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100912AdmiraltyHG©Howard Garrett

Recent whale sightings in the Salish Sea

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

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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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November 10

Southern Residents- Farewell for now K pod and L54s...to the north of Pt Wilson lighthouse, north Port Townsend, they have turned and now heading north towards Rosario...-Photo by Marilyn Armbruster, November 10, 2017
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3:55 p.m. - orcas are middle of the Strait, not close to PT or Whidbey, just way out in the middle heading north (directionally towards Rosario)
3:40 p.m. - they had passed through the ferry lanes heading more west towards Port Townsend.
3:35 p.m. -I see some are out from Fort Casey to the south. Whidey Side.
2:56 p.m. - I see they are angling over towards Fort Flagler.
2:40 p.m. - Got 4-6 northbound mid channel passing Lagoon Point right now, with some on the Whidbey side.
2:30 pm. - Whale spread out across the channel in Admiralty, at least a couple of miles. Have a few the may be the leaders pretty far out from Lagoon Point, barely see them. Have a few more heading this way mid channel.-Marilyn Armbruster
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2:30ish - I was very lucky to see Orca's today, not just any Orca's...RESIDENTS!!! Looking over at lagoon point from Fort Flagler. They are very far off and headed North. -Photo by Desiree Sauve, November 10, 2017
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3PM - Up from the south spread across Admiralty south of Marrowstone Island, Ks and L54s went through the sun streak and were straight out from Bush Point Lighthouse, where five Orca Network volunteers and three neighbors came out to see. Occasional breaches off on the horizon as these two came by. -Photo by Howard Garrett, Orca Network, November 10, 2017
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2:20 p.m. - Watched from Bush Point with Howard and Sandy. They were out towards mid channel, but mostly Whidbey side. They have passed Bush Pt, I am heading to Lagoon Point.-Marilyn Armbruster
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Elsa Leavitt called at 2:08 pm to report a whole bunch of orcas on the south side of Bush Pt, trending North, about half way out to the buoy.
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2:00 p.m. -Many went past Windmill Heights quite quickly. They must be at or close to Bush Point by now.
1:50 p.m. -Many blows visible from Windmill Heights, 2m South of Bush Point, heading North slowly. -Mike Meyer
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1:44 p.m. -whales powering north in Mutiny Bay. -Sandra Pollard
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1:25 p.m. - Orcas spread out from Mutiny Bay to Hood Canal heading north. With breaches. -Howard Garrett
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We watched a long line of Residents nb midchannel, from Pt. No Pt. - lots of surface activity including breaches, porpoising, between Apple Tree Pt & Edmonds, then kept eyes on as they were traveling NB past Possession Pt, Scatchet Head. Useless Bay, Double Bluff... left them at 1:15 pm out of sight but heading towards Mutiny Bay. Chilkat and another boat were with the leaders but there were many more following farther back. -Donna Green VanRenselaar
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12:25 p.m. -L54 ID'd just now, also L84 & L88.
12 Noon - We are with K pod foraging northbound just south of Point No Point. -Renee Beitzel.
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11:48 a.m. - We spotted our first orcas! We are growing in numbers at Point No Point. Whales heading toward us. Big breach by a whale a few minutes ago.-Dianne Dee Iverson
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11:43 a.m. -I'm with a group at Point No Point we saw a breach and several blows, mid channel between the tanker and the sail boat. -Melinda Barajas
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11:18 a.m. - Just south of Eglon boat ramp, still northbound, out pretty far - in northbound shipping lanes. -Rebecca Grench Gerke
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11:18 a.m. - still watching from Edmonds. Spread out heading NW, some close to and others heading towards Point No Point. Appear committed to Admiralty.
10:45 a.m. - spread mid channel to west side of Sound NW bound steady vigorous clip. Transect northside Edmonds Ferry to Eglon, Kitsap. At the moment if they keep course it appears Admiralty Inlet might be their destination but still too soon. Hundreds of gulls on Kitsap side shine bright in morning sun. And super high tide. Viewing from Sunset Ave
10:20 a.m. -one male took advantage of the freighters wake...breach!-Alisa Lemire Brooks
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10:30 a.m. - sighting of K21 passing Kingston. At least one larger group north of the ferry now, NB, one breach
10:20 a.m. -Seeing them now from Apple Tree Point. Still same general area NB. -Sara Frey
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10:05 a.m - Now many whales visible on the Kistap side of mid-channel, traveling north and approaching the Kingston-Edmonds ferry lanes.
9:40 a.m - Quite a number of whales (including at least one male) near a fishing boat just outside of Appletree Cove. Very active, and in the vicinity of the stationary boat's net. -Kate Stovel
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10:00 a.m - basically large number of them (at least 15, 4+ males) spread parallel across the Sound now stretching from Kingston to Point Wells. Steady northbound.
9:45 a.m. - Another group of at least 4 just east of and at mid channel northbound good clip out from North Richmond Beach approaching tank farm (Point Wells, Woodway) And more including 2 adult males parallel but west side of channel approaching out from Kingston. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
