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100912AdmiraltyHG©Howard Garrett

Recent whale sightings in the Salish Sea

(Puget Sound, Northwest Straits, Gulf Islands and Georgia Strait)

Sightings Summaries Archives

Sighting Report Archives
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The purpose of Orca Network's Whale Sighting Network and Education Project is to encourage observation and increase awareness and knowledge about the Southern Resident Community of orcas (J, K and L pods), and foster a stewardship ethic to motivate a diverse audience to take action to protect and restore these orcas' critical habitat.

The orcas' steep population decline of 20% from 1995 to 2001 is a reflection of the problems and issues facing the greater Puget Sound marine and watershed ecosystems: declining salmon runs, PCB contamination, and the effects of a rapidly increasing human population including habitat loss and resource depletion. Through a volunteer Whale Sighting Network, sightings and observations of this orca community are gathered and disseminated to researchers and volunteers, and posted on our website.

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Click HERE for recent whale sightings reports.

March 26

Biggs killer whales (Transients) - 10:15 a.m. - Stephanie Raymond onboard the Clipper reports about 7 orcas, no firm IDs, heading south in the NB shipping lane off West Point. (that's off Discovery Park, Magnolia neighborhood in North Seattle)

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10:00 a.m. - Puget Sound orcas, southbound. Second hand report from Sandra Prow of orcas in Puget Sound who appear currently to be mid channel-ish between Golden Garden's/Shilshole Marina in North Seattle and Faye Bainbridge Park, Kitsap.

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Gray whales - Port Susan - 12:10 pm - Brenda Atkins reports a gray whale off Kayak Point, Port Susan.

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12:28 p.m. - Saratoga Passage - Gray whale is northbound steady pace mid channel between Baby Island Hts and Camano State Park. (turned out to be #49). -Marilyn and Alisa

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11:47 a.m. - Gray whale in Saratoga Passage at Fox Spit, Whidbey Island. Too far away to identify. -Jim Lovvorn

March 25

1900 - 2 groups milling offshore to the north of Lime Kiln.
1829 - Js on Lime Kiln hydros!
-Monika Wieland Shields

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There was lots of echolocation as well. -Renee Beitzel

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6:11 p.m. - Sounds like J Pod. -Connie Bickerton

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6:00 p.m. - Orcas on Lime Kiln hydrophone. -Ursula Renteria

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These orcas traveled down the east side of San Juan Island passing Friday Harbor: An incredible encounter with a large group of transient (Bigg's) Killer whales. 3 different family groups were together. The T36s, T46s, and T99s. When we were watching them, they were in an incredible social mood. Enjoy some highlights from today! -Traci Walter, Western Prince

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Friday Harbor had a visit on Saturday by the T46s, T36s and T99s, including teenage male T46E (born 2003). -Jeff Friedman, March 25, 2017

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Transients frolicking after a seal kill in San Juan Channel on March 25th. -Mark Malleson

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I understand in addition to the T46s, the T36s and T99s were present. T36B1 gave me an ID challenge as her notch appears to be quite large compared to the slit it looks like in the ID guide. I wasn't on scene yet but when the T99s arrived there was a greeting ceremony observed by CWR so I'll be keeping an eye out for their encounter report! I believe it was T36D with the sea snake but will be looking for pics from others to confirm and get an idea who was the object of his affection.
2:30 p.m. - peeled off from them still heading south in San Juan Channel. Very social behaviors, backlit blows, vitamin D, incredible.
1:50 p.m. - In San Juan Channel heading towards Friday Harbor with the T46s and another family. Hunting, socializing and a sea snake. Magical! -Debbie Stewart

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12:23 p.m. - 3 groups, 2 about to merge. There are so many whales here!!
11:57 a.m. - 2nd group? These guys fanned out by ONeal Island (San Juan Channel off Reuben Tarte Park)
11:52 p.m. - off Limestone Point now, 2 males big notches.
11:30 a.m. - Ts Cruising fast by Flat top towards Spieden one huge male. -Monika Wieland Shields, Orca Behavior Institute

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Gray Whales - Possession Sound - #22 is in! We arrived on the northeast side of Gedney, near Camano Head around 1330. -Renee Beitzel

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4:43 p.m. - At Kayak Point and seeing spouts with binoculars on the Southern Camano side of Port Susan. -Jacqueline Slaughter

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Approx 1:45 pm - Eric from Mystic Sea reports Gray Whales #21 and possibly #383 near Hat/Gedney Island, #56 plus two elusive grays near Camano Head.

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Saw one blow SW of Gedney island @ 12:50 heading east. -Danielle Pennington

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12:20 p.m. - There's some kind of large whale just S/SW (moving W?) of Hat Island. I'm too far away to tell anything more. But I can see the plumes from Lighthouse Park in Mukilteo! -Lee Anne Tobin

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11:30 a.m. - Renee Beitzel reports 3 gray whales (possibly 21) in Possession Sound; 2 heading south just west of Gedney/Hat Island and a 3rd closer to Gedney/Hat.

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Saratoga Passage - Approx. 4:00 pm we started seeing blows across Saratoga out from Cama Beach. The gray steadily made it's way directionally towards Hidden Beach, (Greenback, Whidbey). We watched him continue towards Hidden Beach then make a turn just after 5:00pm where as he started heading towards southeasterly towards us on the bluffs just south of Baby Island. Around 5:50pm we went back over to the bluffs and could see the blows of now 2 grays heading right for us. They steadily made their way a few hundred yards apart from one another with #49 reaching the shores below us first around 6:30. We had about an hour of watching #49 and #56 rolling around to feed just under and a little to the south of us, making a lot of disturbance in the water as they rolled around digging up shrimp in the mud during high tide. Very cool to watch the relationships between these animals as the scoters and other birds move in and take advantage of the food stirred up by the whales. -Marilyn Armbruster, Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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12:47 p.m. - Just yards off shore at baby island now.
12:14 p.m. - 2 grey whales in Holmes harbor....heading to Baby Island from Beverly Beach. -Cris Sanguino

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10:30 a.m. - Saw two feeding off of Hidden Beach area heading south. Very long down times and hard to see in the chop. -Ariel Yseth

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9:30 a.m. - Humpback, Hammersley Inlet, Shelton, Wa. S/he went Westbound into Oakland Bay. -Pamela S Burger, March 25, 2017

March 24

4 orcas in satellite channel this afternoon. They were in the middle of Satellite Channel heading east between Salt Spring and Lands End. -Karen Gray

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Admiralty Inlet - T128 and T125A off of Port Townsend exiting Admiralty Inlet in the morning. -Mark Malleson, 2017

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11:00am - Christopher Hanke reports orcas in Admiralty Inlet: "2 Male Orca south of Marrowstone northbound at 5 knots-Puget Sound Express's vessel Red Head"

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Gray whale #49 Patch, pec fin (left) and dorsal fin (right) above surface as he rolls on his side digging up mud shrimp. 6:00 p.m. - He is still in the same area. In between Baby Island and Fox Spit about a few hundred feet from shore. Just east of Prayer Rock
4:00 p.m. - Gray whale (#49) southeast of Baby Island area. Between Baby Island and Fox Spit. -Marilyn Armbruster

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11:30 am - Renee Beitzel reports gray #44 is here! At Possession Point with #53.

