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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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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.

June 26

7:00 p.m. - Common Dolphins came out of Budd Inlet and are heading north to northwest. They are very active....even with a boat literally running right in the middle of them. They are circling around a large area.
1:30 p.m. - Dolphins are back. They are very active and heading south into Budd Inlet. There are lots of boats around. Some know they are there and are watching. Others don't and motor right through where they are surfacing. -Kim Merriman

June 25

Tonight was a beautiful evening spent with the T137s & T124C between Orcas Island & Peapod Rocks. T137A & T124C traveled next to each other through the entire encounter, with the rest of the T137s not far off. No words to describe how much I love those backlit blows. -Rachel Haight

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3- 4 orcas off SE Lopez Island at 4:10 pm, going back and forth hunting/foraging, then heading south along the island. -Veronica von Allworden

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The T036A's and T075B's never disappoint in the evening! These two family groups, called matrilines, make a deadly combination for any harbor seals in the area they're traveling through. These individuals are notorious for playing with their food ... punting a seal some forty-ish feet in the air, blood splattering everywhere, insane vocalizations, incredible social behavior, sunshine, engines off, and enjoying this without any other boats on scene for the majority of the time...Between Blunden Island and the Saturna shoreline. After already killing this Harbor seal, one of the Ts punts their prey some 40 feet in the air. Shows the power and precision of these mammal eaters. -Heather MacIntyre

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We caught up with the T123s near Skipjack Island around 2:15 PM. They were looping all over the place. First they seemed to be aiming for President's Channel, but then they followed along the north side of Waldron to Sandy Point. Just when it looked like they might aim south to San Juan Channel, they flipped north again, then went west, and finally east across Boundary Pass. For whatever reason, they decided not to intercept the other group of transients that had just made their way down Swanson Channel. At 3:30 PM we left the T123s and headed over to the other group heading east along Pender Bluffs, made up of the T36As and T75Bs - six whales including two one year-olds. They were all slowly traveling in a tight group, and with their more predictable surfacings it was easier to get a good view and snap some photos. When we decided to peel off and head home around 5:15 PM, they were just at the bottom of Plumper Pass, seemingly undecided as to whether to head north or continue east. -Monika Wieland

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T049C in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Saturday afternoon. He's been swimming with 42 yr old female, T091 who has no surviving pod mates for the past several days. When we got on scene with him she was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly he breached and began pounding the water with his flukes. He swam over near us and submerged. A couple minutes later she appeared in a strong tidal rip on the opposite side of the boat from where he'd been. She took a breath, submerged and they disappeared. Sneaky T's. Here one minute, gone the next. -James Gresham

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Humpback CS631 aka 2 Spot lunge feeding near Sooke on Saturday afternoon. (She spent most of late summer and winter 2015/2016 in Puget Sound) -James Gresham

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4:52 p.m. - We are with what we think is the same whale that we saw a few hours ago. It was heading northwest and we are now out in the Strait. Still moving rapidly but west now. It's a juvenile gray whale! Looks to be ok.
1:39 p.m. - One gray at Marrowstone point/ Fort Flagler, feeding. Only saw once, then dove. -Renee Beitzel

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Erin Cora and others at Orca Sing report Nick and another minke spent time off Lime Kiln during the ceremony.

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6:00 p.m. - They're back...both minkes, including Nick Jagger, southbound past middle Land Bank. Nick leads, surfacing with his head above water, very cool. They traveled south and stalled in the rip, swimming against the current drifting north.
8:35- 8:55 a.m. - Again from Land Bank...a northbound minke, different than earlier whale. Connie ID'd this one as Nick Jagger. The guy was being all active, looking to be lunge feeding. Sweet! Bob Otis said the past few days they have been seen going past the Lighthouse northbound. Minke doing a west side shuffle.
6:00 a.m. - At Land Bank/West Side Preserve, San Juan Island getting enjoying the peace that comes with early morning on Haro Strait when suddenly surprised by a large whale with dorsal breaking the surface of calm seas. Turns out to be a Minke traveling southbound. Few surfaces then deep dive, continued in this pattern until out of sight at 6:18 a.m. Beautiful morning! -Alisa Lemire Brooks, ON

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6:00 p.m. - Nick Jagger is trying to swim south against the flood tide but really not going anywhere. Evening southbound pass in Haro Strait past Land Bank, west side San Juan Island. -Sara Hysong-Shimazu

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Minke whale "Nick Jagger" on a 8:30 am morning northbound leg of a day spent shufffling up and down the west side of San Juan Island from shore, Land Bank/West Side Preserve. -Connie Bickerton

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I just saw the commons again on the south side if Elliot Bay at 1745. Same size group 8-15 or so. In water taxi route so couldn't spend time with them. Did get this far away video (viewed, but not able to share here), but if you can zoom you can at least see they are Dolphins. -Christopher Howard

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Several Harbor porpoise foraging through out the day, from sunrise to sunset, 200-300 yards off Land Bank/West Side Preserve (between north and middle), San Juan Island. Most seen at any given time 6+. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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1:07 p.m. - A large group of something is active nor far off of Sunnyside Beach in Steilacoom. Probably porpoises, but not the usual visible dorsal fins that we see so often. They appear to be feeding. Guessing 15 or more. We are pretty high above the sound, and I was observing through binoculars... I caught glimpses of shiny sides sporadically, but no clear dorsals. The tide is fairly low and they were perhaps 30 yards off shore. Hard to gauge from here. Most of the time, there were three distinct groups of them, with the water visibly agitated around each group. Sorry to be so scant with details! -Tari Poe Norris

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Noon - There was a small pod of about 3-4 harbor porpoises in Henderson Bay, Gig Harbor at around noon today. They happened to swim pretty close by us. -Anne Mae Anderson

June 24

Youngsters at play after predating on yet another harbor seal from encounter with the T036A's and T075B's. Near Coal Island BC. T036A's and T075B's made predations on several unsuspecting harbor seals like this one in the center of the action. These orcas will work as a team to exploit their marine-mammal prey. Near Blunden Island, BC. -Heather MacIntyre

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1:50 p.m. - Gray whale spotted colvos passage in front of Camp Sealth, Vashon. Headed south towards Tacoma Narrows. No dorsal, lighter in color. Close to shore. -Meaghan Baumgartner

June 23

Noon - Paul Pudwell posted a report of many Resident orcas headed east at Sooke, BC ... and later, headed out west at sunset from Sooke.

