6-foot dorsal fin emerge three times for surface breaths while swimming steadily southeast through the seastacks toward Ozette. It did not linger, and we did not see any other dorsals or sign of other orcas. The sighting was not long enough to take any photos, but it was a truly amazing, thrilling experience. We have seen the superpod in the San Juans, but this unexpected glimpse at a wilderness beach was magnificent. Time was approximately 1 p.m. ...he was swimming steadily, three surface breaths at regular five-to-10-second intervals. That weekend we observed many seals sunning on the numerous rocks and seastacks in this area, and we saw a few swimming, too. We assume the orca was a transient, only because we saw no other orcas, but we have no way of knowing. The very tall dorsal left no doubt it was a male, and we saw a fair amount of the body emerge during each breath -- he was a big guy. Once he disappeared behind a nearby seastack, we never got another glimpse. Sight angles are tight at that spot, a lot of obstructions. But the orca passed us fairly close to the arches where we were -- we did not need binoculars at all. -Scott Morris

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We have seen two grays much of the afternoon-they seem to be making big circles around Possession Sound. We watched them feeding on the flats and head toward Hat Island, then back toward the flats. We saw some great tail slaps today! My stepson (Michael Clark) got lots of photos (see below), and I will post some when we get back. My stepson smelled blow for the first time, too-LOL. Last we saw, they were heading in the direction of Langley. That was about 4:30. -Sharon Ann Clark

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3:55 pm - from Kayak County Park...looking south see blows mid channel approx. between Camano Head and Tulalip. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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3:05 pm -We just saw at least one gray whale on the flats near shadow of Pilchuk. I think there are more than one-clearly feeding. We aren't close enough to get good photos-now they are moving north-at least two. My birthday is complete-just wish I had a telephoto lens... -Sharon Ann Clark

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1:10 pm - from Harborview Park (Everett) Ed and I see gray whale off east side of Whidbey, south of Sandy Point generally heading slowly southbound. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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11:20am - Slowly heading north east towards Everett and east side of Hat a island
10:52am - Hanging out with a Gray Whale on this beautiful morning. Currently between Clinton and Mukilteo right on the ferry route mid channel. -Stu Davidson

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Gray Whale #53 "Little Patch" Between Clinton and Mukilteo right on the ferry route mid channel. -Stu Davidson

April 26

4:40pm - (Grays are at) Kayak Point Park -Kristin Kreifels

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2:38 pm - Have seen whale watching boats the past three days in Port Susan, and watched while several grey whales spouted and surfaced from our vantage point above Sunny Shores! -Connie Johnson

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1:10 pm - Just watched three gray whales feeding off Camano Island. Including #49 "patch" & #383. #22 was out there too! -Elyse Margaret

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Afternoon trip report - A 25th anniversary fundraising cruise today for Island County Beach Watchers - and what a great day for passengers, and whales! We headed towards Port Susan and immediately found #22 and #383 foraging along the shoreline with pectoral fins almost waving at us...another blow in the distance and we found #49 Patch heading towards Kayak Point, traveling with #21. Then yet another blow and we found #53 Little Patch in the middle of the bay!! Wow, 5 whales! We had time for a short re-visit with #22 and #383 before returning to port, it was so cool to see FIVE whales today, very happy passengers aboard Mystic Sea! -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

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Noon - we had the thrill of watching two gray whales feeding off our beach at Port Susan Terrace on east Camano Island. They were inside the buoy line and spent nearly an hour stirring up the bottom for their feast. Two whale watching boats shared the experience with us. This brought some questions to mind. How do the boat crews track the whales? And are there distance limitations for boats and gray whales,as there are with Orcas? We all love our whales. -Mary Pelland

April 25

11:45 pm - The magic of midnight on Port Susan: Still air, star filled sky, shimmering moonlight on a rippled sea, the silence of midnight broken by the blowing of a grey whale, eerily echoing off the bluff, swimming a stone's throw off the beach, headed for kayak point! Three blows and swim, Three blows and swim, fading into the night. -Doug Barlow

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Five gray whales in Port Susan this morning! Blue skies and sunshine soon replaced the early morning rain as Mystic Sea headed through calm water towards heart-shaped blows silhouetted against the skyline. Gray whales #22, 44 (Dubknuck), 49 (Patch), 53 (Little Patch) and 723 welcomed us as they swam slowly southwards in unison, the only sound breaking the silence being the 'whoosh' of air from their blowholes. How lucky we are to have these gentle giants around Whidbey Island every year... Our afternoon trip to Port Susan brought forth fresh fruit in the form of #383, accompanied by a friend (possibly #21) feeding close to shore. Returning to Langley we spotted blows off Fox Spit in Saratoga Passage - so that's where Patch and his companions went! -Sandra Pollard

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They came right up to the beach at Kayak Point this evening around 4:30. So amazing watching them feed. -Jacqueline Slaughter

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Two of the three grays feeding in Port Susan near Warm Beach this morning. -Gary Lingenfelter

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Capt. David Howitt, aboard his classic wooden 1956 42' pilot house sloop, the S/V Peniel, with humpback BCY0324 Big Mama, Boundary Pass, BC. -Capt. James Mead Maya

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Humpback whale BCY0324 aka "Big Momma" cartwheeling near Saturna Island BC. -James Gresham

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BCY0324 caudal/peduncle (aka tail) throws. The whale lies upside down, lifts it's aft end high in the air and slams the flukes down. She did this repeatedly. A humpback's peduncle, the area in front of the tail flukes, contains the most powerful muscles in the animal world. Strong enough to get a 60 ton animal airborne with 2-3 kicks of the tail. -James Gresham

April 24

J36 and J52 were west of Jordan River. -Mark Malleson

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Thanks to Paul from Sooke Explorations for relaying a sighting of killer whales off of Sheringham Pt. we were able to catch up with the J16's west of Jordan River. They were moving quickly west out the Juan de Fuca Strait. No sign of the rest of Jpod but likely well ahead. -Mark Malleson

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Was out on an adventure with Sooke Coastal Whale Watching! We found Jpod off of Sheringham Lighthouse (Sooke, BC). There were 2 babies. One of them was jumping out of the water. It was way too fast to capture at the time. Towards the end of our visit with them I got a bit of footage of the wee one hanging with his momma! -Deanna Brett

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There are no fewer than five grays in Port Susan today at Kayak Point. One of them had a large patch of tan-colored barnacles on head. #21? -Gary Lingenfelter

April 23

We started off with gray skies and light rain, but that didn't deter our passengers or the whales! Heading south we found #44 Dubknuck south-west of Hat Island - heading towards the Clinton Ferry. He showed us his fluke (tail) several times as he continued on south. We then turned north towards Camano Island, and found 3 more whales near Port Susan. One was a bit elusive and we could not identify, but the other two were #21 and #22, traveling together southbound. We had some really good viewing of these two as they surfaced in tandem several times, and by the time we headed for Langley - the sun was out! A great day again aboard the Mystic Sea. -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

April 22

It's always such a pleasure to get to spend time with Jpod...we got to see them around False Bay on San Juan Island. Conditions were a bit on the rough side but that never stops the magic when you are with these guys! It was my first chance to get a look at some of our wonderful new babies!!! -Ashley Keegan, Wild Whales Vancouver

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One of the J-pod calves seen from Island Explorer 4. -Mark Connell

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Some highlights from our trip with J pod offshore of False Bay. We had everyone except for the J14's, J22's, J2 and L87 who must have been trailing behind. We spent some quality time with the "Jabies", which is always a treat! -Gary Sutton

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J34 and J27 exiting Middle Channel (south end of Haro Strait) in the morning. -Mark Malleson

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2:00 pm - Three orcas spotted at Inn of the Sea, Yellow Point (Ladysmith, BC). We had over 20 seals near us and the whales came really close. Traveling maybe stopped for a short while to feed on a seal. They didn't stay long so not sure if they were feeding. There were two large ones and a smaller one. -Karen Green

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Greys are back for a second night of feeding and cleaning. Just off the beach 100 yards. Mission Beach, Tulalip WA. -Christopher Klaschik

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Gray Whale #22 spy-hops six times at our stern as we drift, engines shut down, in calm waters aboard the Island Explorer 3. -Michael Colahan

April 21

Big air day!!! We witnessed another predation event, with the 65a's and the 75b's hunting presumably a harbor porpoise at Danger Shoal (where Speiden Channel meets Haro Strait). They were successful, judging by the many seagulls who showed up shortly after these shots were taken. -Spencer Domico, Legacy Charters

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9:15 am - Maia of WA State Ferries called with a report of 6 orcas (five females and one juvenile) in Port Townsend Bay off the ferry dock, heading north.

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Orcas sighted in Port Hadlock on Tuesday morning by a student at the NW School of Wooden Boat Building. -Neena Milton

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11:25 am - Justine from the Victoria Clipper called to report a pod of Transient orcas in San Juan Channel, between San Juan Island and Yellow Island, north bound toward Spieden Island.

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6:40 am - John Miller of WA State Ferries called with a report of 6 to 9 orcas at the east entrance to Thatcher Pass in Rosario Strait, heading south.

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9:15 am - Maia of WA State Ferries called with a report of 6 orcas (five females and one juvenile) in Port Townsend Bay off the ferry dock, heading north.