March 23

5:00-5:45 p.m. - 3-4 Orcas spotted in the Guemes channel - San Juan Islands, today. -Rosie Cayou

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5:15 p.m. - Satellite Channel/Cowichan Bay - area 5 orcas in Satellite Channel by Hatch Point heading north. -Karen Gray, March 23, 2017
(Gary Sutton had the T036A's and T068B1's in that area, see below)

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Before all the chaos of the rescue, I got my first killer whale encounter of the season! Close to Cowichan Bay - T036A's and T068B1's (never seen them before!). T036A, T068B1, T036A1 and T036A3. Check out the new notch on T036A1. -Gary Sutton

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6:40 p.m. - Puget Sound - Just saw them pass the Southworth ferry dock headed north. -Felicia Saathofj

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5:26 p.m. - Spotted at Als. (Olalla. Mid Colvos Passage) Heading north still. -Clare Honn

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5:03 p.m. - One orca headed north on the west side of Colvos Passage. -Josh Brewer

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4:25 p.m. - Spotted from Camp Sealth on Vashon. Moseying along North in Colvos closest to Kitsap side. 2 bulls. Looks like the photos of the two brother T's from yesterday. (T128 & T125A). -Meaghan Baumgartner

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3:57-4:04p.m. - Side by side, Northbound in Colvos, mid channel, just South of the Pt. Richmond marker, close to Kitsap side.
3:50 p.m. - Mid channel entering Colvos Passage, Northbound. From Dalco Passage Viewpoint. T125A, presumably T128 - in Dalco Passage.
3:33 p.m. - I have a 2nd Bull now!
3:24-3:30 p.m. - trending towards Colvos but still milling mid channel off 1st viewpoint. No direction of travel.
3:13 p.m. - He's right off 1st viewpoint on 5 mile drive.
2:55 p.m. - He's almost to Vashon Ferry terminal, still Westbound.
2:30 p.m. - I have them off the tip of Maury heading for Quartermaster Harbor. Viewing from N. Stevens street. -Melissa Burke

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Two orcas spotted at Dalco Passage 3:30-4:00 today between Point Defiance and Vashon Island. -Elliot Alexander

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3:36 p.m. - Currently Close to Vashon ferry terminal now
3:20 p.m. - Single orca between Vashon Island and Pt Defiance.
-Gaby Kinnear

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10:30 - Mike at WS Ferries relayed a report from the ferry Cathlemet of two orcas heading south in the ferry lane off the north end of Vashon Island.

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Eric Wittenmeier took this excellent VIDEO of 2 grays feeding in the shallows in Saratoga Passage between Baby Island & Fox Spit around 5:30 p.m.

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4:00 p.m. - Steve Rothboeck reports seeing a blow from a probable gray whale in Crescent Harbor, about a mile west of Polnell Point, near Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, in the mud flats.

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Two grays traveling and feeding together near Fox Spit. (lead whale looks to be #53) 3:20 p.m. - Definitely 2 of them now out a bit from shore and south of Fox Spit heading south towards Bells Beach.
2:45 p.m. - Gray feeding along west side Fox spit. -Marilyn Armbruster

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VIDEO taken from Camano Island State Park 2:00pm headed south. At least two. Maybe three grays. -Bryan Hansen

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1:30 p.m. - Mary Pacher in Greenbank, Whidbey Island, reports seeing 2 gray whales north of Hidden Beach, where there are big mud flats that have been foraged upon in the past.

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10:30 a.m. - I'm at Fox Spit (Whidbey Island) I see a blow over towards Camano Island side I want to say a couple miles south of Elger Bay, about where Mabana Shores is (Camano Island side). Too far to tell what direction s/he is going. -Marilyn Armbruster

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7:20 p.m. - Just prior to dusk I saw a large whale off Arroyo Beach in West Seattle. It was traveling north, fast. Close to shore, maybe 100-150 yards off shore. I could clearly see it surface and hear it exhale several times before it showed its fluke and then went under water and out of view. I don't know if it was a grey or humpback, it had a small dorsal fin. (The small dorsal fin along with the rest of the description sounds like a humpback.) -Jennifer Barwick

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2:00 p.m. - Hi Orca Network, Two friends and I were sailing through Colvos passage and encountered a whale coming into the pass around two pm. It surfaced right next to us, and we sailed behind it for a while as it headed south. We initially thought it was a gray, but then it began lob-tailing repeatedly in a few different spots which I have heard is a common humpback behavior. Now were confused. Unfortunately none of us got a great look at it's back; it surfaced too close it shocked all of us! Any thoughts? Thanks! Additional: Thank you so much! I thought I saw a dorsal fin but was honestly too excited to say for sure. We first encountered the whale between Ollala and Fragraria. Our friends on another boat saw it from a distance at the south end of the pass, so it was definitely traveling south. Also I was thinking humpback because it came up and went down with a very curved motion -Kelly Greenwood

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Unidentified whales - I believe there is a small whale in Rich Passage across from South Beach in front of the Manchester Fuel tanks at 9 a.m. -Deborah Schenk
(Possibly the humpback whale who showed up southbound in Colvos later in the day -ALB)

March 22

T125A powering southbound in central Puget Sound on this beautiful blustery Pacific Northwest day. He and his brother T128 spent a few days inland Puget Sound before exiting Admiralty Inlet on the 24th. -Justine Buckmaster

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Today was another amazing Gray Whale Excursion on the San Juan Clipper. We had a special charter today for a couple of school groups. We met up with 3 Gray Whales in Port Susan, including #53 and #56! Then, after our stop in Langley, we were treated to an encounter with Transient Killer Whales T125A and T128. Even though it was a bit choppy out and it rained on and off, that wasn't enough to stop us from viewing amazing wildlife! -Justine Buckmaster

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3:32 p.m. - Just saw them again ... 2 different Orcas but dorsals only. Looks like they are continuing to move slowly south in mid-channel. -Tim Cuddy

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3:25 p.m. - San Juan Clipper left 2 males south of Jeff Head. They were heading towards Point Monroe but reversed when we left them. -Jason Mihok

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3:25 p.m. - Spotted them between Fay Bainbridge Park and Richmond Beach oil tanks. (sightline)
3:20 p.m. - I saw a couple dorsals from the northeast corner of Bainbridge Island. The sea is starting to calm down a bit now but it is still pretty rough out there and hard to spot Orcas in mid-channel. -Tim Cuddy

