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Sightings Archive - Jul 13

July 2013 Whale Sightings

July 31

A minke was seen from Flint Beach, south end of Lopez Island, 11:45am, traveling east to west. - Sally Reeve

July 30

Skipper Rush and the 10am Zodiac found 3 humpbacks milling in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. - Naturalist Leah Kuzmuk, Prince of Whales Whale Watch

July 29

No sightings were reported for this date.

July 28

A minke slinks alongside San Juan Island. -Ivan Reiff, Western Prince Whale Watch

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Four or five Minke whales at Hein Bank today, lots of excited sea birds too. - Jill Hein

July 27

No sightings were reported for this date.

July 26

While checking on a seal pup in the south Sound, they found the Risso's dolphins.- Jesse Huggins, Cascadia Research

July 25

Marine mammal eating orcas in the Gulf Islands! Beautiful predators, the T30s, joined by the T75Bs. -Steveston Seabreeze Adventures

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The T30's and T75B's continued to rock our world. Insane acrobatics in Porlier Pass (about ten miles NW of Active Pass, 15 miles SE of Nanaimo) as they hammered a helpless seal.....it was awesome! -Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver

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Saw a minke at Hein Bank around noon. -Dave Davenport

July 24

A stellar encounter with the boys and mom of the T101A's and 102! After 4 hours of searching we finally found them coming into Desolation Sound (northern Georgia Strait) by Mary Pt! They were split into 2 of 2....101&102 together...101A&B off on the Cortes Isl shore. They took one seal there, then all 4 got together for another, then the celebratory Spyhops occurred! We were happy to find these guys for the CR fleet. -Nick Templeman

July 23

T20 and T21 ended up hunting in the Cactus Islands. This is one of the coolest places to see whales! -Ivan Reiff, Western Prince Whale Watch

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Skipper Mallard along with the Vancouver Ocean Magic were on scene with a lone minke whale in Hughes Channel between James and Sidney Island. By midday we had received reports of a group of transient killer whales at the southeast end of San Juan Island heading north into San Juan Channel. Skipper Matt initially found the two transients, T20 and T21 in Griffin Bay just south of Friday Harbour on the east coast of San Juan Island. These two transients are very familiar to us, as we saw the mother and son together frequently at the beginning of the season.

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1:30 - Maya of WA State Ferries relayed a report from a ferry of two orcas near Reid Rock in San Juan Channel, heading north. Erin at the Center for Whale Research says it's T20 and T21.

July 22

The T30s with the 75Bs and 75C made their way along Pender Island ... lots of adoring fans at Smuggler's Cove.

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3-4 transients passing through Stuart Channel, west of Decourcy Island heading north towards Dodd's Narrows yesterday about 4 pm. -Renate Wilson

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Today it was the T77's that showed up in the area. And show up they did, almost coming right into Friday Harbor!!! -Ivan Reiff

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T77s along the shore by the UW Friday Harbor Labs. -Capt. James Maya

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Mystery Transients...7:00 PM, leaving Rocky Bay (NE of Roche Harbor) headed for Lonesome Cove. -Capt. James Maya,

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4:12 - Orca pod off Magnolia! -Kevin Broderick

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Leah Kuzmuk, naturalist with Prince of Whales,reports a group of six transient killer whales were playing around together in Trimcomali Channel. Naturalist Brittany reported being on scene with the T30 matriline as well as a few other transients who were all rolling around and displaying their pectoral fins and white belly patches.

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Was able to see the T77's make a kill in San Juan Channel today at Shark Reef. Got pics of T077B tugging a string of the prey's flesh around with his dorsal fin and they ended up swimming right past Friday Harbor this afternoon as they headed North. -Melisa Pinnow

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From Saltspring Island in the Canadian Gulf Islands: Ling Weston called in about seeing two dorsal fins at 9:30 this am, heading generally north past Pender Point. Others reported seeing up to six, including possibly two babies.

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Leah Kuzmuk, naturalist with Prince of Whales, reports out west from the harbour past Race Rocks Ecological Reserve towards Sooke they found one young humpback about three miles off Sherringham.

July 21

Some of the T030's by Stuart Island Sunday, seen by Mystic Sea passengers. They were heading towards South Pender Island when we left them. -Jill Hein

July 20

Stacy Johnson Flagg, Susie Nichols and I were so fortunate to see a pod travel past County Park and Lime Kiln lighthouse on Saturday afternoon. I could have watched all day. -Jennifer Johnson Roberts

July 19

No sightings were reported for this date.

July 18

No sightings were reported for this date.

