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Sightings

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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To find viewpoints along shorelines from Deception Pass to Olympia, go to:
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To report whales please go to the Orca Network Sightings Report Page.

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.

Summarized Sightings map HERE

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Click HERE for recent whale sightings reports.

August 17

A friend messaged me early this morning to tell me their were orcas in front of her house and they were heading north up the shoreline! I sprang out of bed, grabbed my gear, and off to the lighthouse we went. We waited eagerly for the whales and as they passed by us, they left us in awe. Just feet from the shore, you could see them underwater as they rolled through the kelp. Understandably, waking up in this manner is a very good way to begin the day. -Katie Jones

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Great Way to Start the Day!! Epic pass at Lime Kiln this morning. Yes, that is the kelp and shoreline. Several whales passed just a few feet from shore. Look carefully and you will see them just under the surface. Many members of J and K pods passed. Life is good! J16 & J26 passed very close to the rocks at Lime Kiln State Park. -Alison Engle

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9:07 a.m - several orcas seen on webcam closer to shore just south of lighthouse. Start hearing echolocation again, increase in volume at 9:11.
9:02 a.m. seeing several more orcas passing lighthouse northbound.
8:37 a.m. - start hearing faint echolocation.
8:30 a.m. - see one orca surfacing northbound on Lime Kiln webcam. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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Around 8 AM the first whales came into sight south of Lime Kiln, moving slowly north against the ebb tide. From about 8:15-8:45 J2 Granny took her time cruising by, followed by some of the K14s. Then we had the J11s, J14s, J16s, and J19s pass right off the rocks in two tight groups - always an amazing sight to witness but even more so in the gorgeous early morning light when you could see them underwater! Next, further offshore, came the K16s and K21 in a tight group, and bringing up the rear were L87 Onyx and J45 Se-Yi-Chn. By 10 they were all north of the lighthouse and continuing on their way up Haro Strait. -Monika Wieland, Orca Behavior Institute

August 16

It was so nice to spend some time with whales this evening in the Strait of Georgia, and some whales I haven't seen in a long, long while too. It continues to amaze me how quickly some of these young males grow up---Tika and Rainshadow. K37 Rainshadow - K20 Spock and K38 Comet - K33 Tika - -Sara Hysong-Shimazu

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J2 passed by Lime Kiln State Park. -Ariel Yseth, August 16, 2016

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In THICK FOG we were lucky to be the first boats to find J Pod 15 minutes from our docks! (Sooke, BC) Thanks Cpt. Dan for keeping a keen eye on the sea! -Paul Pudwell, sooke Coastal WW

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Ribbon Seal Sighted on Washington Outer Coast. On the morning of August 16th a ribbon seal hauled out approximately 1 mile north of Oysterville Road on the Long Beach Peninsula. The ribbon seal appeared to be in good condition and went back into the water. This information and attached photos was shared with WDFW Marine Mammal Investigations and Portland State University last night by William Ritchie a Refuge Biologist with the USFWS in Ilwaco, Washington.

August 15

Approximately 4:30 pm - K12s and K13s northbound at Hannah Heights and Land Bank. Some foraging, some shuffling but general northward direction, slow and spread. Too far away at that point to get individual IDs. Once they got to Lime Kiln they flipped and headed south, grouped up into family groups, came in close to shore and began porpoising south. Passed Hannah Heights southbound at approximately 6:15. -Cindy Hansen, Orca Network

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1:23 p.m. - Saw some Orcas passing Lime Kiln state Park. Someone there said it was K pod. -Sarah Ehle

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...With reports of some of the Southern Residents (fish eaters) inbound we left the transients searching for lunch, and soon encountered K-pod leaders off Discovery Island, B.C. heading at a fast clip towards the west side of San Juan, one of their traditional foraging areas. Passengers had their breath taken away by the sheer magnificence, beauty and grace of the whales as the rest of K-pod powered past, their dorsal fins slicing through the waves and the sound of their exhalations carrying on the wind. Our return journey took us past Whale Rocks where Steller sea-lions ('wildlife with attitude') basked in the warmth of the afternoon sun - thanks to Captain Eric for yet another memorable day at sea. -Sandra Pollard, Author/Naturalist, Mystic Sea

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A fair swell greeted us as we headed out through Rosario Strait and past Lopez towards Victoria, B.C., where the T65A's (five transient orcas, a female, sprouter male and three youngsters) hunted for prey among the kelp off Trial Island, B.C. With reports of some of the Southern Residents (fish eaters) inbound we left the transients searching for lunch, and soon encountered K-pod leaders off Discovery Island, B.C. -Sandra Pollard, Author/Naturalist, Mystic Sea

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Humpback whales - central/south Puget Sound - We received a call at about 8:20 pm tonight from Rosemary Teforo who was calling from Vashon Island, at the end of Manzanita Rd. They were watching a whale 500 ft. away from shore, going back and forth, headed toward Portage, had been there at least 10 - 15 minutes. They thought it was in trouble, seemed to be very close to shore. They confirmed it had a dorsal fin, so not a gray whale feeding. At 9:30 Rosemary's sister Elizabeth called, saying it was still there, 100 yards from shore, breathing a lot and they were afraid it was stranding. While I was on the phone with them I got a message from Amy Carey - she couldn't get there before dark, but called a friend who lives near there, and her friend had been watching it for the last 45 minutes. It was at the mouth of Quartermaster Harbor, a place they don't usually go, but it seemed to be doing deep dives and breathing and acting normal, and they saw it breach and species was confirmed as humpback. -Susan Berta, Orca Network

