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Sightings Archive - Feb 08

February 2008 Whale Sightings

February 29, 2008

Richard Lyons called the Orca Network with a report of orcas off Clinton, S. Whidbey Island. They were in 30 fathoms of water.
A pod of about 6 to 9 whales (orcas) came by our house today, 10:00 AM. One mile west of the Sekiu River, WA state about 1/4 mile offshore heading west. I saw 2 juveniles.
Paul Blake
We sent Paul's photos to Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research, & he has ID'd them as L pod!
It's L pod! Whales appearing in the photos include L47, L55, L86, L90, and L26. Others are there too. Very cool since J pod decided to come in.
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research

John Boyd called at 2:14 pm to relay a report from Mallard of Victoria, of a pod of orcas heading east off Victoria. Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research relayed the pod had been ID'd as J pod.
I just got a call (~3:45 pm) from Ron Bates. He had gotten a call from Mallard who was out on King Salmon, and they were following J Pod across the Victoria water front headed east toward San Juan Island.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters, San Juan Island
Calls on the San Juan Island hydrophones ( right now (5:56 pm) !!! J Pod north up Haro Strait now.
Jeanne Hyde, Friday Harbor

February 28, 2008

On our way home tonight from a great trip to Baja to play with the gray whales, we asked a ferry worker on board the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry if any grays had been sighted yet. He hadn't seen one, but said other ferry crew members saw a gray whale a few hours earlier - mid-afternoon, in Possession Sound!
Susan & Howard, Orca Network, Whidbey Island

February 27, 2008

Richard Lyons called the Orca Network with a report of a pod of 6 - 8 orcas off Clinton, S. Whidbey Island. They were in 30 fathoms of water. He also heard reports that others had seen the orcas on Friday.

February 17, 2008

While fishing off Church Rock at 9 am this morning, observed a playful pod of 8 to 10 orcas breaching and tail-slapping between Church Rock and Swordfish Isand at the west end of Whirl Bay (Southern tip of Vancouver Island). They were headed east towards the Race.
Ted Litster. Victoria, B.C.
J pod going east off Victoria around 1400, hoping for more details later.
Ron Bates, MMRG, Victoria B.C.
Finally a whale report. J POD !!!!!!!!!! We located J pod crossing the Oak Bay area(Victoria) bucking a big ebb tide with the help of a on shore whale enthusiast. They were last sighted at 1600 heading for San Juan.
beemer, Victoria, B.C.
We've had on ever since we got the reports of J pod heading east. Nothing for an hour or two, then suddenly at about 8:30 pm a bunch of very loud calls on the OrcaSound (NW San Juan Island) hydrophone - and then - nothing! We're still listening hoping for a few more calls - tune in, & let us know if you hear them tonight, or see them on Monday!
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island

February 13, 2008

More info. on the Pender Island orca Sighting: The Orca was well into the channel heading east close to shore just off susan pt. Its the first time I've seen one this close here - I normally see them across the channel off dinner pt. on mayne headed towards active pass.
Andy Paige
In regards to a lone orca sighted on the morning of Feb 13th, thought I might be able to provide a bit more info: I was catching the first Swartz Bay to Tsawassen ferry and at around 8am the captain announced killer whales in the area. I went out on the deck and spotted a lone orca that appeared to be foraging in the area between the southern entrance to Active Pass, Prevost Island and Mayne Island. From my observation the orca had quite a tall erect dorsal fin, slightly wavy with a rounded tip. I am certain the dorsal fin had a slight "waviness" to it and was definitely a rounded tip. I'm only an amateur at identification but this fin certainly displayed the characteristics of a resident fin, and I'm pretty sure it was not a transient. On my time at Beam Reach last fall we often witnessed (as I'm sure you all have), J1 leading the pod by what seems to be up to a couple of miles. So I was thinking that perhaps this lone individual orca could have been J1, as I have seen J1 quite a few times and from the distance of my observation 200-300m, it did appear to look similar to Ruffles. I did look around for other fins but by this time the ferry had turned up Active Pass so I did not see any. Having said all this, this lone orca could have in fact been a transient but I thought that transients had very distinct triangular dorsal fins with a prominent "sharp tip". Anyone have any thoughts on this? Cheers,
Tim Hunt (former Beam Reach student & aspiring to work in Vic whale watch industry this season)
7:15 am spotted one solitary Orca off Stanley point on Pender Island just inside the mouth of navy channel.
Andy Paige

February 11, 2008

I'm hearing [orca] calls and clicks on Lime Kiln (Orcasound Hydrophone) now (8:21 am your time).
Suzy Roebling, Key Largo
We had a report of [orcas] off Victoria this afternoon just after noon, this should be in keeping with your report off Lime Kiln this morning. The area was searched but no luck.
Ron Bates, Marine Mammal Research Group, Victoria BC

February 9, 2008

I was talking to a fisherman out of Ft Bragg CA yesterday and he reported seeing one medium sized orca about 5 miles NW of Pt Cabrillo (just south of Ft. Bragg, N. Calif).
Brad Hanson, NOAA's NWFSC

February 7, 2008

I heard about 10 minutes of transient calls on my hydrophones, OrcaSound (NW San Juan Island), this evening at about 7 pm. I'll attach a small WAV file. The T call is followed immediately by the sound of a wave breaking on our shore. It is *quite* windy here this evening.
Val Veirs, OrcaSound, Colorado College
Click here to hear the Transient call.

February 4, 2008

The same juvenile humpback that I saw on Saturday, 2/2/08, was seen this afternoon off of Bellevue Pt. San Juan Island, by Ken Balcomb. I went out to see if I could get a better shot of the underside of the fluke so that it might be identified. It was feeding in erratic directions, so I didn't get the shot I wanted.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Chaters, San Juan Island

February 3, 2008

Dave Ellifrit and I went out and found the Js right at Navy Ch. just south of Active Pass and took them into active a bit. Every year when I see J1 and 2 for the first time I sure get the chills. Ron Bates said Js were seen at dusk near Tawassan.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters, San Juan Island
Orca Network received a call from Marti Tilley of North Pender Island, B.C., reporting a pod of 6 - 7 orcas in Swanson Channel, mid- channel, heading north off Mouat Pt. at 9:25 am. The pod included 1 adult male.
Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research called to report that Jim Maya & Dave Ellifrit had found the above reported orcas & it's J pod! They had them at 11:05 am heading north through Active Pass.
A pod of approximately 15 [orcas] entered Active Pass northbound at 11:15 am. I watched them feeding for some 15 minutes off Helen Point before they entered the Pass. They were very active, with quite a bit of surface activity. It appeared to be the pod with 2 adult males. Once in the Pass, they travelled fairly directly through.
Betty Kennedy

February 2, 2008

We picked up the juvenile humpback right off of Henry Island (N. San Juans) on about 1400 hrs. I had just gotten through saying to my passengers that if they come back in late summer or in the fall I could show them humpbacks, but not at this time of the year, and boom, I saw the first blow about 200 yds off my port. He zigged and zagged for about an hour feeding off of south Kellet Bluff and then we left him/her.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Chaters, San Juan Island
Ken Balcomb called to relay a report he'd just received of Southern Resident orcas in Monterey Bay CA at 12:40 pm. ID's confirmed are L57 & L41.
Sarah Graham of Monterey, CA, called at 12:51 pm to report Southern Resident orcas in Monterey Bay.
Today we saw the residents, about 40 or so very spread out in Monterey Bay. They approached within a mile of the aquarium then turned and headed to NW still spread over 1 plus miles.
Nancy Black, Monterey Bay Whale Watch

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