July 17

7:56 pm - Yay- orcas off Dilworth now - heading south- Vashon - about six of them. - Aimee Demarest

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3:47 pm - Six or seven transient orca whales are out at Hein Bank now and have been since this morning. They have been taking turns diving down in kind of a tag team action. Most of the whale watch boats with these whales think they have killed or are killing a Minke whale, but there isn't any evidence in the form of blood in the water or pieces of blubber floating. It wouldn't be the first time transient orca whales have killed a Minke in this area. Jury's still out on whether it was a Minke whale that was being eaten. - Deer Harbor Charters

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We were with them for a while this afternoon (Mystic Sea) - what a surprise. No scraps at all to be seen on the surface, no deep dives, and a lot of back and forth surface action. A few gulls were hovering, so there must have been some food for them. The whales had been in the same area for more than an hour before we arrived, and still there when we left. I believe they were the T037As and Bs (?) - Jill Hein

July 16

John Dean called with an unusual report from Tuesday evening, of hearing many blows over about 45 minutes to an hour, after sunset, starting around 9:15 pm, from very shallow water (6 to 10 feet deep) off Kopachuck Park in Carr Inlet, near Gig Harbor. He said he also heard other blows from farther out, and he heard several high-pitched whistles, much like orca calls. Eventually all the blows and calls drifted away in the darkness.

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9:08 - I saw them! I saw them! Just for a minute off of Kayak Point (north of Everett)! - Desi Tracy

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Maxine called to report the pod of orcas in Port Susan - north of Sunny Shore on the Camano Island side, and Kayak Pt. on the Everett side, at 8 pm. They have been in the same spot for the last 45 minutes.

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4:30 pm - Just saw a pod heading south just west of Bush Point in the main channel about 500 yards from shore. Maybe five Orca whales. - Scott Doyle

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Charlie of Whidbey Island Kayaking was out on a tour at around 4:25 pm and saw the pod of orcas between Sandy Pt. south of Langley, and Camano Head, heading SE.

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8 am - five orcas were reported in Penn Cove, Whidbey Island, again this morning, for at least the third day in a row.

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Today was stupendous! 7:13-7:30 am, 5 orcas (a family with young) swam close to shore in Penn Cove from e. of the Rolling Hills/Riepma Rd. pier west toward Monroe Landing. Blowing and tail slapping. A seal was surfaced and swimming at shores edge w. to east at same time, just in case they were transients. - Toni Piazzon

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A minke off the southwest side of San Juan Island, identified by Frances Robertson as "Chrissy Hine." - Ivan Reiff

July 15

8:59 - off the pier near Madrona Way or the Coupeville Wharf in town. - Denise Reynolds

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8:13 pm - Transients off Whidbey in Penn Cove...off the pier! 4-5 orcas, one visibly larger. They were mid-cove out in front of the Coupeville pier headed west. Went down and we never saw them again. It was very exciting to finally spot them from our deck. - Patti Goethals Rowlson

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Sounds like the larger group has separated and traveling up both sides of Whidbey. There were at least 20 when we first saw them a few days ago west of Shilshole making a kill. It was amazing! - Renee Ramirez

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6:30 pm - Stephanie Raymond from the Victoria Clipper called to report a pod of 5 Transient orcas (no adult males) between Point No Point and Possession Pt. heading south. Not sure if this is the same pod seen earlier between Seattle/Bainbridge, or the rest of the 17 orcas that were all in Puget Sound together on the 13th.

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At 1830 this evening saw 3 orcas a hundred yards off shore of Polnell Point (across from Oak Harbor) on the east side of Whidbey Island. A nearby neighbor said there were 6-7 orcas. Lost sight of them at 1845 as they rounded the southerly tip of Polnell Point, the eastern most point of Crescent Harbor, north up Saratoga Passage from Baby Island. Polnell Point is almost as far north as the north end of Camano Island...but due west since it is part of Whidbey Island. Not sure if they headed into Crescent Harbor, or perhaps south in Saratoga Passage. - Steve Rothboeck, Oak Harbor

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"Spouting News" MARINERS COVE/SKAGIT BAY TRANSIENTS. Was with my brother out on the water; off Mariners Cove. In a place we were meant to be at 4:30PM on this hot summer day. Glanced, out aways, [totally unexpected] and there they were. A quick blink, yes, Orcas, heading northeast towards Strawberry Point. On the move and then a sudden left turn, wala, no longer on the move. Circling, going back & forth staying in one area. Maybe 9 Transients to a dozen, with a big guy with big dorsal fin. Within 20 minutes they all headed really close into shore, in shallow water. Many/all of them 'shoulder to shoulder' so to speak, where lots of splashing occurred for close to 10 minutes. Could they have trapped a school of salmon [or a seal?] in maybe 10 to 15 feet deep water max? Could go on and on for the hour and a half we were treated to/observing these wolves of the sea. Dozens of tail lobs/splashing from many, especially, the smaller ones. A number times periscoping, with head vertically out of the water. Numerous, breaches; including, one that breached 3 times in a roll. Many Mariners Cove members watching from the jetty and shoreline. Little past 6PM, they headed southwest towards Polnell Point. Still, breaching, tail lobbing, and cavorting, in boisterous fun. Totally in their element, with the Olympic Mountains high over head in the distance. But maybe not as 'high' as experiencing these whales in action. - Robert Stonefelt, Oak Harbor Whidbey Island