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9:36 a.m. -three Orcas (one large male) spotted off of Applecove ferry terminal mid channel heading north. -Darlene Moneypenny
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9:20 a.m. - One male off President Point, Kitsap side, south of Kingston, heading north.-Joanne Graves
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8:28 a.m. - 3 orcas approaching Fay Bainbridge heading north. West of mid channel. -Sue Larkin
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8:02 a.m. - We just past a pod of orcas a bit south of Port Madison. 7-8 in pod. K21. Heading northbound.Yes, adult males.-Photo by Michelle Barnes, November 10, 2017
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7:40 a.m - Neighbor just texted me to say orcas going by Rolling Bay / Skiff Point on Bainbridge Island right now. No numbers, speed, or direction of travel yet but I've inquired. -Lynn Batson
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Bigg's/Transient killer whales - November 10 - Here's how my day was today ....heard that Biggs T137s were heading north in Saratoga Passage, so off to Shangrila Shores to watch them northbound ....to my house to see them continue north, to Harrington Lagoon where they were closer to shore, to Long Point to see them near Penn Cove, to the Coupeville Boat Launch to watch them enter Penn Cove, to the mussel rafts to watch them have lunch (seal) by the rafts, to the Coupeville wharf to see them begin their exit from Penn Cove, and then to TOBY's to watch them leave Penn Cove - from the nice warm Tavern. Such a tough life! And to meet up with so many Orca Dorks - more than I've ever seen watching whales along Whidbey Shores. Particularly Bonnie Gretz and Michelle Booker (and Daniel)! Then ... the dilemma - if we just have one drink at Toby's we'd have time to head to the west side of Whidbey to see K-pod and the L54s as they head north T137 - mom - born 1983...her offspring: T137A, T137D, T137B. hmmmmm. -Jill Hein
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4:05 p.m. - at Monroe landing heading out. -Cynthia Vick Allen
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3:10 p.m. - 3 orcas in the west end of Penn Cove by the mussel rafts, heading back out now. -Brian Miller
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2:15 p.m. - T137 and her youngest T137D. - Lovely afternoon with T137's.T137A born 2002. First saw them just off Long Point at the entrance to Penn Cove, then watched at the mussel docks as they made a kill, and then they took their sweet time heading out. Lots of people saw them and were so excited! Photo by Bonnie Gretz, November 10, 2017
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12:55 p.m. - They're passing my house (which is just south of Harrington Lagoon) northbound, mid-channel.-Jill Hein
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12:35 p.m. - see spouts and dorsals between Woodland Beach, Camano and Whidbey. They were closer to Whidbey side. -Krista Paulino
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10:10 a.m. - They are at Honeymoon Bay now.
10:00 a.m. -see them about a mile south of Beverly Beach across harbor north of Holmes Harbor Golf course, northbound.-Marilyn Armbruster
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9:50 a.m. - Whales now heading north a bit more on east side of Holmes Harbor. Hope to have ID shortly.
9.40 am.- Milling mid channel below clear cut. Couple of cartwheels. Occasional logging. Two boats passed inshore oblivious! Sandra Pollard
T137A in Holmes Harbor this morning. -Photo taken from shore by Richard Snowberger, November 10, 2017
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9:27 a.m. - still splashing around mid Holmes Harbor. Too far away to get id.
8:59 a.m. - The are just passing it (barge) now, almost to the golf course.-Cindy Bowen
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Pod of Orcas spotted this morning (9 am) very close to Freeland park beach in Holmes Harbor! Friend called and told me (we have a house next to Freeland park they were staying at)- I'm in Scatchet head did not see. She said a male and some babies? Anyone else see? Only second time I've heard someone see them that close in Holmes Harbor, usually it's when there are shrimp to eat... cool! -Jessica Sokei Leon
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8:45 a.m - Orcas in Holmes Harbor! Seem to be transients hunting. -David Bieniek
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Dolphins- November 10 - Between 2:30 and 4:00 p.m. -I was lucky and saw dolphins today at Jack Block Park in Elliot Bay!I could not tell if they were common dolphins or the recently reported bottlenose (yes bottlenose), but there were 2 swimming together. It looked like they were hunting as they stayed in a pretty small area between Salty's restaurant and Jack Block's Pier, circling. Unfortunately, I only got one picture before the battery in my phone died, and it is not very good, but here it is: -Annika Bowden
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10:39 a.m. - Watching 2 bottlenose dolphins milling/feeding around east Harbor Island in Elliot Bay last 20mins. Myself and other WSF PSO's are keeping track for Colman Dock Project. -Kelsey Sandoval
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9:58 a.m - 2-3 Dolphins off the Seattle waterfront, headed south. Potentially common dolphin, look a too small for Bottlenose. (confirmed Bottlenose). -Troy Hightower
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Unidentified cetaceans - November 10 - Deception Pass - At 2:25 pm Steve Rothboeck reported seeing at least one whale breach and spout while he was driving over Deception Pass Bridge! The whale(s) was about 100 yards west of the bridge.