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6:55 pm - Grey Whale right off the beach in front of our house. Mission Beach Lane, Tulalip, WA. Shes Beautiful! -Christopher Klaschik

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6:33 pm - Gray whale Activity now 206* SW of Mission Beach in Tulalip, WA. Between Mission Beach and Hat Island. -Christopher Klaschik

April 20

L87, J22, J39, J2, J19 regrouping after being spread far and wide. A family meeting perhaps? They milled around in a tight group for awhile, going south then going north then south again, until deciding on going north slowly. Looking for the J17s who must have been further up the strait? -Tasli Shaw

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Hey! large group of orcas spread out travelling north (unusual) to the west of Lummi Island at sunset - looks to be Residents, a few large males, lots of tail lobbing! First sighting of season for me! yippee! -Penny Stone, Lummi Island

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11:00 am - Saw 8 Orcas -with baby today at Guemes ferry! -Jazz Morgan

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10:30am - Saw 8 killer whales from Guemes Ferry terminal in Anacortes traveling South on Guemes Channel. At least one very young one. -Morty Cohen

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Debra Potter called to report seeing 6 to 8 orcas Monday morning from 9 am to 9:45, about two miles NE of the Anacortes marina, between Saddlebag and Huckleberry Islands, SE of Guemes Island in Padilla Bay. She says she'll send photos.

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Orca watchers, here's you latest update on tagged orca L84. 20 April update - This past week marked the beginning of the third month of tracking L84. The whales continued to spend time off the southwest Washington and northern Oregon coasts during this time. As of the morning of the last update (14 April) the whales were approaching the area near the Columbia River. They turned north and by the morning of the 15th were between the entrances to Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay. From there, they turned south and by the morning of the 16th were off Tillamook Head. They then turned north that day and by the morning of the 18th were off the entrance to Grays Harbor, before turning south. On the morning of the 18th they were off Tillamook Bay, where they again turned north and were off the entrance to the Columbia River on the morning of the 19th. By this morning (20th) they were just to north of the entrance to Grays Harbor, but well offshore. Map photo courtesy of Brad Hanson, NOAA-NWFSC Northwest Fisheries Science Center 2015 Southern Resident Killer Whale Satellite Tagging

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5:55 pm - Saw at least 5, maybe 6 orcas about 125-150 yards from shore at Possession Point (south Whidbey Island) heading south. They were not feeding, just traveling. -Rhonda Kaye

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T103 east bound south of Discovery Island. -Mark Malleson

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4:05 pm - It's proximity to the speeding ferry made perspective easy: it was nearly as big a the vehicles on the car deck. It had a relatively short, somewhat curled dorsal fin, and a perpendicular off-white stripe on its upper side.
3:45 pm - Witnessed a lone Orca quickly jump out of the way of the 3:45PM Bainbridge-bound ferry (from Seattle), NE of Blakely Rock. Saw it surface two more times as is continued north. -James Rufo Hill

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Beautiful April (but felt like July) day on the water near Smith Island with the T101s and the T124As! And Mount Baker for good measure... -Katie Jones

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T101A, T102, T124A2 and T124A2A near Hein Bank. -Gary Sutton

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4:10 pm - Orcas heading westward in Strait of Juan de Fuca. 3 boats with them. Barely visible with binoculars from Grandma's Cove American Camp SJI. Likely NNW of Dungeness Spit right now. -Ariel Yseth

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1:04 pm - Large Pod of Orca just finished passing Rosario Beach Area headed south. They passed fairly close to Deception Island. -Maureen Gentry-Skow

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7:30 am - Heading west through the Pass...out of sight for me from Salmon Beach now.
7:16am - They went from Deception Pass to Ala spit then back to Coronet Bay. Still there off Dewey Beach.
6:45 am - Orca near the old ferry landing east of Deception Pass, just after sunrise...still in Skagit Bay. -Breck Smith

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6:15 am - 7 orcas (including 1 male and with very young calf in tow) Between Ala Spit and the west end of Hope Island traveling towards Deception Pass bridge. Feeding, Spyhopping and traveling. -Roger Baker

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Saw this gray whale about 6:00pm about 3 miles south of Elger Bay off of Camano Island. -Feeding all by itself, watched it for about 30 min. and never saw another whale around. -Andrew Dillon

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Trip report: The summer-like weather continued, the seas were calm, and we found two of our gray giants feeding on the drop-off between Hat (Gedney) Island and Everett. #383 was the first whale we found, and soon #22 joined him and they traveled together, feeding, and sometimes just logging on the surface. At one point they surfaced in tandem between us and another boat, wow, now that was a surprise, and such a treat to hear their powerful "blows". We scouted further afield looking for more whales but none were found before we needed to head back to Langley. What a great day for many passengers who had never seen whales before!! -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

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For the second evening in a row, about 5 PM, we had a Gray Whale feeding just below our bluff. The tide was in and the whale was feeding in the shallows, barely breaking the surface. -Barbara Brock

April 19

J52 is a male! -Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research

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L87 Onyx spiced things up a bit breaching several times without warning! Love this big guy! Born in 1992. -Heather McIntyre

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I'm in love with this kid. I got to "meet" one of the new calves in J-pod today, little J51. When I first saw him he was on his side trying to slap his pec fin on the water with his mom. It was super cute! -Sara Hysong-Shimazu

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Stunning day on the water! I spent all day watching J Pod in Haro Strait today. Their behavior suggested that they were very serious about foraging, and were spread six miles at one point. The more time these orcas spend spread out, broken up into small family groups foraging, the less socializing they are able to do. Socializing is incredibly important for these whales, and often leads to breeding interaction. With a population hovering around just eighty orcas, they need to be breeding! We did get to see all three of the new J Pod calves and some social behavior towards the end of the day. J50 was as spunky as ever and spent much of her time with older sister, J42 Echo. This is the first time I've seen J42 Echo babysitting. What a special matriline the J16's are, but then, I'm a bit bias! Goodnight all you orca lovers! -Heather McIntyre

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I've barely had time to process the amazing transient encounter from last night, when J-Pod shows up on the west side this morning! Here's J41 Eclipse - the youngest-ever documented Southern Resident mother - and her two month old son J51. -Monika Wieland

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Had a wonderful encounter with Jpod on the west side of San Juan Island! -Traci Walter

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1:00 pm - Orcas out between Lime Kiln and Snug Harbor (San Juan Island), heading north. -Derick Evans

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12:04 pm - Anyone else hearing this unique whistling on Lime Kiln? It was awesome! -Vickie Doyle

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11:41 am - Very active Orcas at Lime Kiln right now! -Chloe Ross

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11:00 am - After we heard the whales on the Limekiln hydrophone, we headed for the lighthouse. We saw probably the last 3rd of JPod swim by (we missed the babies!). They were very spread out. They had a few instances of playfulness - several tail lobs and at least 8 breaches. The best part was J2 Granny, J34 DoubleStuf and another female swimming by - they passed very close to shore and came up for air right in front of the lighthouse. It was a beautiful day for whales! -Colleen Moore

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Watching J pod from shore passing Lime Kiln Lighthouse. -Colleen Moore

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J pod male passing Lime Kiln Lighthouse. -Colleen Moore

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9:38 - faint squeaks.
9:33am - Echolocation on Lime Kiln hydro
. -Gayle Swigart

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Definitely 6 of them, maybe more. We watched them from the 3 Sisters Farm, Oak Harbor, heading north east at 6pm, but then they came back! Watched them from 8-8:20pm just circling in the mouth of the cove - lots of tail slaps, and breaches by the little one. Water was very calm, they seemed to be playing. -Caroline Renard

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7:43 pm - Finally picked them up again. They turned and are heading south. They are south of Oak Harbor but north of Penn Cove. I'm heading home but will watch from above Woodland Beach.
7:10 pm - Passed Oak Harbor and heading to Crescent Harbor. -Krista Paulino

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5:56 pm - In Penn Cove headed out east, west of me at Long Point. -Rachel Haight

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5:15 pm - Standing on Maylor Point in Oak Harbor just watched 6-7 orca go into Penn Cove from Oak Harbor Bay towards Coupeville. I watched them until the went around Scenic Heights. -Eric Rosemore, Mystic Sea Charters

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2:30 pm - small pod heading north of Indian Beach. Center of Saratoga Passage. -Scott Wheeler

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2:20 pm - We saw the pod near Camano State Park heading north. At least two males and three females. -Sarah Malmstead

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1:59 pm - With Rachel at Fox Spit orcas heading towards Cama Beach close to Camano side. -Marilyn Armbruster

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1:52 pm - They are northbound in front of Camano State Park now.
1:40 pm - I just spotted them. Well north of Bells Beach. -Rachel Haight

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1:35 pm - Seeing Ts straight out from Fox Spit still heading north, about mid channel. -Marilyn Armbruster

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1:20 pm - from Langley spotted the orcas across closer to Camano side across from Bells Beach. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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12:56 pm - They are moving fast, they are probably near Bells Beach, closer to Camano side. -Marilyn Armbruster

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12:45 pm - 2 pods, about 2-3 each are heading north into Saratoga Passage, near tip of Camano. -Ryan Muehlbauer

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11:56 am - Volunteering at Langley Whale Center - just got a call that orca are north of Clinton, trending north and they hadn't seen any grays yet, but heard there are 4 around Hat/Gedney Island. -Connie Bickerton