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3:57 pm - leaving the T30's in Cresent Harbor heading south. So those of you south of Oak Harbor in Saratoga Passage should be seeing the orcas come by again soon! - Michael P Colahan, Island Explorer3

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1:42 - I found them! I was so excited and screamed so loud I scared my kids and they started crying. It was pretty much the most exciting experience of my life! Watched them off and on from the lookout point on Seaplane Base for close to an hour. Going Northeast, maybe? They appeared to be moving really slowly when we first (finally!) saw them, then they picked up speed. There was a boat that was staying with them the entire time, I assumed it was some sort of research team. They were closer to Camano Island when I reluctantly drove away. THANK YOU for keeping us all informed about sightings!! - Krista McVay Lee

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11:45 am - Billy Wind called to report the pod of orcas were in Oak Harbor.

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Between 11:00 and 11:30 AM we saw a pod of orcas go by...we were pretty much straight west off Magnolia sailing southbound. In the picture you can see a navy sub being escorted southbound by the Coast Guard to Bremerton on the far west side. Seemed to be maybe three to four adults and one small one, heading north, mostly just traveling but stopped once to 'play' for a few seconds, then continued on. I know the photo is not much help, my camera just couldn't keep up with them! :) - Pam

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11am - Sailing into the racecourse from Oak Harbor to Penn Cove we saw a big old orca party...breaches, zoomin around, flips, more breaches...looks like the hunt was on. Not the first sighting but biggest and best. - Mike Cain

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Sammye Kempbell of Coupeville called to report the pod of 7 Biggs orcas at the entrance to Penn Cove, near the green buoy at 10:55 am, heading NE toward Oak Harbor. Sammye called again to say there is a young orca in the pod. This sounds like the same pod that was there yesterday - the T30s (male is T30A), and T75s.

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Marie Waterman of WSF called to report a pod of 3 orcas heading north, seen at 9:55 by the ferry Tacoma on their Seattle - Bainbridge Island Run.

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I'm sure you already know this but I'll tell you anyway: two Orcas crossed the bow (Seattle end) of the M/V Tacoma this morning around 0950. Possibly two miles northwest of Alki. Swimming together and headed northwesterly. - Larry Brown

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Spotted two small Orcas moving fast just off of Restoration Pt. on Bainbridge Island Monday at 9am. They only surfaced twice that I saw and there didn't appear to be any other whales in the area. I was the captain of a boat taking 200 kids to camp so we couldn't hang out very long (plus we were right in the middle of the southbound traffic lane when we saw them). - Paul Mooselips Dudley

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A group of neighbors watched for about a 45 minute period a pod of Orcas feeding in a spot about 1 mile south of Race Lagoon on the East side of Whidbey Island about 500 yards off the beach. Several large Orcas and 2-3 medium sized and 1 or two smaller whales. Total size of pod 5-7 in total. They were circling and diving all in the same area for the time we observed them, thus appeared to be feeding. - Bill Wiegand

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8:46 am - Two young orcas spotted in the middle of Puget Sound off of Alki beach. - Regan Timm

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Don't know if it was reported, but saw a small pod from the Vashon water taxi just north of the Vashon ferry dock this morning around 8:20am. Not sure which direction they were headed. - Carolyn Barr

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Three of four humpbacks we saw. - Capt. Jim Maya

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Tony reports one Humpback whale in Malaspina Strait, BC, traveling west/NW at 7:10 pm.

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A minke in the Hein Bank area lunges through a bait ball of schooling fish. - Marcie Callewaert

July 14

8:02 pm - We see them from east Whidbey. Far over close to Camano, at what I can best describe as south of Seth drive area. At least one large dorsal fin male. At least 5. - Jonathan Bent

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Tonight around 8:00 PM off of Summerland Beach, Camano Island saw a group of six orca headed south toward Hat Island. It appeared there were four large adults and two smaller orca. Very excited to see them in Saratoga Passage!!! - Paulette

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7:35pm - Last I saw they were halfway to Bells Beach, Whidbey Island, just south of Fox Spit, much closer to Camano. Moving pretty fast. Lost them now.
7:08 pm - Just north of fox spit closer to Camano now. Still headed south. - Sara Young

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6:40 - Just up again right north of Baby Island land bridge.
5:34 pm - Trending toward into Holmes Harbor.
5:18 - Blows due west of Cama Beach on Whidbey side.
5:16 pm - They're heading back south in Saratoga Passage. Got blows right now due west of Cama over at Whidbey shore. - Will Murphy

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9:18 am - Just got a call from Connie Barrett that at least 4 or 5 orcas are in Saratoga Passage, about a mile north of Cama Beach off Camano Island, generally traveling north but have stopped now and are milling.