November 9

They were in family groups foraging all directions. At 1:00 general trend south. The most northern group at S Kingston was foraging all directions trending N. 2 hours earlier the leaders passed us trending S with foraging.
12:30 p.m. - Spread out from West Point, Discovery Park (North Seattle) to Kingston mid to west of channel. 20 some whales open patches. L84 Nyssa....-Bethany Ryals
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12:32 p.m. -Chris of WSF reporting 20-30 orcas right off Apple Tree Cove among a couple of purse seiners. -Carey Kirkland
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12:37 a.m - Looks line 3 to 5 Orcas heading north towards Apple tree point.
11:55 a.m. - two Orcas spotted in front of Apple tree cove Kingston closer to kitsap side. Possibly heading north bound now
11:12 a.m - Two orcas Just passing channel marker (mid channel) adjacent to Appletree cove. Fog rolling in... no longer can see
10:46 a.m. - three just passed mid channel marker front of Kingston ferry terminal. Now see two or three mid Chanel in front of point wells heading south
10:14 a.m - one large and two smaller Orcas just spotted between Apple point and Apple cove heading south. -Darlene Moneypenny
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11:00 a.m. - several have flipped just south of Kingston/Point Wells west of mid channel now northbound. They may be foraging. Lots of purse seiners and some leaping salmon. From Kayu Kayu Ac Park, North Richmond Beach
10:38 a.m. - at least 4 (incl 2 males) widely spread in 1s, approx 1 mile south of Jefferson PT/south Richmond Beach, mid channel steady southbound. Seas are perfectly calm but rain makes for poor visibility. From Eichmond Beach Saltwater Park
10:20 a.m. - 4 th large male off Apple Cove Point. These are some very spread whales seen traveling just in 1s so far.
10:15 a.m - A lot of orcas spread. Original male below, female off same place about 5 minutes behind, and now another bull who just passed Kingston Ferry dock more mid channel, just west of. Another female and 3rd male west side of channel approaching out from Kingston dock.
10:00 a.m. - I see at least 1 male off south end Apple Cove pt steady southbound. Glassy calm seas Kingston north. But squall coming in from south. -Alisa Lemire Brooks
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9:30 a.m. - several orcas heading south in the shipping lanes between Edmonds and Apple Cove Point. -Sherman Page
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9:11 a.m - Passing mid channel by Point Wells. Group spread out moving slowly south bound. -Darlene Moneypenny
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8:55 a.m. - Large male headed south off south Possession now. -Toby Black
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Chris of WSF reported Orcas heading south as they left Edmonds at 0850. -Realyed by Carey Kirkland
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8:40 a.m. - Seeing orca's off the clipper southbound off Edmonds in the northbound traffic lane. -Jason Mihok
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Victoria Clipper found them at 8:39, southbound in the traffic lanes off Edmonds."Large group, widely spaced." -Stephanie Raymond
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7:45 a.m. - Kim Paige reports seeing two orcas, one male and one female, heading south between Eglon and Pilot Point.
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Unidentified killer whales - November 9 - 11:15 a.m - Shari Devlin at the Langley Whale Center reports seeing five orcas spread out between Whale Bell Park in Langley to Camano Island, mostly milling and tail-lobbing, but not traveling much. (No ID's on this group but very likely the T137s who were in on the 8th and the 10th - ALB)
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Reports from Kari Williamson, monitor for NW Environmental Consultants working for WS Ferries, this morning at 11AM that 3 orcas, including one adult male, were at one point 100 yds from the Langley marina and now across toward the south end of Camano Isl. No photos.
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November 9 - 12:30 p.m. - Just saw these guys off of Luna park! -Laura Bogaard
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9:50 a.m. - The pair of bottlenose dolphins is hanging out off West Seattle again this morning...just spotted off Me Kwa Mooks Park, southbound, and another watcher said they have been circling there for a while. (I got a good look at their beaks through binos, they were raising them out of the water as they surfaced. Solid grey, no eye stripe.) -Stephanie Raymond
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8:50 a.m.- As I was leaving Me Kwa Mooks a pedestrian told me his wife had called him fifteen minutes prior claiming "the same whales that were by Lincoln Park yesterday" had just passed by heading north. I tend to believe it was more likely the dolphins I'd been watching for 40 minutes, but thought I'd share anyway.
8:30 a.m. -I have been watching two dolphins milling and apparently feeding around the white floats at the south end of Me Kwa Mooks Park in West Seattle for about half an hour. I believe these are commons and not bottlenose. Sorry, the camera on my phone is inoperable. (I did not get a real look at beaks at all. I thought I saw an eye stripe but was having a very difficult time assessing coloration. Early morning sun was reflecting gold for sure, and may very well have been responsible for the "eye stripes" I thought I saw. Dorsals seemed less commanding than that of the single bottlenose I saw in same area a few weeks ago.) -Jason Lee Bell