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6:20 p.m. - 3 Orcas in Friday Harbor. (Viewed from C Wharf). -William Westrem

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At 6:15 PM I lived out a dream of mine - seeing whales from the houseboat where I live in Friday Harbor! 4 whales present, and at least 3 of them came inside Brown Island. As they swam past Friday Harbor itself I headed over to the University of Washington Friday Harbor Labs where I saw them again as they made their way north up San Juan Channel. -Monika Wieland

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T73A's went through Shipyard Cove, around Brown Island, and through Friday Harbor this evening. -Heather MacIntyre

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With reports of transient orcas near Victoria, Mystic Sea left port in good time to spot half-a-dozen whales near Discovery Island, before coming across at least two more orcas off Middle Bank, including 18-year old T49C sporting a distinctive notched dorsal fin. The whales were mixing and matching with four whales traveling in a tight group at one point, and a lively calf keeping tight tabs on Mom. Pacific Harbor seals basking on the rocks and many different varieties of birds, including rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, oyster-catchers and bald eagles, made this wildlife trip yet another wonderful day to remember. -Sandra Pollard, Author/Naturalist

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9:16 p.m. - A humpback? just headed North under the Narrows bridge! -Karen Caldwell

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8:05 p.m. - Just saw a gray or humpback off Sunnyside Beach Park (Steilacoom). Traveling north towards the Narrows, somewhat slowly but without dawdling. Doesn't appear to be feeding or diving deep. Didn't get much of a look at its back, and no fluke. Appeared to be staying shallow. Saw several blows as it passed by, fairly far apart in time and distance. -Tari Poe Norris

June 22

Harbour Porpoise Predation in Haro Strait. I believe it was the T124A's. (I haven't checked the i.d.'s yet) I was literally with the whales for 10 minutes at the end of the water taxi to Darcy Island. -Simon Pidcock

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11 year-old sprouter male, T073A1. T073A's gave us a run for our money today! Was hard to ID them due to their long down times, short surface intervals and erratic transient swim patterns. -Renee Beitzel

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4:30 p.m. - 5-10 Orcas moved rapidly southbound past Hastie Lake Road (West Beach, NW Whidbey Island) about a mile offshore. -Kevin Knight

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A humpback was reported by Deborah Dabrock, about 7:30PM in south Puget Sound, off Salter's Point Park, Steilacom, heading south toward Anderson Island.

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5:40 p.m. - 10-15 (or more) dolphins heading just passing my house and heading south into Eld Inlet. Very active. Moving fast! They came out of "nowhere" from the north. I have been watching for them all day. Finally, they arrived. -Kim Merriman

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It's possible the ones from this morning were the same ones from Budd and Eld inlets that have been in this area the last few days and up until about 8:00 last night. But anything at 7:15 p.m. last night could not be the same as the ones in front of my house. -Kim Merriman

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Group of probable common Dolphins milling in area approximately 1-2 miles north of Vashon Island, WA. Spotted multiple times while operating Vashon water taxi from 0530-0830 am. First spotted on 6/21/16, 7:15 pm 1/4 mile off Alki Beach. They were not traveling. Were milling in large circles at approximately 47.53 Lat by 122.44 long. Last night they were only a few hundred yards off the beach at Alki. 10-15 animals with at least two calves. -Christopher Howard

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9:20am - Small group of Harbor porpoises traveling steadily between the Bremerton ferry channel and Alki near Duwamish head. Traveling towards Elliott Bay. They looked mostly gray, possibly two-toned grays. I thought I saw two adults and one smaller one. They were surfacing at different times. -Sharon Wada

June 21

T137A after a sea lion, Victoria BC -Heather MacIntyre

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Huge seas! Huge rewards! Evening trip on the Peregrine. T137s, Oak Bay Flats, near Victoria, BC. -Capt. Jim Maya

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A pod of killer whales - probably five - was spotted and photographed as it traveled north this weekend at Yaquina Head on the Oregon Coast! Tourists and BLM staff at the lighthouse quickly gathered Saturday at the Yaquina Lighthouse to witness the rare sight. The entire passing lasted about 10 minutes - long enough to be a "truly wonderful experience," according to BLM staffer Meredith Matherly. "It was a first for some of us and definitely made our evening - week -- lives?!" wrote Matherly via email. Amazing photography courtesy Mitch Rohse, Bureau of Land Management Oregon(the male looks like it could be T49A1. Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research)

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Common dolphins slightly north of Budd Inlet. There are at least 8 - possibly as many as 15-20. -Chris Hamilton

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6:12 p.m. - The dolphins are still in the area. They are now traveling back and forth in front of Boston Harbor Marina and other short distances north - heading toward Squaxin Island area.
4:00 p.m. - There are currently a minimum of 8 long-beaked or short-beaked common dolphins in front of my house - north part of Eld Inlet heading south into Budd Inlet. Very active. They have been seen in this area (s. in Budd Inlet) off and on for the past several days. They have visited our area off and on for the past many years. Cascadia Research Collective is aware and hoping to get good I.D. shots. -Kim Merriman