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9am - a minke off Flint Beach, south end of Lopez, going east to west. - Sally Reeve

July 13

5:35 - A group of folks were treated to a great show today for over an hour and a half (11:00 - 12:30) between Skiff Point and Rolling Bay near Bainbridge Island. From shore, we were able to watch a large group of Ts today milling, breaching and even cartwheeling at times. About 15 min. or so before they started booking north, we saw what we think was a porpoise airborne in the middle of the activity. - Susan Marie Andersson

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On Saturday around noon the Coast Guard was asked by a boater to protect a "pod of Orcas" that was being harrassed by an inflatable just south of Pt Jefferson (Kitsap peninsula, across from Shoreline). The CG responded with one of their fast 25s. - Larry Brown

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I had a great sail with the Orcas from Bainbridge up to my destination of Kingston. - Gary Peterson.

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Mini breach off Skiff Pt. Bainbridge Island, with downtown Seattle. - Lance King

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On Saturday we were taking the 6:25 ferry sailing from Kingston to Edmonds and saw a group of about 8 orcas just south of the ferry route, closer to the Edmonds side. We could see both males and females. - Sean & Shari Tallarico

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The L22's, Spirit (L22) and her sons Skana (L79) and Solstice (L89) maintained a serene pace as they took part in the 'west side shuffle' off San Juan Island today. Skana stayed close to his mother while Solstice foraged a little further inshore. As "Mystic Sea" left the tranquil scene Solstice joined his mother and brother, and all three whales traveled northbound in harmony. Lots of boats present, also Soundwatch busy educating boaters and WDFW keeping a watchful eye. Three Minke whales made fleeting appearances off Salmon Bank as we headed homeward, so we had a mixture of baleen and toothed whales today. Then there were the Pacific Harbor seals, harbor porpoise and eagles - just another perfect day in the Pacific Northwest. - Sandra Pollard. Freeland, Whidbey Island

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5:14 - Just left the Southern Residents @ Jordan River (60 miles west of Victoria) headed west out of the straight of Juan de Fuca. - Mowgli Lupus

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7:30 pm - still seeing blows and splashes between the Double Bluff green buoy and Point No Point. No direction of travel is obvious except westward. - Orca Network

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Today we had the T30s, T37s (T37As and T37Bs), T185s, T75Bs and T75C for a total of about 17 whales. - Candice Emmons

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6:26 - they're south of Double Bluff now and seem to be headed south, mid channel. - Howard Garrett

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6 pm - 2 + calf off double bluff. - Brian Coggon

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5:49 - They're right near the Double Bluff buoy. - Tim Arnold

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4:55 - spotted them between Norwegian Point (near Point No Point) and mutiny bay still heading north. At least mid channel if not closer to Whidbey, northeast of my location. - Connie Bickerton

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A group of folks were treated to a great show today for over an hour and a half (11:00 - 12:30) between Skiff Point and Rolling Bay near Bainbridge Island. From shore, we were able to watch a large group of Ts today milling, breaching and even cartwheeling at times. About 15 min. or so before they started booking north, we saw what we think was a porpoise airborne in the middle of the activity. - Susan Marie Andersson

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1:17pm - still moving steadily north, two groups, Kitsap side. Just now lead group lots of tail slapping and couple of breaches. Past Pt Jefferson heading towards Kingston.
12:50 - Ed and me at bluff above Richmond Beach park. Spotted them mid Port Madison heading north might speedily in two groups. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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12:50 - seem to have picked up speed heading north. Line of sight from n. end of Fay Bainbridge has them north of tank farm heading towards Edmonds closer to east side. 12:25 - heading north @ the north end of Fay Bainbridge Park. Orcas due west closer to bainbridge side. - Connie Bickerton

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12:18 - Orcas north bound approaching north tip of Bainbridge off my port bow. - Gary Peterson

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11:52 - Heading north in Rolling Bay with the research boat. - Lynn Batson

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11:08 - Whales off Magnolia mid channel. - Jeff Hogan

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11:40 - Breaching and tail slaps. Bainbridge side. Still off of Rolling Bay. 11:15 - still milling between Magnolia and Skiff point. 11:05 - Okay. Got em. Mid channel. Below space needle. - Susan Marie Andersson

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10:53 - Due east of skiff point almost mid channel. Research boat is with them now. Tail slaps rolls 2 groups rejoining milling about. - Lance King

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I was watching them from the south end of rolling bay from about 9:45-10am before they gave me the slip.
9:36 - They're about mid channel between shilshore and rolling bay now. No direction or numbers yet. - Lynn Batson

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8:51 - Justine Buckmaster , naturalist on the Victoria Clipper 3, reports "a large group of Ts" just off Shilshole harbor in Puget Sound, including T2B, the T2Cs, and the T7s, heading generally south.

