Click here for Map of March whale sightings.
We had a magical encounter with J28 Polaris and her new baby J54
on Thursday. This is the little cutie pie peeking above the surface while swimming next to mom. Haro Strait, off San Juan Island. -Katie Jones
Images from my oh-so-special encounter with the J28's...(photo of Polaris J28 and her son J54, and Star J46, her little brother J54 & their mom Polaris J28)
. Every whale is special, but the longer you are out here and spend time with these orcas, there are certain individuals you end up gravitating towards for a multitude of reasons. J28, Polaris, is one of those whales to me. When I first starting seeing wild Killer whales in the San Juans, I almost always saw her. It likely had something to do with how identifiable she was with her nick in the dorsal fin, but nearly every encounter, there she was. So she quickly became a whale I loved now for almost 10 years. It's been a great pleasure and joy to watch her go from a little teenage rascal to a very caring and responsible adult with now 2 kids. So this encounter, while would have been special no matter which whale, was elevated for me because it was Polaris. We got to see special family bonding time, rolling, cuddling, and just being together.... -Traci Walter
3:00 p.m. - Whales headed out towards Hein Bank.
2:32 p.m. -
Whales stalled out- turned south, now westbound just north of Hannah Heights. J17's and J22's- and a humpback!
1:03 p.m. -
Slow north, Js are at Hannah Heights now
12:05 p.m. - False bay northboun
d. -Barbara Bender, All Aboard Sailing
8:25 a.m. - burst of calls begins
and amps up, continues until about 8:46am at which time faint. Js passing southbound
in glassy calm morning seas. (Visible on the webcam) -Alisa Lemire Brooks
8:18 a.m. - Sounds like echolocating now
- with ship noise. -Barbara Bender
7:37 a.m. -
Dani Marie reports hearing calls on Lime Kiln hydrophone
7:45 p.m. - In Oakland Bay
(South Sound) right by the docks. -Joe Penrod
6:30 p.m. - A whale, I think it is a gray whale, in Hammersley Inlet heading to Oakland Bay
. Wow. -Brenda Rix
6:17 p.m. - Lone gray or humpback sighted off of Church Point
, traveling through Hammersley into Shelton. -Jodie Johnson
8:58 a.m. - Two Grey whales and a possible calf
swam very slowly up the mainland side of Port Susan heading for Kayak Pt. They were approx 250 meters off the beach. One whale appeared larger than the other. They were barely breaking the surface to blow. We saw them from our home. We've been looking for them and happy to finally have a sighting here in Port Susan
. 48° 7' N, 122° 21' W. -Douggie B
Humpback in Haro Strait
. -Traci Walter
10:00 a.m. - Spotted an Orca pod passing Clark And Barnes islands (north end of Rosario St.)
this morning about 10a, heading South in Rosario Strait. 12 were seen, 1 large bull, 1 juvenile bull. (turned out to be members of J pod
) -Robbie J
Evening light illuminates the T090's as they pass west bound in front of Victoria's waterfront
. -Mark Malleson
Brad Hanson and Candi Emmons send us this note with IDs on the Transients in Puget Sound: Looks like the T137s,T36As,T124As
6:25 p.m. -
Onboard the Victoria Clipper, we just saw a pod of 5 Orcas headed North. (in Admiralty off Marrowstone)
. -James Greenway
6:24 p.m. -
Victoria Clipper is with the whales., near Ft Flagler
. -Jill Hein
4:27 p.m. - pod is mid channel about to pass Bush Point
, Whidbey northbound. Blows lit up in the sun. -Rachel Haight
3:11 p.m. - pod is well north of Point No Point
now. NOAA researchers with them.
From Point No Point with beautfiul sandy Double Bluff, Whidbey Island in background. -Sue Surowiec Larkin
2:52 p.m. - They are just off Point No Point
heading north. -Dorothy Rosenbladt
2:35 p.m. -
Brad Hanson says there are about 10 in the group, including the T137s, now approaching Point No Point heading north
2:30 p.m. -
gonna leave, it's getting harder to see them from this distance. They've slowed/stalled but in general still northbound south of Point No Point
. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
2:02 p.m. -
Just found them heading quickly north towards the Eglon boat launch
. -Emily Wandres
2:00 p.m. - they moving northbound heading towards Eglon. Now between Apple Cove Point and Eglon
1:39 p.m. - from Edmonds seeing blows
and what looks to be NOAA research boat same place north of Apple Cove Point/Kingston. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
1:05 p.m. -
Sara Frey reports seeing about five orcas off Apple Cove Pt, north of Kingston
, where they've been since at least 11:35 in earlier report. She's watching breaches and other vigorous activity.
I saw a orca I over by the Kingston ferry, between 11:30-12:00
. -Lara Chavez
11:35 a.m. - Orca's moving north at Apple tree cove.
Look to be transients making a kill. Viewed from Kingston / Edmonds ferry about a mile offshore. -Peter Hanke
We received a call at 3:30 from Blythe Marshman of the Bodega Marine Lab in CA. She was 80% sure she saw an orca
close to shore near a seal rookery there at the lab in Bodega Bay. She only saw the dorsal fin once, very close to shore, then it disappeared and she couldn't find it again. She said the seals were all way up on the rocks, so it's quite possible a Transient was cruising the area looking for lunch. -Susan
Enjoying the unusually warm weather, Mystic Sea headed out to find gray whales - we had four of them
today, quite a treat. First off, #531 was feeding in the shallow bays near Everett
, often on her side with her pectoral fin showing, and also part of her fluke (tail). Next we found #723 who surprised us by his close pass-by, then #49 Patch joined in, followed by #383 who gave us many looks at his fluke
. The water was like a mirror, so beautiful, happy smiles for everybody. -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.
Ok, so the transient orcas gave us the slip today (sigh) but we did catch up with a few grays and one that is quickly becoming my favorite, a female, #531 who was near Everett
. She has the most beautiful marbled markings on her back, on both sides, and the underside of her tail is easy to ID. -Renee Beitzel
We had a rare visitor this afternoon! This Gray Whale spent a couple hours swimming up and down McAllister Creek within a stone's throw of the Estuary Boardwalk Trail
- it only happens once ever few years! As the tide went out, we were worried as it got caught up on a couple sandbars, but it finally headed out to the deep waters of Puget Sound. -Michael Schramm/USFWS, Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
9:00 to 9:30 AM - Transients off Long Point, Penn Cove.
Saw 4 transients off Long Point
in Penn Cove. They were circling & diving for 10-15 minutes. Around 9:30 they starting heading north out of Penn Cove. -Eileen Ryan
Can anyone confirm a sighting in Hale Passage east of Fox Island of a small pod around 5pm
? (likely the pod of Ts around Tacoma
earlier who disappeared despite many eyes on the water). -Douglas Ribeca
10:18 a.m. - Pod of Orcas about 100 yards north of Tacoma Narrows Bridge
. Approximately 5. Heading northbound. -Andrea Reubel Walker
9:03 a.m. - 3-4 orcas in front of Les Davis pier along Ruston way (Tacoma)
right now, appears they are eating seals, transients for sure! -Dayna Campbell
2:35 p.m. - Pod sighting, Four with two being small, and one male, traveling off Nile Creek heading south towards Qualicum Beach (30 miles NW of Nanaimo) this afternoon
. Saw them off the beach. -Paul Sawyer
6:15 p.m. - She's slowly moving south and is closer inland now
5:59 p.m. - Gray whale just outside mid channel Camano side between Dana Point and Mabana Heights
. Feeding behavior. -Sally Olin
Humpback BCX1068 "Split Fluke" in Haro Strait
. -Mark Malleson
I love it when we are the first to find whales! The Peregrine found two humpbacks, nicknamed Heather BCY1060 and Splitfluke BCX1068
. Haro Strait, abeam of Battleship Island. -Capt. Jim Maya
4:10 p.m. -
Hi I work in port orchard at the lighthouse restaurant across from the Bremerton naval shipyard
. I saw a humpback whale
heading towards the head of the bay. Very close to the Port Orchard Yacht club. -Andrea Veedrenburgh
7:25 p.m. - 4 Orcas (looks like T137 and family) just passing Harrington Lagoon, Whidbey side
, looks like they're heading to Penn Cove! -Jill Hein
7:13 p.m. - 4 orca whales (one was little) heading north in Saratoga passage toward Penn Cove
/Oak Harbor, moving pretty quick. -Fran Farley Kendall
4:00 p.m. - at least 2 Camano side
of mid channel passing Mabana. Then 4:15 male passed Mabana much closer to Camano.