November 8

It's been a while and I still have a ton of catching up to do with photo editing and posting, but here are some shots from today's orca encounters on the Chilkat Express! We met up with K Pod and the L54s all traveling together in a resting line just south of Seattle! So amazing to see so many whales in the same spot! We also saw a spyhop from K16 Opus early in the encounter just as they all grouped up and began their afternoon nap....From my photos, I was able to ID all extant members of K Pod, including K27 and K44 who I did not notice while we were on scene. -Justine Buckmaster, Chilkat Express
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A friend of mine works on one of the Seattle ferries, today she captured "K" pod down by Seattle. Here are her photos with permission to share them to you guys. Matriarch K12 Sequim. K12's 16-year-old son K33 Tika (right side). K33 Tika's left side. K21 Cappuccino (Sole survivor of the K18 matriline. Associates with the K16's - CWR). -Sent by Sandy Thompson Watne
(ID by Melisa Pinnow, Center for Whale Research)
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We received a call from a gentleman onboard the 4:35 pm Bainbridge Island to Seattle ferry - they saw 3 orcas including 1 adult male, off the Starboard side of the ferry north of Alki heading west at about 4:45 pm. They saw the poster on the ferry to call and report whale sightings - thank you Washington State Ferries and your observant whale watching passengers!
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SRKW, about 8 headed north from Alki about 3:45 this afternoon. Project at Seattle ferry terminal shutdown. We quit for the day at 4:30. They were still in shutdown area headed NW at that time. -Burt Miller, WSF
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3:49 p.m. - Northbound now north of Alki lighthouse at 3:49pm - Pod of six with large alpha in rear. -Jim McDermott
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3:40 p.m. - Going past Constellation drive on Alki Point now. -Linda JRusch
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3:00 p.m. - 12 or so Orca headed north 1/2 mile offshore of 5400 block of Beach Dr SW. At first sleeping, travelling slowly together. Then dispersing, spyhopping, taillobbing. -Joshua Benoliel
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2:54 p.m. - spyhopoff Me Kwa Mooks! -Jason Lee Bell
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Orcas in Puget Sound, seen from Lincoln Park in West Seattle. -Video by Ben Maund, November 8, 2017
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2:37 p.m. - Just passing Lincoln Park north end now. Still slowing heading north. -Dave Buchart
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2:00 p.m. - I'm across the road from ferry terminal. Definitely northbound, definitely east of midchannel now. Nearly to ferry terminal. 1:53 p.m. - I'm leaving Fauntleroy ferry terminal, looks like foraging behavior just east of midchannel. Chilkat left but NOAA research boat is joining them. -Jason Lee Bell
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1:43 p.m. - They have turned and are heading north, not moving very quickly, maybe foraging. The tour boat just left them. Still always south of the Vashon ferrry dock.
1:15 p.m. - Seeing many whales from Fauntleroy (they are close to Vashon), ten at least with 3 tall dorsals. They are in a tight group heading south at a good clip, with a tour boat following. -Jennifer Hammer, ON/WSN volunteer
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Around 12:20pm got on scene to find a very large group of tightly bundled up orcas just west of mid channel between Blake and Vashon Islands heading south. To the south could see a few orcas heading northwest bound towards the larger group. They soon tucked in with the others creating one beautiful large group. This powerful mass of lovely beings continued steady southbound in resting mode (save for with one spyhop, an inverted roll and occasional slight tail slap). By 12:55 they were south of the Fauntleroy/Vashon ferry lanes, by now had moved over to mid channel, trending even further east still heading southbound. By 1:25pm they they had made it as far as Brace Point where K21 then veered towards mid channel as he went under, others followed. On their next surface at 1:26 they surfaced going in the opposite direction, now all heading northbound a little spread out, but soon regrouped and for several minutes made little to no progress while logging. Last saw them about 1:40pm off Brace Point slowly heading north. All of K pod with the L54s, L84 & L88 in resting.Inexpressible...(Thanks to Justine Buckmaster for ID'ing K pod and the L54s).-Alisa Lemire Brooks
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Watching them now at 1250 of the Vashon/Fauntleroy 1245 run. Quite a few of them. Southbound. I think I counted 8. -Felicia Saathoff
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12:45 p.m. - Jeff Hogan reports at least 15 orcas seen from Lincoln Park, West Seattle, traveling south mid-channel between West Seattle and Vashon Isl.
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12:00 p.m. - Watched large group from south of Bainbridge Island heading south toward Vashon. 3 males. Maybe 10 others. -Linda J Rusch
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11:52 a.m - Southbound big group just south military ships between Bainbridge and Blake. We're at Lincoln Park pool. -Laura Bydalek Adams
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11:45 a.m -A party of five more, west end of channel, between Blake and Bainbridge.
11:35 a.m. -Spotted a male with either a juvenile or female, on the west side of the channel in front of Bremerton (Manchester), slowly traveling south towards Blake Island. Possible followers. -Pia VanHanen
