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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.

Summarized Sightings map HERE

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Click HERE for the most recent whale sightings report.


December 12

11:05 am - J pod heading west past Clover Point, east Victoria, reported by Brett of Eaglewing Tours to Josh McInnes

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J Pod calls over the Lime Kiln hydrophones from 2:48 a.m. lasting for about 30 minutes. -Jeanne Hyde

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1:24 update. They are still heading slowly north toward Boston Harbor - more spread out than when they headed into Budd Inlet. Gorgeous day. Sea Lions are hiding on the Eld Inlet side of Cooper Point spit. -Kim Merriman

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1:00 - They are heading north again from Burfoot, out of Budd Inlet. -Gayle Swigart

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12:07 - South South orcas are moving slowly south into Budd Inlet (near Olympia). They are in Gull Harbor - which is south of Boston Harbor. I have lost sight because they have gone past the tip of Cooper Point which blocks my view. -Kim Merriman

December 11

10:26 pm - Still hearing humpback vocals on Orcasound hydros. -Vickie Doyle

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8:30 pm - humpbacks on Orcasound. -Josh McInnes

December 10



December 9

4:10 - just watched 3 orcas traveling South from under the Narrows bridge. They were moving fast - passing Titlow about 4:15. They we're close to the Titlow side. -Heidi Powers Armstrong

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Orcas! 3:20 off Owen Beach, closer to Vashon heading Southwest. Fb won't let me post it to ON per Jessica Pagan - posted by Jamie Grundhauser.

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3:08 - One large several smaller Orca midpoint in Henderson Bay (in Carr Inlet, west of Gig Harbor). Moving SW. - Nathan Kellogg

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An orca pod was seen in Henderson bay at 2:30 PM. (in Carr Inlet, NW of Gig Harbor). -James MacDonald

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Whales in Thompson Cove this am. Sighted by Joe H.. Two adults and two calves and 3 seal ions trying to get away. Posted on the Anderson Island FB page. -Kim Merriman

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1:17 pm - We here at Diamond Point just saw a lone male Orca about 1000 yards off shore heading east to Discovery Bay (west of Port Townsend). When he was about at the mouth of Discovery Bay he suddenly turned around & headed back to the west. We could hear & see him quite well. So fun to see. -Helen Bohac

December 8

10:00 AM - Case Inlet Orcas. Saw 3-4 orcas in Case Inlet, just south of McMicken Island around 10:00am this morning. They were playing for a bit, rolling on their backs, then traveled south. -Shirley McNeil

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1:40 - Still off the south end of Ketron Island.
1:14 - I see them pretty far north of here, off the east side of Anderson Island. -Gayle Swigart

December 7

4:29pm - Hearing faint calls on Lk, since 3:30, getting louder now. -Selena Rhodes Scofield

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Saw maybe 5 or 6 orcas off the beach at Langley today around noon...couldn't get a decent pic, but they were unmistakably killer whales. I've never seen them in the wild before, it was amazing. -Brittany Mcphie Pham
Note: these orcas were not identified and may have been Transients/Bigg's whales.

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9:30 - NW of pt Wilson, pod headed NW, in no real hurry. -Duke Davis

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3:09pm - 5-6 Orcas just went past Fox Island fishing pier. Headed towards Narrows Bridge. -Andrea Shields Pellumbi

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2:12 - Mid channel btwn Anderson and McNeil. -James Gresham

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1:41pm - Several Orcas breaching and leaping on the northwest shore of Ketron island right now. They are heading north now. -Joe Orcason

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1:39 - Orcas by they Narrows. I'm on Anderson Island and can see them with binoculars. -Rachel Wiemann-Maw

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1:44 - sounds like two groups of orcas are around Anderson Island area. James Gresham reports being at Steilacom dock and seeing them heading slowly north on the east side of Anderson Island.
12:40 - 2 groups of Orcas just passed the Riviera Marina (Anderson Island) heading north. Very active.
12:20 - Pod of Whales just passed by Cole Point heading North on the East side of Anderson Island. Get your Cameras ready. Will be going by the Riv. Marina Dock soon. -Kim Merriman

December 6

4:06 - I could still hear the Orcas milling around until the cargo ship came by. They were closer to Hansville than Whidbey.
3:50 - mid channel of Windmill Heights (about a mile south of Bush point). Heading quickly South. Can't tell how many but more than 5. -Mike Meyer

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3:40 pm - Sandra and Dick have fins and spouts at Bush pt. headed south!