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3:15 p.m. - Group of whales headed south in commencement bay. I believe 2 humpbacks. -Patricia Peachy Reagan

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7:07 p.m. - Just saw him [humpback] off of Bainbridge near Murden Cove as we were crossing from Shilshole!! -Erin Graf

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2:50 p.m. - Just spotted a single humpback just south of Point No Point, Kitsap. Heading south, mid channel. -Max French

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3:30 to 4ish - Gray Whale #723 far north in Haro Strait in front of the Turn Point Lighthouse, - ....Estimated to be somewhere around 50 feet long, this was one BIG animal! -Chris Teren

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8:06 a.m. - 2 common dolphins just spotted off the west side of Vashon, headed north! -Aimee Nemeyer

August 14

Deadhead K27 breaching, Cali K34 off playing with kelp and Spock K20 spy hopping this evening in Haro Strait - taken from shore from the west side of San Juan Island. -Melisa Pinnow, August 14, 2016

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K34 making quite a splash just offshore from Landbank. -Ariel Yseth

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Sunday we started with heavy fog, so Capt. Monte took us through the San Juan Islands, to the north end where we had whale reports of K-pod whales "in thick fog". A good choice - by the time we arrived with the whales the fog had lifted and the sun was shining!! We identified members of the K12 and K13 matrilines, very spread out along the shoreline, traveling southbound past the Center for Whale Research and San Juan Island's the West Side Reserve. Many many breaches, what a thrill for us all to witness. It's such a privilege to see our Resident whales in the Salish Sea again, let's hope they'll find enough chinook salmon to keep them here. Homeward bound we found seal moms with pups, harbor porpoise, turkey vultures and a bald eagle. A foggy day turned into a truly beautiful day. -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

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This morning we got out to Lime Kiln at 11:45 AM just at the K12s and K13s were flying past heading north in the fog, barely visible from shore. Luckily the fog lifted before the same group came back south between 2:00 and 2:30, fighting against the strong flood tide. -Monika Wieland

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Orcas at Point Hudson, Port Townsend. We saw 4 or 5 of them heading slowly north at about 11:00 a.m. 8/14/2016. Possibly one male. They were close to shore, about 200 yards from the beach. Closer than R2 navigational buoy. -Jeff McLean

August 13

L103 pushed around a lifeless neonate porpoise after tormenting it for 15 minutes and drowning it on the morning of August 13th in Race Passage. -Mark Malleson

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12-year-old sprouter T065A2 briefly visiting before rejoining the rest of his family. T065A and 5-year-old T065A4 in a choppy Juan de Fuca Saturday evening southwest of Whale Rocks. -James Gresham

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The T65As swam down San Juan Channel. They were hugging the shoreline. -Monika Wieland

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We headed through the San Juan Islands and found whales hugging the shores south of O'Neal Island, and heading towards Friday Harbor! We traveled with these whales - the T65As - into the Harbor on a very busy Saturday afternoon, sharing the water with ferries, whale watch boats, private boats AND float planes, wow, what a sight! After a brief visit the whales continued towards San Juan channel, stopping for an active meal en route. What a treat to spend time with this family group....-Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist Mystic Sea

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2:30 p.m. - We live on Sutherland Rd, off Turn Point Rd (San Juan Is.) and today at about 2:30pm, we saw from our living room windows, a pod swim East of Turn Island going South. There may have been 3 or 4 of them. (including 1 adult male) Lots of whale boats following them and even a few boats from Fisherman's cove on Lopez came across to see them. It's the second time we've seen them here. Always the biggest thrill! We love it!! -Nancy Larsen

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1:58 p.m. - Just saw a pod of orcas North of point caution and mirror pass right outside of Friday Harbor! -Jenn Whitsett

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I came down San Juan Dr. (San Juan Is.) and saw them (Transients) from the road turned around and went to Rueben Tarte. I had the closest encounter from the rocks. it was awesome. Tight knit group just like I love. -Peggy Mauro

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3:50 p.m. - We are with him (Gray whale #723) now. Pointed toward Rosario. Moving northwest still.
Approx 11:30 a.m. - 3rd hand report of a large whale, only spout seen off Foul Weather Bluff. No direction given. -Renee Beitzel

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2:14 p.m. - Just encountered a baleen whale at the mouth of Admiralty Inlet, headed at a fast clip out in the Strait. Will try to confirm with photos once I get home but it appeared to be a GRAY, not a humpback! Preliminary look at photos confirms, gray whale! Will work on specific ID as well...Confirmed Saratoga Gray #723. -Steve Smith

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4:05 p.m. - Headed back North now. Off Port Townsend.
3:45 p.m. - Unidentified whale headed south off Lagoon Pt. 3/4 way out in channel. Big blow, small black hump. Too far to tell species but seems like a single baleen whale.-Tedd Webber

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Approx 11:30 a.m. - 3rd hand report of a large whale, only spout seen off Foul Weather Bluff. No direction given. -Renee Beitzell

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11:19 a.m. - I just saw Common Dolphins off Chambers Bay where the bridge is, they were pretty close the same spot we saw orcas a few months ago. -Soun Nonthaveth-Moffett

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7:15 a.m. - Tony Woelke of WS ferries called to report a few Harbor porpoise about a 1/2 mile off Point Edwards, Edmonds.