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11:52 a.m - from my vantage point at Me Kwa Mooks at least one male appears to have reached ferry lanes (Vashon/Fauntleroy), may be closer to mid channel. Line of sight to the left of the Vashon ferry terminal anyway.
11:30 a.m. - Viewing Me Kwa Mooks. Appears to be two leaders including male line of sight to Southworth. Maybe a half dozen more following southbound line of sight to mid Blake Island. -Jason Lee Bell
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11:51 a.m. - 7-8 more in trailing group just passed Tillicum Village.
11:40 a.m. - Large male in lead just passed Tillicum Village (Blake Island). Southbound.
11:25 a.m. - Large leader has significant bend in tip of dorsal. They are very far west so make what you can of photo. Still milling and slow trending SB.
11:03 a.m. - One group still at end of Bainbridge Southbound, west in channel. Saw 5 fins including large male. Watching from Lowman Beach. -Kersti Muul
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11:00 a.m. - Approx 15+ whales. Many males. Seem to be resting, slowly coming up for breaths, many at a time. Gorgeous and peaceful sight. They are west of Alki. Watching from Rockaway Beach on Bainbridge. -Kimberly Sylvester-Malzahn
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11:01 a.m. - now I'm seeing more, spread out between Blake and Bainbridge.
10:45 a.m. - Seeing 2 southbound orcas, one adult male, passing south end of Bainbridge Is. From south of Alki Point. -Stephanie Raymond
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10:35 a.m. - Tight pod of 8-10 line-of-sight to Port Blakely steady southbound on west side of channel. I'm viewing from north side of Alki.
10:27 a.m. - near Port Blakely, Bainbridge Island.
10:20 a.m. - Viewing from north side of Alki Beach, whales between Bremerton and Bainbridge ferry runs still southbound west side of channel. -Jason Lee Bell
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Orcas near Bainbridge, sighted from ferry at 10 AM 10/8/17. Perhaps 6 orcas. -Mary Tiffany
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10:00 a.m. - Orcas off Eagle Harbor looks like they are traveling south. (from ferry). -Kyle Arbour
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9:56 a.m.- Mike at WSF reports 8 orcas heading south at Tyee Shoals on the Bainbridge to Seattle run.
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9:45 a.m. - Found them. Between Eagle Harbor and Restoration Point, Bainbridge, west of mid channel. Some foraging behavior, but primairly southbound travel. At least 8-10 in two groups including at least 3 adult males. I would guess residents. Viewing from Magnolia Bluff. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
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Carey Kirkland relayed a report from Chris who works for WS ferries:"spotted orcas heading south off of Edmonds on our 0625 out of Kingston. There were 6-8. They were all small from what I could see (in response to if any adult males). Lot's of dorsal fins"
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November 8 - We were so lucky today! Not only did we get to see the majesty of Southern Resident Killer Whales in a resting line, we also witnessed and exciting high speed chase/hunt by Transient Killer Whales! These are the T137s and we were treated to a BIG spyhop and a couple of tail lobs from bull T137A! -Justine Buckmaster, Chilkat Express, November 8, 2017
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3:20 p.m. -T137 and her 2 youngest north side of Apple Cove Pt. Her adult son T137A has now moved over to the west of them and is traveling behind and more inshore on the Kitsap side still steady southbound. Soon they'll be in acoustic range of the residents
3:00 p.m. -look like chasing something. T137, T137B, T137D Currently west of mid channel out from Eglon heading directionally towards Apple Cove PT, Kingston. T137A is to the east and ahead of them, as if they are coralling some cetacean. They have been cruising at fast pace.
2:48 p.m. - this is T137s and look to be on or done with a kill. 2-3 miles south of Possession Point. spyhop, tail lobs, circling, chasing. But hauling southbound fast.
2:25 p.m. - From Possession Point spotted the pod south of us maybe 1-2 miles. Heading that way for better look and hopefully get IDs. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
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12 noon - WSF monitors just saw three orcas between the Mukilteo lighthouse and Hat Island, so just north of the ferry lane, heading north off Everett. They saw one adult male and one that looked small.
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11:59 a.m. - Orca just north of ferry, Mukilteo side. 4- 5 whales (1 male), very active with tail slaps.Too distant to identify. No binoculars or camera.I watched these guys from the NOAA building in Mukilteo, they had turned southbound and crossed the ferry line, then I lost sight of them. -Jill Hein
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November 8 - Watching from South side of TTP (Three Tree Point, Burien) and watching a large group of dolphins just off the point heading north but lingering off the point. -Kim Baumgartner November 8 - Not sure if anyone else saw a small pod of Orcas around 2 pm-ish in Elliot Bay immediately south of the ferry terminal, and very close to shore/piers - I was heading northbound on the viaduct when I saw them - not sure how I didn't wreck - I assume they were T's - saw 3 to 4 fins and a couple tail slaps and several gulls flying overhead that looked ready to share in the late lunch. -Tony Bahnik
(WSF monitors for the Coleman dock project did not see any orcas or dolphins in Elliot Bay at this time. They did have sea lions feasting on salmon - ALB)