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4:00 p.m. - Today a few Harbor porpoise 100 yards off Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, Shoreline, WA. I see them here nearly every time I'm scouting for whales, sometimes several dozen depending on prey of course. -Alisa Lemire brooks

June 20

Humpbacks BCY0160 Heather and BCX1057 Divot traveling together today between Victoria and Port Angeles. -Janine Harles

June 19

Members of L pod westbound off of Jordan River, Juan de Fuca Strait. -Mark Malleson

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12:36 p.m. - Just helped a neighbor dock his boat at the Edmonds marina.. He said he was down by Elliott bay and saw a good size pod of Orcas -- they were mid channel. [no further reports] -Stu Davidson

June 18

L92 Crewser - Haro Strait -Gayle Swigart -

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L55 Nugget Saturday evening on Salmon Bank. 7-1/2 month-old L123 near Salmon Bank, off south San Juan Island on Saturday evening. All of my photos are shot with a big telephoto and most are cropped closely to facilitate identifying the whale. -James Gresham

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...At 1242, about two miles east of Race Rocks a fin briefly appeared in the choppy gray water beneath a darkening sky full of moisture. This is the Pacific Northwest, after all. The encounter nonetheless began. The first group of whales encountered were of the L47 matriline - grandma L47 with daughter L91 and her 10 month old son, L122. The six year old male, L115, was with the group, and L83 with L110 were several hundred yards off their right flank. L90 and L92 were a bit further off, and some whales (leaders) were reported to already be nearing Constance Bank and travelling quickly at about 9 knots with an incoming tide.... -Center for Whale Research, See CWR photos and read full report at CWR Encounter 54.

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Kasatka L82 breaches off Lime Kiln State Park. Taken from shore. -Melisa Pinnow

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We had the L4s, L26s, L47s, and L72s pass Lime Kiln so it was a pretty good number (L54s off False Bay when everyone else was at LK)
3:32 p.m. - Most passed LK offshore but they've flipped and are heading slowly south against strong flood.
3:00 p.m. - Very spread, most may hit north of Lime Kiln. -Monika Wieland

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2:24 - Orcas on Lime Kiln hydrophone. Faint and sporadic....trying to be heard over the clanking and chugging of a ship. -Kim Merriman

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11:04 p.m. - Many SRKW coming in east from Sooke! -Paul Pudwell

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While conducting Encounter 54 with L pod Residents heading east off Victoria, a report came in of Transient whales heading out on a near collision course on the southeast edge of Constance Bank...The Transients were travelling in a close knit group and heading southwest outbound, passing within one mile of the Residents heading east inbound. This is one of those rare occasions where the Resident and Transient ecotype whales nearly overlap in habitat use in time and space....-Center for Whale Research, See CWR photos and read full report at CWR Encounter 55.

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8:32 p.m. - passing close to Ft Flagler, just cruising south. Wonder where they'll turn up tomorrow.
8:12 p.m. - Leaders are steadily southbound passing Port Townsend now.
7:52 p.m. - They are angling towards Fort Worden now...Moving south fast now. Leaders about to pass Ft Worden. Jefferson County side.
7:40 p.m. - Blows now visible without binoculars, but still far off. Still eastbound.
7:25 p.m. - multiple blows several miles due west of Ft Casey Lighthouse. Big breach! Orcas. West of a channel marker, look to be eastbound. -Rachel Haight

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T046D and T073A1 (breaching) near Victoria BC on Saturday morning. -James Gresham
(ID's by Michael Colahan of Island Adventures)

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8:55 pm - Orcas in Grays Harbor. Pod of at least 4 orcas just south of Ocean Shores Marina Grays Harbor - Washington Coast. Includes 1 LG male. Feeding. -Kathryn Franzen

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U.S. Coast Guard flies in for a closer look at killer whale pod. FLORENCE, Ore. - Helicopter crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Bend were making a routine trip from North Bend to Newport Saturday afternoon when they spotted a pod of killer whales hunting off the coast near Florence...Once they descended, Jones said he saw a pod of six killer whales ranging in size. The crew flew circles around the pod and witnessed them jumping and swimming around a sea lion...See full CH 13 KVAL article.

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8:40 a.m. - off Long Beach, WA. Heading south from the Bolstad Approach. Saw two breaches....It's greys or humpbacks in a feeding frenzy now that I have the binocs. Sorry for the false orca alarm. Still cool though! The birds are going nuts out there. Must be some good eating. -Jon Scanlon

June 17

...We headed down to Snug and left aboard "Shachi" at 1651. The whales, who turned out to be the T46's and T73A's, had taken a right at Battleship Rock and had entered the western part of Spieden Channel so we went through Mosquito Pass and got on scene about a quarter mile east of Battleship Rock at 1703...-Center for Whale Research, See CWR photos and read full report at CWR Encounter 53

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Downwind sail against the flood through Cattle Pass to meet incoming transient orcas, T46's and T73A's. We all ran the flood up the west side. (San Juan Island) We observed the kids playing with their food, a harbor seal lifted into the air. A great kerfuffle of bait fish, gulls, and rhinoceros auklets as the orcas surprised everyone surfacing from below the bait ball. Male orcas T46E was close alongside of T73A1 all day, with frisky playful contact. T46 born estimated 1964 was in the last live capture in Puget Sound's Budd Inlet, Olympia, but was released. Thankfully instead of a life in captivity, she went on to have at least 6 offspring and is also a great-grandmother. We left the orcas north of Battleship, were watched by a Peregrine Falcon, and a fiery sunset through San Juan Channel. -Barbara Bender/David Howitt, All Aboard Sailing

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WA State Ferries called in a report of 7 orcas, including 1 adult male, 3 adult females and 3 calves, crossing the international border at 6:40 PM. (Message a bit confusing, but based on this and earlier reports we believe this was off the N. end of San Juan Island, and the orcas were traveling north).

