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Sightings Archive - Oct 13

October 2013 Whale Sightings


October 31

Today J Pod off SJI Land Bank West Side Preserve heading north very slowly in amazing groups at about noon, heading south, J16's and J17's just off the rocks at 12:30 pm. Many very close in at Hannah Heights at 1pm. At 4pm offshore of Pile Point about a mile. My pics showed that K's were with the J's off San Juan Island. The K13's were very tight to shore off Hannah Heights. - Sharon Grace

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I walked inside the house and had an email waiting for me. Whales headed toward the island! Called the friends, they came running and soon we were with J and K Pod off of Pile Pt. They were foraging. We watched for a while as they started to head west at 4:30. On the way home, 20 or so Dall's followed us for a while. Great impromptu-ish day! - Capt. Jim Maya

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What a way to wrap up the season. We found local humpback whale BCY0409 in the Gulf Islands (Swanson Channel), making big circles and 5 minute dives. We continued south to the bottom of San Juan Island where J and K pod were after exiting Puget Sound two days previous. They did not spend very much time off the island before heading west again, so we were so so lucky to see them forage, breach, and socialize in groups of 3 and more.
But the real treat was the large group of Pacific White-sided dolphins that were just outside of Active Pass in the Gulf of Georgia. There were hundreds of them, at least 200. If you've ever seen these acrobatic ocean goers, you know how energetic they are! It was such a privilege to watch that many of them porpoising and lunging themselves out of the water at high speed. Just the sound they made just with their splashing was impressive! Its hard to explain what seeing that many dolphins is like, so here are a few photos that might help illustrate. - Tasli Shaw, Steveson Seabreeze Adventures

October 30

4:19 - KOMO4 following them off Alki. - Maythewild Rise

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4 pm - Brad Hanson says they turned back north about 3:15 and there's a big group off West Point, north side of Elliot Bay, right now.

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2:45 pm - Watching orcas from the end of the pier at the Seattle Aquarium!!! - Jenn Whitsett

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2:35 - here atop Queen Anne with two co-workers seeing orcas with NOAA, sailboat, and a sightseeing boat still mid channel sloshing look to be trending south tho one looks like he is headed south east. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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2:19 - My dad's on the Seattle/BI ferry now and says he sees them north of the ferry lanes. - Sara Hysong-Shimazu

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New orca lovers! Mimi and Sadie saw them from the ferry today... SO COOL!!! Views from Bainbridge Island watching J pod today. - Susan Marie Andersson

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2:05 - Great show from Seattle-Bainbridge ferry boats!!! 20+ orcas!!! - Kimberly Sylvester-Malzahn

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1:30 - My daughter (Josephine, 4) and nanny saw 3-4 orcas while playing at the beach in Discovery Park (Seattle). We aren't experts on identification, so can only report that they were there. Wish we had a picture! - Matt

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Boarded the 1:10 boat from BI and watched them mill off the lighthouse the entire time. Hoping they will continue south! - Susan Marie Andersson

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Spent an hour watching them from Magnolia Bluff/Blvd (about 12:40 - 1:40). Only one other person there watching where I was. Saw a full breach, some tail slaps, and some (mom with baby, don't know enough to ID) came fairly close to Magnolia shoreline. What a thrill! - Pacific Northwest Seasons

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Brad Hansen of NOAA Fisheries just called in an update at 12:15 - the orcas are heading INTO Elliott Bay! They were between Shilshole and Port Madison around noon (interesting that they are STILL hanging around the site where the Suquamish artifacts were returned to the tribe yesterday - very cool).

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12:12 - Seeing Orcas in Seattle from shore at Golden Gardens! First time out of the San Juans! Awesome! - Melissa Kaday

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11:10 - I leave seeing orca mid channel out from Port Madison with their families still coming. Much foraging, breaching, and tail lobbing out from KAYU kayu earlier. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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11:08 - For folks from Seattle, at Carkeek parkand seeing activity just slightly north from here, but much closer to the west shore. Bring good binocs. - Laura Bestor Riedel

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Around 11:00 am sighted 3 or 4 Orcas hunting off Bainbridge Island. East side between Yomalt Point and Wing Point. There was at least one large male. Watched them for about 30 minutes. There may have been more they were swimming around and back and forth off my bank. - Sally Sieber

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11:00am - Lots of animals, spread out all over, individuals and small groups, still headed south, between President's Point and Richmond Beach Saltwater Park. Seeing some tail slaps on the Kitsap side.
10:33am - I have eyes on a group of dorsal fins, headed steadily south. They're positioned south of the Kingston-Edmonds ferry lane, traveling mid-channel between Kitsap peninsula and Point Wells (south of Edmonds, north of Richmond Beach Saltwater Park). - Dave Haas

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10:30 - have seen one big boy traveling w/adult female and young one off Kayu Kayu park north Richmond Beach, and another big male across just passing in front of Kingston ferry (sighhtline) still southbound.
10:37 - at least a dozen, spread out mid channel and both sides...slowed to forage, they foraged in this same spot last night! - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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9:54 - Wsf ferry Spokane report pod of approx 12 orca headed southbound in kingston/ Edmonds ferry lane. - Wayne McFarland

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Our Ocean Magic tour found about ten Humpback Whales near Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. Most of these humpbacks were traveling in pairs, demonstrating how they appreciate the company of friends just like we do! Our afternoon zodiac tour's expert skipper Mark was able to track down some transient killer whales (T46 B's and C's) further west as well. - Prince of Whale Whale Watch

October 29

Today was one of the best Orca watching days of the 25 years living in the Great Pacific Northwest! During four hours from our little neighborhood park we watched the J & K pods spread out over a 1/2 mile. Probably over 40 Orcas feeding and breaching in the warm sunshine!!!! A very sweet and happy bunch! The Orcas filled everyone's heart with joy! And even closer we watched 30 passing porpoises and a few seals and 100's of sea birds and also several salmon jumping out of the water. All with the Olympic Mountain range in full view! People were lined up at our spotting scope. Many were excited Orca virgins. . Always the best!! YAY! - at Carkeek Park. - Kenny Hamm