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2 pm - Heard K Pod on PT hydro's - strongly suspect they are inbound. -Connie Bickerton

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1030 - approx 6 orcas. Middle of Saratoga, shallow surfaces, circling trending northwest. -Alisa Lemire Brooks
Note: these orcas were not identified and may have been Transients/Bigg's whales.

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9:30 am - Pod of Orcas Whidbey island by Inn at Langley! -Kim Dunkley Wetherell
Note: these orcas may have been Transients/Bigg's whales.

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11:00 - Orcas made their way past the Riviera Marina (Anderson Island area) heading south - there's a group of maybe 5 or 6. And are currently at Oro Bay. Messages from Anderson Islander FB page.
10:05 AM - Whales just sighted on East side of Anderson Island. -Kim Merriman

December 5

Orcas in Rolling Bay (NE Bainbridge Island). -Connie Bickerton

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At 2pm a group of 4 Orcas travelling south in the mid channel just off Wing Point on Bainbridge Island. -Jeff Scrugham

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12:19 - They must be hunting/foraging. It's getting harder to keep track of them. Still approaching Fay Bainbridge but much closer to that side of the channel now. I'm always grateful for the opportunity to see whales but I'm especially grateful today! Thanks everybody!
12:05 - from Richmond beach I can see approximately 10 heading south swiftly. They are still mid channel approaching Fay Bainbridge. -Sara Troyer

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11:49 - counted five. Moving south steady. out mid channel off President pt.
11:45 - Off President point moving south, near the channel marker. -Joanne Graves

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11:22 - pod is at Kingston now steadily moving southbound... eastbound ferry getting great look. . I think more like 6-10 orcas. Gotta go. Hope you all have sweet day.
11:10 - from north Richmond Beach (kayu kayu) can see a pod of approx 5 just out from Apple Tree Pt. north of Kingston trending south near two small boats. Seeing tail lobs. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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10:40 - I spotted three out towards Whidbey but more mid channel. Then there was another closer to Eglon south of the first three.
10:33 - At Eglon now. I have multiple fins close to shore. Appear to be foraging. I counted five fins no apparent direction. Deep dives. -Elyse Margaret

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10:15 AM - from Rebecca French Gerke: They have turned back and headed NE...now off the south tip of Whidbey. Small boat zipped out and floating amidst them. Getting a bit foggy/decreased visibility.

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10:08am - My dad just called to tell me he has a pod right in front of his house on Eglon Beach, outside of Kingston, heading south! He said they are so far in it would be dry beach with the tide out. Wish I had pics. Awesome. -Katlin Jones Lee

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9:40 AM - Eglon a group of 5 (?) meandering about 200 feet offshore on the Kitsap side. No real direction, just back and forth. Tail slaps and a spy hop at a passing sailboat. -Rebecca French Gerke

December 4

The T137s are apparently still in the south Sound. At 10 am today, at least three orcas, 2 big and one small, were seen in Henderson Bay, which is in the upper reaches of Carr Inlet, NW of Gig Harbor, according to a report just called in from Vinnie Shefler. The T137s have been in the south Sound since at least Nov. 23rd.

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12:01 pm - A report of Ts in San Juan Ch. near Yellow Island, going north, from Tom Averna. -James Mead Maya

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10:28 am - Four orcas heading north past Mouat Point on Pender Island just now. -Barb Floyd

December 3

I saw a post from 8:30 this morning on Tweeters birding list that Orca were spotted in Edmonds this morning. I emailed the person that posted asking about direction of travel.
from Jeremy at Tweeters: "For anyone interested, there are three or four Orcas just off the pier. It's been entertaining swiveling between Snowy Owl and whale views. They were heading north from Edmonds up towards Mukilteo. I lost sight of them as they were passing east of Possession Point (Whidbey Island)." -Connie Bickerton

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We saw a pod of 5 or more heading north in a tight formation by the western side of Vashon Island. -Thomas Downs

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4:31 - Yes...going up Colvos!!
3:12 - Seen from Old Ferry Dock in Gig Harbor .. Pt. Defiance to the right...south and they were heading north into Colvos Passage..between Gig Harbor and Vashon Island.
2:31 - Yes..now going north up Colvos Passage. They are moving fast!!
1:29 - Im heading to Tacoma Narrows Park Gig Harbor...just spotted them in the distance heading south below the bridge..close to shore. -Vickie Doyle