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11:30 am - They are now north of the ferry lines. Continuing to head north. Looks like the Mystic Sea just caught up with them.
11:22 am - Small pod of orcas just south of the Clinton ferry dock, first going north, then south, may have just made a kill. -Danielle Pennington

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10:47am - Orcas off Possession Beach headed north quickly towards the Clinton ferry. Saw two babies and 2-3 big males. -Nicole Woltersdorf

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Today's benefit whale watch brought us to the Snohomish delta where we found gray whale #383 wearing a bright orange suction-cup and beloved Patch, #49 side-by-side. Soon veteran researcher John Calambokidis from Cascadia Research pulled up to the Mystic Sea in an inflatable boat from which he and his assistants had just attached the tag to the whale. John told us this was the last day of three days of tagging research, with two more days of photo-identification studies to follow. The tags yield a wide array of information about gray whale behavior underwater, from dive depth, duration, angles of descent and ascent, and feeding methods. Most exciting is that the tag includes a video camera to record the pit-feeding maneuvers to bring up ghost shrimp buried over a foot deep in the mud. More about the gray whale field studies can be found on the Cascadia Research Collective facebook page. We also found gray whale #53 feeding on his side with a flipper and fluke tip waving in the air a few miles off the Tulalip Reservation.-Susan & Howard, Orca Network

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3:00-5:00pm - It was a beautiful and sunny with lots of passengers on Orca Network's fundraising cruise this afternoon. We searched out the gray whales close to Everett, and learned that Cascadia Research had just tagged whale #383 and Cascadia (John Calambokidis) stopped by the Mystic Sea to explain what they were doing. #383's tag/camera was quite visible, it would most likely have dropped off the whale by late this afternoon. Traveling with #383 was everybody's favorite #49 Patch! Had some great views of them both, then went off to find #53 (sometimes known as "Little Patch") who was a little further south. All too quickly it was time to head back to port - it was an exciting and fun trip today aboard the Mystic Sea. -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

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6:50 pm - Just saw three very large spouts just north of Jetty island in Everett. I saw two blows at the same time, so more than one whale out there! Can't believe I left without my binoculars!! -Holly Balley Aprecio

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5:30 pm - Gray feeding all along the Mabana shore...Lots of happy people enjoying a beautiful sunny Sunday, topped off with watching and listening to the whale. Lots of excited kids also. I overheard one say, "I love where we live!" Couldn't agree more. -Barbara Brock

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11:14am - Blows off the south end of Hat Island. Looks to be 2-3 maybe even more Grey whales. They are trending south east. -Danielle Pennington

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Northern Puget Sound gray whale update: 19 April was our final day of suction cup tag deployments on gray whales and we successfully deployed 2 camera tags on whales. The first was brief when a 2nd whale knocked the tag off the whale within the first few minutes which damaged the fragile flotation on this tag and took it out of action though this did show the level social contact and interaction among these animals. Our 2nd tag (on ID 383) was of a different design with a single wide angle camera in front (this tag also constructed by Custom Animal Tracking Solutions working in collaboration with Stanford) and this represented only the 2nd deployment of this tag design on a whale. This tag stayed on into the evening before we recovered it and we are just starting to download and look at the images (see below) and data. Some of the initial video showed this whale in contact with the bottom and also filming a 2nd whale ahead (Patch) who appeared to also be feeding on the bottom off Hat Island. Overall these trips have provided more data than we expected both from the tags as well as the fecal samples, photo-IDs, and behavior monitoring. After studying these whales for more than 20 years, the video and tag data provide a perspective we have never before had. -John Calambokidis, Cascadia Research Collective

April 18

I had an amazing encounter with a group of transients this evening off Henry Island - here's one lunging in pursuit of a Steller sea lion. It was the T65As, T65Bs, and T75Bs. They seemed to "play" with the sea lion for about 30 minutes before continuing north. Baby T75B2 off Henry Island - just a week or two old. -Monika Wieland

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Wild Whales Vancouver headed to Hein Bank to see the T65A's, T65B's and T75B's with their new baby. We came on scene and found them slowly making their way in a North Westerly direction. T65A5 kept popping up for air with it's full face out of the water before doing a chin flop back into the water. -Ashley Keegan

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6:10 pm - Now heading south through Drayton Pass (west side Anderson Island). We were so lucky to see them! -Christine Hunt

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I was told at 5:15 PM that Whales were sighted from the Pierce County Anderson Island Ferry heading towards Eagle Island then probably down the West side of Anderson Island around Devils head heading south towards Olympia. A few minutes later reports of a Sighting close to Eagle Island on the North side of Anderson Island - This report said (4) were sighted heading south. -Robert Lyden

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Orca, 5 off Steilacoom heading toward Anderson Island! -Trecy Kraus

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4:57 pm - Just saw them near Steilacoom! -Shalya Miquel Giles

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4:51pm - Orcas just went by chambers bay golf course, headed south. Possibly 3-5. -Larry A Capps

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4:00 pm - I wanted to report the sighting of a pod of orcas we came across under the (Tacoma) Narrow's bridge. They were slowly moving south on east side of the channel. We counted six orca's and one baby. We observed one very large one....They continued south. It was awesome. -Paul Cooper

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Saw at least 5 orcas at Owens beach today in Tacoma! Amazing! -Andrea Ritchie

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Saw a pod off of Point Defiance today about 8 whales and a baby. So majestic! And they were so close to shore. -Kandy A Holloway

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3:00 pm - Having lunch today at Tacoma Yacht Club when pod came by, 6 counted. Feeding on seals, saw a large amount of blood in water. Was viewed by many people in Anthony's restaurant, in the Yacht club, people on shore and two power boat they swam up to. -Joanne Bishop

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2:30 pm - Approximately 6 Orcas seen by large crowd at about 2-3 PM Saturday afternoon. Largest came within 80 yds of shore. -Michael Claffy

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2:00 pm - observed a single orca, southbound about 1 mile SE of Point Robinson lighthouse. Narrow dorsal fin, all black on right side, narrow and approximately 4' tall. Surfaced 2 times in a 90 second period, then submerged. Observed 100-150' from our northbound Sailboat. -Michael Johnson

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1:00 pm - I don't see mention of this so on behalf of all the folks who look here - we have received reader video of two orcas seen southbound close to shore at Point Robinson on Vashon Island earlier this afternoon. Around 1 pm, according to the reader's note. Will be processing to post on our site shortly. Only sighting report we've received. -Tracy Record, West Seattle Blog

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12:30 pm - We just saw 7 orcas making their way south. Two large ones in the lead and about five following behind. We spotted them off of three tree point on Puget Sound. -Sophia Musiak

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Gray Whales off of Gedney Island. -Steve Smith

April 17

1:50 am - Transient calls on Lime Kiln Hydrophone. -Connie Bickerton

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John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research attached a suction cup tag on gray whale #22 today. The tag may only last a few hours but can yield dive times and depths, and hopefully some video of pit-feeding, to see how it's done.

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11:05 am - Early whale sighting from "Mystic Sea" of #44 (Dubknuck) heading in a generally northerly direction, before spotting #21, #22, #49 (Patch) and #53 (Little Patch)... Let's hope these huge, gentle creatures pay us a visit tomorrow for Langley's "Welcome the Whales." -Sandra Pollard

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11:41 am - Looks like a Gray whale in Saratoga Passage between Langley and south end of Camano. -Becky Wilson

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11:20 am - Eric of Mystic Sea called to report Gray whale #44 Dubnuck near Camano Head trending NW towards Baby Island , Fox Spit area.

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Tiny little transient kiddo, T75B2, near Flat Top Island. This teeny squirt may only be a week or two old. -Katie Jones

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Transient south of Hein Bank. -Capt. James Mead Maya

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John Calambokidis (with Jeff Foster from Cascadia and Dave Cade, Stanford) deployed a video and dive recording tag on a gray whale (CRC ID 22) on Friday morning at around 1000 near Everett, Washington. The tag was deployed with a long pole and attached to the whale with four small suction cups. The goal of the overall study is to document diving and feeding behavior of whales (video to help confirm feeding) in this region to help evaluate the proportion of their diet by prey and habitat and is being conducted with the support and collaboration of the Washington Department of Natural Resources. We initially found two gray whales (ID 22 and 49) off Hat Island and deployed the tag just as they were joined by another pair (ID 21 and 383). The tag was deployed with a very slow approach as the whale was almost stationary and the tag was placed just a few m behind the blowhole. The tag has stayed on all day and into the night so hopefully successfully gathering video and ancillary diving kinematics data including depth, speed, acceleration, and heading but this will not be confirmed until the tag comes off and is recovered because this wealth of data is all stored on the tag. Deployment covered both low and high tide and included close to 50 documented feeding events around the Snohomish Delta, which is far better than we hoped to get on the whole effort (as long we get the tag back and it was functioning OK). Several whale watch boats arrived on the area after the tag deployment and we were able to discuss with them the function of the tag and of the study. We left the whale late in the day as the wind picked up but we could pick up the radio signal of the tag still on the whale late into the night from our hotel. Tomorrow we will look to recover this tag and continue the study.