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Saw the transients - there were about 10 orcas that we saw. It was around 3:15-3:30 pm. We were by Lime Kiln Point Lighthouse. The whales were headed north...so amazing! -AnJenette Charlson

June 16

T101A passes by Victoria's Ogden Point breakwater in the afternoon. -Mark Malleson

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T46F, T46D and T46 - 4:50 p.m. - We were with the T46s today and they were on a steady track east towards Admiralty Inlet. They've already passed Protection Island. -Renee Beitzel

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Gary and I are camping off Point Wilson at Fort Worden - Admiralty Inlet. Tonight we were perched in our truck by the lighthouse watching for possible T's that may be heading that way. We spotted 3 distinctive blows from 3 whales: two bigger blows and one smaller. A pattern of 3-4 blows then they would dive and resurface approx 4-5 minutes later as if feeding. The blows would appear about 5-10 seconds apart in separate vicinity but close together as if traveling together. We watched them until they traveled north out of our view. The behavior reminded me of grays as we have watched grays off the Oregon Coast for 30 years. But they could have been possibly humpbacks? Never saw dorsal fins. Anyone report any sightings?? This was about 7'ish tonight. -Tammy Shelton

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A short-beaked common dolphin near Victoria in the afternoon. -Mark Malleson

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Short-beaked common dolphin! Off of Victoria! The first time I've ever seen them! Very Rare! What are they doing in our "cold" waters? -Capt Jim Maya

June 15

1:30 p.m. - 2 Orcas halfway down Marrowstone Island shoreline by Craven Rock currently moving south.-Rob Sanderson

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1:30 p.m. - Half dozen Harbor porpoise 200 yards from shore north Edmonds. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

June 14

1:30 p.m. - T49C and female were last seen south of Nodule Point, pointed south at Marrowstone Is., Admiralty Inlet. (female is T091. ID made by Melisa Pinnow and again confirmed by Dave Ellifrit- FB comment by Renee Beitzel) -Christopher Hanke

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12:30 p.m. - I'm at Ft Casey and whales way out of sight well south of me, but based on WW boat, whales still southbound on Kitsap side, nearing the south end of Marrowstone. I'm headed home for now. Good luck out there!
11:52 a.m. - About to pass Ft Flagler and it appears they'll pass close to shore there. Quickly moving south.
11:45 a.m. - They are still southbound, Kitsap side, south of Port Townsend ferry lanes.
11:24 a.m. - They've turned. Now Southbound
11:00 a.m. - Two orca traveling NW out of Admiralty, just south of Pt Wilson. Mid channel. Two WW boats following. -Rachel Haight

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10:25 a.m. - Marty Crowley called in a report of an announcement on the Pt. Townsend/Coupeville ferry of orcas sighted, half way across Admiralty Inlet.

June 13

6:35 a.m. - Harbor Porpoise off Kingston ferry dock area. -Tony Woelkes, WSF

June 12

11:30 a.m. - We went out with Puget Express and had a great time. No Orcas but we did see two Humpbacks off Port Angeles. (identified as BCY0160 Heather and BCX1057 Divot). -Shannon Hull

June 11

1:40 pm - Looks like they all came together, good group of orca now just east of Otter Point foraging on salmon, no direction, maybe west.
Noon - At least a dozen Orca at Sherringham Light house an hour ago heading east, and many orca off Beachy Head heading west. -Paul Pudwell in Sooke, BC

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Had a message this morning from Carrie Newell reporting a pod of 5 - 6 orcas heading north past Depoe Bay, OR in 138' of water June 11th at 12:30 pm. The pod included 1 lg. male and a juvenile, and there were also two young gray whales near the shore, that stayed there as the orcas went by. She has not yet had time to go through photos to ID the orcas.

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A challenging trip with wind and confused seas as we headed out of Cattle Pass towards the Salmon Bank marker, where a number of Steller sea-lions were doing a precarious balancing act. After passing the marker at 12:45 pm, we spotted the distinctive blow of a humpback whale among the whitecaps. Lucky to get these two shots as we bounced around in the waves, but a calmer trip home! -Sandra Pollard, Author/Naturalist

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A gregarious, unidentified humpback waves hello North of Spieden Island, Saturday. -Steve Smith

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6:47 p.m. - Puget Sound - Beautiful sunlit huge blows and arch into deep dive - definitely Humpback!
6:38 p.m. - now I'm thinking I'm seeing multiple Humpbacks in the East Useless Bay area. Last blow was a lot closer and the whale was westerly. *as seen from north Edmonds.
6:31 p.m. - Whale blows! (Guessing Humpback) - East of yellow buoy off of east Double Bluff (south edge of Useless Bay). Believe direction is easterly. -Stu Davidson

June 10

9:25 p.m. - Ferry now slowed for whales!! Lots of fins just popped up behind ferry!! Lucky lucky people!
9:15 p.m. - they are spread out across Bellingham channel. S/SW bound still. Some long down times. Wish they'd get closer before dark!
9:06 p.m. - Some are closer now! Still far off, look to be SW bound.
8:53 p.m. - Did see one big breach. More blows. Can't tell if they're southbound or not.
8:20 p.m. - Looking north from Anacortes ferry terminal, blows in Bellingham channel. -Rachel Haight

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We watched 9 orcas swim by around 3:30 and even got one breach. Watched from Sandy Beach shore in Ferndale, WA. -Canda LePage

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Polaris and J54 north-east of Sucia Island today, southbound. (approximately 2:30 pm) -Jill Hein