November 7

10:00 a.m. - A pod of orcas, looks like transients, off the east coast of Decatur Island, heading south down Rosario Strait. Several Breaches and tail flaps. Quite a sight for all the people on the ferry. 10 a.m. on Tuesday November 7th. Well I saw them from the ferry.I didn't get any pics and they were pretty far in the distance but they were heading south just in front of James Island east of Decataur. I got a somewhat reasonably good look at two males hanging close together and noticed their dorsal fins were very pointed, more like transients. I then saw females and calves in the distance cavorting around....I saw about 10 orcas at various times....hat is probably about the best estimate of numbers I can give (plus or minus 2-3)...That is about all I can say. I wanted to send it off to you right away so that whale watching boats might have a chance to encounter them. Did anyone go check them out? I'd be curious at what anyone found out about them. -Mariann Carrasco
(Ls were up north the day before and found in Juan de Fuca later this day. K pod showed up in Puget Sound the next morning, Nov 8th. No pods of Bigg's this size were documented around the San Juans - ALB)
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Mike from WSFs called in a report of 2 orcas southbound in Rosario Strait, N of James Island at 9:55 am.
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November 7 - 7:58 a.m. - So, on the Bremerton ferry now, and saw something I hadn't seen before (between commuting via ferry and my passion for boating, I've seen ALOT out here!) Just looked out (that little bay on the north side of rich passage just after the east entrance) to see 3 dolphins leaping in unison. That's a first...They leapt together probably 5 times like that. All the same distance apart and synchronized....Anyway, I remember reading on this page over the summer there were reports of a sighting of southern dolphins in Puget Sound. Perhaps these were them? -Rhonda RaderJungquist
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Coastal killer whales - November 7 - Dave Blair called after seeing a poster with this # on a pole, to report seeing 3 orcas yesterday, Nov. 7, on the north end of Depot Bay OR, milling about 150 yds off the shore for an hour from 3 to 4 PM. One was "much bigger" than the others.

November 6

16:50 on Nov 6 two orcas visible ~1500m from Lighthouse Pt., Alki, from Seattle-bound Bainbridge Ferry. Dorsal visible for ~20 seconds, then dove. PSO for Coleman Docks project reporting. -K.M. English
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4:50 p.m. - all now mid channel foraging north of Seattle/Bremerton run westbound lanes and south of Bainbridge/Seattle run eastbound lanes (folks on that run just got a look). Consistent directional changes while loosely spread. Some lazy tail slaps. Puget Sound waters glassy calm.
4:26 p.m. - one male is drifting SE bound towards mid channel, other male and family is closer to Bainbridge out from north of Restoration Point. All foraging many directional changes. All Still west side of channel. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
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4:23 p.m - orcas trending north toward Eliot Bay off Alki/ West Seattle. Watching from Rockaway on BI. -Sue Larkin
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4:00 pm - see fins, blows and someone breaching off Restoration Point, south end Bainbridge. Viewing from Magnolia Bluff. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
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3:36 p.m. - still watching from Constellation Point, slooooowly making their way towards Bainbridge, far west in channel. -Kersti Muul
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Was on the 3 pm from Bremerton too! Got to see them at a distance. They were very close to a small boat. -Patty Troup
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2:51 p.m. - L84 & L88 passing West Seattle.-Photo by Andrea Leigh, November 8, 2017
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2:31 p.m. - I can still see the NOAA boat and the two L Pod members all across the channel, near the Bremerton shoreline. -Pia VanHanen
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2:15 p.m. - see them (3-4 orcas in Blake group) from Lowman, heading North along Blake Island. No sign of Fauntleroy Orcas from here. -Trileigh Tucker
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2:00 p.m. - Foraging along the way but now close to north end of Blake island. I see them from South Lincoln Park, heading north bound. Research vessel is following. -Sonja Yates Seymour
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1:40 p.m. - Watching from Lowman Beach. Visible, but on west side of channel. Still Northbound.-Kersti Muul
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Maia at WA State Ferries called at 1:23 pm to report 3 - 4 orcas off Fauntleroy, near Brace Pt. heading north.
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1:08 p.m. - 5 mid channel between Fauntleroy and Vashon ferry line, Northbound. -Andrea Leigh
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12:42 p.m. - Update: confirmed residents from Kelly Keenan's photos: males L84 & L88 (they associate and travel with the L54s so presumably they are here too)confirmed by Melisa Pinnow, CWR. -Photo by Kelly Keenan, November 6, 2017
12:15 p.m. - I think I saw at least 6, maybe more. Definitely 2 males and a baby. They are still heading north, approaching Fauntleroy ferry. On Seattle Side.
11:44 a.m. - Heading North again.
11:37 a.m. -Seem to be foraging back and forth south of Three Tree Point, Burien.
11:30 a.m. - At least 6, including 2 males, all together. Southbound approaching Three Tree Point, Burien.-Kelly Keenan
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Amy Carey relayed report from Aimee Demarest 11:14 am two orcas off Dilworth, Vashon.
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7:29 a.m. - Reports of orcas off Vashon Passenger only boat, which was near Alki. Not much details on numbers- one person saw two fins, separated reported a male. 2nd hand report relayed by Amy Carey
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7:20 a.m. - This morning I saw at least 3 orca off Alki headed south at 7:20. There may have been more, but I was on the passenger only ferry headed from Vashon to Seattle. Any reports if these were SRKW or transients? -Burt Miller WSF/Assistant Environmental Manager
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November 6 - Bigg's/Transient T2C3 (born 2011), Plumper Sound (between Saturna & the Pender Islands). -Photo by Jim Maya, November 6, 2017
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November 6 - Just saw a few orcas. Time: 1250. Location: Bellingham Bay -N 48degrees 39.462' / W 122 degrees 33.789'. Seem to be headed north. -Debbie Ruttenberg