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8:00 - Hearing them on Lime Kiln. - Valorie Clausen

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7:45 - Calls on Orcasound now. - Pam Ren

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6:37 - Hearing great vocals on LK hydrophone. Sounds like residents! - Brittany Bowles

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6:33 - hearing some Orcas on Lk hydrophone. - Selena Rhodes Scofield

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SRKW's at Hannah Heights about 6:30pm. Not going anywhere. Calls now on Limekiln. - Sharon Grace

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6:15 - I leave under the watchful eye of the Olympic mountains...last group of two big boys and a few females and youngins nearing Kingston. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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Saw about 5 or 6 on the Kingston side. Very far from us over here on the Edmonds side but I still am happy to have seen them thanks to a few others with binoculars who pointed them out. - Kellie Sagen

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From north Richmond Beach late this afternoon into evening I watched J & K pod travel northward very spread out and in small groups. Saw a few breaches and tail lobs as they continued their steady journey northward mostly west of mid channel. A few whales (including one of the big boys) swam mid way between me and mid channel, stalled and foraged for 10 minutes. A boat packed with burly fishermen motoring south erupted in celebration and cut their engine once aware of the orcas in their presence. A big boy surfaced and another spy-hopped near their boat eliciting more cheers, all of us happy to be absorbing these creatures swimming beside them. The orcas and the setting sun behind my beloved Olympic mountains fills my being. Days like these.... - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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5:54 - Saw a couple breaches, some fins and lots of spouts just south Edmonds Beach/Dog Park vantage point. Looks like they're headed west. - Tammie Burks

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5:45 pm - 10 or more are straight across from Kingston ferry. One breach! Mid channel right now. - Kim Funchess

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5:35 - Alisa Brooks posted that the lead orcas in Puget Sound were nearing Kingston, still heading north. Time to look from Pt No Point and South Whidbey to see which way they go!

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I watched them forage from mid- Bainbridge Island east side toward Richmond Beach for about 2 hour last night, when I went home at 5:30. Good eats, I suppose! - Susan Vennerholm

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5:15 PM......several of them heading north more on the west side between President Point, Kingston and Kingston proper. One even did a nice breach! - Chris Beamer Otterson

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3:47 - About 6-7 just off Fay Bainbridge. Still heading north. They are glistening in the sun! Yeah! - Sue Surowiec Larkin

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A beautiful day to be watching for orcas on the sound. Around 4pm, a great breach off of Fay Bainbridge, with the NOAA boat in the distance. - Sue Larkin

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3 pm - I see them! Directly across from shillshole marina on the BI side! - Courtney Flynn

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2:47 - We can see them from magnolia headed north closer to bainbridge. NOAA boat is with them. - Jennifer Thorn Scanlon

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2:43 - Just left Rockaway Beach, south Bainbridge... they were north of Space Needle. Several hanging out by NOAA boat. Pretty spread out... seem to be mid channel. Beautiful breaching, spy hops, tail slaps. Great day!!! - Kimberly Sylvester-Malzahn

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2:30 - Just left them as they passed Wing Point, Bainbridge side. Lots of breeching!! - Susan Marie Andersson

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1:35 - Willie Wilson, 2nd mate on the ferry Tacoma, called to report a large pod of at least 20 orcas about .5 - 1 mile off Restoration Point, heading north. The males were on the perimeter of the group, females and younger orcas inside the group. A lot of breaching going on, and a lot of happy passengers on the ferries that are slowing and stopping to watch the whales go by!

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What a perfect West Seattle day! We got to watch the orcas swim south to about the south end of Blake Island before they turned back north. Lots of tail slapping and breaches. Here are a couple of photos - my favorite is the first, of an orca just finishing a backflip - a moment later all you could see was a huge splash! - Trileigh Tucker

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11:54 - Been watching a pod of orca from alki/beach drive junction. moving from north blake island to north vashon - out in middle of channel. a big california sea lion swimming around 30 yards off the shore - he's been here 30 min... - M James Sullivan

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This morning I counted approx 16 Orca traveling south at speed. They were led by two large males, followed at varying speeds by the rest. Last to pass was a female and a smaller possible calf. I live on high bank waterfront on the East Side of Bainbridge Island, between Yomalt Point and Wing Point/ Murden Cove, and the entrance to Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island. East Side of the Island directly facing Seattle downtown. - Sally Sieber

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11:40 - Whales are Southbound now, leaders passing Blake Island marina. 11:24 - Orcas milling off south end of Bainbridge Island right now, visible from West Seattle with binoculars. - Stephanie Raymond

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10:35 - Maia of WSF reports a group of about 8 orcas near the bouy off Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Is., headed south.

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10:30 - Orcas confirmed from seattle Bainbridge ferry this morning. - Dana Barrett

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10:00 - orcas at yeomalt point Bainbridge island southbound. Several Males and spread out. - Chris Slye

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9:30 - Orcas just off point Wilson (closer to to the point than mid channel) appear to be heading south into Admiralty Inlet! Not sure how many or who but looked to be Approximately 10 or so. No IDs. Too far away and only saw blows with dorsals. - Renee Ramirez, Victoria Clipper

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9:24...i am atop bluff north end of Richmond Beach Park, can see what I believe is activity south of Faye Bainbridge Park, sightline midway between that and Eagle Harbor (Bainbridge ferry)..if you transect they're out there somewhere in middle. Please keep in mind that's with a healthy dose of long distance viewing. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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9 am - Whales reported heading south from Richmond Beach, Edmonds. - Jeff Hogan