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Lovely day on the water with J17s and J22s, just south of Pt. Roberts, at the north Arden Bank buoy. 23-year-old J28 Polaris and her offspring, 7-year-old daughter J46 Star & 6-month-old baby son J54. -Bonnie Gretz

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K12 launching this afternoon off of Pt. Roberts! -Gary Sutton

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12:53 a.m. - they are still on Orca Sound, just started back up with some light whistles after a lot of ship noise. -Melissa Burke

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Juan de Fuca - BCX1057 Divot & BCY0160 Heather the humpbacks, travelling together North of Port Angeles. -Janine Harles

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4:25 p.m. - Puget Sound - Humpback (or gray whale)... Saw a large whale spouting and surfacing several times to the southwest of Discovery Park, Seattle. Probably humpback based on fin shape, but distant. Traveling slowly. Looked like it was moving slowly south-southeast. Generally towards Elliott Bay. -Matt Dufort

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Close encounter of the minke kind! This minke came up to the boat and surfaced twice in front of us! Southwest of Smith Island - Strait of Juan de Fuca. -Janine Harles

June 9

I arrive back on the island early in the morning and a few hours later Js and the K16s! Opus K16 passing close to shore at Lime Kiln State Park. -Melisa Pinnow

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Nothing like watching wild whales swim off into the sunset.. from Land Bank on the west side of San Juan Island. -Monika Wieland

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8:30 p.m. - Lime Kiln was full so turned on OrcaSound around 8:30 to hear the sounds of Js and Ks, repertoire of calls went on for two hours before I signed off. Echolocation, percussive, one an obvious breach. Beautiful, beautiful evening eavesdropping on the communication of this clan. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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8:22 p.m. - They are on BOTH! Lime Kiln AND Orcasound!
7:59 p.m. - Lots of vocals now on Lime Kiln hydro. Don't know who they are. Lots of variety. Anyone? -Kim Merriman

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7:56 p.m. - Lime Kiln Hydrophone faint vocals. -Melissa Howes

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Some days are more magical than others! ...As our first trip of the morning departed, Ks were discovered way west of Victoria, too far. Ugh! So Capt. Alan NIles and naturalist Heather MacIntyre just went out and found J Pod, coming down from the north! By the time for my first trip of the day came around, some of the Js were right in front of our dock at Snug Resort. By my second trip, the Ks were close enough so we went to see them. We got to the Ks and interestingly, found J2, Granny, and her surrogate son, L87, Onyx, leisurely traveling east with the Ks. And then, both groups started racing toward each other and we were there to see it! It was amazing! Like two large groups of relatives, who like each other, having a family reunion! I'm so fortunate to be able to spend so much time on these amazing waters. -Capt Jim Maya, Maya's Legacy WW

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We left Anacortes with reports of "lots of whales" coming in from the coast - so headed towards Victoria in hopes of meeting them. After checking seal haul-outs on Colville Island, we continued west and received better news, members of J and K pods were heading towards us from the north end of San Juan Island!! So we slightly altered course and picked up the leaders of this very spread out group. J-26 Mike was foraging a mile or so off-shore, along with other members of both J & K pods .... so good to see these endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales back in the Salish Sea! Homeward bound, we found 3 Steller sea lions hauled out on a channel marker. An exciting day aboard the Mystic Sea. -Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

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1:38 p.m. Just saw a whale south of the light house at Lime Kiln web cam. -Kim Merriman

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1:25 p.m. - Hearing some calls on the Lime Kiln Hydrophone right now. -Denise Stubbs

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1:11 p.m. - Orcas going nuts on orca sound. Positive ID K16, K35, K21 southbound in Haro strait near Sidney channel. I'm on the 12pm ferry from Sidney to Anacortes. K21 booking it FAST southbound. -Ariel Yseth

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We were on the search for killer whales, and hadn't found any after an hour and a half of our trip. That all changed when J Pod, (and parts of K Pod) found us! There's no better feeling then having the animals you want other people so badly to experience, and be inspired by to find you coming around the corner of Turn Point Light as you're about to start talking about the light house. It's a romantic notation, but it sure made my day. On another note, at the end of the day, I caught a glimpse of J53 with what looks to be a young halibut in her mouth. This had a somber note to it because these orcas should be feeding on Chinook salmon right now. They should be plentiful, and coming into the Salish Sea to spawn in the thousands, or would have been doing so now historically. The fact that this little calf was eating halibut only means that there's still no fish for these big blackfish. -Heather MacIntyre

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J pod and K pod were inbound just west of Race Rocks, when we caught up with K26 Lobo and L87 Onyx as they traveled together while J40 Suttles swam ahead of them. At one point she decided to surprise us with a close pass off our port bow! Startled everyone because we were't expecting it....trip also included two humpbacks, one of them being BCY0409 Yogi, who has also been seen in Hawaii! So good to see the southern residents again! -Renee Beitzel

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10:44 a.m. - J's and some K's inbound from Sooke Now! -Paul Pudwell

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7:30 - One or two humpbacks just went past West Seattle, between Brace Pt. and Three Tree Point (Burien), heading south about 200 yards from shore. -Thanks for the call by Gail McElligott.