3:50 p.m. - T137A from Mabana on Camano
, seeing blows and dorsals powering through the chop, heading north mid-channel sightline between Mabana and Langley. -Alisa Lemire Brooks
Dick Snowberger called at about 3:30, watching from Boy & Dog Park on First St, Langley, seeing one or two Gray whales feeding south of Camano Head
, and also saw the four Transient orcas pass by them heading north up Saratoga Passage, off south Camano Island.
3:17 p.m. - T137's within 200 yards of two grays
(Below is the description of what ensued)
Major altercation between the 137's and #56 and 531.
137a drove into them from the south and mom drove in from the North. Both grays rolled over maybe a dozen times, pecs flying. T137 and 137a trashed about around them for about 5 minutes and then moved on. 56 and 531 are now in the shallows of Camano Head and look no worse for wear. Pretty wild!....When we watched that incident with Patch several years ago it was pretty brief, the 8 or so kw passed under him and he spun around, showed his belly to the surface and probably gave a bubble blast to ward them off. As Tyson and myself recall today, it seemed like 137a (14 year old) kind of went in on his own, and mom bolted in after him. The grays were not having it, and all three calves quickly bolted away after the scuffle, mom following behind them after they were clear. Tough to say, but it seemed like 137a was just being a punk and picking a fight he shouldn't have.
3:10 p.m. - T137's!
2:50 p.m. -
Got them. N side of Gedney moving to Saratoga. -Michael Colahan
2:15 p.m. - Group of 3 Orcas sighted just north of Clinton Ferry Dock
. Appeared to be 2 adults and a smaller one. Head north towards Langley. -Doug B
2:15 p.m. -
Sandra Pollard just called to report seeing 4 Transient orcas from the ferry at the Mukilteo ferry landing
. She sees one male, two females and one juvenile, heading north toward Gedney/Hat Island. And added: "We were returning to Clinton on the 2:00 pm ferry, and almost at the ferry dock. The ferry captain announced that there were 'porpoises off the beach, port side.' I went outside and saw a fast disappearing dorsal fin on the port side, then saw three dorsal fins pop up on the starboard side heading towards Gedney (Hat) Island, seemingly on a mission. Two shorter dorsal fins and one smaller dorsal fin, then husband Dick spotted a big dorsal fin coming up behind."
Today at 630pm we spotted a pod of 5 (we think) orcas in Campbell river.
Between the light house and red bell bouy. There was 2-3 very small orcas. They were travelling south. -Micah Anderson
A gray hung out just South of Titlow Beach
with Tacoma Narrows Bridge at sunset tonight and was feeding along the Northern tip of Day Island. He seemed to be so black and so big but not like an orca. And he seemed to be alone unless there was a baby. I kept seeing a little fin. (pec fin while on side feeding). -Karen Caldwell
Dick Snowberger called at about 3:30, watching from Boy & Dog Park on First St, Langley, seeing one or two Gray whales feeding south of Camano Head, and also saw the four Transient orcas pass by them heading north up Saratoga Passage
, off south Camano Island.
12:09 p.m. -
While sitting on the ferry, two blows were spotted about .5 miles east of the Clinton Ferry terminal. The was a whale watching boat nearby. No fins noted, just blows. At least two whales were present. They looked like grey whales from what little I could see.
11:20 a.m. -
Sandra Pollard called from the Clinton-Mukilteo ferry, reporting two Grays south of Hat Island
10:55 a.m. - Gray whales 49, 723, 383 south Gedney Island
from Island Explorer 4. All grouped up. -Michael Colahan
3:00 p.m. -
we encountered "Heather" BCY0160 a couple of miles SE of Trial Island
. She had first been encountered earlier in the day by Mark from POW. When we encountered her she was being very sleepy at first but started to wake up after about 20 minutes and we saw her tail fluke 4 or 5 times. -Andrew Lees, Five Star Whale Watching
We got to spend some more time with the J22s and the J17s (Photo of J28 & J54)
. And more...In between Orcas Island & the Lopez Ferry Dock
. Aboard the Peregrine for Maya's Legacy Whale Watching. -Capt. Jim Maya
Easter encounter with the J17's and J22s
! Enjoy! (Watch in HD) -Traci Walter
Wow, only 12:30
on Easter Sunday and already had an awesome (albeit VERY wet) orca encounter with the J17's and J22's
(thanks Ivan!) near Upright Head. I am absolutely floored by the size of J38! He used to be such a runty little dude and now definitely sprouting and becoming a strapping young fellow. -Katie Jones
7:00 a.m. -
Fred Rickley on the ferry Samish reported seeing a female and calf orca near Upright Head
, at the north end of Lopez Island. No others were seen, and no direction was given.
Eric from Mystic Sea reports Gray #21 and #49, Patch near West Gedney Island, #723, #56, #531 near South Gedney Island, unidentified gray near Sandy Point heading towards Langley
We had 5 whales total, 4 at the south end of Gedney: 49, 383, 531, and 723. #21
was on the north side. -Michael Colahan
1:00 p.m. -
I just saw three gray whales near Gedney from the ferry
. -Steve Smith
12:28 p.m. - Gray whale spout seen in the middle of Port Susan
, headed north. A small dark colored dolphin/porpoise also seen closer to the mainland. -Jennifer Smith
10:46 a.m. -
Island Explorer 4 on scene with 49 and 723 near Gedney Island
. Happy Easter! -Michael Colahan
Spotted a small pod (4 - 5) of Orcas this afternoon approximately 1445 hours, just going north bound on east side of Reid island and then East into Porlier Pass
. -Karen Steve Smith
Enjoying another day of sunshine, we left Langley and headed towards Camano Head where a whale had been spotted earlier, no luck there so we headed to Hat/Gedney Island and were rewarded with the sight of three of our favorite gray whales, feeding together. We had #49 Patch, #531 and #723.
They slowly traveled along the east side of the island, then we heard there was a Humpback whale near Baby Island! A Humpback??
We headed northward, and sure enough, a humpback whale was feeding in the entrance to Holmes Harbor, along with many California sea lions and harbor porpoise, and seabirds. What a treat and very unusual - an amazing day for sure. -Jill Hein - volunteer naturalist.
Humpback in Holmes Harbor
, Whidbey Island during a herring spawn. -Jill Hein
Humpback in English Bay, Vancouver BC
. -CTVNews piece with video.
7:20 p.m. - a large pod of Orcas briskly exited Hood Canal
. We last saw them between the entrance of Port Ludlow and Foulweather Bluff heading northward. There were at least a half dozen
. Also, nearly a steady stream of hundreds of Porpoises, were observed for hours late afternoon and evening along the Hood Canal side of Foulweather bluff. All were swimming northward
. -Douglas Paeth
4:43p.m. - Looking across Hood Canal south of bridge/Lofall area at what appears to be a pod of Orcas
. Anyone have insight? Trying to get photos but we are on the opposite side of canal. They seem to be stationary right now and hunting. Lots of breaching. Will let you know if we get a sense of direction. At least 3. -Leslie Boyd
Spent the afternoon with the T137s. Caught up with them just south of San Juan Island and kept pace with them as they traveled past Friday Harbor and up into San Juan Channel
. Just south of Yellow Island they hit pay dirt and purposefully dispatched of a harbor seal. Lots of pecs and fins and a big spyhop for good measure. We left them as they continued north. Epic encounter! -Debbie Stewart
6:30 p.m. -
We left the whales about 25 mins ago. They milled around Yellow/Low Island and looked to have made a kill
. They are now working their way north. They may head over to San Juan before the night is done!