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7:00 p.m. - likely humpback -based on the blow and seeing the back - heading north towards Pt. Partridge. (Gray whale 723 was in this area at the time as noted in our August 13th Whale Sightings Report - ALB) -Al Luneman

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7:40 p.m. - The common dolphins are in the Ruston way waterfront area right now! -Desiree Brake

August 12

WOW! AN AMAZING afternoon with our Southern Resident Killer Whales passing Sooke! J, K & L Pods were present, but the action packed excitement was off the charts! K16s and K21 (ID's by Alisa Lemire Brooks & Sara Hysong-Shimazu) heading east past Race Rocks Ecological Preserve. I am happy to get one breach shot on a good day, but this was extra SPECIAL! -Paul Pudwell

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Nice evening with L Pod, and some Js and Ks - Juan de Fuca Strait. And the Olympic Mountains! And a nice sunset! -Capt. Jim Maya

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K25 off Saturn Island this afternoon. -Sara Baldwin

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With the welcome return of K pod (the endangered Southern Resident orca population is made up of three pods, J, K and L, totaling 83 in number) to our local waters, Mystic Sea headed past Lopez Island and along the west side of San Juan Island and Lime Kiln State Park (also known as Whale Watch Park) towards Stuart Island, where we encountered K pod whales, including K22 (Sekiu) and her son K33 (Tika), a 'sprouter' male born in 2001, passing Turnpoint Lighthouse. With the whales in traveling mode, we witnessed a number of energetic breaches and tail-slaps as they hunted for salmon, though a mature bald eagle deprived them of one tasty morsel and enjoyed a substantial lunch on the nearby rocks. We left the whales heading towards Saturna Island, B.C., and continued on our scenic trip back to Anacortes passing between Shaw and Orcas Islands on yet another truly glorious Pacific Northwest day. -Sandra Pollard, Author/Naturalist.

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After being gone for nearly two months (!!), it's been awesome to have members of K-Pod around again over the last week, and very interesting to see how they're splitting up and mixing and matching with J-Pod in ways that are different from last summer. K12 Sequim and K43 Saturna were off Spieden Island this afternoon. We had K12s and K13s from Open Bay to Boundary Pass heading north from 12:30 til 2:15. -Monika Wieland

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Calls at Lime Kiln. Slowly getting louder. Started 3:15 am PST. -Ali Barratt

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T10`s - Juan de Fuca - 4 minutes from our docks in Sooke Harbor this afternoon. Then we heard of INBOUND Southern Resident killer whales! -Paul Pudwell

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Transient pod T069 4 miles offshore Cleland Island (Tofino) slowly heading south east. Beat up a sea otter and killed something (presumed harbour porpoise) and celebrated afterward. Looks like one of the females had a new calf. Not the matriarch's calf. -Shaun Parniak

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Humpback whale surfaces in south Puget Sound near Day Island. -Danyell Laughlin

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Saw whale in Puget Sound on west side of Fox Island. (confirmed now as humpback via video not shared here. -Janet Roethier

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9:19 p.m. - Sounding again close to the Southworth Dock. 9:10 p.m. - Humpback whale between Peter Point and Southworth right now, sounding 5 times so far, on Kitsap side. -Fiona Hope

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8:30 p.m. - We are on Vashon island, just across from Ollala. We just watched a humpback whale pass from the south to the north over the course of the last 15 minutes. It would come up and blow its spout every 1 - 2 minutes and cover about 100 yards before surfacing again. -Jeff Sayre

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8:25 p.m. - humpback is mid channel still northbound up Colvos at a steady pace, passing Fragaria road now. Heading towards Southworth. -Brittany Gordon

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7:30 p.m. -humpback whale heading north in Colvos Passage. South of Lisabuela. -Roxane Jackson Johnson

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7:16 p.m. - Just saw several sprays and what could be two whales heading north up the Gig Harbor side off Point Defiance. they were heading north between Gig Harbor and Vashon. Too far away to tell what type of whale. -Kelli Barker

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6:30 p.m. - We just saw what we believe is a [humpback] whale heading north under the Narrows Bridge and currently at Salmon Beach. It was too far away to know for sure but there were no showings of fluke so I think it's a gray. Traveling fast. (was a humpback- ALB), -Susan Dynes

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(Humpback probably?) whale at Chambers Bay at around 5:45 pm or so on Friday. -Carrie Gelegonya

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We were at the Beach at Chambers Bay again today. At about 5:30 pm we saw something blow out at the channel marker towards McNeil Island. We watched the whale steadily move directly towards us and then head North towards the narrows. Sadly there were two (asshats) idiots in boats following very closely. We watched it until it was so far North we could no longer see it. What a beauty. We assumed it was a humpback... Wonderful way to end our day...-Cindy Faker

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Humpback diving near Chambers Bay - Puget Sound. -Danyell Laughlin

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4:05 p.m. - Just spotted a Minke Whale at the mouth of San Juan channel (west side). Seems to have been a juvenile and an adult! We will send a photo as soon as we can. We know for sure they weren't humpback. We sat there and observed them for 45 minutes while referencing whale guides. -Jess Whitsett