April 16

Bigg's Killer Whales with a new calf in the middle! Not sure who the new one belongs to yet! -Traci Walter

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Good morning! As if we weren't having enough fun watching those cute little J pod babies...we were able to spend time with a new transient orca baby! We had two wonderful encounters with the T65A's, T65B's, T75Bs, and T75C as they cruised in amongst the San Juan Islands. We were able to view several kills, but the highlight of the day was the new little kiddo in the group - likely belonging to T75B. -Katie Jones

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It felt like a summer day on the water this afternoon. Weather that would spoil anyone rotten while spending time with a very frisky group of transient orcas near Lopez Island. This group included one of my favorite families - the T65A's, which consists of a mother and her four kids. The are so much fun to hang out with. When we caught up with the whales, they must have just made a kill because there was all kinds of exuberant behavior like this breach. -Katie Jones

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Lots of Transients, some scenes from encounter with T65As, T65Bs, T75Bs & T75C. -James Mead Maya

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12:00pm - John Rogstadt of WA State Ferries called at noon to relay a report from the Ferry Sealth as it was east-bound out of Thatcher Pass, of 3 adult orcas and 1 calf, in Rosario Strait headed north.

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12:45 pm - Can anyone get eyes looking north towards Oak Harbor? I saw a dorsals or a black tail fin at least that's what it appeared to me. -Rachel Haight

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7:15 pm - Second evening in a row at the same time we watched a Gray whale from Grand Ave. Park in Everett, looked to be heading toward Saratoga passage, halfway between Jetty and Hat Islands (maybe a bit closer to Jetty). I just LOVE living here!! -Shelby Hight Fifield

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7:00 am - I'm seeing several spouts between Gedney and Everett. Much too far away to ID, but at least 2 whales and I think they were Grays. Close together, headed west past the south end of Gedney. -Caleb Thompson

April 15

BABIES! What an incredibly beautiful day spent with J pod. They spent most of the morning really spread out off the west side of San Juan Island, but early in the afternoon, the entire pod grouped very tightly together just as we began our encounter. What a treat to see the new youngsters sandwiched amongst their families, popping about like corks here and there. You have to keep a sharp eye for them though! Those little rascals surface so quickly that if you blink, you will miss them. -Katie Jones

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Awesome encounter with J pod near Middle Bank. -Gary Sutton

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9:48 am - very loud whistles.
9:42 am - now audible on Lime Kiln
8:32am - SR calls on OrcaSound -Gayle Swigart

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8:33am - start hearing J pod on OrcaSound hydrophone. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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Bigg's killer whales: T65As,T65Bs,T75Bs & T75C. Such lovely beings! Here's an 8 minute video from the encounter with Transients/Bigg's killer whales: T65As, T65Bs, T75Bs & T75C AND new calf. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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7:00pm - passing between Kayu Kayu, Richmond Beach and Kingston...still west of mid channel. Beautiful day!
6:20 pm - update: Ts still northbound steady pace just about to Jefferson Head traveling still west of mid channel towards Kitsap side. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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6:32pm - visible from Kayu Kayu park (Richmond Beach in Shoreline). Headed north. -Esther du Crocq

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6:10 pm - looking south from President Point I think I saw a couple of blows. -Joanne Graves

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5:10 pm - Watching from Rolling Bay. They are headed north and west. Should be visible from Sunrise Bluff and Fay Bainbridge soon... -Kimberly Sylvester-Malzahn

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4:30 pm - orcas northbound steadily mid channel (maybe more to the island side) passing Skiff point on Bainbridge. Should soon be viewable from Fay Bainbridge park if not already. -Lynn Batson

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5:05pm - from Shilshole marina/Golden Gardens I've been watching their illuminated blows as they move north...west of mid channel out from, but nearing Faye Bainbridge.
4:20pm - from Magnolia bluff see them mid channel between Murden Cove/Bainbridge and Magnolia, still south of West Point. Pod is in tight resting group northbound. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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4:15pm - between Magnolia and Bainbridge, on Bainbridge side, heading steadily northbound. -Brian Bennett

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3:20 pm - just saw from the Seattle-Bremerton ferry ride a pod of 5-6 orcas heading north! -Catherine Leon

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3:20 pm - Marie Waterman of WS Ferries relayed a report of 6-7 orcas, including one very small one, heading north in the southbound lane off Restoration Point, Bainbridge Island.

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2:30 pm - Last we saw they were headed towards Bainbridge from Blake Island. -Karl Johnson

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I saw what appeared to be a pod of 6-8 orcas between the Fauntleroy ferry dock in West Seattle and the Vashon ferry dock on Vashon Island. They were there for several hours from late AM to early PM. They were far away but could clearly see dorsal fins and white markings on their sides...They were very active and splashing around a lot but staying in the same basic area the whole time. Eventually a small boat approached them and was very close to them (NOAA Research boat). -Donn Bennett

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We had the T65A's, T65B's, T75B's and T75C. There was a new calf that was with T75B most of the day but T65B was also near it. It still had fetal folds and the fin is still bent over. T65A2 was carrying around part of the kill that they were working when we arrived. -Candice Emmons, NOAA, NWFSC

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2:00 pm - Brad Hanson of NOAA's NWFSC reports that he and crew have identified the T65As and the T65Bs in the Vashon/Fauntleroy ferry lane, feasting on something that seems to have been a large mammal from the bits and pieces left behind. They haven't moved far in several hours but seem to have possibly started trending northward.

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1:28 pm - I have been watching the pod from Brace Point for 30 minutes - breaching - tail slaps the whole 9 yards - breathtaking! -Kristin Jones

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1:05pm - Whales still milling around Vashon/ Fauntleroy run. Small research boat marks the spot. -Wayne McFarland

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1:00 pm - We just saw a pod of orcas while on the Southworth to Fauntleroy ferry. -Judy Arbogast, Seola Beach, WA

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12: 05 pm - Pod has moved a bit north and west...looks like NOAA is with them. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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11:45 am - They've been in the same spot for at least 3 hours now. I don't know how long they were there before I saw them on the 8:15 ferry and they're still there on the 10:40 crossing (more like 10:50). -Sarah Low

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10:54 am - They are still hanging out just south of the ferry lane Fauntleroy to Vashon. Mid channel. -Debbie Taylor

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11:05-11:40 am - Wow! Now watching from the ferry I can confirm they are on a kill. A lot of surface activity: lunging, cartwheels, breaching, circling in coordinated movements. The pod of 8+ orcas (including mature male and young ones) have kept to the same general area (south of the east bound ferry lanes). Tail lobbing and series of 5 to 6 breaches which elicited happy boisterous responses from some ferry riders!
10:35 am - from Fauntleroy ferry dock see them breaching and lunging, mid channel same spot south of Vashon ferry. Look to be on a kill. I am getting on the 10:40 ferry! -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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10:30 am - Gail Glatzmayer at 106th and Marine View Dr. is watching "a lot of orcas" playing and not really going anywhere but trending slowly south, in the Vashon/Fauntleroy ferry lane, out in mid channel.

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12: 05 pm - Pod has moved a bit north and west...looks like NOAA is with them.
10:02 am - Just saw them on the ferry as we were pulling into Fauntleroy!! Quite active & frisky!! Heading south-ish, towards Vashon. -Hannah Keim-Mayes

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9:00 am - 6-7 orcas seen from the Cathlamet - Vashon to Fauntleroy. Headed south to Vashon. They are moving quite fast - next spot to see might be Dolphin Point or Dilworth - yay orcas ! -Aimee Demarest

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8:38 am - Orca show from the Vashon ferry, heading north from Dolphin point, lots of playing and splashing. -Amy Rutherford

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8:38 am - Orcas spotted mid-channel on Vashon-Fauntleroy ferry just now. -Sarah Low

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Just before 8 PM, I was sitting out on the deck enjoying a calm still evening, hoping to hear a whale, when "whoosh"! A single gray whale was feeding just inside the drop-off line. Feeding was quite shallow, with not a lot of blows. I watched as it made its way slowing toward Mabana against an apricot sunset. Spectacular! There are also getting to be noticeably more whale feeding pits visible on the beach, so I know gray whales have been by, even if I haven't seen them. -Barbara Brock Mabana, Camano Island

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7:15-7:30pm - We watched 3 Gray whales close to the east side of Hat Island heading north. -Shelby Hight Fifield

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6:13 pm - We just saw two grays in Possession Sound! Lots of blows off south end of Hat Island; then we saw them toward the flats-they seem to be heading up the passage, toward the flats, or back toward Hat Island....This is the first time he has seen a whale, so we are all excited. We are heading back to the marina and going to call it a day-no wind. -Sharon Ann Clark

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3:10 pm - Gray whales in Possession Sound! Finn Gatewood called to report 2 Gray whales seen from the Clinton to Mukilteo ferry... They were between the ferry lanes and Hat/Gedney Island, heading south toward the Clinton ferry dock.

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1:30 pm - We received a sightings report of a spout on the Mukilteo/Edmonds side, heading north toward Mukilteo.