4:51 p.m. -
Watching them now on our skiff. They are .
but along Shaw Island coastline
4:04 p.m. - Orcas going up San Juan Channel
, believed to be T137's
. -Barbara Bender
We heard from Western Prince that they found the T137s this afternoon south of Lopez Island
Admiralty Inlet - T046B's and T046C's exiting Admiralty Inlet
in the afternoon. -Mark Malleson
1:08 p.m. -
We just saw them off Marrowstone
! About 5 of them cruising along the shore, headed north! With a huge bald eagle sitting pretty taboot! -Emika Wnag
11:35 a.m. -
Bart Rulon from Island Adventures just called in a report as well. He just left the the T46Bs and Cs north of Double Bluff
, grouped up heading north at a good pace, angling towards Marrowstone?
11:26 a.m. -
Puget Sound Express with the Transient T46 (Cs & Bs)
Orca's northbound off Double Bluff
. Amazing show, glassy calm with the Olympic Mountains in the background. Doesn't get any better! -Peter Hanke
6:24 p.m. - Saw one Large whale (Gray I think) surface and the dive) off Twanah State Park. Hood Canal
. 120' of water. -Jeff Dodd
4:42 p.m. -
Wanted to report that we just saw 1 (?) small gray whale 100 yards off shore at Boston Harbor (just north of Olympia)
. Didn't get a good look but was definitely a whale and we saw it breach 3 times! -Linnea Madison
1:15 p.m. - Two calls from WA State Ferries, both the Salish and Hyak Ferries reporting a Gray or maybe Minke whale between Orcas and Shaw Islands, just below the surface, possibly heading east
...Three deployments of suction-cup attached video tags (on 49, 383, and 723
) with two still on into the night. Both tags were on until early this morning (did not hear them at 0500 but were off at 0600 so sometime between then) and recovered them later that morning, both appeared in good working order and recording but will not know for sure if the data is good for a day or two). Documented feeding in the shallows of the Snohomish
by two whales at high tide both this morning and evening, two others feeding shallow just south of Tulalip Bay
, and tonight three feeding off W Camano near Mobana
. Collected one fecal sample from one of the animals we tagged yesterday (49) and also got a skin sample of one more of our unsexed animals (56 which leaves only one left we have not sampled and not yet seen this year). -John Calambokdis, Cascadia Research Collective
6:30 p.m. - Spotted two gray whales heading north from Bells Beach
pier. -Alan Cohen
6:00 p.m. - Two gray whales in Saratoga Passage
this evening! Traveling and feeding. First off Camano then crossed over to Whidbey heading North, turned and headed South and then back over towards Camano. -Ron McCabe
Gray whale #723
with Mt. Baker providing the backdrop, near Hat/Gedney Island. I was out with Island Adventures and we saw all 6 of the Saratoga Grays confirmed in the area. 723 was swimming with 531
. Saratoga Grays 723 and 531 were being quite cozy with each other this afternoon. Logging on the surface together, cuddling and repeatedly lifting their rostrums out of the water. We even saw them swimming backwards. In my yrs on the water I have never seen anything other than an orca swim backwards. -James Gresham .
12:50 p.m. -
Eric and Jill from Mystic Sea report gray whales #49, Patch, #531 & #723 on East side of Gedney Island, #21 & #383 on West side of Gedney Island
. They are headed to Baby Island to check out possible Humpback Sighting!
There are 3 Gray's
out there and another one a little further North. -Janine Harles
It was a chilly evening with gray skies when we encountered the transient killer whale family T137s
. They zig-zagged across San Juan Channel
, traveling from seal haul out to seal haul out and spent at least 20 minutes predating on one seal. We left the pod of four traveling north through President's Channel, Orcas Island
. -Kevin Culmback, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
The T137s around the San Juan Islands
. -Traci Walter
Spent the afternoon with the T137s
. Caught up with them just south of San Juan Island and kept pace with them as they traveled past Friday Harbor and up into San Juan Channel
. Just south of Yellow Island they hit pay dirt and purposefully dispatched of a harbor seal. Lots of pecs and fins and a big spyhop for good measure. We left them as they continued north. Epic encounter! -Debbie Stewart
2:30 p.m. -
Whale Sighting. In 60 years I have never seen a whale in the lower end of Hood Canal
. 1 whale traveling. (reported as Pilot whale but all probability is orca. See 1:30 report below, and our March 27th includes reports of orcas on the 26th. - ALB
1:30 p.m. - Orca Sighting
, The one I saw as not real big. At the time I was thinking a smaller female. We were approximately a mile north of Belfair State Park on Hood Canal
. The weather was perfectly clear and I had a totally unobstructed view of Hood Canal. All of a sudden I saw a whale blow and an Orca surface, then go back down. It had a large dorsal that was sagging over and I could see the black back. It didn't come out of the water enough to see any white on it, but I know it was an Orca. (Years ago I spent 10 years commercial fishing in Washington and Alaska and have encountered many whales and marine mammals). I alerted the other people who were there and we began watching for it to surface again. About 10 minutes later we saw it surface and spout a few hundred yards down the beach. That was our last sighting. I am familiar with the waters it was in and it was traveling northward along a shelf that is about 30 ft deep. It was like it was feeding on something, but I have now idea what as it is not salmon season. I know Orcas travel in pods and there certainly could have been more off the beach that we were just not seeing. -Michael Birkland
We had a Good Friday! J Pod, including Eclipse J41 and her son Nova J51, came to visit us in Sooke, B.C. this morning
...we had a great day following a spread out Pod from Race Rocks to Sooke. -Paul Pudwell, Sooke, BC
Possession Sound/Saratoga Passage
They were incredible! Especially from Fox Spit, we were so lucky as they would dive down for long periods of time but decided to come up right out in front of Fox Spit, this side of mid channel, closer to Whidbey. First saw them at Bells Beach and then left them at the end of Baby Island dock while they headed north, but were coming towards BI. A lot of Sea Lions in 3 separate bunches barking up a storm, like crazy! The pod flipped, turning southbound in the early evening. -Marilyn Armbruster
This pod has been ID'd as the T46C's and probably the T46B's, by Dave Ellifrit of the
Center for Whale for Whale Research.
9 Bigg's killer whales, members of the T46Bs & T46Cs traveling northbound up the east side of Whidbey Island through Saratoga Passage between Clinton Ferry and Langley
. What a great day to be out on North Puget Sound and have the bonus privilege of observing Orcas where they belong: In the wild and free! In a "Whale-Wise" way - I watched the Pod as they slowly hunted and frolicked north into Saratoga Passage.
2:04 p.m. - I just left them near shore Whidbey side slowly still heading northerly
1:46 p.m. - mid channel heading north
through passage towards Oak Harbor
1:01 p.m. - very long dives,
must be hunting?! Just re-spotted north east of Baby Island
. Before last dive they seemed pointed north easterly towards mid channel.
12:23 p.m. -
pod is at Hillocks east point (just south a bit from Baby Island
) moving steady north.-Stu Davidson
7:07 p.m. -
I just saw them and could hear them because it's so calm and quiet!!! Off of Whidbey Shores in Saratoga Passage. Heading south towards Langley.
Closest to the shore that I have ever experienced! -Kim Dammann
I left them after 7 pm and they were heading north again
...keep a look out tomorrow.
6:52 p.m. -
And i mean they go down for long time well 10 min. Now heading north again...
6:50 p.m. - Right now at Fox Spit southbound
6:15 p.m. - Orcas just east and north of Camano state park
. Heading south. Small group.