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At 8:45am spotted two Risso's dolphins in Colvos Pass! Seriously...I'm not making that up. I've worked on Puget Sound for 35 years and have never seen Risso's before. Here's one of my photos. - Paul Mooselips Dudley

July 12

1:12 pm - We had two humpback whales northwest of Port Angeles. - Ron Bates

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Orcas spotted at Lagoon Point off of Whidbey Island. - Kelly Warner

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Several Transient Orcas including a pod hunting in Race Rocks this morning:) - Ron Bates

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Gail Porter called at 9:25 pm from Lagoon Point to report at least 5 orcas milling around and generally trending southward. They were close to the Whidbey side of Admiralty Inlet.

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8:15 pm - Now heading towards Edmonds 2 miles south of the Shipwreck.
7:52 - 6 Orcas southbound midchannel between Posession Point and Shipwreck (The old rusted out hull across from possession Pt. on the mainland. Some fisher people call it humpy hollow) - Deception Pass Tours

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We had two Humpback Whales north west of Port Angeles and several Transient Orcas including a pod hunting in Race Rocks this morning:) - Ron Bates

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We saw the T049A's east of Race Rocks in the morning as well as the T030's and the T185's east bound at the mouth of Becher Bay. - Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

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I always love it when the whales join at dinner time! At 7:45 pm a large group of whales were porpoising towards Eagle Cove. At least two pods! They paused for several impressive breaches, cartwheels and tail lobbing, then continued north, close together and close to the shore! Absolutely breathtaking! - Lodie Laurieanne Gilbert Budwill

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There are really no words to describe this incredible afternoon. What did we see? Everything! Members from all 3 Southern Resident pods ( J,K,L) were in a curious and rather playful state. Multiple breaches, spyhops, tailslaps, rolling all over each other! What a pleasure it was to see these images. - Steveston Seabreeze Adventures

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11:44 pm - They're faint (turn your volume way up) but I hear them on the Lime Kiln hydrophone. - Heather Michelle Bloom

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9:14 pm - Orcas calling on lime kiln, now cargo ship going by. - Selena Rhodes Scofield

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8:50pm - Lots of distant S1 calls on the Lime Kiln node. - Killer Whale Tales

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J Pod in full swing on the west side of San Juan Island. Checkout J-34 DoubleStuf spyhopping! - Nishan DeSilva

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So the whales were heading out to sea, we thought. In they came at sunset! This matriline foraged briefly at Land Bank then went south. All the rest sped north past Lime Kiln. And thank you, Melisa Pinnow, for the fast ID of Shachi J19 even with my icky cell phone snap of my very dark camera LCD! - Meg McDonald

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I thought for sure when I left Ks and Js at 4:00 that they were headed west, but they came back in. Late in my afternoon trip I got the first pic, Mike and a minke...Then...Two minkes started porpoising away from him...Amazing. Never seen anything like this before...Mike was headed west south of Hein Bank... - Capt. Jim Maya

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12:30pm - 10 orcas traveling east to west along Iceberg Point, south end of Lopez Island. - Sally Reeve

July 11

"Gay Abandon" - that's what I'll call this southern resident frolicking along the west side of San Juan Island along with other members of J, K and L pods. After braving some choppy waters, passengers on "Mystic Sea" enjoyed the phenomenal sight of numerous members of the "superpod" cruising along in singles, doubles and groups, foraging and socializing in one of their favorite places on yet another glorious, sunlit day. - Sandra Pollard

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4 pm - What a wonderful, prolonged concert! Still going strong! - Moriah Reardon

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3:55 pm - Whistles, calls, and echolocation on OrcaSound. - Gayle Swigart

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3:03 - WOW they are SO close and vocal right now! Anyone know which pod this is? - Kim Rouse Baumgartner

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3:02 - amazing, I sure wish I could speak orca. - Ashli Farrar

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3:04 - They're chattering up a storm right now! 2:47 - Just heard more calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophone! And, of course, a boat starts rumbling. -
Heather Michelle Bloom

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Just now (2:05 pm) began hearing calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones again - yay! - Susan Berta

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10:22 - Starting to again hear distant calls on the Lime Kiln node. - Jeff Hogan

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9:29am - orca vocalizations just started on Orca Sound. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

July 10

After spending most of the morning doing a 'west side shuffle', Js Ks and Ls began to split up and make their way north. Most of them headed east in Boundary Pass after passing Turn Point, but the K13s went west up into Swanson Channel. We met up with the K13s at around 15:30 as they were tight to the shoreline along the Pender Island Bluffs, fairly spread out. When they passed Thieves Bay, K20 and K13 began tail slapping numerous times, then the 7 whales all came together to rest, diving methodically and rising in unison. We followed them to the mouth of Active Pass, where they started to "wake up" and change behaviour, becoming more spread out and even spyhopping a few times. - Tasli Shaw

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The fun continued today. Wonderful groups with a mix of J's and K's heading north from Kellet Bluff. Yesterday, we had crazy activity and today was a lot more mellow. They were in a resting pattern for most of our trip, it was beautiful. Anyways, here are a few shots from today. We had J8, J17, L87, K20, K38 , K33, K12, K37, K43, K26, K25 and others in this awesome whale soup ;). - Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver

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Opus K16 and her son Sonata K35 in Boundary Pass! - Marcie Callewaert

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9:32 - Echolocation on LK. - Marcie Callewaert

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5:30 pm - Encountered what appeared to be three transients on our way back to Victoria this afternoon right off Clover Point! One juvenile, two females, though one could be a sprouting male. Photos and ID's to come soon! After pouring through ID images... these may be residents. Very hard to tell at this point due to the wave action we experienced. If they were rezzies, any number of them could have been sneaking out in those waves without us knowing it, leaving behind the group that was at Pender. - Marcie Callewaert

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Wednesday around 4:00 am, heard lots of heavy breathing off Hannah Heights! At 6:30 am, see them heading south. Can't ID, but appear to be SRKW - Richard Daly

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9:31 am - Whales on Lime Kiln. Sounds like J's.... - Killer Whale Tales

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9:20 AM - I've heard several faint calls on the LK hydrophone - Jill Franceschini

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9:10 am - J's and lot's of echolocation too! L pod was down near False Bay short bit ago so hoping they will all meet up here shortly.
9:06 - K pod!!! yay! - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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9:02 - Hearing calls on Lime Kiln. - Gayle Swigart

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5:55 - big splashes and pec slap sounds. Vocalizations still going strong, bit more distant but audible.
5:35am - Loud resident orca calls & whistles on Lime Kiln hydrophones. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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5:03 am - Can still hear them a little on lime kiln but it sounds like they're moving away - Jennifer Franklin

July 9

Around 15:00, we met up with a group of L pod whales 2NM north of East Point. In attendance were the L55s, L72-L95-L105, L90-L92, and the L47s. Missing were the L12s, L22s, L84, L87, and L88, who were on the San Juan Island west side at the time. I did not manage to account for the L54s or L53 in this group, but I might have just missed them in my photos, or perhaps they were with the group of Js and Ks making their way south down Rosario at the time this encounter was taking place. Its interesting to see the social dynamics and the "whos with who" during times when all three pods are in the same area. They were surfacing mostly as one large group (beautiful!!), making a slow pace in the current between Patos and East Point. They began to spy hop and mill for a brief period, as if a decision was being made as to which direction to go. Rather than carry on up toward the Fraser River, they all turned south east toward Rosario, where the Js and Ks were. Great encounter, a real treat to have these whales back in the area. - Tasli Shaw

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I hear orcas on lime kiln 5:02 pm. - Selena Rhodes Scofield

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So cool to see K pod back in the Salish Sea, spending time with J pod. Granny (yay) was leading the pack, heading south from the coal docks - in mill-pond like seas! Too many breaches to count, tail lobs and even a double spy-hop. Hope they stay around for a while! - Jill Hein

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Unbelievable day yesterday around Alden Bank (Rosario Strait, northwest of Bellingham). J's and K's, as usual, gave us an incredible show. It was my first time seeing K's this year....always feels like seeing old friends again. Perfect weather and perfect whales....great day!! Here are a few shots. Some ID's we got were J19, J17, J47, J44, J36, J35, K12, K37, K43. - Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver

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5:19 - I'm hearing them for the first time! SO COOL!! - J Felicity Welt

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5:02 pm - I hear orcas on lime kiln. - Selena Rhodes Scofield

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9:53 am - nice echolocation and wow, just now loud crashing waves or animal contact with the hydrophone...has been what sounds like an otter vocalizing too.
9:30 - they are on Orca Sound now!
8:30 am - loud vocals and echolocation on Lime Kiln. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

July 8

L12's and L22's were resting off of Bellvue Pt. in the morning. - Mark Malleson

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The Center for Whale Research and others will confirm that indeed all 82 wild orcas, of J-K-L pods came in. A bit foggy passing Cattle Point Lighthouse, then orcas off of one of their favorite dining places- False Bay, chattering away! They seemed intent on foraging for King-Chinook salmon- their primary food, as they milled about with directional changes. The clan was spread out over 7 miles and up into Haro Strait, (they can vocalize and communicate about 10 miles away from each other!) Sightings of two Minke whales out at Salmon Bank, a Stellar Sea Lion on Whale Rocks, Harbor Seals young and old taking advantage of the strong 8'+ new moon flooding tide in Cattle Pass. - Caroline Armon, On-Board Tours

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7:15 - L12 S2iii calls on LK.
4:34 - still loud calls on LK and there were just excellent K calls on OS! - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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5:35 - Getting some good calls! The kids and I are listening intently! -Annie Stevens

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4:40 - LK is fantastic right now. Very clear and no boat noise! - Mike Russell

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Yesterday was pretty amazing! Lunging Minkes in the AM and the Super Pod in the PM. FINALLY! We were seeing Ks for the first time in months and we hadn't seen Js for about a month. We left part of them headed north toward the Fraser River. In terms of sightings, May and June and early July were the worst in memory, but maybe that's the norm. We have been studying Resident Orcas for such a short time. We ego-centric humans! We study a species for a few years of their behavior, out of the thousands of years that they have been in these waters, and we think we know everything there is to know about them. - Capt. Jim Maya