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8:30 - Heads up to everyone on the Bainbridge/Seattle ferrries. A large pod moving south in the middle of the sound just off President Point in Kingston. Can see the spouts with my naked eye but best viewed thru binoculars. - Chris Beamer Otterson

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Looks like the SRKWs might be back in Puget Sound this morning. My neighbor Larry walked up and rang my doorbell to tell me he was seeing some dorsal fins out there. Sure enough I grabbed my binoculars and am seeing a number of dorsal fins of Richmond Beach / Shoreline, spread out between south of the mid-channel buoy down to 1-2 miles off Richmond Beach Saltwater Park. Hopefully you can get the word out so central and south Sound folks can be ready! - Dave Haas

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Spotted a small female orca with playful calf, flipping it's tail half out of water repeatedly. Seemed solo which struck me as odd. . I believe there was a feeding event before we came on the scene as the animals were located because of a flock of sea gulls not unlike a shark attack or sea lion feeding event, we slowed the boat and went neutral for a moment maintaining our distance, animals were headed south. Lat 38,50, 30ftms between Saunders reef and Anchor Bay Nor Cal. I am a commercial urchin diver, on my boat with thousands of hrs time in this area, first sighting here although I've had several off Pt Arena, always pods though. - Erik Owen

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An urchin fisherman spotted 3 killer whales, including a calf yesterday at ~2:30PM, 1 mile NW of Haven's Anchorage, Gualala, CA. Coordinates were 38 48.304N, 123 36.771W. Animals were possibly harassing seals and were non-directional. No photos were submitted. - Naked Whale Research

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23 humpbacks were seen in our area, most of them west of Race Rocks. Orcas were seen late of the West Side, some NE of Orcas Island, and some going west way west of Victoria...- James Mead Maya

October 28

I saw a large pod of Orcas on the east side of Whidbey Island. I have a home near the point of Fox Spit. At 9:30am, I saw a large Orca completely breach just off the point. Then watched about 30-40 more parade up Saratoga Passage, heading north, for about an hour. Adults and young whales - a couple of the young ones playfully breached as they went along. Amazing to see. - Troy Carlson

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T123A was east bound south east of Race Rocks in the morning. - Mark Malleson

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Faint SRKW calls (J pod) began several minutes ago on the Port Townsend hydrophone, but I had to wait until the ferry left to confirm what I was hearing. - Meg McDonald

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Watching orcas from Baby Island to the Clinton Ferry terminal, followed them for around 13 miles...beautiful day and wonderful people I met along the way. Best show was when the orcas were near the ferry terminal and hugging Columbia Beach. Lots of excited folks...and ferry personnel too happy day for all. The 4 and 4:30 boat runs had the most excitement. You could hear people screaming from ferry and land! - Marilyn Armbruster

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5:54 - We just left the whales swimming off toward the sunset, looks like they were going to head out Admiralty Inlet. - Orca Network

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5:49 - Maybe headed towards Hansville now. I had a nice breach after my last message. As we birders say it was a "lifer" for me, ending a 30 year streak.
5:41 - I am at Hines Warf Park north of Edmonds and seeing very distant whales along the west side of Whidbey, headed northish. - Josh Adams

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5:10 - Alice Lindahl saw lots of orcas passing Possession Point in a long procession of small groups, many breaching over and over.

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John Crawford of Glendale, south of Clinton, called at 5:10 pm to report 2 large bulls heading south, at Possession Bait (near Possession Point Park).

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5:45 - from atop a high bluff in north Edmonds I saw what appeared to be much porpoising. I thought Admiralty too...glad to know you were there with them.
5:00 - Pam Ren and I watched them approach Possession Point traveling very close to Whidbey, some hugging shoreline. Blows lighting up against the dark waters of the Sound and Whidbey. I am going to move south to try and see which way they go. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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5:03 - The whales are just passing possession point now. They are close to the whidbey side and moving pretty quick exhibiting foraging behavior. Looks like they are going to round the tip of the island maybe. - Nicole Woltersdorf

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4:40 - On the ferry to Clinton-just saw them! - Lyn Gray

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Debi Freal called at 4:35 pm reporting a Superpod off Columbia Beach near Clinton, heading south. Spectacular!

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4:30 - We live on Columbia Beach on Whidbey Island and watched a large (at least 20) pod of Orcas going south past our home this afternoon. They were spread out across the water from our buoy line into the ferry lanes and beyond and seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely - one even breaching into the air and putting on quite a show. They were absolutely spectacular! - Lynne Malecki

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4:25 - just watched at least a dozen Orcas pass by my house across from Hat Island in Clinton. They were heading toward the ferry dock. - Susan Hanson

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HUGE pod......we watched from the beach just south of the ferry in Clinton. What an awesome sight to see so many. They put on a great show. - Gwendine Ellis Norton

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4:22 - Thanks! Sitting in car waiting to board and got a picture through my window! Clinton dock. - Vicki Frerichs

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4:21 - My husband just got video from the ferry of a big pod. - Laura Stangel Schmidt

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4:09 - Clinton ferry dock now!!! - Christy Korrow

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4:08 - Orcas are heading south in Possession Sound, in the ferry lanes, so some lucky ferry riders will get a fun whale watch from the ferries! - Susan Berta

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4 pm - Large group of orcas frolicking off Sandy Point on Whidbey Island and heading south. Watched them as far south as the Mukilteo ferry crossing. - Melanie J. Sceva Hill

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3:27 pm - Sharon Harper-Peck called to report 5 - 8 orcas in Saratoga Passage off downtown Langley, mid-channel, heading south. There were a lot of people watching them from shore with binoculars. (We were among them).