12:20 p.m. -
Rachel Haight and I are seeing them from Fox Spit, nearing Fox Spit mid channel traveling north. About 6 of them
12:10 p.m. - Orcas just passed Bells Beach, Whidbey
. -Marilyn Armbruster
5:10 p.m. -
Just followed them with the glasses, they are southbound, close to the Whidbey beach, we are on Camano Island at Onamac Pt
, looking southwest. -Patti Nevaril-Cassell
4:45 p.m. - 4 or 5 orcas in Saratoga passage around Greenbank
area heading south. -Fran Kendall
1:00 p.m. - They've continue north bypassing the raft of 20+ sea lions. Mid channel.
12:51 p.m. - They passed close to Fox spit.
Westbound looking like they're going to baby island. Large group of sea lions barking far out in water. Orcas headed that way! -Rachel Haight
11:41 a.m. - Just north of Langley now.
They're a head of the Mystic Sea and the other four boats. -Dan Gulden
11:34 a.m. - Off Inn at Langley
. Watching the Whale Watch boats watch the orcas. Probably about 10 of them. At least 1 male. North/West of the flotilla of boats. Will try to post video later. -Chris Merritt
11:17 a.m. - out front of Langley
11:01 a.m. -
pod moving faster now northerly. Nearing Sandy Point
10:48 a.m. -
slight pod movement northerly now.
10:15 a.m. - Observing a pod of about 6 or 7 orcas a mile north of Clinton ferry terminal.
. Close to Whidbey side.. Might be feeding as they are staying put. -Stu Davidson
10:22 a.m. -
Island Explorer 4 on scene with killer whales north of Clinton
. -Michael Colahan
11:00 a.m. -
Follow up report from yesterday. Saw two today; two blows, two fins, one smaller, heading south down Hood Canal closer to the east shore just north of Lilliwaup
. Seemed too few for Orcas. I hope someone else saw these and can ID them...Dorsals look like Orca, their bodies are dark as they come up out of the water. They traveled like Orcas too. Height of the blows have to guess at several feet. I was seeing them across the wide part of the canal without my binoculars. Saw them yesterday at 5:30pm near Hoodsport too. (see Nick's report below and Jeni's March 24 report) -Jeni Gray
9:30-10:00 a.m. - We had a pod of orcas cruise by us about half way down the hood canal
today. Was very cool. We were fishing a beach on the west side of the canal when we saw them cruising south near the Eastern shore. They were definitely orcas and from what I could see there appeared to be three of them
but I'm not 100% on that. They were cruising south around 930-10 am, and about an hour and a half later we saw them cruise back along the same side heading north. Would have been not too far north of Dewatto. -Nick Clayton
Saw these whales while on the ferry right after leaving Lopez Island going towards Anacortes!
around 9:30 am
. (Unable to share FB video which shows several blows and WSF can be heard announcing pod of 4-5 orcas
on starboard side - ALB) -Ashlee Gaetz
A quick update: A very successful day on the water for this area. We IDed 6 whales (21, 49, 56, 383, 531, 723) with that being the first day 21 has been seen this season
. We obtained two biopsies, of 383 (not sexed yet) and 531 (known female due to calve and which we can use to test for pregnancy)
. Three deployments of vide tags (49, 383, and 723)
with two still on into the night. This is way more than I hoped for out of one day on the water. We are headed back out this morning to do another survey and to look to do tag recoveries (if they are off) but likely not deploy any more tags. We will be looking for an opportunity to biopsy 56 who has not been sampled or sexed yet and would complete our sex determinations on the most regular whales. -John Calambokidis, Cascadia Research Collective
7:00 p.m. - from Grand Ave Park in Everett, we watched 2 possibly 3 gray whales
this evening west of the marina that's across from Jetty Island. They were spread out. Watched them come from between Hat Island and Camano ENE towards the estuary and Jetty Island. -Shelby Hight Fifield
2:55 -3:30 p.m.
From beach east of Mukilteo ferry I watched what appeared to be at least two gray whales blowing and sounding, south and east of Hat/Gedney Island
w/Cadscadia Research on scene. -Alisa Lemire Brooks
9:36 a.m. - Grey whale just south of the clinton ferry dock
heading north. Very close to the Whidbey side. -Danielle Pennington
...Also encountered a humpback whale feeding at the entrance to Holmes Harbor
in one of the herring spawning areas (good ID and sample). -John Calambokidis, Cascadia Research
J54 is confirmed male.
Five of the eight remaining calves from the SRKW "baby boom" are male. This sex ratio does not bode well for growth. -Center for Whale Research
What a great end to spring break. Spent some time with the J17s and J22s up in Trincomali Channel and then with the rest of J pod at sunset in San Juan Channel
. -Melisa Pinnow
J54 SEX CONFIRMED AS MALE.
- I couldn't believe how lucky we were with Maya's Legacy Whale Watching. Together, Captain Andy and I made a great team to find J Pod traveling slowly north in Swanson's Channel! Because of Andy's hawk eyes, I was finally able to spend some quality time with J54 and his mother, J28 Polaris
. During that time, J28 Polaris lifted him up on her rostrum in a playful display of affection, and I was able to get a clear photo of his abdomen confirming his sex. I can't take all of the credit though! Researchers already knew that he was male from previous photographs, but I was able to provide them with a clear shot that they could share. Luckily, I was in the right spot at the right time and had my camera ready. I love it when teamwork works out! -Heather MacIntyre
or porpoise heading south in Hood Canal mid channel about 5:30pm
just north of Hoodsport. Saw one blow. (possibly pod of orcas seen on 25th). -Jeni Gray
12:00 Noon - A pod of 6-8 orcas were traveling south past Fox Spit
on Whidbey Island. N 48 degrees 5'30.1632 W 122 degrees 29'34.044. -Jim Lovvorn
9:14 a.m. - Gray whale
traveling south just north of Mabana on Camano
. Outer edge of the channel. -Sally Olin
Whale sighting. Lots of spouting and tiny whale tale. Then saw the whale again spout appx 15 minutes later, headed South towards Downtown Edmonds. Moving Slow. First spotted at 5:21pm.
Didn't make it more than a mile traveling in half hour. Baby humpback?! I recognized the humpback back at one point.. maybe the adult.. and then this video though is such a tiny tail. It was a side view of course and my phone camera was zoomed in, so a bit far away. But close enough to shore to catch a glimpse at least. I see a tiny spray first in the video! Much smaller than the other sprays we also saw! You can count on it here first...Oh yeah. Baby whale! -AnaLisa Gerbig
Classic Northwest scene? Oh, yes. Gorgeous misty day in Saanich Inlet with the T100s, T101s, and T124A1
. -Katie Jones
Great encounter with the T100s, T101s, and T124A1 in Saanich Inlet
today! T100C, T100E, T100F, T101B, and T102
. -Melisa Pinnow
Today was one of those perfect Pacific Northwestern days. There is something so captivating about watching a pod of killer whales swimming through narrow channels against a beautiful, lush, green backdrop ... I feel very lucky to have had the privilege to see these mammal-hunting animals today. Even though this family spends a lot of time in northern Johnstone Strait and southeastern Alaska, we caught up with these killer whales in Saanich Inlet....the well-known T100s, T101s, and T124A-1
. -Heather MacIntyre
A great day! Transient Orcas, the 100s, and 101s, and 124a1, in the south stretch of Saanich Inlet
, a deep and narrow fjord north of Victoria, BC. That's T102 carrying the kill. I've never seen Orcas there before because I've never been there before. Aboard the Peregrine, Maya's Legacy Whale Watch. -Capt. Jim Maya, March 23, 2016
Bigg's T46Cs and others (probably Bs) passing Fox Spit,Whidbey Island
. They were not easy to find, so lucky to even see them. -Marilyn Armbruster
3:17 p.m. - same location.