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3:20 p.m. - I see male dorsal fins...sightline from Carkeek out from northern 1/3 Port Madison. Still southbound. Near the Clipper. Very Windy and choppy seas! -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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2:07 p.m. - right across from Kayu Kayu Ac park (Richmond Beach in Shoreline), heading south, not quite to mid channel marker yet. (which is between Kingston/Jefferson Head, Indianola). -Janine Harles

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1:59 p.m. - Have gone down now..midchannel last spotted straight out from dock.. perhaps south of yellow channel marker now. 4-5 of them. At least one male and a few females.. too far out to Identify or photograph
1:40 p.m. - just spotted them on Westside of Sidney Foss tugboat.. Kingston heading south. -Sue Larkin

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1:05 p.m. - They just passed Apple Tree Point. In 5 minutes you can see them from the Kingston Ferry Terminal. -Mark Vigna

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11:00 am - Puget Sound Express with Killer whales southbound at Point no Point, Puget Sound. -Peter Hanke

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1:15 p.m. - Port Susan - At least 2 continued traveling south brisk pace. Now seeing one back north closer to me at the park again, not sure if they turned and came back north or if this is the 3rd whale off the point south of Kayak Point (McKees).
12:38 p.m. - still steady southbound south of Kayak Point Park, they have moved further offshore, but still this side to mid channel. Very windy and choppy seas.
12:15 p.m. - I have been watching Gray whales in north Port Susan...north of Kayak Point Park. I arrived about noon and could see blows to the north and a couple of heads surfacing. Pretty quickly they are on the move, they are currently moving southbound at good clip off shore of the park looks like 53 is one. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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11:30 - Justine Buckmaster is on the Clipper with three gray whales in Port Susan, and none of them are #49 Patch, so there must be four grays in Saratoga Passage and Possession Sound, at least. -Justine Buckmaster

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Gray #49 circled back around. Here he is under the bluffs between Baby Island and Fox Spit. -Marilyn Armbruster
5:43 p.m. - He, #49, is now between Baby Island and Greenbank Farm. Trending southerly towards entrance to Holmes Harbor.
4:30 p.m. - It's coming back towards baby island again. I want to say it's like 1/4 channel out Whidbey side and moving closer to Baby Island. I'm heading down to our dock right now
4:00 p.m. - Gray heading southeast just south of Baby Island towards Fox Spit again.
1:45 p.m. - whale just south of Baby Island, too close to shore for me take photos from top of bluff. It's feeding. -Marilyn Armbruster

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4:53 p.m. - Here watching from Baby Island, very short up times. I'm barely even seeing the whale, just the blow. -Emily Wandres

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Nancy Nolan also posted a report of the Gray heading towards Baby Island at 4:35 - saying it was spending time underwater, likely feeding ~

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At 0910 this morning my neighbor advised that a gray whale is located about 100 yards east of Polnell point on the east side of Whidbey Island. -Steve Rothboeck

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Today I got a report if a possible Humpback in my area. The Boy, Dog and I packed a lunch and went to investigate. We saw the Humpback come up one time (about 11:15 a.m. ) as we got out of the car, didn't even have my camera out yet. We waited a few hr, went for a walk and sat (in the car) through 3 wind/rain storms with sun breaks. Sadly we didn't see the whale again, it seemed to be going somewhere fast. -Desiree Sauve

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I had a friend post on my feed that there was a Humpback at Dalco Passage viewpoint, around 10:30am. -Melissa Bird, ON volunteer

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Sighting around 9:10-9:20 (Posted 9:39 a.m.) - Fairly certain there is a whale around Commencement Bay 20-30 minutes ago....Close to shore by Old Town Tacoma. It looked like it was moving into the bay. Haven't been able to see it since. Couldn't get a total confirmation on species, looked as though it did have a small dorsal. -Caitlyn Cowan

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Around 3:45 p.m. - my son saw a whale while riding the school bus, looking into the bay (Commencement) from Browns Point. He thought it was an orca... near Browns Point lighthouse, mid bay. -Jessica Eva Hauser (There was a humpback in the area earlier that morning - ALB)

March 21

3:25 p.m. - A special treat to have J Pod, including J41 Eclipse, two-year-old J52 Sonic, and J52's uncle J26 Mike heading west past Sooke today! Had reports of killer whales near Race Rocks from a friend fishing so I headed out for a look and as I passed Secretary Island I seen a few blows in the distance and another Whale Watching vessel headed my way. I was able to document a few of the many whales in the area. They were well spread out from shore to traffic lanes feeding heavily. Always great to sea! -Paul Pudwell, Sooke Coastal

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Biggs killer whales (Transients) - About 3:20 pm - while tracking the pod (who last surfaced nearing Jefferson Head a few minutes ago) I Got pleasantly distracted by a humpack surfacing a few hundred yards from shore at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park & lost track of the orcas. Could not find them again, nor anyone else...
3:08 p.m. the pods have passed yellow mid channel buoy that sits between Kingston and Jefferson Head, Indianola. Orcasare still well on Kitsap side, medium steady pace southbound. They've been nicely grouped together thiswhole time. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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StunningVIDEOby Kiro News 7 crew who took to the skies and found the orcas just south of Kingston around 2:30pm.

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2:30 p.m. - They were still heading southbound about 15 minutes ago from Kingston. One male, probably 6-8 females and some babies. They paused briefly several times on the way down from Eglon. There was one very nice breach by the male. Down times of 3-5 minutes at times. Handsome big guy T11A towers over his travel companions anywhere he goes. Today he was in Puget Sound, surfacing near Kingston, close to Kitsap Peninsula side. -Sara Frey

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2:28 p.m. -Orca pod spotted heading south mid-channel between and from Edmonds-Kingston ferry. At least three in pod. -Janice Christian

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2:21 p.m. - pod is so close to Kingston side about to reach ferry dock! Steady southbound all grouped. 2:10 p.m. - I can see blows of several whales and his large male dorsal southbound steady pace at Apple Cove point, still north of Kingston Ferry. they are very much on Kitsap side. Watching from across the sound at Richmond Beach. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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1:40 p.m. -IE3 is on scene with around 10 transient orcas. T11's have been ID'd so far.1 mile north of Apple cove point . Traveling south at 5 knots. -Scott Jacobson

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1:21 p.m. - T11s and T46Bs traveling southbound Puget Sound near Kingston. See at least one male. I would say at least 6+. Definitely on west side and believe still southbound.
1:15 p.m. - see them just about at Eglon with IE3. I see lots of dorsal fins and blows. Still a bit too far to see how many, etc. Appear to be crossing to the west side and southbound. -Sara Frey

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12:06 p.m. - Just talked to another tug. Orcas Bush Point south bound.
11:50 a.m. - Just talked to a tug captain. A couple hours ago they passed whales just south of Point Wilson. (Port Townsend) Hopefully someone will find them again. Sorry that is the only info I could get from them. -Scott Jacobson, Island Adventures