November 5



November 4

2:25 p.m. - 2 bottlenose dolphins - west entrance of Hale Passage, pretty neat. Wondering if that's what the Orca reports were, us and Chilkat haven't been able to acquire any orcas in Carr.I actually thought myself it was two young Orca on the first surfacing, easy to see how others may have been mistaken as well. -Captain Tyler Mckeen, Island Explorer 3

November 3



November 2

Southern Residents- 7:03 p.m. - moment of quiet after a lot of vocalizing by all.
6:33 p .m. - after quiet time, burst of L pod calls. Followed by about 25 minutes of continuous variety of calls by Js, Ks, and Ls that has been all too absent this year. A lot of Ks calls (S16, S17), many S1 calls, more S37s and some S40s?
6:24 some coming closer again.
6:21 p.m. - faint distant calls;
6:13 p.m. - distant percussive, vocals quieted for a few, now some medium loud calls.
6:08 p.m. - Loud percussive, sounded like breach, followed by 2 slight then another larger slap. A lot of vocalizations!
6:04 p.m. - wide variety of calls including what sound like S36s and S37s.
5:58 p.m. - vocals still very audible. Ks.
5:55 p.m. - series of percussives...breaches?
5:42 - 5:47 p.m. - S1, distant K pod calls, clicks. Maybe some S40 calls?
5:30 p.m. -Been listening to J pod at least (possibly others) for about 10 minutes on Lime Kiln hydrophone. Nice calls and what sounds like some breaches. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
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This comment posted 1819- Lots of percussives were still visible when it got too dark to see dorsals...I was wondering if they're finally having a superpod. Even though it was hard to see what all was going on it just had the aura of a superpod, with all the crazy splashing in every direction. At one point there was a triple breach - too bad it was 4-5 miles away!
1750 - They are all SB now. I've seen at least 25 whales but I'm sure there are more - poor vis with white caps and rain.
1745 - Far off ones were going north, now some maybe a mile out going south.
1738 - The only ones I see are at least a couple miles offshore.
1730 - Just got to Land Bank they are breaching like crazy offshore. They're also doing lots of weird surface activity making huge splashes with their tails, it's very bizarre
1708 - Sounding more like regular Js now, and getting a little louder. Actually sounded like Js and Ks.
1707 - they do sound bizarre! -Monika
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6:09 p.m. - The whales are a good distance from shore, maybe 4 miles...slowly going up, at the moment. I am hearing calls of all three pods, but they are too far offshore to know exactly who and now it's too dark. Lots of K (kitten) call but the L54s make that call too. Hearing also the L pod Up-Tick (S19) and lots of J calls too. Fun to think that maybe they are all here... Jeanne
4:32 p.m.- J Pod Lime Kiln now! -Jeanne Hyde
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Calls on Lime Kiln hydrophone 4:32PM. -Jack Collins