Looks big. Not sure about type or number.
3:00 p.m. -
Repeated tail slapping. In Crescent Harbor 200 yards west of Polnell Point
. -Steve Rothboeck
1:50 p.m. - Just saw a group of orcas breaching off of Madrona Beach, Camano Island
. -Vicki Anderson
1:40 p.m. - Mid channel northbound off Fox Spit
12:50 p.m. - they are moving north quickly
, and headed over towards Camano Island side of Saratoga
. They are past Langley now. -Marilyn Armbruster
12:34 p.m. -
I've got them! Just south of whale Bell
area! They are coming up whidbey side! -Melinda Killian
12:33 p.m. -
Just saw a group of at least 3 orcas pass Sandy Point heading north towards Langley
. -Melanie Sceva Hill
Thanks to the WSF Tokitae we saw the T46C family and another group northbound from Clinton
aboard the Island Explorer 4. Also we found gray whales 723 and 531 near Gedney Island
. -Michael Colahan
12:10 p.m. -
Fred reports at least 8 or 9 orcas traveling north from the Clinton ferry lane
, on the Whidbey side, heading toward Langley and Saratoga Passage.
11:58 a.m. -
Fred Lundahl is now watching 4 or 5 orcas just 1/4 mile off Brighton Beach, next to the Clinton ferry dock
. They are heading north into Saratoga Passage. Fred saw one adult male, 2 or 3 females and one juvenile
Orca Network board member Fred Lundahl took his grandkids out to see some whales today and at 11 AM they found gray whale #723 about 1/4 north of Hat/Gedney Island
. Fred also saw two unidentified gray whales yesterday, 3/22, also just north of Hat Island.
Humpback or possibly Gray Whale in Budd Inlet.
I am the coach of the Olympia Yacht Club Junior Sailing program. Today, March 23, at our High School Sailing practice we had a whale join us! We were practicing at the very southern end of Budd Inlet near the Port Plaza dock. The whale surfaced 2 times, roughly 7 minutes apart, spouting both times a vertical column of water. The first time it surfaced less than 200 yards from my boat. I suspect it was a humpback, it was a grey/pinkish color with with barnacles on it's back. It was quite the thrill as the inlet is both narrow and shallow near the OYC (we set marks that day and only had to feed out about 30ft of line), a large whale is the last thing I'd expect to see that far south! -Sara Hanavan
I'm partnering up with Tony on this observation and we're looking through a spotting scope at a distance of approximately 2 miles plus. We thought we would identify it by the single-column blow and the long duration between blows (10 to 15 min). Admittedly, I'm a birder and not an experienced whale watcher so anything is possible....We were only able to spot the fluke and the head of the animal after it spouted. It appeared to be white under the mouth and down the ventral side. Because of the great distance, even with 36x spotting scope, we considered the duration between blows which was greater than 10 min and as much as 15. We know there were at least three animals
. Again, I am not an experienced whale observer. I have seen numerous Humpbacks while in the Navy in Hawaii but they were only 100 meters from the ship. I counted gray whales in Monterey Bay for school but they were less than one kilometre away. -Bob Schultz
3:00 p.m. - From Harbor View park in Everett, seeing multiple blows south of Hat Island
. Looks like possible humpbacks. -Tony Angell
1:00 p.m. - A rare sighting of Southern Resident J-pod in Dodd Narrows, BC.
6:10 p.m. - J Pod on Lime Kiln
. -Connie Bickerton
Today we had our first on-the-water encounter with J pod
this year! It was a bit of a dreary Northwest day, but that certainly didn't dampen the excitement. The entire pod was traveling slowly in tight groups near Discovery Island. Lots of social behavior and lots of antics from the new babies! Icing on the proverbial cake! -Katie Jones
Just an incredible encounter with Jpod off Discovery Island
. Very tight groups with a lot of surface time, some seasnakes, and lots of baby play. There is something so magical and powerful to see these incredible families and their strong bonds together, like 15-month-old J50 Scarlet and her mom J16 Slick, J17 Princess Angeline and her 5-month-old offspring J53, and J34 Doublestuf aside a belly-flopping nearly 4-month-old J54
. As I watched this scene take place, I think to the future. Will they have enough food to eat? What will the year ahead bring these Endangered animals. We still need to talk about Salmon and dam removal! Please remember to call the White house and urge President Obama to remove the lower 4 Snake River Dams. We also got to observe Ken Balcomb from the Center for Whale Research. He's been studying these whales for 40 years! -Traci Walter
J Pod today on the West Side of San Juan Island
. With matriarch J2 Granny and L87 Onyx, they went off toward Victoria then turned around and perhaps have headed back. -Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Legacy Charters
2:30 p.m. -
Paul Pudwell in Sooke BC reports: J pod is heading this way
...in front of Victoria right now coming west.
11:07 a.m. -
still hearing echo and S4 calls on OS
10:49 a.m. -
variety of calls including S3 calls and echolocation.
10:17 a.m. -
tuned in to OS, start hearing faint echo and shortly after faint vocals, sounds like J pod. Volume of both increases and by 10:25 can hear S4 calls. 10:33 loud echolocation! -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
10:12 a.m. - Listening to Orcasound and hearing some very light clicks and one squeal.
.. might be worth logging on soon! -Danielle Vance
Nice to see gray whale #383 has returned to Saratoga Passage
. He was seen today feeding with #56, just south of Hat Island. Whales #531 and #49 Patch were near the entrance to Port Susan too
. Great to see Patch back in our waters, he's been recorded being here locally every year since 1991 (Cascadia Research Collective records). -Jill Hein
Saw #383 today! About noon, between Everett and Hat Island
, we were with #383 and then as we were leaving we saw another one in the distance near Hat Island. Out with Chilkat. Mystic Sea and Redhead had just joined us so they probably got an ID on the other one. -Janine Harles
Some sort of large whale at West Beach, Whidbey Island at 8:30
this morning, fairly close to shore, trending south, saw several blows and its back but no fluke or easily identifiable parts. (unconfirmed, but sounds like gray - ALB ) -Teri Bozeman
11:00 a.m. - Juvenile humpack off Brownsville
. Friend and I were leaving Brownsville Marina this morning when a juvenile humpback surfaced directly ahead of our vessel. Was alone. Headed towards Agate Pass
the last we saw. (Brownsville is on Kitsap Peninsula across from Bainbridge Island). -KC Crowell
Received a report today from Dan, reporting a sighting of 3 - 5 orcas March 20th at noon, close in off Bella Beach, north of Fogerty Creek (and State Park) Oregon
. No direction of travel given. Approx. lat/long 44.861863, -124.048618
Around 15:30 we spotted a gray whale
. We were in Fay Bainbridge park in Bainbridge Island
. So exciting! It's the first time we spot a wild whale. I believe it was going north east...I am not sure whether it was a gray whale or a humpback. It might have been the same humpback someone else spotted earlier! We only saw it for a few second when it came out for air and then its tail came out all the way and it was gone. It was kinda far from us, we were looking through binoculars.
3:19 p.m. - Patch is southbound along the west side of Gedney
. We watched him swim right into the middle of a bunch of kayakers. A group of kayakers at the northern end of Gedney Island got quite a surprise Saturday afternoon when Saratoga Gray #49 Patch
who had been seen further offshore suddenly surfaced in the middle of the group and decided to hang around while foraging on the bottom. The group did a very nice job of calmly backing up and giving him room. Saratoga Passage Gray Whale #531
fluke ID. Along the western side of Camano Island. With Island Adventures.