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1:00pm - One Gray (not sure if more) at green buoy south end of Possession Point. Direction of travel north easterly. -Stu Davdison

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Looked like a single Minke whale entering the ferry lanes heading north at 4:00pm. The whale was half way across the sound between Mukilteo and Clinton. -Tim Taylor

April 14

Looks like J51 is a male...he was with mom J41 and J47 (J19 and J35 were nearby), and there did appear to be some pushing going on. A few times J47 surfaced right with J51 while J41 was a little bit ahead. J47 was breaching a bit as well, it was pretty charming and interesting to see him tagging along with the baby. I'm not sure if this photo is the baby getting a little bump or him skirting out of the water sideways (I think it is the latter as none of the other photos clearly shows another whale under him). -Tasli Shaw

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Orca watchers, here's your latest update on the tagged orca L84. 14 April update - The whales have continued to spend time off the southwest Washington coast over the past several days. As of the morning of the last update (10 April) the whales were just north of the entrance to Willapa Bay, heading south. They continued south and by the morning of the 11th were off the Columbia River. On the morning of the 12th, they were just south of the Columbia River, but heading north. The morning of the 13th found them between Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay and on the morning of the 14th they were off the middle of the Long Beach Peninsula heading south, approaching the area near the Columbia River by that evening. -Brad Hanson, NOAA, NWFSC, Northwest Fisheries Science Center 2015 Southern Resident Killer Whale Satellite Tagging

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2:30pm - We encountered the TO49A's at the south East corner of James Island. The Orcas were in a very sleepy mode as they travelled north up Sidney Channel. They did not travel very far in the time we were with them and had obviously made a kill earlier as we saw a large Stellar Sea Lions swim right past them (lucky Sea Lion. We believe these were the Transient Orcas reportedly heard on the hydro phones earlier in the day but had not been seen until we found them! -Andrew Lees, Manager & Marine Naturalist, Five Star Whale Watching

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4:30 pm - ...we saw three Orcas at the same location heading north. (between Mukilteo and Clinton. -Tim Taylor

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7:40 pm - Just saw the Gray Whale surface again east of the green channel marker north of Point No Point. Looked to be heading NE.
6:23 pm - Just saw the whale fluke up, very close to the Whidbey side. We saw the whale again at 6:30, 6:35 and 6:40 steadily plodding south. It will be fun to see which one shows up off Langley tomorrow. -Susan Berta/ Howard Garrett

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6:00 pm - from Shore Meadow Road, Mutiny Sands, Whidbey Island - heart-shaped blow back-lit by the sun in Admiralty Inlet followed by the distinctive roll of a gray whale's back heading steadily south, hopefully to join the other Puget Sound grays. Will this be a new arrival or a previous visitor we haven't yet seen this year? It's amazing to me that we have the privilege of seeing these behemoths in our local waters taking a little time out on their migration to feast on the ghost-shrimp around our island. Let's hope they all find plenty to eat. -Sandra Pollard

April 13

T065A3 spyhopping after a seal kill in Haro Strait . -Mark Malleson

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T075B with T075B2 south bound near Gordon Head. -Mark Malleson

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T075B, T075C and T065B south bound at Ten Mile Point. -Mark Malleson

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I've been told that the two orcas that came into the Sooke Harbour are believed to be mother (50y) and son (35y) T11 & T11A . Isn't that sweet! (Video of T011 & T011A). -Deanna Brett

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1:56 pm - There is a pod inside Sooke Harbour right now. -Sara Galbraith

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Trip report - The weatherman was good to us, the rain held off and we found whales! Heading south from Langley, we caught up with two favorites - Gray whales #49 Patch, and #44 Dubknuck as they traveled back and forth between Hat Island and the Clinton ferry dock. It was a little choppy, but we still had some great views of them. We heard of another whale feeding along the Langley shoreline and found #22, busily feeding on her side, many views of her pectoral fin and 'half' her tail fluke as she scooped up those little shrimp from the sediment. We watched her travel from Langley to Sandy Point. Many people in Langley watched her pass by from Whale Bell Park. It was a good day on the water! -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

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Another day, another whale. Such is the reinvigorated whale season on Whidbey Island. It is windy, cool and chucking rain today after a blue-skied Sunday, but the boats were out whale watching regardless. Hardy souls who love water-bound mammals enjoying the feeding frenzy along Langley Beach again today. You'll see how windy it was from the breath spout photos. As soon as a spout happened, the wind carried it away. The boats were keeping a respectful distance from this incredible scene of gray whales dining on the ghost shrimp. In 2013 a group of concerned citizens formed a grassroots effort and with Langley Mayor Fred McCarthy lobbied the Department of Natural Resources to stop the ghost shrimp fishing along our shores. And won! As a result of their committed actions we are reaping the benefit because this is the fourth time this spring we've spotted feeding along our beaches. Last year, only once, and the same the year before. A good indication that if the ghost shrimp are plentiful, so are the gray whales who feed on them. The forecast Wednesday through next Monday is sunny and in the 60s, and the Welcome The Whales festival and parade is Saturday. A great time to hop a ferry or cross Deception Pass Bridge and head to Langley. Oh, and bring your cameras. You'll be sorry if you don't. -Debra Campbell

April 12

We met a transient pod just outside of Friday Harbor with the San Juan Excursion boat tour. There was a mama, her son, and her two girls. They came right up to our boat and said hello! We followed them around the area for over an hour. They caught something for lunch and the gulls went crazy. They were very friendly! -Danna Bostwick

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A headstand right beside Ken's boat (under research permit) in San Juan Channel just to the northwest of Shaw Island! A rather impressive one, at that. This was the T49A transient group in the afternoon. -Val Shore

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It was a great afternoon on the water with the T49A family of transient orcas. We spent some of the encounter near Frost Island where they appeared to be messing around with the lines on crab pots! This is a behavior I have heard about, but never witnessed until today. I guess if they find something that might be a good toy, they don't hesitate too much. I just hope they are careful about toys like that. We left them for a while to go check out some other wildlife and when we returned to the orca family, they were near the Shaw Island ferry landing and appeared to have made a kill. -Katie Jones

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Approximately 7 orca including at least one small were active herding then eating a habror seal in Wasp Passage (NW of Shaw Island) around 3pm. Numerous small boats were in the area watching. Just off east tip of Crane Island. Whales headed westward when finished. -Blair Evans

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It was so nice to see the T049As again and they were having a grand old time chowing down on lunch and then following that up by playing with a crab pot float. -Sara Hysong-Shimazu

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T049As at Swifts Bay, Lopez Island. -Sara Hysong-Shimazu

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T49A's off Swifts Bay, Lopez Island. -Connie Bickerton

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Thanks to Shane of Island Adventures and to the Washington State Ferries for relaying a sighting of killer whales in Thatcher Pass we were able to get a look at the T049A's for the 4th time this week. They have scoured every corner of our range since arriving on April 6th. -Mark Malleson

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We were with 4 Orcas off of Blakely with Island Adventures. -Kim Wills Murray

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T049A2 diving under the boat in Upright Channel. -James Gresham

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T049A1 in the foreground with his mother, T049A. -James Gresham

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Sunday at 3pm we boarded the Mystic Sea at the Langley Marina for a benefit whale watch hosted by the Langley Main Street Association and Mystic Sea Charters...we launched toward Gedney (Hat) Island, on the lookout for gray whales or the rumored orcas in the area. We could never confirm any orca sightings, but just east of Gedney we saw the first misty blow of a Gray whale, cruising along the dropoff at the edge of the mud plume from the Snohomish River, from only 10-20 feet deep to about 600 feet deep. This Gray never fluked but from the dorsal markings we got a tentative ID as #22. Then we cruised back toward Gedney and encountered a "mystery" whale, with a mostly unmarked back that didn't resemble any of the grays in the catalog, so this may be a new recruit to the Saratoga grays this year. This one did some great spyhops in the few minutes we were with it, before we saw another whale 1/2 mile to the south that actually breached (or half-breached, which is as much as you can hope for in a gray whale). This one, also never positively identified, did a series of about a half dozen unusual spyhops at a 45 degree angle on its back, which was a fitting finish to the trip. (from other photos, Jill Hein ID'd #383 as being one of the whales seen on this cruise-ALB). -Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network

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4:49 pm - 3 whales! Look forward to IDs by those on board!
4:30pm - from Harborview park, Everett...Alisa and Ed are watching 2-3 Gray whales (and The Mystic Sea) just off east side of Hat/Gedney Island. Susan, Howard, Langley Main Street Assoc. and guests are having a beautiful encounter on the fundraising cruise for Orca Network. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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3:36 pm - Well I've got eyes on a grey whale heading south. -Danielle Pennington

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3:50 pm - Gray whale is right at Possession Point, south Whidbey.
3:10 pm - from Mukilteo Ed spotted, and we are seeing, a Gray whale close to Whidbey Island south of Glendale heading south towards Possession Point. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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We found gray whale 22 deep in the Snohomish delta on it's side feeding. We could see her from land. We also saw 44 at Sandy Point feeding on its side. Both whale were showing pecs and tail very far out of the water. This is probably what people are seeing. We never found any killer whales. -Michael Colahan

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12:30 pm -The Langley Whale Center reports gray whale #44 Dubknuck just passed by Langley about 150 feet from shore. Heading south. Lots of visitors came running when the "Whale bell" was rung.