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8:05 p.m. - Just saw them heading south, towards the harstine island bridge! -Nick Wenzel

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6:55 p.m. - Common Dolphins seen heading south off the Northeast side of Harstine Island. These are definitely dolphins this time as they were jumping. -Connor O'Brien

August 11

Male & female off Westside preserve at 7:35 AM heading down island. =Jack Collins

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1:27 a.m. - Calls on Lime Kiln now! Really loud! -Ali Barratt

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We caught up with the closer group of T46 transients about 6 miles south of Lopez and spent a lovely time with five of them, most traveling fairly fast south west. Included in this group were the female T46, who is estimated to be 52 years old, and was the last orca captured in Budd Inlet, in Puget Sound, in 1976, and released. She is now a great-grandmother! Also seen were T46E, a young male who was born in 2003, and T46D, another young male, born in 2000. Both of these bulls have already "sprouted" (dorsal fin growing) to impressive size... -Bonnie Gretz, volunteer naturalist

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0820 - three orcas in San Juan Channel headed south along Shaw Island shoreline. -Breck Tyler

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7:40 a.m. - Transients passing off the west side of Yellow Island in San Juan channel. -Julia Wallace

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7:30 p.m. - Unidentified killer whales - Orcas, 2-3. Only saw backs and dorsal fins briefly from our deck on shore. It is very unusual to see them so close to shore. They were being followed by Orca Spirit II and another smaller boat. Very calm seas and no wind. The sighting was just offshore in Ross Bay, Victoria, BC.Between Clover Point and Gonzales Bay. They were much closer to shore than we have ever seen them.Headed East towards Gonzales. -Jeanette Jeffery

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11:52 a.m. - Puget Sound- Gray or humpback south side of Fox island. -Jill Goodman

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...We then headed a bit more south toward Dungeness Spit, and found a humpback off the southwest corner of Eastern Bank - Juan de Fuca. We got great looks at this beautiful baleen whale with a 100% black underside of the tail fluke. It's always amazing when we can hear their big exhalations and see their gnarly heads! -Bonnie Gretz

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10:15a.m. - We had a gray whale feeding just north of Spee-Bi-Dah in Port Susan Bay. First noticed about 10:15 am and continued to feed until 11:00. Definitely feeding. -Malcolm Lindquist, August 11, 2016 (possibly Gray #723- see August 13th Steve Smith sighting- ALB)

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8 or so Common Dolphins played in Pickering Passage 1/4 mile from Harstine Island bridge today. Stayed for a few hours. Very active, spouting and jumping. -Gretchen Stewart

August 10

I don't think I've ever seen so many transient (mammal-hunting) orcas together at one time. T065As, T018/T019s and others with Vancouver city in the background. Usually these orcas rely on smaller numbers and stealth to exploit their intelligent prey. However, this massive grouping of matrilines stayed in the same spot in the Strait of Georgia doing circles for HOURS in the same spot, predating on harbor porpoise occasionally and interacting with one another. Lot's of vocalizations, social behavior, and breeding ... others even joined in the ceremony later in the evening, probably hearing their vocals some miles away. It was simply an incredible thing to observe. -Heather MacIntyre

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...we sailed on up to East Point to see a large group of T's socializing between East Point and Pt Roberts. I recalled seeing the T65A's, T18/19's, T46's - I think some members of the 36's were there as well. The vocalizations were incredible and T19B aka 'Mr Floppy Fin' breached multiple times. Mind = Blown! -Barbara & David, All Aboard Sailing

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6:00 p.m. - South Puget Sound. 20+ common dolphins traveling back and forth (north and south) north of Boston Harbor/Budd Inlet. A freighter just came in (7:30) and they are following its wake further south into Budd Inlet. VERY active. -Kim Merriman

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Looks like 10-13 harbor porpoise (?) visiting Case Inlet about 10:00 this morning. As of 10:30 they are heading South....They were smaller and played with a passing boat. Jumping and "porpoising". (reported as porpoise but behavior and size of pod sounds more like the dolphins - ALB) -Bev McCallum

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Saw a sweet porpoise family while out SUPing on Wednesday. They were feeding and stayed in the area between Shilshole and West Point, Seattle. The baby was so tiny! -Brittany Lynn

August 9

They all flipped and went back south as of 8:30 PM, angling offshore again. I'm still wondering who was off the south end yesterday and this morning. J2, J14s, J16s, J19s, K12s, K13s, and K14s are whales that went north yesterday and came back south today. Not sure if the rest of Js have been down there or if some Ls are mixed in or what. I've heard a couple people say some Ls are here but no one who has actually seen them. I should add L87 was in that group that went up and back too.
7:17 p.m. - still milling but getting farther offshore. Trending south if anything
6:50 p.m. -Milling off Land Bank.
As of 3 PM they were all south of Hannah Heights southbound. I was surprised to see the J16s come down from the north! -Monika Wieland

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K14s and some of the J17s off the west side of San Juan Island in the the evening. It's been SO nice to see K pod again, and such a relief to see they're all doing alright. J34 Doublestuf northbound and the K14s were moving up the west side of San Juan Island. -Heather MacIntyre