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3:27 - Large pod of Orcas just passed Langley Marina heading towards Sandy Point. Had a few breaches. Good show. - Ed Young

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3:20 - A loose pod of orcas cruised south down the middle of Saratoga Passage at about 3:20 PM. The crowd mentioned that they'd been passing for a while, but I didn't hear a count. We saw several (at least a half dozen?) in the few minutes we were able to watch. - Tom Trimbath

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2:52 pm - at the Langley Marina with Marie Lincoln, seeing spouts coming south toward them. - Sandra Pollard

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2:25 - Six or more orca are headed south in mid Saratoga Passage between Fox Spit and Bell's Beach. - Steve Runo

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2:10 pm - Watching orcas in Saratoga Passage, from Greenbank, headed south toward Langley, looks like the Southern Residents from yesterday! - Susan Berta

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1:43 - Mid channelish, but closer to Camano. Passing Camano State park now. Spouts easy to see without binoculars.
1:29 - More like 20! So cool
1:19 - Slowly moving south. They all disappear for several minutes, then come up as a larger group. At least 10 or more.
1:10 - At least three large dorsals and many others, in a group!
1:08 - just spotted them. At Cama Beach. - Rachel Haight

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12:39 - There is a large pod of orcas between Camano Island and Whidbey Island. They are closer to the east side of Whidbey Island. I live on Camano Island above the beach at Camp Comfort/Indian Beach area. There is also a boat following them way too close. They seem to be heading in the direction of Camano Island State Park (going South). - Pete Moe

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12 noon - Are there only 4? They appear to be congregated -- and this is an educated guess given the distance from my home -- off Snakelum Point...give or take...or to say it another way, they appear to be a couple of miles south of Coupeville.
11:10 - Just spotted them west off Cama beach. They are spread out. Very exciting! - Steve Rothboeck

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11:52 - Dick Snowberger and Florian Graner both report orcas in Saratoga Passage just south of Penn Cove, heading north, mostly on the Whidbey side.

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10:30 - Orcas headed north toward Cama beach close to shore in Camano island side. More passing by but in the middle channel now. Moving quick, lots of ups and downs. Lost count at 10. - Danelle Murphy

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10 am - Connie Barrett called to report seeing 3-4 orcas from Cama Beach, Camano Island, which is north of the previous report at Mabana Beach. She says they are actively feeding and moving slowly northward, toward Penn Cove.

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9:55 am - Saw them! Orcas on the move north at Bells Beach, Whidbey headed toward Baby Island. - Angela Johnson Zink

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1:30 - They are between Cama and Camano State Parks.
11:11 - Really cruising at a good clip heading north towards Oak Harbor. LOTS of them! they have moved closer to mid channel.
10:38 - They are still near Cama at this point. What a treat!
9:52 - I can see the spouts from my house (above Hidden Beach, north of Greenbank)! - Nancy Culp Zaretzke

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Just sighted a pod of about 8 to 12 Orca whales including two young juvenile orcas. The pod was traveling north in Saratoga Passage. We saw them pass East Point at about 9:45am this morning' They appeared to linger in the current back eddy of East Point to feed before continuing north. One individual breached about 75 yards north of East Point. - George Cook

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9:40 - Dodie Markey called from Mabana Beach, Camano Island to say she's watching many orcas in Saratoga Passage, foraging, heading both north and south.

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About 9:30 AM, several orca were spotted a few hundred yards off the eastern shore of Whidbey Island just south of Fox Spit in Saratoga Passage. The orca were moving slowly north along the shore and appeared to be feeding. Several remained in the area for over 20 minutes. Further south, in mid-Passage, a few other orca were also observed. - Steve Runo

October 27

Mid Channel Buoy directly across from President Point, Kingston, approximately 3:30 pm. Very windy, lots of white caps but it appeared they were on the hunt. Lots of Splashing, spy hopping, They were heading north. - Margaret Steen

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12:38 - Seeing several SRKWs surfing in the waves off Richmond Beach. Multiple animals, closer to the Richmond Beach / Shoreline side. - Dave Haas

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12:30 - First time on my pleasure craft seeing killer whales! We were just south of Point no Point we found ourselves forced to kill the motor and wait for the 15-20 whales to pass us leaving some great photos. A great supprise for a windy day! - Larry Dallmann

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12:13 - There are several (least one male) just north of the ferry, which has turned presumably to give them space. - Kate Stovel

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12:10 - Just saw a fin north of Edmonds ferry. - Rachel Haight

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Noon - sighting of 4 orca off Edmonds just past noon. Saw only dorsal fins and blow spray on 3 that were close together. Saw full side body markings and dorsal on 1 that was separated. - Patricia Desmond

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I observed 4 Orcas around noon while on the ferry from Kingston to Edmonds. - Shar Willis

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11 am - Just spotted a couple between Eglon and the south tip of Whidbey, mid-channel. - Rebecca French Gerke

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10:49 - Heading south angling back toward the east after rounding the point incredibly close to shore at Point No Point. - Connie Bickerton

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From 10-10:30 AM a pod of 20-25 Orcas slowly worked their way south past Point-No-Point. The north wind had picked up,the tide was coming in strongly-the group gave the impression of riding the wind and tide. One of the larger adults breached-coming almost completely out tof the water. The first eight individuals were about 1/2 mile offshore. The balance of the Pod passed only about 1/4 mile offshore. - Steve Giles

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Here are some photos I took this morning from shore at Pt. No Point. We saw lots of blows mid-channel when I first arrived 10:30. I'm pretty sure I saw Samish J14 and her crew along with many others (but it was hard to say with the chop). Then we had a mixed group come by about 10 minutes later right off shore (from 50-100 yards). I saw the J22s for sure, J27, J39, and J16 and crew. Also pretty sure L92 was there (it's hard to miss that dorsal of his!) and also I'm pretty sure K16 and K35. They were all moving south at a fast clip. - Sara Hysong-Shimazu
I see J14, J26, J27, J34, J35, J38, J39, J40, K14, K16, and maybe L106 (behind J39 in one of the two pics he's in) in those eleven photos. Looks like a good day to be taking pictures from shore! -Dave Ellifrit