Noon - Gray Whale #723
heading down on a deep dive. -James Gresham
1:30 p.m. -
Eric from Mystic Sea called to report Gray Whale Sightings today, #531 near Elger Bay and #49 "Patch" near Camano Head
, both near Camano Island. #723 between Gedney Island & Everett
12:50 p.m. -
Following a gray whale in Saratoga Passage
. Seems to be heading toward Camano Head, Hat Island
. Lots of blows and a couple of flukes. -Gail Greenwald
12:35 p.m. -
finally caught up with gray whale on ferry from Clinton to mukilteo
. Was north of the ferry heading north/NW. Surfacing and diving. -Michelle Goll
12:18 p.m. - The grey whale is approaching the clinton ferry lines
. Still heading north. -Danielle Pennington
Noon - whale near Camano State Park
heading southeast, Mystic Sea is on scene.
10:24 a.m. - She's just south of baby island
entrance into Holmes Harbor.
9:38 a.m. - Marilyn is with gray #531 still heading towards Hidden Beach
9:17 a.m. - Gray heading towards Baby Island
. It's at the end of our dock towards heading towards Greenbank. Heading towards Hidden Beach. -Marilyn Armbruster
11:05 a.m. -
Just saw a whale near Possession Point in main channel
. He seemed to be headed north toward Mukilteo. No photos because he caught us off guard. We saw his back and tail before he dove. He came up pretty close to our boat, too! Several whale watch boats. -Sharon Clark
10:38 a.m. -
whale off of east side of Scatchet Head
- Chilkat whaleboat nearby. Likely a grey (?). -Stu Davidson
9:13 a.m. - Grey whale in Saratoga passage, near baby island, heading towards Holmes Harbor
. -Eric Wittenmeier
9:00 a.m. - Gray whale spotted off Fox Spit
this morning midway between Whidbey and Camano headed north. -Ann Bockenbrough
4:00 p.m. -
Slow cruising single grey or humpback seen northbound in Colvos
Passage at Point Richmond Beach about 200 yards offshore. -Steve R.
We believe we saw a mama grey whale and her calf
(can't rule out mom/calf, but we haven't heard anyone else report that) We were east of Camano Island near Camano Head
. They were close to the shoreline as you can see by the houses in the background and we assume feeding there. We watched them as they stayed in that area for over an hour. Couldn't really say they were traveling they appeared to be busy feeding and circling around, mostly close to the beach....The second one was smaller and sometimes snuggled up close to the first one but was usually traveling fairly close behind. We could see that the tail fin was much smaller, the length of time you saw the back was much shorter and the blow smaller too. -Erica Rayner-Horn
On a beautifully calm sunny day we left Langley and very quickly spotted the spout of our first gray whale. It was #531, just south of Camano Head
. Then more spouts to the south - so off in that direction where we eventually found two whales traveling together, #56 and #723
. They were feeding along the shallow bank just south of Hat (Gedney) Island.
Such a good feeding area for these whales in approximately 25 feet of water. Homeward bound we found something you don't see too often - a bald eagle landed on tree trunk debris in the middle of Saratoga Passage .. we caught him taking off to catch his lunch. A fun day on Mystic Sea, as usual. -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist, Mystic Sea
3:42 p.m. - Gray whale right by Shilshole.
2:52 p.m. - Gray whale spotted just north of Shilshole
headed south. -Mindy Boeher
Three gray whales
reported by Mystic Sea today - #531 midway between Camano and Hat Island - and #723 and #56 traveling together on the south-east side of Hat Island (1:30 pm-ish)
. They all appeared to be feeding.
12:15 p.m. -
I'm above Langley marina
and south and a tad northeast of Sandy Pt and north west of Hat Island seeing blows
. There are 4 smaller boats out near it.... Im going to drive into Clinton now. -Marilyn Armbruster
9:00 a.m. - Gray whale off Columbia Beach
(just south of Clinton ferry dock), South Whidbey Island, heading south. -Tim Andersen
4:02 p.m. - He's heading towards bells beach
3:55 p.m. - Moving past Fox spit
right now. I got a few pictures but none of the tale quite yet. -Cara Hefflinger
3:04 p.m. - Happy humans greeting gray whale #531
...she is foraging along shore in Saratoga Passage. She was mid channel diving & is now back in front of my neighbors. (just south of Baby Island, Whidbey) -Marilyn Armbruster
2:59 p.m. - Reporting one Grey, feeding close to shore, just east of Baby Island
, heading towards Fox Pit now. No boats to be seen -just me and the soothing, bountiful breath, of an old friend, traveling slowly East. -Nancy Nolan
2:50 p.m. -
Marilyn Armbruster reports seeing a gray whale between Baby Island and Fox Spit
closer to Whidbey side, first northbound and now looking to be southbound towards Fox Spit. -Marilyn Armbruster
11:30 p.m. - Patch #49 is back!
IE4 is on scene right now :) Have a great afternoon and enjoy this beautiful weather! -Jess, Island Adventures
6:50 p.m. - Hidden beach
halfway across the passage. Maybe a baby? About 5 of them
. -Penstemon E. Gayfeather
Finally found T046's today, 4 very elusive orca as they left Penn Cove, around 3:50 this afternoon
. They started to head northbound from Penn Cove, but then appeared to turn southward ..... haven't seen them since. Long long down-times, 20 minutes plus
.... easy to lose them. Am watching Saratoga now, will let you know if they're spotted again. -Jill Hein
3:04 p.m. - They're in Penn Cove
! Eastbound northeast of mussel rafts. -Rachel Haight
12:15 p.m. - just south of Shangri La Shores
. (Shangri-La shores is off Race Road, Coupeville. A bit south of Race Lagoon.) Looked to be group of 5-6 whales
. They were about 800-1000 yards off of Whidbey Island's east shore. -Bill Wiegand
Today I went on my usual whale scouting routine and just as I was driving up to the mouth of Penn Cove, I saw orcas heading in! They made a kill off Monroe Landing
and stayed there for almost an hour before heading back out. They made it just south of Fox Spit before turning back north. Such a beautiful day spent with whales! ID'd as the T46s
- I've seen them in Penn Cove on several different occasions. -Rachel Haight
And there they are to greet me back home in front of Woodland Beach
, just milling.
4:25 mid-channel in front of sandy beach Camano, 4:45 north end of sandy beach
. I'm heading home to woodland beach area. Will report if we see them come by. Still slow diving.
4:17 mid-channel, front of Monaco beach
, moving very slowly north.
3:39 mid channel, northbound in front of Camano island state park
. Just slow diving.
3:24 p.m. - Northbound approaching north end of Bells Beach
3:04 p.m. - They are between belles beach and Langley. Whale watching boat is tracking them.
Noon - Mid channel across from Woodland Beach
, Camano heading south. -Krista Paulino
3:15 p.m. - They are now northbound. Just north of Fox Spit
2:20 - they popped up off Fox spit
few hundred yards offshore. Headed quickly south. Then another orca popped up 100ft or less offshore quickly moving south trying to catch up. So cool!
1:25 p.m. - southbound passing Cama Beach
, closer to the Camano side.
12:40 p.m. - They look to northwest of Omanac point
milling. Not going much of anywhere. -Rachel Haight
12:40 p.m. -
Jill Hein sees the four Transients in Saratoga Passage
heading south toward Cama Beach.
10:40 a.m. - They (T46's) were beginning to head out of Penn Cove
. -Teri Bozeman
10:52 a.m. -
I'm relocating but they just left the cove.
9:48 a.m. - Still here in same spot. In between Monroe Landing and Coupeville wharf. At least 4, adult male and a juvenile
. Pretty sure they made a kill. Gulls now surrounding them
9:27 a.m. - Orcas westbound in Penn Cove
. More on north side of cove passing Monroe landing now
9:20 a.m. - Orcas!!!! Heading west into Penn Cove now!!!