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(More with ID's on the pod of Transients in Puget Sound reported on in our March 21 Report) They were T11/T11A and the T46B's. Island Adventures had them on our Seattle trip today. Left them heading southbound around 2:30 PM. -Erin Johns Gless

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T049C south of Discovery Island and T123A on the north side of Galliano on March 21st. -Mark Malleson

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Unidentified killer whales - 7:15 p.m. - 4-5 Orcas (including adult male) traveling/swimming north in San Juan Channel. From Cape San Juan, about 1/4 mile north of Goose Island. -Jennifer Woodbridge

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Coastal killer whales - March 21 - Brookings Harbor/Chetco River, Oregon: Orca Sighting: My partner Terry and I were treated to an observation of multiple Killer Whales (6-8, including 1 or 2 adult males) in what appeared to be a feeding frenzy just off the beach at Brookings/Harbor at the mouth of the Chetco River about noon on 3-21-17. We went back the next day and found that they had left the area. We sat in our truck and watched as this activity continued for about one hour. During this time we observed what appeared to be some kind of herding activity as the Orcas were in a circle about fifty yards across and at one point closing in on whatever prey they had targeted. There appeared to be a number of different sizes of Orca from very small to large with some dorsal fins as much as three to four feet out of the water with some white showing at the base of the fins. Due to rain there were few humans around to enjoy this awesome site. They appeared to be feeding in groups of three or more working together. -James Cone

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Humpback whales -3:20 p.m. -while watching the Bigg's across Puget Sound a humpback surfaced a few hundred yards off shore from my location at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park. Surfaced a few times trending southbound, last time just north of the weather buoy off the beach, then dissappeared. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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Suzanne Gordon reports seeing the humpback surfacing while steady southbound starting about 3:00 p.m. off Richmond Beach.

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More from Toby: I can definitely confirm the Humpback Scott saw! We were working nearby:) at the time the very south end of possession bar and whale (and Scott) were west of us... We moved northeast of where Scott was to east side of Possession (20-30 minutes later) and then saw spouts in by shore several hundred yards east of Cultus Bay and between green can and shore. I cannot confirm it was a grey but seemed too soon to be the same Humpback we had seen earlier. The spouts looked like a possible grey but again we were a little too far away for me to be certain. Unless there are two humpbacks near south whidbey? I will keep a lookout this next week! Thanks for all you do love the site!
1:50 p.m. - Grey whale close to shore just southwest of Possession point! I am a ways away but it is inside green can and just west almost to Cultus Bay. We saw the Humpback first at south west possession bar (west of bar a bit) headed south and the second whale 20-30 minutes after a couple miles away inside the green can on north east possession. I do know Humpback are fast tho! -Toby Black

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1:44 p.m. - Humpback off of Possession Pointand 10 or so orcas transients. Id'd T11s so far. Almost to Apple cove Point. -Scott Jacobson

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Gray whales - More from Toby: I can definitely confirm the Humpback Scott saw! We were working nearby:) at the time the very south end of possession bar and whale (and Scott) were west of us... We moved northeast of where Scott was to east side of Possession (20-30 minutes later) and then saw spouts in by shore several hundred yards east of Cultus Bay and between green can and shore. I cannot confirm it was a grey but seemed too soon to be the same Humpback we had seen earlier. The spouts looked like a possible grey but again we were a little too far away for me to be certain. Unless there are two humpbacks near south whidbey? I will keep a lookout this next week! Thanks for all you do love the site!
1:50 p.m. - Grey whale close to shore just southwest of Possession point! I am aways away but it is inside green can and just west almost to Cultus Bay. We saw the Humpback first at south west possession bar (west of bar a bit) headed south and the second whale 20-30 minutes after a couple miles away inside the green can on north east possession. I do know Humpback are fast tho! -Toby Black

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Reported at 10:44 a.m. - While on the 10:30 am Clinton/Mukilteo ferry saw a gray whale spout and a bit of the fluke. Between the west side of Hat Island and east side of Whidbey Island. Def need binocs see it from the ferry...could not tell which way of travel. -Marilyn Armbruster

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Dolphins and Porpoise - 4:30 p.m. - Watched a pod of approx. 6 Harbor porpoise foraging in Puget Sound several hundred yards offshore of Carkeek Park, North Seattle. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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1:39 p.m. - humpback still about a mile north of Edmonds, slow-moving, possibly heading south or circles in area. Comes up about once every fifteen minutes.
1:02 p.m. - Whale sighting 1.5 miles north of Edmonds ferry, whale headed south towards downtown/ferry. Saw the tail. My son thinks it was a humpback. Saw this so close to shore today by our home! 4-5 times every fifteen minutes or so. Probably still around some place! -AnaLisa Gerbig

March 20

Coastal killer whales - Mike Mauricecalled today, 3/20, to report that a crew member saw and photographed at a distance (but not ID'ble) two orcas roughly off Destruction Island WA, 4-5 miles off Cape Elizabeth, about 9AM this morning.

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1:40 p.m. - We just received a report that Gray whale #53 is at Possession Point. Short surface times, slowly moving southwestish. Looks to be resting.-Renee Beitzel, Naturalist, Chilkat

March 19

J27 westbound Juan de Fuca.A magical first tour of our 2017 season! We caught up with J Pod and L87 South of Victoria in a resting pattern heading west today... -Paul Pudwell

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Members of J pod westbound Juan de Fuca.J37 on right, J49 just surfacing in the center, looks like J46 in closest to the camera. Can't tell who the other one is. -Paul Pudwell, March 19, 2017
(ID's by Sara Hysong-Shimazu)

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J pod and L87 - Center for Whale Research Encounter 24

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At about 8:40 am - a group of about 7 or eight orcas (including adult male (s) swimming south in San Juan Channel on the south end of San Juan Island. Very close to shore, then a little while later about half way out in the channel. Traveling. -Jennifer Woodbridge

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Sighted 5 Orcas at Cypress Head - Today, March 19, at approximately 1:00pm I sighted a pod of 5 Orcas, including one young Orca, but no Males, off Cypress Head which is on the east side of Cypress Island. I was in my boat and I deployed my hydrophone so I was able to listen and observe the Orcas for almost 2 hours. Two noteworthy observations were: 1) They remained stationary at the surface in a tight group for several minutes prior to diving for an extended period of time; 2) One or more of the whales lifted the young Orca, which was belly up, almost completely out of the water.... I don't think it was a newborn due to it's larger size and coordinated movements. I also believe that the Orcas were being playful when it was lifted. The action was so dramatic however that it caught the attention of crab fisherman that were picking up crab pots just south of Cypress Head.... I had listened to the signature calls of the local pods during Scott Veirs "Friends of Skagit Beaches" lecture this past Friday, these whales sounded different. Observed for nearly 2 hours, they appeared to be feeding at Cypress Head for an hour. In addition they played, spy hopped, and tail slapped while they appeared to be resting. There was an approximate -2.2 knot current at that time. I have frequently observed Harbor Porpoise in this same area however I did not observe any porpoise today. I have multiple photos. (ID notes from Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research: "Looks like the T36s and T99s again.") -Glen Wagner