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9:57 am - A lot of splashing and action off Foulweather Bluff, south side of Hood Canal entrance - must be finding some salmon!
9:40 - Orcas are very spread out - leaders are nearing Pt. No Point, Kitsap Peninsula, and we're still seeing more just south of the south end of Marrowstone Island - all still heading south, LARGE group of Residents!
9:30 - we're seeing the orcas heading south, just south of Bush Pt, west Whidbey Island!
9:25 - Visual confirmation from Orca Network. We see them now, spread out across Admiralty Inlet between Bush Point and Point No Point, heading south. - Susan Berta

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9:20 - Justine Buckmaster on the Victoria Clipper reports seeing a large number of orcas off Bush Point, Whidbey Island, heading south, ID'd as J's, K's and L's.

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9:15 - A number of orcas are going south past Bush Point. They are just south of the buoy, closer to marrowstone island than bush point. The victoria clipper has stopped to watch them. - Alex de Soto, Bush Point

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8:15 am - Benye Weber relayed a report from her husband John who saw orcas from the Coupeville/Port Townsend ferry.

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7:30-7:40 - heard what I thought were SRKWs on Port Townsend hydrophone! My volume was down when the loudest call came through, then ferry noise. The vocals of whatever animal (s) continued but were so faint. All SRKWs were reported in Sooke yesterday and from pictures at least some appear to be heading away from the sunset . Keep your eyes on Admiralty Inlet. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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Humpback whales - 5 individuals (2 were juveniles), entrance to Beecher Bay BC. Moving in circles - staying in the same general location. Sighted between 1100 and 1300. Appeared to be resting and travelling slowly. Whales have been sighted here previously. Too far away for IDs or photos. - Dave Tyre

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But we did match our previous record for humpback sightings!!! Mark set out at a full boat at 10am in search of humpbacks and he didn't have to go far. These whales have been loving the areas between Victoria and Sooke. That gives us lots of time with the animals, but also time to find more! All in all we spotted 17 humpbacks again today. The humpbacks in this area typically spend the summer here, instead of going all the way to the Alaskan feeding grounds frequented by most humpbacks in the North Pacific. Most of the whales we've been seeing recently have been the migratory ones, so not ones we recognize. This just makes the numbers more impressive, because that's not including our "resident" bunch. - Prince of Whales Whale Watch

October 26

Constance Bank (Strait of Juan de Fuca). The T46Bs and T46Cs had been milling around Constance Bank since around 10:30AM, and when we got there in the afternoon, they were still prowling around, not really traveling definitively in any direction (possible interesting side note: members of J, K, and L pods were at one point about 8NM to the west of where the Biggs/transients were, possibly preventing the Ts from making a comitment to go west ... not to mention in the mix with the ressies were multiple humpback whales! wow!). Nevertheless, these expert hunters picked off one harbour seal while we were with them, possibly two. We left them milling and trending NW toward William Head. - Tasli Shaw

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(Includes transients, residents, and humpbacks)
Mark set out with reports of eight transient killer whales at 11am, but there was much more in store. Captain Jeff on Ocean Magic followed at 12:15pm and picked up the same group of transients. It was then that we heard our two favourite words in the English language over the radio: "Residents inbound" All three pods of resident whales zigged and zagged around as they came in with the tide. There was resting, foraging, and socializing, all in the same group! But the humpbacks were not to be out-done. Throughout the day at least 7 or 8 individuals were spotted, including Split-Fin and Heather. They are offspring of some of the original humpbacks to return to these waters after they were hunted out. - Prince of Whales Whale Watch

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So we had to go to Victoria, Canada to do it, but on my last day of being on the boat a couple of us Friday Harbor people saw Orcas today! I'm so happy I got to see them. T46b and c group. There were also about 20 humpbacks out there AND Residents about 20 miles west of where we were milling off of Vancouver. Super great day, I knew it would be - Heather MacIntyre

October 25

Mark Malleson broke his personal humpback record. A radio transmission came through at 11:45am, less than an hour into Mark's trip. He was blown away by the incredible visibility, thrilled about the conditions, saying everything was "gorgeous!" In three hours on the water Mark saw no fewer than 17 individual humpback whales! This was truly a once in a lifetime trip. A peak whale day, during peak humpback season, during an exceptional humpback year. Naturalist Rhonda noted that there was even a humpback inside Race Rocks Ecological Reserve; most likely rolling through the kelp and feeding on invertebrates. There is evidence humpback feeding habits could more be diverse than originally thought, and this observation certainly supports that. - Prince of Whales Whale Watch

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Saw what I thought might be a Gray Whale (possibly a humpback) around 12:30pmoff of Pt. Wilson . Slowly rolling/moving through the water, saw it spouting(?), no dorsal fin, heading in to Puget Sound. The one day I didn't have my spotting scope and I see something!!! - Doug Bullis

October 24


October 23


October 22

About 5:40 pm I saw 2-3 dorsals heading north, closer to Edmonds side. - Christy Oliphant

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2:05 pm - Jeff Hogan relayed a report from Whitney Neuberger of Whale Scout about orcas seen off Edmonds, heading south, close to shore in thick fog.

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10 am - I just got back a walk at Point No Point. Two roofers working on the crews duplex told me that about 4 Orcas passed by there headed south around 10 this morning. Those south of here might want to keep a look out for them. He knew the difference between the Orca and the Dall's porpoise. Said one had a sail as tall as he was. - Judy Anderson Roupe

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9 am - Justine Buckmaster, naturalist on the Victoria Clipper, called to report a pod of orcas off Double Bluff, Whidbey Island, heading south. The only photo that came out decent from this morning's encounter with the Southern Residents shows these are the K20s (Spock and her offspring) with another female in the background. You can see from the photo just how foggy it was out there! We were lucky to have stumbled upon them.