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2:40 p.m. - At least 20 orcas are spread out near Eagle Point, San Juan Island! We saw a group coming up from the south, about 4-5 individuals, at least 2 males. And a group of 15 or so coming down from the North, in small groups of 2-3! They met just south of Lime Kiln and are slowly west, headed out to mid channel, but still very visible from land. Lots of large males. -Kayli Ann Breitweiser

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2:34 p.m - I just left Lime Kiln not long ago and there were still more coming from the north. -Cindy Hansen, Orca Network

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Upon arriving at Eagle Point on San Juan Island, we met up with a group of our southern resident orcas, several of which we were able to identify. Among those IDed were J27 (Blackberry), J44 (Moby), and K21 (Cappuccino) .... -Amy W., Mystic Sea

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11:00 a.m. - Spotted at least 2 orcas from shore at American Camp. Looked like a mother with a juvenile. Traveling. -Colleen Boye

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Three Orcas, likely a bull, cow, and older juvenile sighted 200 to 300 feet from shore yesterday at Dungeness Spit. They breached multiple times moving west until out of sight. Seals had been seen in the area earlier. -Ryan Maddock

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Two adult and one young Humpback whales swam past us at Thieves Bay, Pender Island, BC - so exciting.-Pat Crossley

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7:00 a.m. Common Dolphins still in deep south Puget Sound. Near Dana Passage. 20+ of them again. -Kim Merriman

August 8

We celebrated the return of K pod who had been MIA from the inland waters for months. We've never seen all of K pod MIA from the Salish Sea for so long and were incredibly happy to see their familiar fins again. Hopefully there's enough salmon here for them now that they will stay. -Heather Macintyre

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9:30 a.m. - More Southern Residents down south. -John Boyd

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6:35AM - 4-5 Orcas heading up island off Westside Preserve. -Jack Collins

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Large pod of Common dolphins this morning in Dan Passage - Puget Sound. -Chris Hamilton, August 8, 2016

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9:30a.m. - South Puget Sound. Olympia. Large pod of common dolphins (20+) mid-channel between Budd and Eld inlets. Very active/feeding along the tide rip. Even squealing! -Kim Merriman

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...we had a brief visit with the T18/19's in Upright Channel as they were headed east before we ventured off to see the T99's, T36, T36B's (?) and the T38's outside of Fisherman's Harbor, Lopez. I am still sorting through photos but I believe the 36B's were there as well. They ended up hunting/milling for quite some time near Big Rock and also in Griffin Bay before making a brief visit to the Port of Friday Harbor. I heard they continued north and took Spieden Channel. -Barbara & David, All Aboard Sailing

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Prof Fujita is visiting the Whiteley Center from Japan this August and snapped a photo of Bigg's in Friday Harbor. -Masahisa Fujita

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...Rosario Strait where we immediately found two groups of transient orcas -- the T36s and the T99s off of James Island. We stayed with these groups as they made their way through Thatcher Pass and on to Upright Head. After leaving these two groups, Mystic Sea continued on towards Blakeley Island where we found another group of transients, the T18s. We stayed with this group for a while as well. In total, we saw approximately 16 whales today -- which did tail slaps and spyhops while in our midst....~Amy W., Mystic Sea

August 7

12:30 p.m. - Fin whale in Colvos Passage, seen from Gig Harbor: I Heard this whale blow about 12:30 and just happened be standing there with my camera and a 100-400 lens. (see photo below) It was diving when I got the first pictures and it stayed down 2-3 minutes then blew again. I saw no tail. I didn't see it again after the second dive. -Archelle Reynolds

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2:00 p.m. - I saw it (fin whale) pass Olalla headed north around 2:00PM. It was close to shore and, like you, I heard it blow before I saw it. It looked just like your picture. -Steve Henderson

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9:06 a.m. - Either a humpback or fin whale in Mukilteo just south of the ferry dock slowly heading south right now. -Lee Anne Tobin

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Puget Sound (live strand) - She was moving around Fauntleroy Cove at day break when WS Ferry staff first took notice. They called it in as a sighting and then a stranding once it was clear she was in distress. As the tide receded, she beached and lovely devoted humans did their best to keep her comfortable. I arrived about 15 minutes before she took her last breath just before 11:00 a.m. As the tide continued to ebb, her beautiful young body lay more exposed. From her appearance it was clear she was emaciated. Her long graceful white pec fins stood out. Researchers and staff from all entities, NOAA, Cascadia Research, DFW, Seattle Aquarium, Stranding Networks, Seal Sitters, and probably others were present. Much gratitude to all responders. A prelimiary exam was conducted telling us she was a 1-1/2-3 year-old juvenile and she is 39 feet long. Many of us naturalists lined along the ferry dock answered questions through out the day. She was towed in the evening at high tide to a private location for full necropsy. This is nature's cycle, and maybe humans somehow played a role in her death, we will not know until results of a full necropsy are shared, either way it is sad such a young being lost her life. Looking in the eye of a giant creature who has just passed is a moment etched in my being forever. I am relieved she did not have to suffer too long under her own weight. Rest little one. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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9:15 a.m. - Two Humpbacks and a Minke off Westside preserve heading up Haro Strait. -Jack Collins

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Transients interacting with a Humpback whale on the morning of August 7th off Jordan River, Vancouver Island. -Mark Malleson