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4:07 p.m. - Gray whales are now middle of the sound, still heading south. I'm watching from Sandy Hook area. (Possession Point) They are way south of the island now. -Emily Wandres

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I saw Gray whales from the 3 PM ferry heading to Clinton. They were approaching Possession Point State Park very close to Whidbey Island heading south.-Danielle Pennington

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3:00 p.m. -Gray whales are headed south mid channel by Possession Point Park. The Clipper is with them. -Emily Wandres

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Puget Sound gray whales 53 aka "Little Patch" and 56 along the eastern side of Whidbey Island. With 53's return we now have 3 of the "Sounders" back. -James Gresham

*

2:30 p.m. - The IE3 just spent an hour just off the Clinton ferry dock watching both #53 & #56 feed and surface together. They are awesome. Lots of boats and kayakers around also. I'm sure, they are still there. -Kristina Trowbridge

*

2:08 p.m. - On the Tokitae right now....headed to Mukilteo. ..Lone Gray in the ferry lane. -Nate Trujillo

*

1:00 p.m. - Just got a phone report from Larry Nichols, who is watching one Gray whale between View Rd (off Wilkerson, so. of Langley) and Hat Island, heading south.

*

What a glorious day to be on the water with a couple of our visiting gray whales #53 (Little Patch) and #56, traveling in tandem southwards in Saratoga Passage, passing Langley and the Whale Bell (hope somebody rang it) on their way. Warm sunshine and calm sea conditions enhanced a wonderful wildlife experience as we watched these magnificent creatures glide with grace and ease in their natural environment. A truly unforgettable trip in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. -Sandra Pollard, Author/Naturalist.

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Noon - Langley Whale Centerand Whale Sighting Network Volunteer Kristen Bogren is at Whale Bell Park with binoculars, Gray Whales passing by Langley!

*

11:58 a.m. - Eric from Mystic Sea reports Gray Whales #56 and #53 headed south in Saratoga Passage, just north of Langley. Just heard the Whale Bell ring!

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11:19 - Renee Beitzell, Chilkat reports: Grays with harbor porpoise! Heading south. Looks like #53 and #56.

*

11:19 a.m. - 56 and 53 southbound towards Langley.
11:10 a.m. - From IE4. 56 and a third sounder SB mid channel in Saratoga. Below Oak Harbor. No ID on the other yet- James Gresham

*

10:41 a.m. - I am watching a single grey feeding in the shallows off Camano half mile south of Mabana. Smaller grey whale. Could only see one side of its tail. Mostly white with a pink patch. Was by itself. I could see the whale watching boats following the other group north of me and to the other side, south of Holmes Harbor. (sounds like could be #49) -Andrew Dillon

*

10:17 a.m. - Gray passed Fox Spit headed south. -Sara Young

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10:10 a.m. - Just spotted at least 2 greys off of Fox Spit, looks like they are headed south towards Bells Beach. -Emily Wandres

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8:15 a.m. -whale spouts in Holmes Harbor.At least 3 separate whales.They were near Beverly Beach. I'm on Greenbank Beach. Too far away for me to see anything cresting out of the water. -Randall Weers

*

Received a report from Bonnie at the Bush Point B&B, who saw a gray whale surface twice in Admiralty Inlet at 8:30 AM today. (this would make a 4th gray, see above -ALB)

March 18

6:20 p.m. - just heard a few more calls not sounding quite like T's, was just a short burst. On Lime Kiln,was just a quick short questioning type of soundgoing up in pitch. sorry not familiar with all their calls. -Alethea Leddy

*

5:30 p.m. - They're on The OrcaSound one on San Juan Island, now! Pretty vocal! -Kayli Ann Breitweiser

*

Approx 4:30 p.m. - Sighting off San Juan Island: Saw a pod, more than eight Orcas, I could see at least one male, difficult to tell beyond that. Visible from Lime Kiln State Park on San Juan Island headed North.They appeared to be mostly traveling. -Karen Finneyfrock

*

4:25 p.m. - Super loud, very cool orca calls on Lime Kiln hydrophone! -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

*

Starting at 4:00 p.m. - hearing faint whistles and clicks on Lime Kiln, have been hearing some on and off for a bit faint and intermittant. They were so faint and that freighter was drowning them out wanted to make sure it wasnt a squek from the freighter. -Alethea Leddy

*

7:40 p.m. - We lost them in the haze. About 20 minutes ago. We were at Point No Point and they were on the water horizon toward Double Bluff headed north
7:04 p.m. - We are at Point No Point. They're headed north close to Whidbey. Pod of 5-6 with babies. -Whitney Gabrielle

*

About 4:15/4:20ish, closer to the Kingston side, but near the middle saw at least 2 headed south, from the Kingston-Edmonds ferry. They were to the north of the ferry we were on, heading south/southwesterly direction, there were definitely 2 maybe 3, rolling along. -Michelle McBelle Hoffman

*

The transient killer whales were just off of Edmonds, north of the ferry terminal. You could smell the seal oil from the kill. It was hard to see how many but I'd guess 5+. -Victoria Elizabeth Steed

*

3:40 p.m - On scene north of Edmonds, They are moving towards Point No Point. -Jason Mihok

*

1:30 p.m. - Graham Dewitt, Chief Mate onboard the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry called in a report about six or so orcas off the Mukilteo lighthouse, headed south. He said they all had small dorsal fins.

*

Off Elger Bay. Patch seemed to be just travelling vs. feeding. No stops, no deep dives. -Victoria Elizabeth Steed

*

12:15 p.m. - Thanks for the help!! This is grey whale 49 known as Patch!! -Scott Jacobson

*

12:13 p.m. - Just saw it again and it is closer to Camano than Whidbey as far as east west goes. -Jennifer Feldman Spanton

*

Aboard Mystic Sea earlier today, saw two gray whales, one near Pt. Susan (unidentified) and Patch further north, near Mabana.Very cold, with sleet and hail! -Bonnie Gretz

*

11:54 a.m. - Just saw it again closer to middle now, heading east toward Camano not south.
11:47 a.m. - Just saw 2 spouts, about 2 to 3 minutes apart. 1 mile south of Mabana. Closer to Whidbey than Camano. The whale is headed north. -Jennifer Feldman Spanton

*

9:35 a.m. - Spouts in Saratoga Passage. One Gray whale, two spouts about two minutes apart. It was about half a mile north of Langley maybe 100m offshore. It turned out to be feeding not traveling as I stated in my post. It stuck around for at least 30-40 mins and did some rolls so the fins were clearly visible. -Kate Davies

March 17

L87 chasing a salmon and J26 west bound near Port Angeles on the afternoon of March 17th north of Port Angeles. -Mark Malleson

*

Bigg's whales - 4:45 p.m. - They are moving south from the south side of the Fauntleroy ferry dock. -Charles Vendley