October 21

Our Skipper Mark picked up several humpbacks around Race Rocks and along the south shore of Vancouver Island. Mark found at least 6 today, including a mother and her calf! Then it was members of two resident killer whale pods, K pod and L pod (off Sooke). - Prince of Whales Whale Watch

October 20

Here's J26 Mike off the west side of San Juan Island, traveling with his mom and sisters.- Sara Hysong-Shimazu

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6:50 pm - OMG they are chatting up a storm tonight. Best way to fall asleep!! Must be open mic night! It sounds like 1 or 2 of them are saying "What........ What....." it's soo hilarious I am NEVER going to fall asleep to this. Sleep is overrated though! - Natalka Lindstrom, Edmonton, Alberta

*

L85 Mystery this afternoon was off the west side of San Juan Island - Monika Wieland

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2:16 - Lots of calls on Lime Kiln right now - pity about the boat noise. - Sandy Pollard

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1:29 - Wow....the orca calls are amazing today on Lime Kiln!! They are clearly hanging out off Lime Kiln and having a grand ol' time! - Vickie Doyle

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12:57 - hearing a lot of different Southern Resident orca calls from all three pods on the Lime Kiln hydrophone right now! - Melisa Pinnow

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I'm calling it: Superpod headed in (off Hannah Heights, San Juan Island). Maybe not, but lots and lots of fins. Yay! - Sandy Buckley

*

9:37 - update: hearing a lot of different calls on Lime Kiln now, still faint but getting louder. I think I've heard calls from J, K & Ls this morn!!!
8:34 - K pod calls for just a few minutes. At 9:24 a faint call, pod unknown.
7:56 - think I heard faint calls on Lime Kiln hydrophone. (or could be an otter) - Alisa Lemire Brooks

October 19


October 18

In his first whale report, Coho Hogan, age 7, notified his dad Jeff of Killer Whale Tales  that he saw three orca dorsal fins and saddle patches from Lincoln Park in West Seattle on Friday about 11:30. Jeff and others scanned the waters between W. Seattle and Vashon Island searching for them but the sea surface was foggy and visibility poor.

October 17

There was a humpback convention in the Salish Sea today, with multiple whales spotted in the same area, the "whale zone" near Race Rocks. There were about five in the area, and the graceful whales peacefully surfaced before displaying their impressive tails and diving back under. - Prince of Whales Whale Watching

October 16

So. Resident orcas off Vargas Island, west Vancouver Island. K pod! 20 open saddles off Vargas I. (west coast of Vancouver Island) at 15:00 heading down the coast. - Rod Palm, Strawberry Isle Research
(Open saddles indicates either Northern or Southern Resident orcas)

*

At about 5:30 pm today the bulk of J pod was in a semi tight group about a mile or two offshore of False Bay heading south. One large male foraged inshore of this group just south of Pile Point, while another large male, likely L87, foraged about a mile off Pile Point. Another female, likely J2, foraged farther offshore of Pile Point. Where will they end up tomorrow?? Jeanne Hyde and I also enjoyed watching a large humpback circle in the bay off the Hannah Heights community beach for quite a while, before we both left at about 5:30pm with the humpback still circling close inshore. - Sharon Grace

*

The resident J-Pod killer whales were found about 20 minutes outside of Victoria. With glassy calm waters, the sun beaming overhead, and the killer whales all surfacing together, skipper Rush affirmed that it was truly "a beautiful sight to see." The humpbacks were back in full force today as well. Approximately 5 or 6 of them were spotted around the Race Rocks area. - Prince of Whales Whale Watching

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J pod is reported by Ken Balcomb to be heading east or northeast past Discovery Island.

October 15

CA166 and gang west bound in the Juan de Fuca. - Mark Malleson

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3 pm - the CA Transients seem to have turned around (now heading back out the Strait of Juan de Fuca), but T20-21 are still coming down Haro Strait, over by Mandarte Is. now.

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Orcas in the wild, traveling side by side with family, for life. This is the way of the wild Killer Whale. T21 "Pandora" has the smaller dorsal fin on the left. T20 "Kwatsi" has the very tall dorsal fin on the left. These adult male dosral fins can get up to 6 feet tall! It is thought that Pandora was born around 1952 (61yrs) and Kwastsi around 1963 (50yrs). Today on the northwest side of San Juan Island, WA. - Traci Walter, Western Prince Whale Watching

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The group of California transients which include CA166 and C172 were back in the Juan de Fuca Strait. They were last seen heading west mid strait south of Otter Point. - Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

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The California Transient Orcas we encountered south west of Sooke! They included a male CA166, two females CA172 and CA173, plus their offspring. - Andrew Lees, Five Star Whale Watching

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CA transient killer whales off Vancouver Island right now! Seldom-encountered whales including male CA166, his female associates CA172 and CA173, their offspring, and perhaps a few others were sighted by Jeff Lamarche on Eagle Wings Whale Watching Tours near Race Rocks. - Alisa Schulman-Janiger

*

So that's where T20/21 went! They were last seen in Bute Inlet (Campbell River) with the 002C's 4 days ago now I think it was. We had a spectacular encounter with the 002C's yesterday. They took a Harbour Porpoise in Cordero Channel when we were with them. Very graphic, even recovered lungs and heart floating intact. They are so very efficient the 002C's.....some of the best hunters. - Nick Templeman

*

1:35 - Captain Hobbes called in T20 and T21 heading south at Turn Pt. towards San Juan Island.