T46's in Penn Cove
- "I though I would bring the dog to Monroe Landing this morning instead of West Beach. Thanks to the photographer that was already out there and pointed out the orcas to me." -Lorenzo Coleman
Captain Carl Williams and Naturalist Tyson Reed on the Island Explorer 4 did ID a new gray for the 2016 season. Photo confirmed shows that #383
has returned. "Just as we reached the end of Gedney island
Captain carl spotted a blow, and then another blow, it was two more gray whales. We got in nice and close to them and found out it was #56 and #383 swimming side by side..." -Jess Plier, IA
6:02 p.m. - Humpback whale just passed by Harstine Island
and under the Harstine Island bridge. Beautiful showing of a huge white fin. Moving slow and deliberate. Sure wish he'd have surfaced a bit more. South toward Squaxin Island. Came from the north. -Gretchen Stewart
4:06 p.m. - A pod of Orcas just past Maple Cove Beach House
on Maple Cove just south of Langley. At least 4 orcas headed north
. -Debra Rack
5:18 p.m. - Two grays
(heart shaped blows) between Langley and Camano
in Saratoga Passage heading north. -Sarah Malmstead
1:39 p.m. -
Yep I have been watching both for 4 hours now
. Moving slowly south one is. I can't see Elger bay the point blocks it but will keep my eyes out for it.
8:18 a.m. - Actually 2 whales. 2 blows!
8:12 a.m. - Camano Island, gray whale between Dana Point and Mabana Heights
. Appears to be feeding behavior. -Sally Olin
A very blustery and very "rough" day in Saratoga Passage, but Mystic Sea Charters found gray whales #723 and #531 separated by a mile or so, mid-channel and south of Elger Bay
, heading south. Photo shows the top of #531's fluke with interesting pattern. -Jill Hein
12:58 p.m. -
Mystic Sea just called our Langley Whale Center to report gray whale #531 near Mabana
, close to Camano, and another gray (possibly #723, but unconfirmed) at Elger Bay.
11:30 a.m. -
Yes saw them blowing at Elger Bay
... I didn't see the direction they left towards. -Lorri Garske
5:00 p.m. -
I think I say a gray (humpback) whale in the Nisqually Reach
. (humpback based on other sightings/photos and further details from Rosemarie). I live on Johnson Point outside of Olympia. My house has a view of the Nisqually Reach from Devil's Head, the Drayton Passage, Anderson Island and down towards the Wildlife Refuge. I watched what appeared to be a young gray periodically breaching while traversing the Reach in the direction of the Nisqually Refuge. My first whale sighting. It seemed as if the whale would shoot perpendicularly out of the water, appear to remain suspended for a few seconds and then lean/topple to the right. There were at least 4 breaches before I lost sight of the whale. It was during one of the periodic lulls yesterday from the high winds. Wow!! I hope this is helpful. -Rosemarie M. Robinson
3:28 p.m. - Two whales southwest key peninsula
heading southeast - multiple breaching ... Two, dark grey with white underside, no defined dorsal. Came straight up, twisted and fell on their backs....Watching from Johnson point looking northeast. Went around Johnson Point, heading to Nisqually region. -Tina Davis
Here's the second humpback whale
, crustier than the first. They were about a mile away, during a rain squall. Taken from the east shoreline of Harstine Island
in the south sound, on Case Inlet. About a mile south of Herron Island.
2:30 p.m. - Spotted 2 whales breaching in Case Inlet near Fudge Point, heading south. -Dave Berliner
Today off Lime Kiln - J17 Princess Angeline and her new little one, J53
. As much as I love greeting the J-Pod whales I've known for years, it's so exciting to meet a new addition to the family! -Monika Wieland
Surprise - J Pod is back!
I couldn't have been happier to welcome J Pod back into the Salish Sea today. They were a little elusive in the morning, but by the afternoon we found them right outside of our harbor (Snug Harbor)
heading up the west side of San Juan Island. As usual, the first orca to pass us was none other than J2 Granny
who is getting older in her years. She is estimated to be born in 1911, and while she may not be exactly 105 years old, she's still the oldest orca ever recorded that we know of! J19 Shachi and J40 Suttles followed behind while her daughter and grandson played nearby. It was so nice to see her and the rest of my favorite matriline, the J16s. -Heather MacIntyre, Maya's Legacy
J pod in Haro Strait, spread in loose family groups across the border and traveling North
. It was our first time seeing J28 with her new calf, J54
, born December 2015. We'd just launched our 'Bullfrog' tender and she skipped like a stone through sunshine, hailstorm squall and a rainbow. -Barbara Bender, All Aboard Sailing
....I think everyone was there. They were last seen heading N up Swanson Channel, BC
. They passed right in front of our dock at Snug Harbor Resort. -Jim Maya, Maya's Legacy Whale Watch
JPOD!!! J pod moseyed on by Lime Kiln State Park today on the west side of San Juan Island
. They were getting pushed up with the flood tide and taking it nice and slow doing some foraging behavior as they went. They were very spread out, some closer to San Juan Island and some further out in the middle of Haro Strait. Today I also saw my favorite orca and her newest calf! J28 (Polaris) and J54!
. -Traci Walter
J28 Polaris with her newest kiddo J54
this afternoon passing Lime Kiln State Park
. -Katie Jones
Between 12:15-2:15 I saw all of J-Pod head north past Lime Kiln in very slow-moving, spread out groups
. I didn't identify every whale since some were way offshore but did see members of every matriline, including J2, who was closest to shore, and J53 and J54
. At 2:15 the trailers were several miles offshore still facing north but not making much progress. Now that I'm back home there are still some calls on the hydrophones, so they may have turned and are coming back south. -Monika Wieland
3:50 p.m. - sporadic and VERY loud calls on Orcasound hydro
3:09 p.m. - faint calls on Lime Kiln Hydro
. Sporadic. -Kim Merriman
2:30 p.m. - Hearing them again on LK
right now! -Coleen Moore
2:18 p.m. - Just heard S1 calls on Lime Kiln hydrophone! J Pod
. -Alex Callen
Reports from 1:30 of some of J pod off Snug Harbor
, per Spencer Domico.
1:44 p.m. - calls again on LK hydro
now over the loud ship. And, can be seen on web cam.
1:28 p.m. - And I've seen two on Web Cam
1:13p.m. - now on Orca Sound
as well. Sporadic.
12:46 p.m. - right now calls and clicks and honks on LK Hydro
. Woot! Along with an angry piece of kelp! -Kim Merriman
10:32 a.m. - Sounds like maybe Js on LK
. -Monika Wieland
10:14 a.m. - Just heard a few orcas distant from Lime Kiln hydrophone
about a minutes worth of calls, silent now, maybe T's. Sorry i am not familiar with all their voices yet. -Alethea Leddy
We had Orcas by our home, Mouat Point, Pender Island, from off and on, from about 4-8 pm
, south to north as usual. -Kathy Gilbert
Mystic Sea Charters reports Gray Whales #723 and #531 sighted between Whidbey and Camano State Park, around noon
11:50 a.m. - Gray again, northbound Saratoga this AM. Mid channel between Camano State parks
. Easy spot, look for whale watching boat trailing. -Will Murphy
11:00 a.m. - Gray Whale - Middle of Saratoga Passage just south of Cama Beach State Park
. Being followed by a whale watching boat. Previous day (11th) saw one close to shore just north of Camano Island State Park
. Raised his tail in the air before a long swim northwest against the tide. -Dianan DeLashmutt, Camano Island
Fluke shot of 531
. Newer vertical stripe on right side of fluke visible. -Ariel Yseth,
Orca - Georgeson Bay, Galiano. One Orca
was swimming south between the birds 50-75 meter off Georgeson Beach
. The beach below Active Pass Drive around 10:30 am
. No picture taken of sighting. -Inge Waag
4:50 p.m. - Gray whale feeding behavior near Dana point Camano island
. -Sally Olin
11:10 a.m. - just saw a spout mid channel in saratoga passage
from woodland beach camano area. Through binocs, appeared to be 1 southbound gray whale. -Krista Paulino
11:45 a.m. - A small humpback was reported between the Bathhouse and Owens Beach off Tacoma
. -Brian Owen
5:30 p.m. - Grey southbound on the Greenbank side of Saratoga
across from us between the Camano State parks. -Will Murphy
3:12 p.m. -
Connie Barrett reports seeing a gray whale near
Baby Island, heading west toward Greenbank
, Whidbey Island in Saratoga Passage.