*

Approx. 4:00 p.m. - Three whales passed Dilworth on east side of Vashon. Long times under and hard to see when they did pop up. The three we had were closing about half way to Three Tree when we left them. -Amy Carey

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3:00 p.m. - They head west around 3 and out of sight. Visibility from Lowman Beach was zero! -Kersti Muul

*

2:40 p.m. - Just passing Cormorant Cove off Beach Dr SW. Pod still heading south. I could see them okay with binoculars but it's pretty grey out there. -Tori Mauro

*

2:28 p.m. - 2:25 Just passed marker buoy off Alki Point. Maybe 2 or 3, poor visibility.-Jason Lee Bell

*

T99, T99B, T36, T36B, T36B1, T36B2 traveling in a tight group southbound central Puget Sound. -Erin Johns Gless
(ID's by confirmed by Melisa Pinnow, Center for Whale Research)

*

12:49 p.m. - Island Explorer 3 appears to be following a pod of orcas on the east side of Bainbridge Island, headed south.... Approaching nav marker opposite West Point. (Discovery Park) Too far to determine number or ecotype. -Sandra Prow

*

9:30 a.m. - Coastal Orca Sighting, Yaquina Head, Oregon. A pod of approximately 10 orcas was spotted 1 mi north of Yaquina Head near Newport, Oregon and approximately .75 mi off the coast. Small flotillas of sea lions were seen gathering hurriedly into one large flotilla of approximately 200 sea lions in shallower water nearer the beach, presumably in an attempt to evade the orcas. The orcas were observed from 9:30am to 10:00am first nearer shore and then moving further out to about 1.5 to 2 mi. 3-4 adult males and 5-6 smaller whales were observed. Feeding.-Amy Summerfelt

*

9:13 a.m. - On the ferry toward Mukilteo and just saw a blow and a gray whale hump between us and Everett. Looked to be going north toward Hat/Gedney Island. Too far away to identify. -David Bieniek

*

5:21 p.m. - Central Puget Sound - Just heard of a small whale or dolphin off Vashon North end dock. Reliable source. No photo id. -Jan Kubat Staehli

*

4:00 pm. - Also saw a couple dalls or harbor porpoise headed north but farther away from the whales. (off Dolphin Point, Vashon) - Amy Carey

*

Budd Inlet, South Puget Sound - Spotted a pod of Common dolphins (after some investigating) in Budd Bay yesterday (17 Mar) about 10:30AM. They were in mid-bay, headed south past the old DNR dock when we first sighted them and lost them when they were about even with the south end of Priest Point Park. Looked to be around 6 individuals and they were actively broaching, both singly and in groups of two or three. My view point is on the slope above Big Tykle Cove on the Cooper Point peninsula. -Tom Bigley

March 16

J40 Suttles in front of Point Disney, Waldron Island in evening's warm glow. -Sara Hysong-Shimazu

*

... The whales were traveling slowly and spread out in small groups with some singles across San Juan Channel. The first whales "Orcinus" encountered were the J16s minus the J36s and they were in a loose group about mid-channel. There were small groups and individuals both to north and the south of the J16s. The J16s briefly pointed southwest as the whales south of them converged a little. As the J16s moved slowly on, J27 and J31 (who were the southernmost whales) and another pair, J40 and J45, passed by on either side the boat. The J16s had actually dropped back some and, after another brief look at them, "Orcinus" moved on to a pair of whales several hundred yards to the northeast. This was J39 and J46 and they may have been chasing a fish together as there were several tight turns and J46 did a bunch of tail lobs. These two moved toward and joined several other whales several hundred more yards to the northeast. The whales they joined were L87, J35, J47, and J44 and this group seemed to be socializing.... See full encounter summary report/photos at Center for Whale Research Encounter 23

*

Good to see everyone's friend Onyx L87. He is still traveling with J pod...today the inland waters of San Juan Channel. Blackberry J27 (born 1991) and his younger sister Tsuchi J31 (born 1995) glidethrough flat calm waters together. Tsuchi J31 babysitting 2-year-old Nova J51(son of J41). San Juan Channel. Star J46 babysits the 2-year-olds: Nova J51 and Sonic J52. -Sara Hysong-Shimazu, March 16, 2017

*

The J16s and J19s - San Juan Channel. Seemed like the first day of Spring and we sailed downwind wing on wing to Flattop Island only to hear J pod showed up out of the blue into Friday Harbor. We doubled back pronto and spent a glorious afternoon drifting back to Flattop with lazy cavorting whales. Vocalizations and echolocations on our hydrophone drew a picture of their world that we fell into. J38 Cookie was energetically chasing fish north of Jones Island. L87 Onyx is still a part of the J pod family. Spread wide across the San Juan Channel - who would choose Presidents, Spieden, or North? Who is making the decisions without J2 Granny? We left them at Flattop headed towards Waldron Island at sunset. -Barbara and David, All Aboard Sailing

*

3:37 p.m. - Orcas traveling east in the Straight of Georgia off Mayne island just now, spread out and moving quickly. At least 2 big males, 10 or so females and a baby....they were quite far out and I was viewing from the shore with binoculars. Trending southerly for sure.I'm very lucky to get to see them fairly often from here on Mayne Island.Always so exciting.First sighting of 2017! -Jeff McPherson
(possibly J pod & L87 who showed up in the San Juans the next day after having been up north- ALB)

*

2 grays at the end of the dock at Kayak Point, we watched them about 5-6pm. We left & they were still hanging around mid channel of Port Susan, but appeared to be headed toTulalip. Deep dives, could have been feeding.-Nate Trujillo

March 15

T049C at Constance Bank in the afternoon. -Mark Malleson

*

Just this morning we were reminiscing about how two years ago today we saw Humpback BCY0324 Big Mama and lo and behold, we found her up near East Point today! One of our sharp-eyed passengers first spotted her and it wasn't long before we got some good looks at her and recognized that familiar fluke. It sure was wonderful seeing her! Big Mama was one of, if not THE, first humpback to return to the Salish Sea after whalers extirpated the species from our waters during the 1900s. Since being first spotted she has brought back at least six calves, the most recent being last summer. Perhaps next year when she returns she'll have another new baby with her! We also saw tons of other wildlife, including harbor porpoises, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, and a peregrine falcon! It was a wildlife-packed day for sure! -Sara Hysong-Shimazu, Maya's Legacy WW

*

Unidentified whales - We just received a whale report from Connie Barrett on Camano Island - at 6 pm they saw a large whale spout between Baby Island and Whidbey Island (No.Bluff/Greenbank area). (This is one of the North Puget "Sounders" shrimp beaches where the Gray whales are known to feed, so we expect it is one of our local Grays)

March 14



March 13

Listening to Orca Sound hydrophones around midnight, thought I was hearing some whistles, then at 12:10 am I heard faint but clear calls, sounds like J pod may be back? -Susan Berta, Orca Network