August 6

What a KILLER morning! With an early tip from Mark Price of Foot Loose Charters we knew of some Orca heading west past Sooke, BC. We were fortunate enough to be the first to catch up to the Southern Resident Killer Whales J & L pod, Beautiful big guy J27 Blackberry, J50, J42, and J36 with J16 diving in front.minutes from our docks at Salty Towers Ocean Front Cottage. -Paul Pudwell

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We enjoyed seeing a group of Orca's off of Waldron Island - San Juans...They were the most active of any we've seen this year. -Mari Latimer

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2:29 p.m. - Puget Sound- Orcas area out 1 mile south of Restoration Point off of Bainbdridge Island, still heading southwest towards Blake Island. Lots of breaching and tail flapping! -Norah Kates

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7:20 p.m. - Puget Sound - Still visible from Bainbridge, but closer to the Seattle side. Looks like they're starting to head north again. -Isaac Olson

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7:10 pm. - Been watching the Transients (5 total, including one adult male and 1 young juvenile) from Faye Bainbridge since 5:45. Lots of surface activity and hunting behavior. Slowly moving north, east side of mid-channel. -Susan Marie Andersson

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6:20 p.m. - I just spotted them from Sunset Hill Park. Way across the channel from Shilshole, hard to see, even with binoculars, but lots of splashing. Slowly headed north I think but they've been milling around in the same area for a few minutes. -Danielle Carter

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3:50 p.m. - Orca whales in the sound have turned and are northbound again. Just passing the south end of Bainbridge island. -Brian McGinn

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3:40 p.m. - just west of marker buoy off Alki Point, heading north. -Jason Lee Bell

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3:35pm - WS Ferries reports ten orcas heading north between Alki and the south tip of Bainbridge Is.

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On the 3:00 p.m. Bremerton-Seattle ferry the captain came on the loudspeaker and announced orcas were on the starboard side! I jumped out of my car and raced to the front of the boat where I saw three frolicking! I didn't capture that on my camera, but got this picture. What a thrill for me as my husband and I have been "orca chasing" all year without any luck until this sighting of orcas splishin' and splashing'! -Deb Otterby

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2:21 p.m - Several orcas right now, about 1 mile due south of Restoration Point on Bainbridge Island. Lots of breaching and tail flapping. Very cool! Boats are getting way too close though. -Norah Kates

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2:20 p.m. - Orca sighting with baby, south side of Bainbridge - while on the Bremerton Seattle ferry. -Lana Myers

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1:30 p.m. - Sighting off Decatur Reef (Bainbridge Island) 5-6 whales total - 3 young were swimming around and spy hopping - approached our boat within 30 feet while we were stationary. -Carrie Culp

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1:17 p.m. - 4 or 5 orcas at Blakely Rock - 1 big male. -Kim McCormick Osmond

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12:45 p.m. - A groups of 6-10 Orcas (including adult male) was see moving southbound just West off the shipping lane in Puget Sound along Bainbridge Island. They darted around for over an hour just east of the #1 Port entry marker to Eagle Harbor, where dozens of recreational boaters, one whale watching boat and presumably Bainbridge ferry passengers saw them. We will are editing the film we made and post it in the next few days. -Jelle Kylstra

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12:30 p.m. - currently watching them from the ferry just outside of Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island, swimming in circles right now. -Ti Cuddy

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11:35 a.m. - I can see pod across (sightline) southend Rolling Bay Bainbridge...probably still mid channel or west of. Steady southbound. Viewed from Elliot Bay marina, Magnolia. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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11:40 a.m. - The T65As are heading south in the direction toward Blake Island. -Stu Davidson, August 6, 2016

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10:50 - watching from Shilshole Marina, lost the lone male for a time, then he surfaced to the north, back off Meadow Point and grouped up with his family. They circled, went on long dive and resurfaced to the west, more towards mid channel, currently due west of marina. Moving generally steady southbound with some long down times. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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10:29 a.m. - Chilkat Express is on scene with the T65A's near Shilshole, headed south. -Brian McGinn

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10:00 a.m. - orcas are just north of Meadow Point at Golden Gardens. Just seeing a lone male who surfaces a few times then goes on long dives. He is still southbound and is very much on the east side of channel. Viewed from Shilshole Marina/Golden Gardens
9:20 a.m. - Pod of 5 (with large male ) is south of Jefferson Head/ Indianola southbound at good clip. West of mid channel. Viewed from Richmond Beach. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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8:10 a.m. - 4-5 Orcas spotted, off Apple Tree Point, moving south slowly, closer to Kingston side. Beautiful! -Gina James Vigna

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Fin whale sighting this evening about 1800, 1 mile NNW of Golden Gardens. Feeding I guess, headed N, then spotted farther S just off the Meadow Pt bouy. LONG body, little scimitar fin, way way back. -Eric E. Jolley

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We saw the fin whale just north of Golden Gardens (north Seattle) around 1730 while doing a memorial. Just before the service the whale changed direction and came right past our bow. Phenomenal. -Adelia Mae Boyar

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7:30 p.m. - Just saw a humpback off constellation park in West Seattle. Slowly headed south. -Katy Coffey