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There were two humpbacks out there today. (middle Sound between Point No Point/Edmonds/south Whidbey) They came together briefly after one was surface active with cartwheeling and lob-tailing. We left for a while but then came back to them being apart again, though in same general area. One of them was BCX1210 which was in the same general area last year in October! The dorsal fin tipped me off. -Renee Beitzel

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6:08 p.m. - Humpback still active!! Blows and fluke high on dives. Line of sight from north Edmonds is Double Bluff. Whale is between Pt No Pt and Useless Bay
1:55 p.m. - Seems to be "playing" short dives and just going back and forth in different directions. My line of sight from north Edmonds is the houses on the east side of Scatchet head, but the humpback is south of Possession point.
1:10 p.m. - huge blows still. And flukes up high into dives! South of Possession Point a couple miles. Last dive it looked to be heading (or feeding) north westerly. (in direction of Scatchet Head)
10:11 a.m. - humpback breaching!! South east of Point No Point. -Stu Davidson

June 8

This is the evening cruise 6-8-16 with Jim and April, we followed this Humpback from North of Battleship, to Stuart Island. At one point it even looked like it was going into the Harbor at Pender. The juvenile humpback we had did have some markings that might help in any ID's. I didn't get a good tail, but I have several of the Left side dorsal on down to the flukes and to me it looks like this humpback even has possible propeller scars? -Cher Renke
(We sent the below and several other of Cher's photos to Cascadia: "I do not think these are prop scars which tend to have a very distinctive look with multiple cuts in a pattern. The ones shown here could come from any of multiple sources including entanglement." - John Calambokidis)

June 7

Matriarch of the southern residents, J2 Granny, L87 Onyx near Point Roberts. He travels with J pod, primarily by J2's side. Water was a little rough but orcas really active! -Bob Mepham

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4:41 p.m. - huge arch into a dive (definitely a humpback!). Line of sight is between Point No Point and North Edmonds. Like last night it seems to be again heading towards Scatchet Head.
4:18 p.m. - whale blow (likely humpback) south east of Point No Point east of shipping lane - looking to be heading northerly! -Stu Davidson

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2:45 p.m. - Humpback rolling and feeding about a mile out from Kingston ferry dock. On the ferry heading west and Captain even slowed it down so we could watch for a few minutes. -Chris Beamer Otterson

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10:45 a.m. - From Edmonds marina beach watched the humpback dive just north of Kingston ferry dock, underside fluke towards me....underside fluke is all white and gorgeous! Way too far a distance for any photo or ID, hopefully someone got one. I left shortly after.
10:30 a.m. - humpback is just hanging around general area around Kingston ferry dock. Currently in front of it. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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9:38 a.m. - At Kingston now. Watched him slapping his fin and fluke and breaching! -Cheryl Smith

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9:15 a.m. - Tony Woelke just called again. Humpback is between Kingston Ferry dock and Apple Tree Pt to the north very surface active. Spyhops, breaches, pec slaps.
7:35 a.m. - Tony Woelke, WSF, aboard the Walla Wall called to report a humpback approx. 800 feet off Kingston traveling southbound at about 7:30 a.m. White under-fluke was noted.

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Got a call from Cathy Niederhauser to report seeing 3, or possibly 5, killer whale about 1,000-1500' from shore at Depoe Bay OR, around 5-6 pm. just circling around.

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05:15 PM - Two orcas - My wife and I were watching the seals on Cobble Beach on the Oregon coast, when I noticed a large dorsal fin and then spout in front of me. I thought it was a porpoise at first, but then it skimmed the surface and I could see the head was much larger and the dorsal was maybe 4-5 feet from water to tip. Then my wife spotted another one as it peeked up out of the water to look at the seals on the little islands/rock formations in the channel. We watched them circle one more time before they went out to sea again. We were probably 50 yards from seeing the first whale. They were definitely orcas. We couldn't get a picture to turn out unfortunately. The dorsals blended in with the black rocks. Looked like they were hunting the seals in the shallows. NW Lighthouse Dr, Newport, OR 97365, USA Latitude: 44.674757 | Longitude: -124.078345. -Kevin & Joanna Nesgoda

June 6

Beautiful! So many tail slaps, spyhops, pec slaps. At least 4 large males, 1 baby, and a slightly larger baby. From Land Bank/Westside Preserve, San Juan Island. J14 Samish continues northbound while other members of J and K pods slow to socialize and engage in tail lobs, breaches, pec slaps during their mid afternoon northbound pass off Land Bank on the west side San Juan Island. -Cher Renke
(Thanks to Melisa Pinnow & Sara Hysong-Shimazu for ID help.)

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3:00 pm. - Whales at Lime Kiln. Just a quick update, there were tons of whales everywhere mostly inshore. But I did see K12s, L87, J2, J14's, J17's, J10's, J11's. All of the J's plus L87 were headed up Haro - but there were loads of whales offshore that we didn't see. We heard lots of J calls. Maybe a few Ks. But I didn't see any Ls that I know of unless I got some far distant photos... In going thru my photos, I found the K14's and I also saw K21, K16 and K35. 5:24 p.m. - Passing Battleship. J2 Granny in the lead. -Barbara Bender

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The Southern Resident drought is over! Members of all three pods came back into the Salish Sea, and I think many of us breathed a collective sigh of relief as one group headed up to the Fraser River while another did the westside shuffle, indicating that perhaps there are enough fish to keep them here for a least a while. This evening I was lucky enough to get out with members of J and K Pods near Stuart Island... -Monika Wieland

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Approx. 1:00 p.m. - Out on the water with J & K pod. Haro Strait, west side San Juan Island. Whales were traveling north and south throughout the trip. The highlight, not pictured, was when J39 Mako breached RIGHT next to the boat, so close he splashed the front of the boat getting people wet. Beautiful, beautiful day. K21 Cappucino - Haro Strait - West side San Juan Island. -Rachel Haight

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4:25 p.m. - turned on Orca Sound. Hearing what sounds like faint Ks and loud Js. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Ora Network

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T060C west bound at Race Rocks in the morning. -Mark Malleson