March 12

We were watching them from 2:58 to 3:38 pm to be precise. They were super spread out in ones and small groups, and very shifty (except for Onyx). Framed by the Olympic Mountains, Onyx (L87) cruises past us in Juan de Fuca Strait. Mako (J39), in front, andSe-Yi'-Chn (J45)travelling eastward. We were joking they'd been taking transient lessons. We'd line up to be on their beam and then they would do a long dive and come up in a different direction. This happened repeatedly. We saw L87, J38, J39, J47, J45, J35 and a few others I couldn't ID because they were being so shifty. Their general direction was east at that point, but in a zigzaggy way. We heard J27 was further west and there were other individuals we saw off in the distance. I guess Maya had the J16s further to the east. It was a challenging day for getting ID shots. Seems to be the norm these days, sadly. I was just mentioning to passengers that the several times I've seen Js this winter I've never seen them grouped up. -Val Shore

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9:00 p.m. - Killer whales on OrcaSound. -MB Hanson

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8:48 p.m. - Js back on Lime Kiln hydrophone. -Jim Maya

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7:33 p.m. - still hearing them on Lime Kiln up to a short time ago, now hearing them on OrcaSound. -Susan Berta, Orca Network

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6:38 p.m. - Hearing it now as well. -David Bixby

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5:00 p.m. - Orca on Lime Kiln hydrophone. -Ursula Renteria

*

What a day. Two trips on the Peregrine and J Pod both trips. Strait of Juan de Fuca, south of Victoria. They were heard on the hydrophones, but no one could find them. They had either gone south or north. I choose north. It was the right choice. I left them headed back towards San Juan Island, near Discovery Is., at 3:45, framed by the Olympics. That's J50 breaching. 17-month-old J53, the only other surviving female born to J pod in the past 2+ years, travels inland Salish Sea with the rest of her J pod family. Love J 50! -Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Legacy WW

*

10:01 a.m. - Still some Faint calls on Lime Kiln. -Alethea Leddy

*

10:00 a.m. - tuned back in to Lime Kiln hearing calls here too
9:55 a.m. - On Orca Sound: Distant S1 & S10 calls getting louder just as small boat coming through. (10 am calls on LK too and thought I saw dorsal on webcam)
9:48 a.m. - On OrcaSound: single loud S4 like call. Intermittent faint calls have continued.
9:22 a.m. - Now on OrcaSound....hearing faint calls and tanker/ship noise.
9:10 a.m. - Lime Kiln: calls consistent and still audible though tanker/cargo ship sounds overtaking.
8:43 a.m. - turned on Lime Kiln and am hearing J calls immediately and some echo. Sounds like some S36 calls. S1s, S13s, S4s. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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J27 in the process of catching a likely winter chinook on the morning of March 12th off Victoria's waterfront. -Mark Malleson

*

4:00 a.m. - Jeanne Hyde recorded loud Transient calls in Haro Strait which you can listen to on her blog Whale of a Porpoise.

*

Teeny munchkin T90D pops up next to his or her older brother, T90B. The T90s were travelling with the T60s westward in Juan de Fuca just west of Race Rocks. Pedder (T2B) was, as usual, travelling with the T60s. T60C traveling westward in Juan de Fuca just west of Race Rocks. -Valerie Shore, March 12, 2017

*

4:06 p.m. - Blows (Gray whales) spotted mid-channel south of the county park by Camano Country Club area. Not sure if north or south bound. -Shelly Greybeck

*

2:50 pm - those 2 beauties still milling around north Port Susan, mid channel north of Kayak Point, traveling around the same general area probably feeding. Now I leave. (Thanks to Renee Beitzel for confirming with me that #56 was 2nd whale)
2:00 p.m. - #49 & #56 continued north and are currently pretty deep into Port Susan.
1:00 p.m. - watching Gray whale #49 Patch and #56 traveling northbound mid channel in Port Susan out from Kayak Point Regional Park. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

*

Saratoga grays #49 (Patch) and #56 traveling together just like yesterday... We encountered both whales near Port Susan making a number of directional changes, keeping passengers, captain and crew on their toes. Weather conditions were favorable for spotting those mighty blows and rolling backs, though tail flukes were more elusive with no deep dives observed. Good to see two of our regulars back in one of their favorite feeding spots. -Sandra Pollard, Author/Naturalist.

March 11

12:03 p.m. - We just heard them on OrcaSound hydrophone.
11:35 a.m. - calls on Lime Kiln hydro
. -Jill Clogston

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5:40 a.m. - Transients calls over Lime Kiln hydrophones started about 5:23 a.m. Still hearing them but they are very faint. -Jeanne Hyde

*

The 2nd "Sounder" is back!! We started out with challenging conditions but it all improved - specially when whales were sighted! We were happy to again see #49 Patch, and the 2nd of the "Sounders" to arrive - #56! They were traveling together, first sighted south of Camano Head and we watched them as they traveled southbound along the west side of Hat/Gedney Island, close to shore. These whales arrive very hungry, having not eaten for 3-4 months. They'll stay in Possession Sound/Saratoga Passage for ~2 months, feasting on mud shrimp and ghost shrimp, before heading further north. A great start to our 2nd week back on the water. -Jill Hein - volunteer naturalist, Mystic Sea (photos below)

*

Our first day of the 2017 season was a success! We caught up with gray whale #49 "Patch" just southeast of Gedney Island where he was traveling with #56. These are the first two of our well known Saratoga Grays to arrive and soon they will be joined by 9-10 others as they leave their winter breeding grounds in Mexico and make their migration north to Alaska for the summer! -Renee Beitzel, Naturalist

*

12:30 p.m. - Erin Johns Gless reports: Island Explorer 4 is south of Camano with Patch (#49) AND #56!! First sighting of #56 this year.

March 10

3:30 am - Jeanne Hyde was awakened by the lovely sounds of J pod returning to Haro Strait early this morning. Read more and listen to recordings of her audio encounter at Jeanne's Whale of a Porpoise blog post.