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T137s and T36Bs went north under the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Here is a photo from this afternoon of T137 throwing a harbor seal. -Candice K. Emmons, Research Fisheries Biologist, NOAA/NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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2:49 - They are in Colvos Passage. Visible from Sunrise Beach. -Heidi Gerling

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2:31 - Heading up Colvos. -Kathy Cappon Eliasen

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2:44 - think they just passed Point Richmond headed north fast.
2:42 - they are headed up Colvos, close to Gig Harbor side.
2:32 - just north of Gig Harbor, trending north into Colvos Passage, close to Gig Harbor side.
1:23 - NOAA is with them. Hard to see with the sun behind them. Still north of the bridge mid channel but trending south slowly.
1:00 pm - milling mid channel just north of Narrows Bridge. Looks like NOAA is joining them. -Melissa Bird

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1:24 - They are back. Just north of bridge. I saw 5.
1:19 - I see them! 300 yards north of the bridge. Coming south.
11:20 - About 20 minutes ago I saw 2 heading south under the narrows. -Andrea Reubel

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1:00 PM - At least 4+ orcas near and around the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. I saw two with large fins/ hey appeared to be feeding. at one point I saw a smaller dolphin or seal get lightly tossed. They were all coming up to the surface over and over quickly and I saw a few of their tails. -Benjamin Maestas

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12:51 - I spy! coming north up Narrows passage still south of Salmon Beach. -Michele Riley Campbell

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12:49 - I just saw splashing mid channel right where that boat just went. -Jessica Arnold Badgett

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2:01 - Moving pretty quick north still.
1:44 - They turned north again and are hugging the Gig Harbor side.
12:49 - At Narrows viewpoint...orcas north of bridge around Salmon beach. -Victoria Elizabeth Scalise

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10:40 - They have now crossed under the bridge heading north still. They should be coming up that direction (towards Pt Defiance) on the Salmon Beach side of the channel
10:22am - 6 orca heading towards Salmon beach about to head under the narrows bridge. Large male with them. -Heidi Gerling

December 2

About 4:15 pm there was a small trailing group that appeared to be foraging south of Bush Pt, across from Foulweather bluff closer to the Whidbey Side. We watched from about 3 pm to 3:45 pm from Bush Pt. as they traveled spread out, heading south. A submarine passed by, one trailing group remained closer to the Whidbey side, the whales that had passed earlier headed over toward Foulweather Bluff and the Kitsap side. Difficult in windy conditions with lots of whitecaps, but great to see them coming back in on this sunny day! -Susan Berta

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K20 Spock heading south past Bush Point, Whidbey Island. - Susan Berta

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4:20 - spread out from Mutiny Bay between Foulweather Bluff and Double Bluff, approaching Point No Point. Some foraging and tail lobbing. K20 below demonstrates the wind at her tail blowing her breath ahead of her.
2:10 - seeing the orcas heading south, passing Lagoon Pt (west Whidbey Isl) heading toward Bush Pt, closer to the Whidbey side. -Howard Garrett

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K26 Lobo, heading south past Bush Point. - Jill Hein

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2:55 - I'm just north of Bush Point and they are going by. Most nose to the ground but some lingering.
3:20 - There are several that we assume are hunting hanging in the upwelling just north of Bush Point but some have already made it to Bush Point proper. -Rachel Gaydosh

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3:19 pm - Jan Bell at Bush Pt reported orcas heading south past Bush Pt.

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2:51 - Seeing from Bush Pt now. Waves making it difficult to see. 2:14 - Definitely southbound! Close in front of Lagoon Pt now 1:55 pm - from Orca Network volunteer Rachel Haight: Saw my first blow. Due north of Bush Pt, between me at Ft Casey and Bush Pt. At least two blows well south of here close to Whidbey side. I'm assuming southbound and relocating to Lagoon Pt now. -Rachel Haight

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1 pm - Connie Bickerton reports hearing orcas on the Port Townsend hydrophone, sounded like K pod to her.

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T068A north bound in Haro Strait. -Mark Malleson, taken under permit #MML-001

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10:32 - Just spotted a pod from Narrows Park heading towards Steilacoom. -Heidi Gerling

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Ken Balcomb reports seeing 4 or 5 humpbacks south of Sooke.

December 1

Ken Balcomb relayed reports that members of possibly K pod was seen heading west out the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the afternoon.

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