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T46C1 and younger sibling T46C2, taken in the Strait of Juan de Fuca southwest of Race Rocks late in the afternoon. Mom T46C was nearby. - Val Shore, Eagle Wing Tours

October 14

Beautiful day near Mandarte Island with "Yogi" and "Big Momma." (humpbacks) - Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver

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Met up with a humpback whale while out with Island Adventures today near Blakely Island. - Sara Hysong-Shimazu, October 13, 2013.

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Keller Dalvin of Olympia called at 3 pm to report a Gray whale off Capitol Beach, Steamboat Island, swimming north close to shore. Cascadia Research has looked at photos of this whale and it doesn't look thin, so hopefully it is a healthy one and it will find it's way out of Puget Sound - maybe it will come up to N. Puget Sound and snack on some ghost shrimp before heading out again!

*

I just saw, (2:30PM) a grey whale, traveling north in Budd inlet N. of Olympia. It passed within 100ft-200? of my house on Capital Beach, on Steamboat Isl. I could see it clearly, it was spouting, I could hear it breathing, spectacular!

*

We spotted a (gray) whale last night at Port Plaza Park in Olympia. The whale is to the left of the tug boat. - Joe Penrod

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Tony just called to report a group of ~100 White-sided dolphins in Malaspina Strait, BC, at 3 pm - at first they were headed NW, then as he was talking to me they stopped and were milling and feeding.

October 13



October 12

My husband and I were at Titlow Beach Park (west Tacoma) for sunset last night, and saw a gray whale (I think) swimming around about 300-400 ft off shore. - Jamie Sproul

*

BCFerry trip headed to Victoria on Saturday, just past 4pm announced whales headed north offshore of North Pender. The crew initially said humpbacks, but corrected it to Fin whales?? I observed 3 blows from each of the pair and then there was a back arch and fluke lift from each and they were gone. The flukes were narrow, pointed and distinctly white. They didnt look like the typical humpback fluke however. Possibly minke? Yet they dont often lift flukes on a dive ... - Paul C

*

While out for a kayak trip with some friends on Saturday we spotted two orca way inside Pedder Bay near Weir Point. The one in the photo was by far the largest while the other one had a dorsal fin about half the size. I'm not sure if you might be able to tell the identification of this whale but the locals said that he has been around before. - Mark Byrne

*

An amazing encounter with Mark Malleson (15:14) aboard 'The Empress', 5 miles south of Otter Point (Sooke) with approx.7 'exotic, unknown' transients. (Later ID'd as CA166s). They were busy beating up a stellar sealion when we arrived on scene. Our encounter lasted 45 minutes. We left once all animals had gone down ... for dinner at last. An incredible encounter with the top apex predator in the ocean. I have more videos on my facebook for anyone interested. I will make them public. Thanks to Mark and Prince of Whales for this amazing opportunity. - Claire Mosley, Marine Biologist, Jamie's Whaling Station

October 11

Saw one large whale in South Puget Sound, headed toward the Nisqually River deltaat 12:30 pm. Probably a gray whale. My husband saw one near Steilacoom the day prior, late afternoon. - Ann Dasch

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My wife saw one or two unknown whales (probable humpbacks) off Marrowstone Island today around 1200. She wasn't sure which way they were going. - Peter Woodward

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11 am - David Dorkwin reported seeing a minke whale heading north out of Admiralty Inlet from Pt. Wilson.

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In the afternoon we saw J's, K's, and L's in the middle of the Juan de fuca Strait south of Jordon River. They were tracking south across the strait towards the Olympic Peninsula. - Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

October 10

Our local waters are a hopping hangout for humpback whales right now! This time of year, humpbacks gather in large numbers to feed in the Southern water of the Strait of Georgia - eating as much as they can before the long journey back down south to warmer tropical waters. Today we saw a whopping nine humpbacks! The water conditions were incredible, flat and calm. - Prince of Whales Whale Watch

*

Gray whale is back and at the same place as yesterday - slowly moving back and forth along the sand spit at Cooper Point on the Eld Inlet side.  It eventually went down Eld a small ways, very near show and then came back to the northern end of the spit.  It has since headed down the Budd Inlet side, again, very near shore. - Kim Merriman

*

Minke whales Just crossed the Hood Canal bridge at 9:45am. Spotted a whale surfacing just off the north side of the bridge headed east towards Salisbury Point Park. The whale is almost black in color with a small dorsal. - Jen Walters This sounds like a minke, or possibly a humpback.

October 9

1:26 pm - Gray whale is still here. Same place......moving slowly (with shallow surfacing) back and forth along the west side of Cooper Point spit. 7:00 am - I just watched this whale doing many slow surfacing series back and forth in the mouth of Eld Inlet, right at the tip of Cooper Point. It hung around for at least  30 minutes  - or at least that's how long I was able to watch it once I noticed it. I have since lost track of it. - Kim Merriman

*

Humpback sightings continued in abundance today. According to our zodiac skipper Rush, "there was practically a humpback superpod". With up to fifteen of them in our local waters, no matter which direction you looked - you could see the blow of whales. One zodiac tour watched in awe as two humpbacks swam near them in a resting formation in smooth, glassy calm waters. What a beautiful sight to see! - Prince of Whales Whale Watch

October 8



October 7

We had a great view of the T124's traveling up the west side of SJI, left them northbound at Limekiln at about 1630. Gorgeous afternoon to be on the water. - Keith Provan

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9:52 - Ts! heard 2 calls and then their silence. - Alisa Lemire Brooks

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9:49 - They're back 8:14am - Orcas on Lime Kiln. No ship noise at the moment. - Connie Bickerton

October 6

Transients orcas at Salmon Bank. - David Howitt

*

BCY0409 "Yogi," Gulf of Georgia. - Tasli Shaw

October 5

Transient orca off the Eel River CA. Here be pix posted by a tuna sports fisher on the Humboldt Tuna Club website on Sunday, 5 Oct - he'd commented that a highlight of their day was trolling alongside a big kw, I asked for pix, he replied... and I'll post results, try to get more of a discussion going, again. They were near the Eel River buoy, which is at 40°43'25" N 124°34'41" W. - Jeff Jacobsen