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3:16 p.m. - it's still in a northerly towards Scatchet head direction. Unbelievable breach and arch into a dive (never seen that before with this large a whale!).
2:56 p.m. - Whale blow !! Must be a humpback or Gray. Line of sight east of Point No Point and south of Scatchet head. Moving north towards Scatchet Head. As seen from north Edmonds. -Stu Davidson

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Approx 3:45 p.m. - I was watching orcas off Henry Island. Just as the boats and whales moved east and behind the island so that I couldn't see them anymore, I heard 2 loud blows. Then a large whale surfaced, blew, and dived with tail coming up, heading toward the same spot where the boats had been. It was very close to shore which is how I heard the blow. I was on my deck at 45 Marian Pl. It seemed to be either a gray or a humpback. It was so exciting that I forgot to use my camera. -Jan Hare

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3:50 p.m. - I'm at Land Bank, San Juan Island. Humpback just cruised right by northbound in Haro Strait. 5 Shallow dives, and on the 6th, he/she went deep! -Cher Renke

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2:10 p.m. - Humpback at Eagle Point southbound. -Barbara Bender

June 5

Approx. 4:45 p.m. - from Lime Kiln on their return southbound. Here's a special little photo to me, my favorite of the day. Little L123 with mom, Lapis (L103), L122, and Muncher (L91). Marina (L47), Ballena (L90), and Crewser (L92). Nugget (L55) and Takoda (L109). Last fall a dear friend and I were the first to notice a new little fin and it turned out we weren't crazy and seeing things - Lapis had given birth to her first calf, L123! It was so thrilling to see this little one again knowing that it survived the winter and has grown so much since we first saw it last November. -Sara Hysong-Shimazu

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(Below is observations by Capt Barbara Bender on an interaction between residents and transients)
Sara- We caught up with the T60's by Mandarte after we left the L's. Thanks for Id'ing the two by LK. ...But before that, there was a scuffle between R's and T's! We saw a female and male coming north in Haro while Ls we're going south. L92 made a drastic sudden direction change towards them. Then the L47's with L122 in the mix started high speed swimming toward them too in a tight group. Meanwhile they had been spread in loose groups beforehand. The T's took off porpoising the minute L92 turned toward them! It was intense! It was very brief before R's continued south again while the T's kept porpoising! I am not sure if the two T's were T60 and T60C who caught up with the others near Darcy or if it was others. I would love to put these puzzle pieces together! Were there only two T60's in on the seal kill? Were the other family members near? Because the 2 T's were just two in mid Haro all alone. And per the CWR website the J's chased them away a few years back! -Barbara Bender

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We saw J11s, J17s, and J22s. -Katie Jones

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Really nice to see the residents back in town! SPREAD OUT across the Strait of Georgia foraging. So nice to see a couple of the "Jabies", J51 and J52. We had K12s, K14s, K16s but no K13s. Most of J pod too but didn't see any J17s or J22s. -Gary Sutton

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With Orca Month, as officially proclaimed by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, well underway, it was with a sense of celebration that we welcomed members of the Southern Resident community back to the San Juan Islands today. With reports of J and L pods in the vicinity, we encountered part of L pod off the west side of San Juan at around 12:15 pm. Although initially traveling in ones and twos, we witnessed the whales grouping up close to shore as they headed north. To say that it was a privilege to see them in their natural surroundings on such a glorious day would be an understatement. Shore-based whale-watchers must have enjoyed a treat as the whales passed by Lime Kiln State Park. Passengers were also fortunate to see both a California sea-lion basking on the rocks and Steller sea-lions swimming near Whale Rocks, where two bald eagles were resting. How lucky we are to have such a diverse selection of marine life among these treasured islands. -Sandra Pollard (Author/Naturalist).

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More notes by Monika: J Group A with all Ks but K13s made it up to Georgia Strait so they were all here too. I haven't had a chance to go through my photos but were L47s in there with L4s, L26s, and L43s.
10:06 a.m. - Ls just flipped.
9:47 a.m. - J pod group B and greater L4s Battleship northbound.
8:03 a.m. - Huge tight group Open Bay northbound. -Monika Wieland

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8:08 p.m. - Members of all three pods, btw! -Erin Cora

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7:22 a.m. - heard a few squeaks on Lime Kiln.
6:45 a.m. - still hearing calls on OrcaSound hps.
6:30 a.m - Visuals on Lime Kiln webcam. Dorsal of large male and female or young male right off the rocks at lighthouse. These whales are spread out!
5:50 a.m. - Switched over to OrcaSound, Loud calls and echolocation! Js for sure...S3s, S4s, S7s
5:40 a.m. - turned on Lime Kiln hydrophone and started hearing super faint resident calls, sounds like some Ks & Ls?. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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T60 and T60C surprised us at Lime Kiln yesterday with a hunt on this harbor seal just north of the light house. At one point the seal made an attempt for the rocks but the whales cut it off and came in so close I'm pretty sure some people got splashed as T60 threw her tail around during a quick maneuver to intercept the seal. What an encounter!...It's always a privilege to see the top predators in our oceans and to see them hunting is both gut-wrenching and incredible....While the Bigg's killer whales do prey on marine mammals, they're hunting the way they've evolved to and it doesn't mean they're mean or more vicious than their fish-eating cousins. It means they're a predator and they're feeding themselves and their families the way they've done for thousands upon thousands of years. -Sara Hysong-Shimazu

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1:55 p.m. - Spotted a humpback whale in Bedwell Bay, BC. -Pam Anderson

June 4

On board the Peregrine with Captain Jim he had a report of T124A's Biggs killer whales in Canada. Up Haro Strait, up Swanson Channel and into Trincomali Channel where we caught up with the still northerly bound T124As off Wallace Island. They appeared to have prey with them as they would travel a bit and then pause for predation behaviors such as directional changes, tail slaps and deeper dives. This pattern continued most of the time we were with them until at last they picked up the pace as we bid adieu. Beautiful backlit blows, calm water, and great looks at a wild and free family. -Debbie Stewart