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12:25 pm - Two grays outside Langley! Heading south. -Cara Hefflinger

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11:30 am - Gray in Port Susan. A lone Gray was seen just off shore in front of Tulalip Shores this morning. Fed briefly just off shore. The Gray was heading north and disappeared around the corner toward Tulare. -Vicki Mattson

April 11

4:30pm - Many who would otherwise be out watching showed such great restraint and remained gathered for the 2nd Southern Resident C.A.L.F. (Community Action Look Forward) workshop to brainstorm on orca and salmon recovery. However at the end of the workshop, reports that members of J pod was still on the west side allowed many of us to caravan and eventually catch fleeting glimpses from County Park of blows and dorsals as they rounded the point passed the Center for Whale Research towards Open Bay. Nothing quite like listening to the hydrophone, hearing them, but not being able to see them for nearly 45 minutes despite the frantic efforts of searching... The water was choppy, and just when I was about to give up, I spotted one!... we saw about 4 pass Lime Kiln heading north sort of close to shore...They were spread out and very hard to see due to the water, but I was happy nonetheless to spend a little time with the beautiful black and whites! -Rachel Haight

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9:57am - Hearing some faint calls on Lime Kiln. -Jill Clogston

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9:17am - Just heard a nice loud call. On LK. -Susan Marie Andersson

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9:15 am - I can hear a few calls on OS. -Selena Rhodes Scofield

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9:04am - There's another one.
9:00am - Heard a few J-Pod calls a while ago - all's quiet now. -Monika Wieland

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8:52 am - Seriously whales on LK... -Rachel Haight

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Pod of orcas this morning off of Yokeko Point heading toward Deception Pass. -Debbie Peth Claus

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Feeding pits near Hidden Beach, Whidbey Island. YEA! Don't know when the grays came in to feed, but very happy to see that they are back since last year we hardly had any activity. -Nancy Culp Zaretzke

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1:38 pm - Grey in Holmes Harbor. -Cathi O'Nan Bower

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12:28 pm - Been watching 2 Grays south of Fox Spit for about an hour, they are almost to Bells Beach now. Few whale watching boats nearby to help spot them. -Sara Young

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10:00 am - saw 2 Grays from Howard and Susans former backyard on North Bluff Road (above Hidden Beach, Saratoga Passage). -Jeff Bueler

April 10

On the last update on 6 April, L84 was off Willapa Bay. L84 was traveling north and by 8 April he was near La Push where our colleagues from Cascadia Research Collective were able to intercept a group of Southern Residents traveling north. The whales were very spread out but the individuals they saw included members of both L pod (but not including L84) and J pod. They were able to collect 4 prey and 1 fecal sample. However, L84 had turned south by the afternoon of the 8th so Cascadia staff launched out of Westport on the 9th and were able to intercept L84 and a few other L pod members just off Grays Harbor and collect 2 more prey and 1 more fecal sample. As of this morning (10 April) the whales were about were they were on the 6th, just off the entrance to Willapa Bay. -Northwest Fisheries Science Center 2015 Southern Resident Killer Whale Satellite Tagging

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12:35 pm - Marilyn Armbruster reported seeing spouts from Bells Beach mid channel heading south towards Langley.

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10:00 am - Two Gray whales spotted off of the Saratoga community beach. -Michale Skutack

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8:30 am - Mary Pacher in Greenbank reports one and maybe two gray whales having breakfast below the bluff just north of the Greenbank Farm.

April 9

J36 and J52 at San Juan Island. -Mark Malleson

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The J16 matriline did the west side shuffle off San Juan Island today. On the water we watched them travel from False Bay to Hannah Heights between 13:45 and 14:30. Then back on shore they milled off Lime Kiln from 15:30-16:30, apparently foraging, before slowly continuing north...The J16s have been the only J-Pod whales around for the last couple of days, which is a bit odd, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that two of our newest members are in their family group. It was great to see two very active babies in J50 (mom J16 Slick) and J52 (mom J36 Alki), and also to see that the whale watch boats were all voluntarily giving the family lots of extra space. -Monika Wieland

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J16 Matriline Report. We spent the afternoon and evening with the J16 matriline, including the two new calves, J50 and J52. The orcas were spread out off the west side of San Juan Island foraging. The females and calves stayed almost exclusively inshore, while J26 Mike would repeatedly forage off shore. It was amazing to watch J50 though, she is such an independent and spunky calf! J16 Slick is not going to have it easy keeping track of this little one! J50 was close to the others, but not right at her mother's side as you may expect. She was seen engaging with all of the family members, and it would seem that J26 Mike was babysitting for some of the time. We saw J26 Mike act out a variety of behaviors including tail slapping, kelping, pectoral slaps as he rolled through the water, and breaching. Whether J26 was using this behavior as a foraging tactic, or just for fun remains up for question! It seemed that the whales were in a "down to business" mode yesterday, and were very serious about foraging- as they should be with two lactating females in the group.
The most interesting behavior we witnessed came just towards the end of our first trip when most of the orcas were heading north again, but one stayed behind. Yep, you guessed it, J50 stayed behind and became quite social. It seemed that she was acting out similar behaviors as J26 (big brother) that we had seen a short time before. J50 started to roll through the water as well, trying to slap her pectoral flippers, as well as spyhopping (I can't tell you how adorable it was to see a bright pink/orange calf rolling through the water trying to pectoral slap). By the end of her playfulness J52 had also joined in socializing, and the orcas seemed to come back around to escort the playful calves north again. These mothers are certainly going to have their "flippers" full with these two little ones! The calves definitely seem very healthy, and with such a high mortality rate (50% or more), we hope there will soon be ample salmon filling these waters to ensure they always stay healthy. -Heather McIntyre, Legacy Charters

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4:03 pm - Listening to orcas (and a nasty, loud boat) on Lime Kiln! -Kristina Louise Dahl

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1:19 pm - About 5-7 (orcas) off Eagle Point including a baby. Make that two babies & a bull. -William Westrem

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Thanks to a report from Peter of Tula Sailing Charters we were able to locate the T049A's in the afternoon. They came south through Oak Bay and moved quickly west out the Juan de Fuca past Sooke. -Mark Malleson

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7:28 pm - They then headed over to Fox Spit and are now headed south to Bells Beach.
6:43 pm - Looks like three grays right in front of Camano Island state park headed north. -Ann Brockenbrough

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1:00 pm -Laurie Samora was watching two gray whales about half way down Holmes Harbor, feeding for an hour, then heading back north toward Baby Island.

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12:59 pm - Grey whale headed towards Possession Point (South Whidbey). -Alexis Aurmacz

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2:45-3:00pm - A Langley Whale Center visitor called once they returned home to report seeing a gray whale from their home at the top of Holmes Harbor.

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11:50 am - Blows visible with naked eye from Camano Island State Park, viewing southwest towards Whidbey. -Kristin Kreifels

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The whales are now over on Whidbey side south of Fox Spit. I can see blows from my kayak just outside Elger Bay. -Krista Paulino

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10:25 am - 2 Grays just North of Mabana beach Camano Island. Very close to shore in the cove. -Sally Olin

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Gray whales 22 and 383 feeding on the eastern Gedney Island shoreline last week. Amazing! -Michael Colahan

April 8

We were watching Gray Whale migrations from Point Reyes Lighthouse lookout and this lone male orca came in view apparently following the same path although not in obvious pursuit. There are other pictures but this is probably the clearest. It was a lens at 400mm and the image has been cropped -Ellie Van Os

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1:20 pm - Two unidentified orca off of Coffin Point near Ladysmith, about ten miles south of Nanaimo, BC. -Megan Norfolk

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7:23 am - 5-6 orcas traveling west then east on the north side of Orcas Island, spotted from Sucia Island. At least one adult male, couple females and probably baby/yearling. -Stephanie Church

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9:00 am - call from Mike Claussen reporting a pod of 3-6 orcas "not far out" from shore near Bandon, Oregon.

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10:21 am - Starting to hear them in the distance on Lime Kiln hydrophne now. -Pam Ren

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9:55-10:15 am - Amazing Transient calls on OS! Loud calls, whistles and clicks. They were still going when I turned off hydrophone. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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9:43 am - Activity on OrcaSound (Transients). -Jill Clogston

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T049A breaching near Darcy Island in the morning. -Mark Malleson

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6:15pm - Bells Beach...Three gray whales feeding and heading toward Langley. Gave us quite a show! -Margaret Sullivan

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5:15pm - Well another one out from southend Fox Spit with whale watching boat.
5:00 pm - Both have passed Fox Spit and are now heading out mid channel and south towards Langley.
4:40 pm - They are now at the northend of Fox Spit (Whidbey Island) heading south.
3:30 pm - just saw a spout north of Baby Island and south of Hidden Beach (Whidbey Island) It's more near north side of Baby Island. -Marilyn Armbruster

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Gray whale #49 (Patch) and friends in Saratoga Passage. -Marilyn Armbruster

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2:20 pm - Just saw two grays headed north in Saratoga Passage just north of Cama Beach, mid-channel...Looks like they are headed over to the Whidbey side north of Hidden Beach. -Ann Brockenbrogh

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10:45 am - A couple of Grays in between West Point and Skiff Point this morning. I saw a spout in the far distance, then nothing for a while; thought they were gone, then one came up about 10' away from my paddleboard. What a surprise! -Urban Surf

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About 10 AM a gray whale passed Langley about 100 yards from shore by Boy and Dog park. A Chamber of Commerce meeting was interrupted to watch the whale.