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Finally found this humpback in the Clayoquot Sound ID guide. This is CS280. - Katie Jones

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A pair of humpback whales were in Haro Strait. - Monika Wieland

*

Nearing Victoria, two magnificent humpback whales cruised along side-by-side, the sound of their blows resonating across the glassy sea surface as they dived and surfaced in harmony. We saw the undersides of both tail flukes as the whales prepared to take a deeper dive - a fitting farewell as we turned for home. - Sandra Pollard, SSAMN, Freeland, Whidbey Island

*

Humpbacks everywhere lately!! We our "log lover" mystery humpback rolling and rubbing on a log and today with had BCY0409 "Yogi" playing with some kelp! - Gary Sutton

*

West of Victoria, past Race Rocks, towards Sooke we came across a group of 40+ orcas scattered along the shoreline and offshore near Beechy Head, members of both J and K pod, and they believed L pod was also in the area. Our 12:15 Ocean Magic also saw a humpback whale just outside of Victoria Harbour. - Naturalist Elspeth McGillivray , Prince of Whales Whale Watch

*

It was nature in the raw as we watched a pod of 6 to 8 transient orca off Eagle Point, San Juan Island, make a kill.  Well that explains what the poor little harbor seal was hiding from.  Afterwards passengers on 'Mystic Sea' reported seeing an orca swimming backwards!  The whales eventually headed north in a tight formation - a truly memorable last day for us. - Richard Snowberger, Crew/Naturalist on Mystic Sea

*

Orca Whales from the south end of SJ island. A great start to any day. On the way out in the afternoon we stopped at Whale Rocks to view about 50 roaring Steller Sea Lions. What a sight! Then on up to the T36As and T124s. Soon another boat came on the radio to let us know about 2 Humpback Whales and 2 more Transient Orcas they found to the north. So we circumnavigated San Juan Island with lots of playful Dall's Porpoises, T20 and T21, and 2 Humpbacks (BCY0324 "Big Mama" and CS280) on the way home. - Ivan Reiff, Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours

*

Photos and memories of days like today are what will get me through the winter. Amazing afternoon on the water with James Mead Maya: we saw six transients and three humpback whales. - Monika Wieland

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Pretty sublime ...T124E, T124D, T36A, and T36A1 off Henry Island. - Tasli Shaw

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Phenomenal day out there! Glassy waters and all the wildlife we could possibly fit in to an afternoon. Seals, two kinds of sea lions, two kinds of porpoises, a bald eagle, two groups of transient orcas, and humpback whales! - Katie Jones

October 4

Left our dock at Snug Harbor Resort and Marina at 12:30 today. In ten minutes we were attacked by 20 or so Dall's Porpoise. All hands on the bow as the Dall's ran in front of the Peregrine. As I looked off towards Kelp Reef, a humpback fluke sounded. The Dall's followed us almost to the humpie. After a half hour with the big humpback, we went to see 3 Transient Orcas just south of Victoria. Another ok afternoon... - James Mead Maya

*

I just saw a shot of the Ts from today from james Maya. They are the T124s - T124, T124D and T124E. 4:30 pm - I spotted three transients off Victoria off Clover point. I was watching them from shore. - Josh McInnes

October 3

2:40 pm - Gray spotted off of Dash Point pier (just north of Commencement Bay, Tacoma), headed south. - Robin Mann

*

Beautiful cow and calf orcas swam slowly past me 60 meters from the shore of mid coast East Sooke at noon. Sun too bright for a photo! - Christine Anderson, Victoria

October 2

We noticed that the Humpbacks were producing a high pitch noise during exhalation referred to as "trumpeting." Trumpeting is thought to occur when Humpbacks are stressed or anxious. Even though the Southern Resident Orcas only consume fish and will not prey on these large whales, it doesn't mean that the Humpbacks are not going to be a little on the nervous side! - Kevin Culmback

*

9 am - Orcas just spotted at the end of Old Farm Rd. San Juan Island...No direction yet. At 8:20 this morning I got the call from a former passenger who told me that she and her husband had just seen a couple of Orcas near Eagle Pt., San Juan Island, going up island. By the end of the day those two Orcas had turned into the Super Pod, and...and...five Humpbacks! Another OK day! We left the HBs going north and the Rezzies going south at Lime Kiln Light. - Capt. Jim Maya

*

This morning there were so many whales around that Skipper Rush had to choose whether to check out three humpbacks reported in the area, or go to see the resident killer whales. The residents turned out to be our two largest pods J pod and L pod. That's at least 62 whales! They socialized and enjoyed each other's company off San Juan Island. The afternoon tour was lucky enough to see a humpback whale swimming almost side by side with the resident killer whales! - Prince of Whales Whale Watch

*

I saw members of all 3 pods today, and 3 humpbacks off the west side. 2 of which we're traveling very close to the residents. Very cool out there today. - Traci Walter

*

Also in the Salish Sea today: Five humpbacks near False Bay on San Juan Island, and minke whales in various locations including San Juan Channel. - Brittany Helen

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2:40 pm - Gray spotted off of Dash Point pier (just north of Commencement Bay, Tacoma), headed south. - Robin Mann

October 1

We found a GRAY WHALE in San Juan Channel today aboard the Odyssey! Way cool :)

*

This morning, we were able to see two Humpback whales near Sheringham Point. - Prince of Whales Whale Watching

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4:15 PM - Saw a gray whale from Reuben Tarte county park heading north in San Juan Channel. - Monika Wieland, San Juan Island

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3:50 - just received word from our captain that M/V Sea Lion is with a gray whale in San Juan Channel. - San Juan Safaris Whale Watching

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