March 9

Approx. 12:30 p.m. - We left him at the southeast end of Hat island
11:30 a.m. - Patch (#49) south of Camano Head.
-Erin Johns Gless, Island Explorer 4

March 8

3:39 p.m. - starting to hear orcas again faintly on Lime Kiln. -Alethea Leddy

*

1:30 p.m. - heard a few S6 like calls OrcaSound.
1:15 p.m. - hearing J pod S4 calls and echolocation on the OrcaSoundhydrophone! (just a few then silence). -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

*

... Since it looked like more whales were on the Canadian side, "Orcinus" worked its way west. J35 and J47 were photographed together about mid-strait. To the northwest of them, J41, J51, and J46 were together in a group. The J36s were to the west of this group and more single animals could be seen spread out to the west of Kelp Reef. The J41s and J46 headed southwest toward Sea Bird Point and passed the Kelp Reef marker by less than a hundred yards... -Excerpt from Center for Whale Research Encounter 22
(As always amazing photos in CWR's report, including a beauty of J46 whose on everyone's mind since losing both her mom J28 and brother J54 this past Fall)

*

Beautiful film of J pod in Haro Strait; and other animals of the Salish Sea. -Traci Walter

*

Our excitement was through the roof today! We had our first trip of the year on the Western Prince II. It was a pretty chilly day but nice conditions on the water. Just before we boarded we got word that some orcas were sighted from shore. It turned out there were more and it was J pod! What an incredible treat to see these guys at this time of year. We were also lucky to see many Bald Eagles, Steller Sea lions, a host of different birds, and exotic hoofed animals on Speiden Island. -Traci Walter)

*

Anyone who knows me well knows I absolutely adore L87 Onyx. So I was very happy to have spent a little time with him today along with the rest of J Pod (Onyx spent the entirety of our encounter in the company of J27 Blackberry). I know I share a lot of pictures of this gorgeous guy...AND here's one more! (see below) Awesome first trip of the season aboard the Western Prince southbound Haro Strait along with the rest of J pod! -Katie Jones, Naturalist

*

Magic happens when J-pod is in the area and Captain Spencer gets a chance to hand over the helm and pick up his camera. Check out these amazing shots taken just a couple hours ago! (around noon) The report is that the whales were actively foraging but obviously they were feeling a little social today as well! -Maya's Legacy WW

*

Kiki (J53) is her mom's (Princess Angeline (J17) little shadow. Hy'shqa (J37) -Capt. Spencer Domico

*

6:30 p.m. - Gray whale. I live near Kayak Point Park and saw a gray whale feeding. Moving slowly back and forth not far off shore. 1/2 mile north of park. -Bill Vingelen

March 7



March 6



March 5

11:57 a.m. - Out with Island Adventures. Patch is deep in Port Susan. Mainland side. Gray whale #49 Patch deep in the northern end of Port Susan today. It was great to be on the water with John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research Collective who has documented Patch's visits since 1991. -James Gresham

March 4

J pod slowly pass San Juan Island. This video was taken from shore at Lime Kiln State Park on San Juan Island, Washington State. It was a bit of a crisp day as these orcas slowly moved against an ebb tide. -Traci Walter

*

Trip report: Snow was falling this morning when we got the first reports of whales in the area and by the time we left the dock the snow had stopped and patches of blue sky were visible. It was a welcome sight, though not nearly as welcome as what was to come--- we were soon on scene with J-pod and L87! It sure was nice to see those familiar dorsal fins again. The pod was spread out into several groups and were down on long dives but we were able to spend some time with several familiar friends, including Oreo (J22) and her teenage son, Cookie (J38), Onyx (L87), and Blackberry (J27) with his siblings, Hy'shqa (J37) and her son T'ilem Inges (J49). We hope they're finding enough salmon to eat and while we wait for more encounters with them over the coming weeks and months we strive to make changes on our end to ensure these whales have enough food to eat in the future. -Sara Hysong- Shimazu, Naturalist, Maya's Legacy WW
Note: J37 lost both her mom J14 Samish and her great-grandmother J2 Granny within months of one another this past year, J49 his grandmother and great-great-grandmother. J49 is now 5 years-old and will travel by his mom's side the remainder of their lives. Oreo (J22), who lost her son J34 Doublestuf just over 2 months ago, northbound Haro Strait today with the rest of J pod (including her surviving son J38) and L87. It was so wonderful to be reunited with Jpod yesterday and even better finding that Onyx (L87) was still with them. This boy is such a survivor and I know many people have been thinking of him since the loss of Granny. Here he is with San Juan Island in the background.

*

19-year-old J35 Tahlequah & her 7-year-old son J47 Notch, and J39 Mako (of the J11 matriline) with J40 Suttles (of the J14 matriline) traveling northbound side by side in Haro Strait. -Jeff Friedman, March 4, 2017

*

Onyx (L87) looking good as he travels north up the west side of San Juan Island with J-pod whales. He was in the company of Tsuchi (J31) when we saw him. -Valerie Shore

*

5:47 p.m. - Hearing faint J pod calls on OrcaSound hydrophone. Ship noise increasing drowning them out. They've been streaming up Haro Strait this afternoon. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

*

Weak calls on Orcasound hydrophone 5:31 PM. -Jack Collins

*

3:04 Faint calls on Lime Kiln. -Jill Clogston

*

This afternoon we saw a very spread out J-Pod slowly head north past Lime Kiln between 2 and 4 PM. They were doing very long dives and were mostly backlit, but it looked like all family groups were accounted for, plus L87 as well! -Monika Wielands-Shields

*

L87 while traveling with J pod east bound in the Oak Bay Flats this morning. -Mark Malleson

*

3:09 p.m. - We watched Patch (gray whale) move steady southbound as he passed Camano neighborhoods of Sunny Shore Acres and last saw him surface between Tyee Beach, Camano and Spee-Bi-Dah on the mainland. He was still on steady southbound course when we left.
1:55 pm - Sweet! past few minutes my sister and I have been seeing blows and body of #49 moving southbound just west of mid channel in Port Susan between the Bretland neighborhood, Camano Island and our perch at Kayak Point Regional park across the water. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network and Annie Kondra

*

Today was our first gray whale watch trip for the 2017 season - it's so good to be back out on the water - on such a beautiful (but cold) day - and finding #49 Patch in Port Susan! -Jill Hein, March 4, 2017

*

Fred Lundahl reports gray whale #49 seen today from Mystic Sea Charters, on their first Gray Whale Watch Tour leaving from Langley Marina today!

*

From 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. - while watching Gray whale #49 blowing and surfacing in the distance we saw at least a couple dozen Harbor porpoise spread across Port Susan traveling back and forth in groups of 4-8. Waters were calm and watching their triangular dorsals skim the surface in every direction near and far in their signature way was really cool. So great to see the abundance of them in most areas of Puget Sound these days. -Alisa Lemire Brooks and Annie Kondra (The sisters)

March 3



March 2

Gray whale #49 "Patch" diving in Port Susan just off Kayak Point in Stanwood, confirming the return of one of the North Puget "Sounders". -Gary Lingenfelter

*

This gray was in front of Kayak Point earlier today (see photo below of gray #49 Patch). It was around 1:00pm, he was traveling north past Kayak Point Park, apparently not feeding, took a left turn and headed west toward Camano Island. That's when I got the fluke shot. Also, two grays were here Tuesday evening (2/28). -Gary Lingenfelter

March 1

Coastal killer whales - Took photo from Stornetta headlands (Mendocino County Coast, north of Point Arena) last Wednesday, March 1, but I don't know what we have here. -Peter Atherton
(Notes from Scott Mercer, Mendonoma Whale and Seal Study: Photo below is from Pt Arena Peninsula on 1 March. When zoomed in an eyepatch can be seen. Looks like a single like we had 8 days prior.)

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