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The attached pictures were from a Humpback whale sighting on Saturday, August 6th. The location is just North of Shilshole marina out at mid channel: Starting Coordinates at approximately 11:30am: N47043'.84 W122o24'.84. Moving in a southerly direction over the next 30 minutes that we watched. The cow put on a continuous show for as long as we watched. We believe there was also a calf at her side but was hard to confirm from our distance. N47o43'.67 W122o25'.03. -Michael Spruch
(This report and beautiful breach sequence are of (and a nice tribute to) the female juvenile humpback the night before she live stranded in Fauntleroy Cove, West Seattle the morning of August 7th. Sadly she eventually died while being cared for by a team of researchers and stranding network staff and volunteers as reported on in our August 13th Whale Sightings Report - ALB)

August 5

The evening of August 5th at from approximately 1800-2000 a group of us at Lime Kiln State Park witnessed a pod of 16 orcas heading south...We saw males, females and babies over the course of 2 hours...they were very close! I could hear the air being expelled from the blowhole. -Nicole Pierce

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4:14 p.m. - 75Bs with 75C and possibly a few more. At least 5-6 animals. No males. (Partridge Bank pod). -Renee Beitzell

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3:18 p.m. - 3.5 mile WNW of Libbey Beach now. -Mike Swanton

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West side of Partridge Bank, pointed Northwest at 1535. -Christopher Hanke

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1:30 p.m. - 4 - 5 orcas 1.25 miles east of Partridge Bank (off NW Whidbey Island), feeding, at least 1 calf. No direction of travel given. Report from Gary and Marcy Lagerloef, relayed by Susan Marie Anderson.

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11:23 a.m. - Eight to a dozen dolphins have flipped, flopped, fished and played "follow the boats" in Pickering Passage for over 2 hours this morning. They came from the north but stayed in the passage about 1/4 mile from the Harstine Island Bridge for the full 2 hours. They have been leaping and swimming in circles in multiple places to fish. Last seen following a boat wake under the Harstine Island Bridge. I do hope they return as they were so entertaining. -Gretchen Stewart

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9:35 a.m. - Large group of common Dolphins arcing and eating in Pickering passage. They headed south nearly to Harstine bridge and are now returning north near Harstine maybe 1/4 miles north of bridge. -Jill Streart

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9:05 a.m. - About 5 small gray [Harbor porpoise] just off Lincoln Park in West Seattle. Appear to be heading south.(after seeing examples of the Common dolphins and Harbor porpoise Anne thinks probably porpoise). -Ann Ventic

August 4

Orcas headed east off the coast of Point Roberts today. -Justin Schultz

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Another beautiful sunny day and an early whale report took us north along Bellingham Channel on a search - Resident Killer Whales far far up north in Canada, but another whale watch boat saved the day by finding Transient/Biggs killer whales north of Patos Island! The whales were heading away from us at a fast clip, and spread out, we had some great looks at the T65s and T34s, with possibly some T37s in the distance. A nearby harbor seal avoided detection by these mammal eating whales - it was his lucky day! After some quality time watching these magnificent mammals, we reluctantly left them, finding seals with new pups on several rocky haulouts, harbor porpoise and many bald eagles en route back to port. -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

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Traveling out of Everett heading towards Mukilteo Thursday morning, August 4th, spotted a whale breaching (surfacing?) that had a blow hole or nostral visible, and then as it breached, approx. 25-30 feet back came up a small curved fin, approx. 18"-24" tall. Never had seen anything like this before, so researched when we got home and looks like it was a fin whale. -Wayne Jensen

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Humpback MMZ0004 (Malleson/CWR catalogue) dorsal and fluke compilation photo. One of the few humpbacks encountered in Juan de Fuca Strait. So when a humpback heads directly towards your boat, most would zoom their lens out, but I was intriged enough to just leave it. Juan de Fuca Strait. -Connie Bickerton

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About 1:30 p.m. - a single humpback heading north about three miles out from Port Angeles. -Jack Tindall

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Saw dolphins this morning at 10:30 off Seacrest Park in West Seattle. From kayak.-Deborah Neisuler

August 3

L92 Crewser with little L122, to be named this month! The dorsal fin of L47 Marina reflects the colors of the orange sunset as she swims north off Henry Island, Haro Strait. -Monika Wieland

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7:20 p.m. - Jpod was at Smugglers Cove, San Juan Island. -Jill Shackelford Statham

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This afternoon was quite magical. Js and Ls in a few different groups being super social and playful as they made their way towards San Juan Island. Glassy water and massive clumps of whales. Hope they are finding enough to eat. -Traci Walter

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Hi Susan and Howard, we been out today close to 3-4 miles west of race rocks, L pod slowly came into direction of San Juans. -Peter Pijpelink

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Southern Resident killer whales jumping for joy, 10 minutes from our docks at Salty Towers Ocean Front Cottages this afternoon. Great photo by Captain Dan on "Sonar" right out from of Sooke and Whiffin Spit. J45 Se-Yi'-Chin (born 2009)and L55 Nugget, what a killer morning west of Sooke with L pod of the Southern Residents coming east past Sheringham Light House! Then, a quick visit with humpback whales. -Paul Pudwell

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6:40 - Jack Burchard reports 4 orcas heading south into Admiralty Inlet near Port Townsend, about mid-channel.