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We had a lovely view from the shore of about 20 orcas heading north up Navy Channel at Dinner Point (Canadian Gulf Islands) between 8:30 and 9:30 pm. We were over 1/2 mile away. We believe they continued north up Trincomali Channel but may have turned into Active Pass. We saw lots of blowing, several tail splashes and several fins flap with loud noise on the water, and one breach. Several ferries and recreational boaters and a couple of Canadian navy boats in the area that would have got an even closer view. - Linda Jones, Okemos MI

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7:21 - We have a few at Eagle Point (San Juan Is.) right now...One went east, and a couple of others are lolling in place at the point. - Alex Shapiro

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6:36 pm - L pod members heading south past False Bay. J's and K's have already gone north for the Fraser River. - Melisa Pinnow

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5:49 - Great calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophone now! - JC Smith

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We picked up J's, K's, and L's in the morning off of Sooke Harbour coming in all together for the first time of the season. Thanks to Christian for fishing on his day off in the fog for passing on the sighting. - Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

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3:53 - Orca's on Lime Kiln - calls and echolocation! - Connie Bickerton

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3:53 - clicks and calls on LK now. - Gareth Herd

July 7

10:31 am - I can hear the blows of orcas (probably the L22's) heading South past False Bay. - Melisa Pinnow

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L22's near American Camp @ Grandma's Cove on San Juan Island today this afternoon taking a quick snooze! -Nishan DeSilva

July 6

We had a Minke in the group of killer whales on our 5:30 Sunset Whale Watch Tour that seemed to be having somewhat of an identity crisis. It was traveling with the L-Pod members L-22, L-79, and L-89. It became clear when the Minke whale jumped clear out of the water in a breach that this whale was having some serious misidentification issues. I have NEVER seen a Minke whale breach and seeing one breach is incredibly rare! My fellow naturalist, Aimee, and I were literally hopping for joy! - Heather, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris

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L22s off of South Beach, San Juan Island, headed toward Salmon Bank. - Capt. Jim Maya

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Ken Balcomb reports the L22s are on the west side of San Juan Island.

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I wanted to report a humpback whale that surfaced very near our sailboat in Georgia Strait when we were passing the outer Ballenas Island around 1:30 pm. Just one. We were traveling south on a downwind sail and had been on the same tack for perhaps an hour. It came up just enough to see the fin and part of its back, paused for a moment, then sank again. So although it was uncomfortably close to us there was no chance to identify it in any way It is possible that it had surfaced some minutes earlier...we heard an odd gushing but in all the wind and waves it is hard to be sure it wasn't just the dinghy. This is the second time we've seen a humpback in Georgia Strait. Last summer on August 12 around 10 am while crossing from Comox to Pender Harbour in our sailboat we were on a convergent path with a humpback that also was going north. We were about a third of the way between Comox and Pender Harbour, north and west of Texada. We saw it surface from a distance several times, and when we realized it was getting close we tacked away and didn't see it any more. It was heading north in a beeline. -Gail Kucera

July 5

Report from the whale centre in Tofino BC that the T069s were off Hot springs near Tofino BC Canada. The T069s are very common along the West coast of Vancouver Island and usually tag along with the T041s and T065As. - Josh McInnes

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Seven orcas, the T137s and T36As were found headed north through Active Pass, and they were half way up the Galiano shore line by the time we met up with them. They were surfacing in a fairly strait line and not changing course as Ts are wont to do. I believe they made two kills while we were with them, due to sudden milling behaviour, followed shortly by bursts of activity (tail slaps, a surface lunge or two, and a series of spectacular breaches by 11 year old male T137A). The two youngsters in the group (T36A2 and T137D, both are approximately a year old, both born in 2012) were quite rambunctious with each other, which is always charming to watch.

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Ken Balcomb reports most of L pod are off the west side of Vancouver Island, near Tofino.

July 4

L22s at Lime Kiln Park, San Juan Island...Happy 4th of July! - Nishan DeSilva

July 3

7:29 - L22s heading South past False Bay a few minutes ago.
6:31 - L22s heading North past False Bay. - Melisa Pinnow

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This afternoon we circumnavigated San Juan Island, stopping for an intimate encounter with the L22s again. I love this route! The scenery alone is worth the trip! - Ivan Reiff

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We had the most amazing minke whale encounter I have EVER had in 17 years of being out on the water. Huge bait balls of fish surrounding the Western Prince, and out of nowhere, a minke grabbed a bait ball less than 20 feet in front of the boat. Fish flying everywhere, we watched him swallow up the fish, roll over sideways and push the air out of his mouth. So amazing that the passengers wanted to stay with the minkes instead of going to see the orcas. Jonathan Stern, you would have been so proud! - John Boyd