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East Juan de Fuca - Humpback flukes and Mt. Baker on a beautiful afternoon at McArthur Bank, south of Lopez Island. -James Gresham

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10:27 a.m. - I was just heading home from a walk and a humpback surfaced about 25 feet out from the beach (Gig Harbor side), it was moving north up Colvos, feeding and blowing frequently, it probably was at Sunrise Beach 30 to 45 minutes ago. -Michele Riley Campbell

June 3

3:25 p.m. - Killer Whales right out front off Sooke heading west now...and a humpback a mile south of Secretary Island.
11:07 a.m. - Many many orca heading west from Victoria now! L pod, and? Should be around Sooke in a couple hours. -Paul Pudwell, Victoria, BC, Canada Sooke Coastal

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L91 and L122 westbound through Race Passage. -Mark Malleson

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L Pod and Race Rocks and the Olympic Mts. and the Elwha Valley! -Capt. Jim Maya

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We were with L pod today! This is the first time they have been in the area this season so it was very good to see them. They were really spread out and foraging off Victoria, BC so it was a challenge to know where to look or point the camera. Again, a good problem to have! Two of the most recent calves born into the pod, L122 and L123 were there and look fantastic, in my very un-expert opinion. Two adolescent boys hanging out - L105 Fluke (born 2004) & L106 Pooka (born 2005). L103 and her 7-month-old offspring L123. Also got to see one of my favorites, L92 Crewser, who was having his very own photo shoot with Center for Whale Research. -Renee Beitzel

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L pod is back! Here is a highlight of today's encounter with Lpod off Victoria during our morning tour. This was the first time Lpod had been seen in the Strait of Juan De Fuca this year! -Andrew Lees

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Transient Orca pod off Crescent Bay, Washington... just west of Port Angeles. Seen about 9am. Slowly heading west. There were about 8 of them. 1 big male, looks like a sprouting (juvenile) male, 2 maybe 1-2 year old calves and a brand new baby (still dark orange) as well as 3 females. (ID'd as T75Bs & T77s by Sara Hysong-Shimazu). -Don Baker

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Juan de Fuca - As we left the marina (Anacortes), we heard of L pod heading west off Victoria. Captain Monte decided to make the long run and hope to catch up with them. It was a magnificent day, warm and sunny with flat glass smooth water. We made good time, but as the tide turned, the whales sped up and eluded us! The good news is that L-91 and her calf, L122 were seen, as was most of L pod. This is the first sighting of L pod this spring. We did spend time with a lovely humpback on Constance Bank, due south of Victoria, BC. His/Her tail fluke looked to be 100% black, making identification very difficult, although he/she had a very distinctive gray patch behind the dorsal fin. On the way back, a large group, perhaps 15+, of harbor porpoises were also feeding. It's unusual to see so many together! Also seen was a mature bald eagle, enjoying lunch on the edge of Lopez Island. Another lovely Salish Sea day! -Bonnie Gretz, volunteer naturalist, Mystic Sea

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I was taking the ferry from Vashon to Pt. Defiance on the 8:00 pm ferry, and saw three splashes...It was clearly a whale. But it was far away - between Pt. Defiance and S.W. side of Vashon...Then I saw all the boats turn and gather round. I never got any images. And, there is no way I could have ID's the species. (unconfirmed humpback, but one was reported same area next morning). -Kim Merriman

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7:30-8:00 a.m. - My husband & I were treated to an amazing humpback show of one this morning....with a lazy pattern of antics - on its back and slapping its fins on the water, frolicking, diving, then breaches. We are located just north of Edmonds... Whale was in between us and Possession Point on the south end of Whidbey. He/she was slowly heading north. -Laurie & Paul, Edmonds

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7:10 a.m. - Humpback whale juvenile sited at Olympic View Dr and Sunset way. (Edmonds) Was not moving for at least 10 minutes in same place rolling over a bit no breaching. Saw tail. Very very slow moving. From our home 9100 block Olympic View dr looking north west on Puget Sound. Pretty close in, could see easily with naked eye. -Starla Sage

June 2

1:30 p.m. - Orca at Swiftsure bank....it was hard for me to determine that age of the orca, not that experienced, but definitely a young one. As this juvenile went by our boat, there was another whale that passed on the other side of the vessel, presumably mum (?). Also observed at least one other orca in the vicinity but too far to see much other than the dorsal, which was crescent shaped. All were traveling westward out Juan de Fuca Strait as we were moving from the east end of Swiftsure Bank towards Port Renfrew. All whales were traveling east rapidly, not feeding. The fin and markings on the juvenile hopefully help with ID, photos with an iPhone. ("While I'm not 100% positive, this little whale looks like it could be L117 of the L54's." Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research) -Kevin Neary

June 1

We spotted a juvenile humpback while boating in The Narrows area. First sighting was around 1pm, just off of the north end of Chambers Bay Golf Course. We tracked the whale as it swam north, hugging the east shoreline, up to Pt. Defiance. Last sighting was at about 4:15pm, halfway between Pt. Defiance (Owens Beach side), and the south end of Vashon Island. We were hoping the whale might steer to the west side of Vashon, avoiding the POT shipping lanes, but we lost sight of it. :-( I sent a report with photos to DFW & Cascadia Research later that day. -Julia Hurley

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1:15 p.m. - I heard a blowing sound, looked & saw a long dorsal spine and a large tail flip up, just like the Humpback Whales I recently saw in CA. I saw it twice and Kayakers came by from Sunnyside Beach (SW of Tacoma) confirmed they saw it. -Carolyn Adams

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