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Another beautiful day on the Salish Sea! We left the marina with news of resident orcas west but quite far and not moving much, but headed south west to find humpbacks. Which we did! With reports of multiple sightings, we were watching one, when Captain Eric spotted a big breach back toward the north east. We caught up with Split Fin BCZ0298 (2006 offspring of BCY0324 Big Mama) and Heather BCY0160 about 5 miles north of Dungeness Spit, and watched them fluke up tail dive, skim along the surface, and even have a close encounter (with engines shut down!). Thrilling to see these big, majestic whales feeding along the current lines and one huge breach that we're hoping a passenger captured on film! Also spotted some adorable harbor seals, harbor porpoises and bald eagles. -Bonnie Gretz, volunteer naturalist

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7:15 p.m. - Spotted Common dolphins at Chambers Bay they were closer to the Fox Island side around 6:00 heading South then came back up again heading north just now. -Soun Nonthaveth-Moffett

August 2

10:45 am - reports and sent short video of Fin in Case Inlet, way north near Victor, circling then last seen heading south. -Beverly McCallum

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We left port with no whale reports so headed around the south side of Lopez Island via Colville Island to see the seals hauled out and - aha - minke whale reports at Hein Bank, and humpbacks a little further to the west! So off we headed in that direction. The trip was a little bumpy at times but Capt Eric kept us on a steady course - we found a humpback a few miles west of Hein Bank and had quality time viewing this gentle giant as (s)he fed in the area. There were a few good fluke (tail) shots, and a few "almost" fluke shots. Homeward bound we encountered two (or three) minke whales, still near Hein Bank. No orca today, but two of our favorite baleen whales were well worth watching! A long but enjoyable day aboard Mystic Sea! -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

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We left port with no whale reports so headed around the south side of Lopez Island via Colville Island to see the seals hauled out and - aha - minke whale reports at Hein Bank, and humpbacks a little further to the west! So off we headed in that direction...Homeward bound we encountered two (or three) minke whales, still near Hein Bank. -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

August 1

8:20ish - I just met someone who saw the whale go by North point of Harstine Island. Just missed it! -Connor O'Brien

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06:50 PM - My folks just saw a whale heading north in Pickering Passage north of Harstine Island bridge. They heard it twice, thought there were two, then saw a big grey back roll out. No clear id but thought someone around the way might get one if they know to look out. No photos. We heard 1 breathing noise and then a 2d and we saw a whale body but could not identify it. It did not look like an orca or a pilot whale. We watched for a 3d breaching but did not see one. We heard what might have been a 3d breathing breech but did not see it. -Carl and Carol Hauge

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4:00 p.m. -Fin whale headed south passing Boston Harbor into Budd Inlet. Turned around and headed north toward Squaxin. Turned around again and headed south down Eld Inlet. It zig zagged from one side of the shoreline to the other. 5:00 it headed north out of Eld Inlet where I lost sight. -Kim Merriman

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Here's the whale I saw off Steilacoom. Unfortunately, temperature distortion and my shaking from excitement makes this not the greatest pic, but it was incredible to see! -JJ Davern

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10:23 a.m. - Cathy Baker reports seeing the Fin whale (Long back. Small fin way back. Not a hump) surface near Point Ruston, Tacoma. Surfaced headed towards the big area into the ferry lane area going towards Point Defiance/Dalco Pass.

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8:40 a.m. - Puget Sound- Stephanie Raymond on the San Juan Clipper, reports one or possibly two Humpbacks, 1 mile south of the Clinton ferry dock (South Whidbey Island) southbound at a fast pace.

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Juan de Fuca - It was a long slog through the islands in fog today, but as gray skies gave way to blue intrepid whale watchers were rewarded for their patience by an engaging encounter with a humpback whale near Port Angeles. This whale was intrigued by our presence, so with engines cut we rolled around in the swell inhaling the 'sweet' smell of whale breath as the whale surfaced nearby, surprising passengers by exhaling a plume of rainbow colored vapor from two blowholes (the humpback is a baleen/rorqual whale). Not too many good photos on this trip due to boat movement, and sometimes it's fun to simply enjoy the moment in the presence of these magnificent creatures. -Sandra Pollard, Author/Naturalist

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Today, the morning tour out of Anacortes with Island Adventures was lucky enough to encounter a very curious female humpback. We spent about 30 minutes with her and she gave us 3 encounters where she explored the boat, rolled over and gave us belly, sprayed us, and really checked us out. It was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had! Also hilarious because I had to abandon my 600mm lens fitter my iPhone to get the shots. -Belen Bilgic Schneider

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Gray Whale this morning just off the coast of Point Roberts. Turned and headed back out toward White Rock. -Justin Schultz

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My boyfriend and I were sitting on the shore near the Des Moines Marina looking into the Puget Sound, we both saw a whale's tail in the water. We kept an eye out to see it again and then to our surprise it surfaced and breached. We aren't completely sure whether it was an orca or other whale but it was shocking to see it so close to the shore an in an enclosed area of the Sound. Very awesome experience! -Natasha Polupan

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I saw the them (Common dolphins) at Narrows Viewpoint on Point Defiance Five Mile Loop at 8:30 pm. They were travelling south towards the bridge. At least 8 of them. -Meghan Davis-Van Horn

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I got to see the common Dolphinsin Steilacoom. We saw them around 2pm traveling north towards the Tacoma Narrows. I've read a lot that says there are only 2 or 3 of them but there were more than that. There were at least four. -Jennifer Concoby

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Common dolphins today off Steilacoom while looking for the fin whale. -JJ Davern

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