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9:30 am - 2 gray whales swimming south on the Whidbey side of Saratoga Passage towards Langley about 20 mins ago. They look to be right outside Langley now. -Becky Wilson

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9:20 am - Two gray whales seen feeding off Sandy Point. Now headed to Clinton, feeding along the way. -Mary Ann Mansfield

April 7

"Since J52 was next to J36 for the entire encounter, there is no reason to believe it is anyone else's calf other than J36. We will let everyone know if the situation changes in any way." -Center for Whale Research

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Today during our trip we visited the J16's, a small matriline group of Jpod, on the west side! This group has 2 of the 3 new calves in Jpod! J50 and J52! -Traci Walter

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1:15 pm - Echolocation on Lime Kiln Hydrophone. -Connie Bickerton

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T123A and T49A1, T49A4, mom T49A, and T49A3 , Transient killer whale spyhop off Shaw Island after they made a kill. -Monika Wieland

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The T123's and the T49A's just south of San Juan and Lopez Islands. -Katie Jones

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...After our normal trip (out with J16s) as we were getting ready to get off the boat, a friend and fellow whale watch captain who was on the ferry said there were whales INSIDE of Friday Harbor! Ekk! How did we miss them?!!? Well, they were doing long dives and were tucked close to shore. Just goes to show you, never ever ever stop looking! They were the group we were with the other day, the T49A's and the T123's! -Traci Walter

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7:06 pm - Orcas just went through Wasp past between Crane Island and Shaw. There were possibly two to three adults and one baby. Close to South shore on Shaw. Headed Eastbound. -Gretchen Sanders Halvorsen

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2:00 pm - Spotted 3-4 today from the ferry half way between Fri. Harbor and Anacortes. -Lisa Miller Donaldson

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About 1:30 pm - WA State Ferries reported 6 to 8 orcas off Blakely Island, headed for Peavine Pass.

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About 1-1:30 pm - My sister saw some orcas (with calf) from the Lopez ferry dock. -Emily Cressman Blakeway

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Received a call today from Jack Trahan USCG reporting a small group of orcas in the Port of Valdez, AK for the past two weeks, seen with a newborn near Gold Creek. He reports having photos of dorsal fins.

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Two gray whales right at the East shore of Hat Island. They were feeding and they were very active! It was impressive....The Naturalist ID the whales as #383 and #22. -Isabel Doran

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At around 7:35 pm tonight, we were at Legion Park (Everett) and saw several blows between Jetty Island and Priest Point, closer to Priest Point and probably directly south of it. We saw it right away when we pulled into the spot - a great sunset which illuminated the blows nicely! -Shelby Hight Fifield

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We saw Humpacks or Grays (unconfirmed) in middle of the Sound in between Carkeek Park and Indianola at dusk from our paddleboards. Too far off to tell which exactly. -Erik Sandstrom

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3:55 pm - On vacation at Ocean Shores, WA. Have been watching several (2 or 3), gray whales, feeding in the same spot off the beach for the last 90 minutes. -Karen Knight

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I took a whale watching trip today and the group was able to see two gray whales right at the East shore of Hat Island. They were feeding and they were very active! It was impressive. I don't have a good camera but these are some of the pictures I was able to take. The Naturalist ID the whales as #383 and #22. I hope they are of use to you. Thanks for all your hard work. With much appreciation. -Isabel Doran

April 6

6 April update - Since the last update a week ago on 30 March, the whales have remained off the southwest coast of Washington. L84's tag went back to a duty cycle of transmitting every day beginning on 31 March. The whales remained in a relatively small area in the nearshore waters just north of the entrance to the Columbia River from 31 March until 4 April. By April 5th they had traveled north to just south of the mouth of Willapa Bay, where they have remained through this morning (6 April). -Northwest Fisheries Science Center 2015 Southern Resident Killer Whale Satellite Tagging

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I CANNOT believe the amazing weather we've had lately as well as the various Bigg's (transient) Killer Whales that have been around! Today it was the T49A's and the T123's. We were just south of San Juan Island and followed them til they went around the bottom of Lopez Island. Just a beautiful day. -Traci Walter

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T123C and T049A1 east bound south of Discovery in the morning. -Mark Malleson

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1:33pm - Correction, make that 2 grey whales!
1:10pm - One grey whale spotted off Greenbank headed south? -Wendi Levy

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12:50 pm - report from Christy Korrow: One gray mid passage almost to Langley, heading south east.

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12:47pm - Jill Hein updates: they have #383, #56 and #22 by Greenbank, feeding back and forth; #44 (Dubnuck) by Fox Spit; and earlier had #49 (Patch) and #21 headed south in Saratoga Passage - Gray whale soup out there today!
12:05 pm - Jill Hein called from the Mystic Sea with reports of 5 or 6 gray whales from Langley to Greenbank. There were two approaching the beach at Greenbank, 1 or 2 south of Fox Spit, and Patch and other one off Langley this morning.

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11:15 am - Two grays moving north right at Fox Spit. Moving fast and staying under a bit. Blows around mid channel north of point. -Sara Young

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9:33 am - Two gray whales spotted from Bells Beach in the distance near Camano. First sighted around 8 am and now closer to Camano. -Molly Proue

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7:25 am - Christie Shaffer called from Whidbey Shores, just south of Fox Spit on Saratoga Passage, Whidbey Island, to report watching three gray whales, feeding close to shore. After 10-15 minutes they moved slowly south.

April 5

We had an amazing day with the T36A's and the T49B's south of San Juan Island today. They seemed to be munching on something as there were lots of birds around picking up scraps. The whales lolly-gagged around all afternoon and it was wonderful to spend that time with them. As you can see, the scenery wasn't too shabby either. -Katie Jones

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T036A's and T049B's west bound near Hein Bank. -Mark Malleson

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T036A and T036A2 south bound in San Juan Channel in the morning. -Mark Malleson

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9:40 am - Lopez Island sighting. Rarely seen Orcas moving south along Lopez Island between Otis Perkins Day Park and Shark Reef Park (San Juan Channel). Several adult females and juveniles, possibly a young adult male. 6-10 total, possibly a sub-adult male but nothing massive. -Kirsten Frits

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Spent an incredible evening at Fox Spit, Whidbey Island in Saratoga Passage watching 3 gray whales from shore...whales scooping shrimp and close to shore. I almost fainted...WOW...you could almost touch them...you could feel their mist and smell their breath! The sea lions and birds were happy too. -Marilyn Armbruster

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6:58 pm - Most headed towards baby island now. One rounded the corner and is headed south now. What an amazing incredible day!!! At times the whales came within 30 feet of the beach! We watched them for 2.5 hours!!!
6:02 pm -At least 4 grays at fox spot right now! 3 headed towards baby island. -Sara Young

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5:25 pm - They are very active near shore in front of that beach community below Saratoga road on Whidbey across from south end of Camano Island state park. Lots of blows and churning water.
5:06 pm - Whidbey folks, they are headed your way fast. Lots of blows lots of tail views. They are well north of Langley but seem headed in that direction.
2:53 pm - 2 grays headed into Elger Bay (Camano Island). -Krista Paulino

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3:00 pm - From Whidbey shores, looking east then west. The seagulls are enjoying the crumbs left by at least 4 greys. Mostly together, sometimes in couples. We are THRILLED to have our friends back after 3 or 4 years of few sightings which we now attribute to the commercial ghost shrimp culling. Easter Sunday, 3pm, for 2 hours, these whales enjoyed high tide and rolled in the beach feeding and, we think, celebrating. They were at most 30 feet from our deck at high tide. We are overjoyed to welcome these magnificent creatures back in our 'hood. -Penny Thackeray

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1:28 pm - Two (maybe three) Gray whales who just seems to be milling/feeding up north between East Whidbey and West Camano Island (s) - in Saratoga Passage. -Stu Davidson

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11:30 am - I just spotted a Gray whale just off possession beach heading south. I believe it was just one. It was moving pretty fast. -Tiffany Reynolds

April 4

T49C going south in San Juan Channel with Deer Harbor in the background. Today we started out with beautiful weather, a full boat, and no whale reports. That changed very quickly as we got word about a potential sighting right in San Juan Channel! Another boat was able to get there and confirm the rumor. Very soon after leaving the dock, we joined up and were able to hang out with T49C, a lone transient male Killer Whale. He sometimes hangs out with other groups that move through the area, but is by himself on occasion. We also got down to Whale Rocks area to check out the Steller sea lions, Harbor seals, and Bald Eagles. We then went back up to T49C in time to watch him kill presumably a Harbor seal. Beautiful day out there! -Traci Walter Photography, Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours

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T049C near Shaw Island in San Juan Channel -James Gresham

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This afternoon around 2 PM I saw the T65As head north past Lime Kiln. They were fairly close to shore doing lots of milling; they may have made a kill right before I got there as they were tightly circling and tail slapping a lot. When they started traveling again, they cruised right past the rocks in front of the lighthouse, taking a moment to harass a Steller sea lion on their way by! From our boat we met up with them off Snug Harbor at 3 PM, where they went into Open Bay and then continued north along the shoreline of Henry Island. Finally, at 4:30 PM, I saw them once more from shore at Reuben Tarte County Park - they were just rounding Green Point after having gone through Spieden Channel and disappeared behind Spieden from my vantage point. -Monika Wieland, San Juan Island