November 1

J46 Star and J40 Suttles off Bush Point, J36 Alki - Bush Point, Whidbey Island. Whidbey Island. -Photo by Howard Garrett, November 1, 2017
(ID by Melisa Pinnow, Center for Whale Research)
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J35 Tahlequah - what does she see...Photo from shore, Bush Point, Whidbey Islandby Richard Snowberger, November 1, 2017
(ID by Melisa Pinnow, Center for Whale Research)
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November 1 - Puget Sound/Admiralty Inlet - Day report: Fascinating pass yesterday, Nov. 1, by members of J pod were taken from Vista Way, Whidbey Is. from 11:33 to 12:28 then from the lighthouse at Bush Pt. from 12:37 to 1:08. I think I got the leaders heading north up Admiralty Inlet in the first shots, and the last ones were passing Bush Pt. at the end. The leaders were acting normal, very spread out with little surface action until 11:37. I thought they had all passed so I came back home to get the car to head to Bush Pt. when Susan saw the rowdy group through the bigeyes coming up slowly, close to shore. I went back out to the bluff and shot at less than a mile range from 11:50 to 12:28.Arrived at Bush Pt. at 12:37 where Dick Snowberger and Sandra Pollard had been for a while with the rowdy group approaching 1/2 mile south and less than 1/4 mile from shore in a tide rip. The closeups of intense group surface activity continued until 12:44 when the rowdy group disappeared and drifted westward and even south before trending back northward. At that point out past mid-channelabout 5-6 of them started logging for several minutes. At least a couple of others were breaching way across beyond the south end of Marrowstone. J27 south of Bush Point. Whatever was going on with the intense tactile socializing remains a mystery. -Howard Garrett, Orca Network
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Being fortunate in seeing members of the Southern Resident community tends to be a bitter-sweet experience knowing the continuing challenges they face. Living on Whidbey Island we were fortunate to enjoy a mesmerizing encounter with some of J-pod breathtakingly close to shore today and witnessed a range of social and tactile behaviors, including one 'surf whale' taking full advantage of a tanker's wake. The whales seemed to be in no hurry to exit Admiralty Inlet, often just logging at the surface and milling. After their prolonged absence this summer, it was a privilege to have them back again in Puget Sound. All the photos (below by Richard Snowberger) were taken from Bush Point early afternoon (between approx. noon and 1:00).
J pod cuddle w/J35 just right of center (visible saddle patch). J35 Tahlequah breaches off Bush Point.J39 Mako (born 2003) & J47 Notch (born 2010). J36 Alki (who sadly lost her young son J52 Sonic mid-September) travels alongside her younger sister J42 Echo (on right w/visible saddle). -Sandy Pollard & Richard Snowberger
(ID by Melisa Pinnow, Center for Whale Research)
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4:35 p.m. - Starting to hear calls on Port Townsend hydrophone. -Susan Marie Andersson
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4:30 p.m. - 3 or 4 more, south of Pt Townsend, slowly going north....too far for ids or pics, but yeah! I had a nice look at the leading group, even came a bit closer to Whidbey so I could see their saddle patches, but no id. Got too cold and dark....and there were one or two more behind
4:16 p.m. - At Ft Casey, see one male so far, mid channel, a few small boats, just south of Pt Townsend. -Bonnie Gretz
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3:48 p.m. - more (4 or more) passing Lagoon Point northbound.
3:21 p.m. - Saw whale from my house on Smugglers Cove Road (Lagoon Point) northbound. -Patricia Prochaska
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1:30 p.m. - some still passing Bush Point, 25-30 total. Very strange socializing by one group.(That trailing rowdy group that kept writhing around on each other and breaching and spyhopping close to shore right up to Bush Pt. then drifting off the west and even back south, then logging all together for maybe five minutes, while all the rest except those breachers across on the Olympic side just kept plodding north). Howard Garrett, Orca Network
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12:52 p.m. - Jan Bell reported 6 orcas off Bush Pt, mid-channel splashing and heading N in Admiralty Inlet
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12:10 p.m. - Orcas mid channel Admiralty Inlet, about 2 miles south of Bush Point, heading slowly North.-Mike Meyer
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11:55 a.m. -Karen Anderson called to report seeing the orcas from Windmill Heights, off N Mutiny Bay heading north in two small groups.
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12:04 p.m. - Very difficult to determine what's going on! lots of spyhop, taillobs, upside down and sideways swimming, direction changes, all in one very tight, tactile group. Howard and hopefully others are getting photos, so hope to have IDs soon. they are close to the Whidbey side, staying in same area just north of Mutiny bay.
11:45 a.m. - they are 1 mile south of Bush Pt. A tight pod of 5 or 6 has been hunting something for the last 15 minutes, behavior and fins look more like possible Transients, but unable to see the prey or saddle patches yet. -Susan Berta, Orca Network
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11.30 a.m -Seeing whales heading north from Mutiny Sands mid channel. -Sandra Pollard
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11:25 a.m. - Got em, male dorsals, north end of Mutiny Bay heading north mid-channel. -Howard Garrett, Orca Network
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8:51 a.m. - Large pod by mid channel yellow buoy marker near Point No Point headed north (up Admiralty Inlet). They were really spread out...there had to be at least 8. -Whitney Gabrielle

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