July 2

T075's and T77's in Haro Strait. - Mark Malleson

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L89 - Solstice off Eagle Point around noon. - SpringTide Whale Tours

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Today the wind threatened again! But we got lucky and caught up with the L12s on AND the T75s (Residents and Transients in the same trip!) off the west side of San Juan Island before the wind hit. Incredible afternoon on the water with some wonderful and adventurous guests. - Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours

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Whales [orcas] off of Granny's Cove and Eagle Cove (south side of San Juan Island), 9:00-9:30pm, heading north, extremely close to shore, lots of breaching including an adult female and baby breaching in unison multiple times! Spectacular!
9:08 pm - Large group of whales approaching Eagle Cove, close to shore, heading north, breaching and spy hopping! - Lodie Laurieanne Gilbert Budwill

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L Pod (well, the L12s) came back in so this morning's trip was wonderful relief. Then the afternoon trip had not only L Pod Resident whales, but T75s (?) Transient orcas too! Nicely played orcas, nicely played! - John Boyd

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Caught up with the T75 and T77 matrilines going north west near Beaumont Shoal around 16:30. They treated us to a slow and steady pace of surfacing as a group 5-6 times then diving for 4.5-5 minutes. It was a beautiful afternoon, with calm seas and golden light which seemed to illuminate each breath the whales took.
Just as a fun sidenote, the L12s were in relatively close proximity to these Biggs. The resident whales were between False Bay and Eagle Point on San Juan Island, and the Biggs were just a few miles off shore from them at one point. Yeahhh good day - Tasli Shaw

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9:05 - Just got home form Mukilteo, after waiting for an hour, was about the leave when I saw blows out towards Whidbey. A group of about 5, no mature males that I could see; looked like all females and immature, younger ones. Kept a steady northward pace, just to the Whidbey side of mid channel. Watched them until they were past Clinton, headed towards Saratoga Passage - Pam Ren

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8:30 pm - My sister just spotted them just south of Clinton going north approaching the Ferry Ln., Midchannel closer to the Clinton side. - Kathy Wahl

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7:01 - Just found those Ts again in Possession Sound, heading north. Looks like the same ones we saw at Possession Point this morning--Maybe T50s? - Stephanie Raymond

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3:46 - The Victoria Clipper just saw the transients between Edmonds and Apple Tree Point, middle of the sound. There was some tail lobbing happening. - Kaarin Jacobson

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1:40 - Capt. Korie onboard the Olympus just left the same group of whales at Possession Point again moving east! - Sarah Hanke

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10:15 - Maya of the WA State Ferries just called to relay a report from the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry that a pod of orcas was seen one mile north of the ferry lane, headed for Hat Island.

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8:55 - Stephanie Raymond, naturalist on the Victoria Clipper, is with transients again. This time five Ts are off Possession Point on the south end of Whidbey Island. They aren't traveling much, mostly milling in the same area for the past 20 minutes, so they could head east into Possession Sound or west up Admiralty Inlet, or south into Puget Sound.

July 1

Off Middle Bank, we, the Ocean Magic II encountered, in very rough water, a group of 3 females and this big Male, who was ID's as T 072. It looked like he was travelling with the T 75's. We lost them in the fog that was drifting in as they headed south west. He is believed to be a very rare visitor to these waters. - Marie O'Shaughnessy, Orca -Magic, Prince of Whales.

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We spent a very warm Canada day on the hunt for cetaceans in the Salish Sea, and by a very lucky stroke got to spend time with 4 transients off Middle Bank (Strait of Juan de Fuca). The wind and waves were picking up which cut our encounter short, and these apex predators were certainly keeping us on our toes, exhibiting extreme zig zagging behaviour, heading south for a few short breaths then down for another 4.5 minutes only to be heading in the opposite direction north 1/4 mile away. In addition, they kept a steady pace of 7 knots through the 2-3 foot (and building) seas. I managed to identify the group as T72 with the T73As (a mother with two offspring). Not sure if this is correct, as I never got confirmation, but if it is indeed them, what a treat! This group is not often encountered in the Salish Sea. - Tasli Shaw

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4:00 PM - I saw several orcas from the ferry between Mukilteo and Clinton heading from west to east, from Langley to Everett. - Volker Harms

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Orcas heading south off Bush Point. - Marlene Norton Naughton

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Just saw 5-6 Orcas off of Bush Point 9:25 PM heading South - Marlene Norton Naughton

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9:18 - They were heading south until I lost sight of them. Closer to North Beach side of the sound.
8:26 - Just spotted [orcas] off the coast of North Beach/Blue Ridge (just north of Shilshole)! - Megan Campbell-Miller

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Stephanie Raymond was with four transient orcas in the Strait of Juan de Fuca SE of Trial Island, southeast of Victoria, heading west fast at 1 pm.

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12:34 - 2 transients spotted at Middle bank. - Josh McInnes



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