4:20 p.m. - Just saw a small humpback breaching west of the
Fox Island Bridge
! (south Puget Sound) -Chris Reanier
12:50 p.m. - Large humpback (or gray) sighted approx 200 yds off Camano shore near Indian Beach
. (when I saw it from my window so close and large I actually gasped, and my first thought was "that's a humpback" due to the hump as it dove. I then heard it surface (it was behind a tree from my view) and saw it surface one more time. It was also alone, making me think humpback. But in retrospect I can't swear I saw a dorsal fin so I may be wrong.) -Ruth Westra
1:55 p.m. - saw a humpback southbound, center channel in Colvos Passage
. One mile south of the Southworth Ferry Lane. sorry no pics ...just enjoyment ! -Noreen Ferris
Unusual southbound travel in Colvos passage
. Current is always northbound here, and we just heard 2nd whale today at 2200
, extremely close to west shore on surface blowing dozen times, heading southbound. The whales always travel northbound thru here. There was another about noon today same path heading south. Wonderful to see so much activity today. Not sure if it was humpy or grey? -Tim Ferris
Sunrise to Sunset with J pod off Cape Flattery
. "We were right off Cape Flattery and little did we know that we would end up tracking these whales all day as they were scouring the deep canyons off the coast. Within minutes Candi Emmons had spotted the J11s and J14s
, it wasn't until later that she spotted J2, L87
and the others confirming that we were with all of J pod
....It seems like the last week or so we have found them in this general location...." -Peggy Foreman, NOAA Fisheries
Full report and past entries can be found at Pacific Orcinus Distribution Survey 2016 Blog
...We left Snug Harbor at 1250 and got on scene at 1326 about a mile and a half north of Swartz Bay
. Since both Peregrine and Legacy had recently left the whales, we had to re-find them which we did after a brief search. The T18's (T18, T19, T19B, T19C) had already exited Shute Passage into Satellite Channel
and appeared to be resting as they were traveled slowly west in a tight group... Read full summary at CWR T18s Encounter #16. -Dave Ellifrit & Deborah Giles, CWR
12:39 p.m. -
Right now! Gooch Is. BC
...We found the T18s
just to east of Gooch Island. -Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Legacy
Update: Village Pizzeria reports the whales went by Langley headed NW, then turned around and headed back toward Sandy Point
We just heard the Whale Bell around 5 pm and talked to someone who had seen a Gray whale or two off Langley
. Not sure of exact location or direction of travel, but walking down from Langley Whale Center to take a look to see if we can find them! -Susan Berta, Orca Network
5:00 p.m. - Just saw very small whale as we were approaching the Southworth ferry dock
. Surfaced a couple of times and blew! -Brenda Billiet Glisson
3:30 p.m. -
What a delight, Humpback Whale in north Colvos
passage heading north 1530. -Tim Ferris
12:30 p.m. -
Maia at WA State Ferries relayed a report of a small humpback between Blake Island and Southworth
First day for "gray whale" season today, #56 showed up for opening day
. Whales 531 and 723 have also been seen this season, but didn't find them today. -Jill Hein, Naturalist, Mystic Sea
1:05 p.m. - just saw a blow a mile or so E or ESE of Point No Point
12:35 p.m. - a gray whale a couple of miles SE of Point No Point
. Mystic Sea is currently nearby. As viewed from 6+ miles away in Edmonds. -Sherman Page
12:15 p.m. -
He's working back and forth along the southern edge of the bank. 2 breaths between dives with 7-8 minute down times.
11:42 a.m. - Westbound
for the moment.
11:36 a.m. - Gray whale #56 S/W of Possession Point
. Mid channel. No direction yet. -James Gresham
Humpbacks between Southworth and West Seattle
. I've been watching humpbacks from the Southworth ferry terminal looking at West Seattle since 10:50 and it's 12:15 now
. -Meg Taylor
This evening at 18:00 we watched a small whale hanging around between Blake Island and Southworth area
, feeding. Looked like a humpback
but it was twilight so not certain. -Paul Lee
...around 5 or 6 pm
as I was stuck in traffic on hwy 99 northbound I saw a whale or possibly slow moving porpoise? out in front of Seattle, just northwest of the Ferris wheel. Could it be the humpback?
I never saw any dorsal fin. Unfortunately I couldn't get out my binocs because I was driving. -J.K., a birder from Snohomish County.
My first Gray Sighting, Manaco Beach...Camano Island...Saratoga Pass...just north of Cama Beach S.P.
This always seems to happen in the first five days of March. Heard and then saw my first Gray of the year this morning about 10am
. It was moving north, rather close in, just outside our moorings. When our Labrador was younger, she would hear them first and give us a single bark while facing the direction of the beach. Now I must use an outdoor microphone to hear them coming. -Dick Schlueter
1:30 - Grays at Hat Island, Possession Sound, Everett. -Robin Araniva
10:45am - Small humpback whale between Southworth and Blake Island
now. -Scott Davis
12:30 UPDATE! south Puget Sound humpback just headed north out of Eld Inlet toward the center of the channel between Boston Harbor and Hunter Point
. If it stays on that path, it may head out of Dana Passage. It is doing shallow surfacing and shallow dives. Three within about 4 minutes. Then it dives for long periods of time.
11:00 UPDATE! It is a humpback.
I have seen three breaches, a 'spy hop' of sorts, a few rolls, and 5 surfacing series. It is currently heading north of Budd Inlet passing Boston Harbor
. My hands are so cold I can hardly type. Very distant, gray photos to come. It is pouring rain.
9:40 am - Humpback in south Puget Sound
surfacing and then LONG dives heading south - passing Boston Harbor and toward Budd Inlet. -Kim Merriman
just saw it breach between Southworth ferry & SW corner of Blake
. Took a deep dive when the ferry approached. -Kristim McWeather
4:19 - The humpback off Blake Island
is breaching repeatedly, flinging it's long pectoral fins just off the ferry route.
2:45 - Humpback seen from the ferry Issaquah
docked at Southworth, SW of Blake Island
, heading NW toward Yukon Harbor, reported by Charlie.
4pm - Watching a humpback breach off the south end of Blake island
. Very active, multiple breaches and lots of tail lobbing. Appears to be milling around, possibly headed north! -Brittany Gordon
10:30. - Humpback surfacing at Boston Harbor Lighthouse. Heading north.
1 pm -
He's back!! Just breached 5 min ago straight towards Cooper Point from the Boston Harbor Marina
9:30 - He has been going back and forth in front of Boston Harbo
r. Last seen headed toward Steamboat about 15 min ago. I've seen him breach twice and fluke several times. Smaller dorsal fin. -Kim Stamp
11:30 - It's a humpback.
Currently heading north out of Budd Inlet and surfacing and breaching at Boston Harbor Lighthouse and Marina
9:00 - Humpback in south Puget Sound.
Surfacing and then LONG dives heading south - passing Boston Harbor and toward Budd Inlet
. -Kim Merriman
We watched a large whale (Humpback) for a couple hours today on the west side of Blake Island
. It was jumping, blowing and flapping it's tail going north to south and south to north. It finally disappeared from our view behind Southworth Point around 4 pm
. Quite a show. My granddaughter got a few pretty good photographs of it. -Ann Lieseke
A humpback whale breaching today around 2:45 pm - 5 pm near Blake Island
and the Southworth ferry terminal! The ferry going by at one point even stopped moving to allow passengers to view the whale! Was such a great sight! -Livia Gleason
8:08am - Small whale currently in Budd Bay towards the end of Cooper Point
! -Kim Stamp
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