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We had a great trip today that was full of excitement! After a long period away, my favorite group of Transient Orcas, the T065A's have returned to the Salish Sea. When we met up with the T065A's for the second time they were traveling through Spieden Channel where they proceeded to actively forage going down on long dives, and being very sporadic with their movement. We watched as they made a slow pass by Green Point where there were about 50 sea lions in the area. For a mammal that needs to consume about 400-500 lbs a day, a (roughly) 2,000 sea lion would have been a good meal! No one knew what would happen, and we wondered if the one pass we saw would be it. Maybe they decided it wasn't worth the effort to attack? But, that one pass-bye wasn't it! The whales ended up circling back around and made an attempt at the sea lions; unfortunately, it was a failed attempt. What happened after the orcas attempted to separate a sea lion was very interesting- all of the sea lions appeared to band together and chase the orcas off! They were noticeably agitated (as you can imagine), growing loudly, and continued to follow the orcas a short distance seemingly warding them off. I guess there's truth when they say there's power in numbers!! -Heather McIntyre, Naturalist, Legacy Charters

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07:45 AM - 4 orcas sighted. 1 male, 2 females and a calf, between Brooks Point, Pender Island, and Turn Point, Stuart Island, in Boundary Pass. They were traveling, then turning around and possibly feeding. There were 3 spy hops. At first we thought they were transients, but now not sure. A large ship came by (reason for spy hops?) then the orcas continued on west. Closer to the Canadian side. -Monica Petrie

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Transients off Port Townsend. -Alexis Surmacz

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5:30 pm - Maxine Kostelyk called with a sighting of a gray whale off Camano Island, near Sunny Shores in Port Susan, headed toward Tilikum.

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4:35pm - Marilyn Armbruster is at Mutiny Bay watching blows of probable Gray whale between green buoy at Double Bluff and Hanseville moving south east in Admiralty Inlet.

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4:12pm - Eric from Mystic Sea reporting gray whale #44, Dubnuck, seen 4 miles north of Baby Island. #22 and #53 near Elger Bay, Camano Island.

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1:10 pm - #22 and 56 southbound Mabana (Camano Island) from Island Explorer3. -Michael Colahan

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11:00am - We just spotted a gray traveling south at possession point. East side of point. -Dianne Dee Iverson

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7:37am - spotted gray whale near Bells Beach. -Mandi Proue

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6:48am - They are currently headed south to Bells Beach. Still feeding.
6:20am - Two Gray whales feeding right off the beach at Fox Spit. -Ann Brockenbrough

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6:14pm - Nancy Zaretzki saw two gray whales feeding in the mudflats just north of Hidden Beach, in Greenbank, Whidbey Island.

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2:50pm - it is well north of Camano Island state park. Two whales very close to shore (Cama beach?). Looks like they are feeding.
2:35pm - Have seen several whale spouts just south of Camano Island State Park very close to shore. One gray I think, headed north. -Ann Brockenbrough

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2:52pm - Now coming back to mid channel-Two whales
2:42pm - Right now almost in front of Cama Beach State Park.
2:28pm - Heading north and towards Camano Island State Park.
2:19pm - Gray Whale out from Fox Spit mid channel. -Marilyn Armbruster

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1:38 pm - Marie Lincoln from Chocolate Flower Farm & the Garden Shed in Langley reports 1 Gray whale in front of downtown Langley right now - hope someone is ringing the whale bell!!

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12:31pm - Watching a gray whale in the middle of Saratoga Passage between Langley and Fox Spit. Looks to be heading north. -Becky Wilson

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They were in the ferry line for Bainbridge so it could be minke or Dolphins based on the dorsal fin shape. Wasn't a lot of breaching but definitely feeding was going on...way to small (to be Humpback). Probably a small group of minkes or Dolphins. -Jayce Lemmer

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4:15pm - Minkes feeding off of pier 63 in downtown Seattle. Definitely 2. The shorter dorsal fin made me think minke. -Caroline Henry

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Trip report: Headed out with sunny skies and a light wind, getting a few reports of some grays south past the Clinton/Mukilteo Ferry. The wind got stronger, so when reports came in of two grays (#22 and #56) north of Langley, Capt. Monte made a quick u-turn to get back into calmer water. We came upon these two and surprisingly, they stayed extremely close together throughout the entire encounter. They were generally heading south, but moving around toward Camano, then toward Langley. Saw some great views of their blow holes, and some very nice fluke up tail dives, allowing the passengers to clearly see the differences in the white pattern on the underside. As we left them, they were headed over to Camano, most likely for some feeding. Another beautiful day on Mystic Sea with great passengers, including some kids who got their very first whale sighting! -Bonnie Gretz, volunteer naturalist.

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Just north of Cama Beach State Park, Camano Island. There are 2 in the photo. Incredible that they are coming back to safe plentiful feeding grounds. -Edward Greybeck

April 3

7:01pm - Liberty Elias Miller on the M/V Kennewick says she just saw one of Puget Sound's newest orca babies from the Port Townsend ferry. -Liberty Elias Miller

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6:50 PM - Orcas off port TOWNSEND. Orcas sighted from port TOWNSEND - Coupeville ferry off of port TOWNSEND in front of the boat house! -Stephanie Cattano

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Maia of Washington State Ferries called at 5:05 pm to report a pod of 5 orcas, including a young one, heading north off Lagoon Pt (West Whidbey Island, Greenbank area).

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J41 and J51 near Beaumont Shoals. -Mark Malleson

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L87 near Kelp Reef. -Mark Malleson

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We found J pod heading west off Discovery Island (BC). -Connie Bickerton

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12:50pm - Hi! On our first visit to San Juan Island, and were lucky enough to be able to watch a pod of orcas swimming north- south off the coast alongside West Side Road. Only saw two at any one time, but I suspect it was a bigger group than that. Traveling and some playing. -Ros McNamara

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J17 Princess Angeline foraging off Lime Kiln on the west side of San Juan Island this afternoon. J-Pod was super spread out as they made their way south through Haro Strait, with most of the whales being on the Canadian side. Seas were rough and dive times were long, so I don't think all whales were documented. That means the mystery of who J52's mother will continue! -Monika Wieland

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12:34pm - start hearing vocals on Lime Kiln, echolocation at 12:40.
11:29 am - Started hearing loud J pod calls on Orca Sound hydrophone. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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10:00 am - was on what we call the Bandon High Spot, approx. 43 05. 124 50. It's about 18 mi. west of Bandon, Oregon. Single male followed right alongside us for 15-20 min. while we were trolling for salmon. Appeared to be all by himself. While he was with us he appeared to be very curious about us. He stayed about 10' from our starboard side for about 15 min. He would dive to a depth of maybe 10 or 20 feet and swim parallel to us for a couple of minutes, then surface and kind of roll on his side a little and stare at us with one big eye. He repeated the same basic maneuver 8 or 10 times before he swam off. We were in a area with a fair amount of feed that had several humpbacks feeding on it and were catching occasional salmon. There were also sea lions in the area, including some very young ones. The salmon we caught were empty so I'm not sure what we were metering but sardines and shrimp were being caught in the general area. -Ken Gossard

April 2

After work I followed up a report of killer whales spotted south of Discovery by a colleague out fishing. I went out searching and came across T065, T063, and T049C west bound south of Constance Bank. I left them south of Race still tracking west. On my way home I came across the T065A's west of Constance Bank also tracking west. -Mark Malleson

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T063 south west of Constance Bank heading out the Juan de Fuca. -Mark Malleson

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9:30am - Saw 3 Orcas, 1 was a calf, off of Libby Beach (due west of Coupeville, near Partridge Pt. and Partridge Bank) took some photos of them and was wondering what pod they were from. (Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research looked through many photos and ID'd the pod as the T36As and T49Bs) -Linda Noack

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8:30am - from Chatham Lane, just south of Hastie Lake Rd. (NW Whidbey - between Coupeville & Oak Harbor) Patty and I saw a female Orca and young one heading south about 200 yards from shore at a steady pace. -David Cohick

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Trip report - Sunny skies and calm seas, we headed south from Langley and before long one of our passengers spotted the first "blow".... we found two whales, to the west of Hat Island. #21 and #22 traveling together towards Hat Island in a feeding pattern - several surfaces and then a dive - giving us some good looks at #22's fluke. We continued around the north of Hat Island, and found #53, known as Little Patch. He appeared to be by himself, taking long dives. #22 was the active whale for us today, she and #21 mugged the boat at one point, giving us an exceptional view of these magnificent whales. Another super day aboard the Mystic Sea. -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

April 1

T036A and T036A3 surfing past Discovery Island. -Mark Malleson

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We had the T036A's along with the T049A's east bound off of Victoria in the afternoon. Thanks to Paul from Sooke Explorations for the initial heads up of inbound transients out west in the morning. -Mark Malleson

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6:48pm - Gray whale Mabana Beach Camano Island near shore. Moving south. -Sally Olin

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6:24pm - Three whales. Heading west. Just saw one do a spy hop. Not sure if that is the correct terminology for grey whales.
6:00pm - Blows off the south end of Gedney Island. I am assuming it's a grey whale based on the length between blows. Pretty stationary. -Danielle Pennington

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Amazing encounter with whales 22, 383, 56, and 49 at Camano Head aboard the Island Explorer 3. A feeding frenzy in shallow waters that we will forever remember! -Michael Colahan

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