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Sightings

100912AdmiraltyHG©Howard Garrett

Recent whale sightings in the Salish Sea

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

Sightings Summaries Archives

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

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

Summarized Sightings map HERE

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Click HERE for the most recent whale sightings report.

February 7

This afternoon at 3:30 I saw two orcas (a male and a female) off the Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet. Frustratingly, despite scanning for half an hour, they only surfaced ONCE! -Monika Wieland

February 6

Saw one [orca] breaching and moving slowly at 11:30 pm Saturday night. About 100 yards from the shore in Yukon harbour and west of Blake island. Snuck up on us while we were having a fire near the beach! Neighbors on both sides of us called us after they saw it too. Large dorsal was clearly visible. -Sam Wempe

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4:30 p.m. - Watching a pod of orcas in Saratoga Passage today = happy! There seemed to be four whales (one big one, two medium sized and a smaller one). They hung out in the area between Greenbank and Penn Cove for a couple of hours, seemed to be fishing. We last saw them heading south quickly around 4:30pm. The water was totally smooth so we had great viewing! -Fran Farley Kendall

February 5

1420 - by Duwamish Head marker. -Adella Mae Boyar

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1417 - they are in Elliot bay near the ferry terminal! -Alicia Toney

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3:00 p.m. - Orca whale sighting off of the Fauntleroy ferry dock. Four orca traveling southbound in a determined manner. -John Rogstad WSF

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3:00 p.m. - Pod of orcas in Elliott Bay today. Heading north from the grain elevator about 200 yards from shore. -Shelly Richer Edwards

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2:30 p.m. - Bainbridge to Seattle ferry. -Katie Flynn

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2:11 p.m. - 4 orcas in Elliott Bay right now on the south side of the bay, a couple hundred yards east of the floating barge. -Joey Duwe

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1:53 p.m. - 4 orcas in Elliot Bay right now!!! (Office says, two are babies?!) -Colleen McDevitt

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1:45 p.m. - DJ Mar at Eco-Elements near Pike Place Mkt reports customers just saw four orcas only 100 yds from the ferris wheel, next to the Seattle Aquarium, in Elliot Bay, breaching, etc.

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1:30 p.m. - a friend of mine reported seeing 5 or so orcas off Alki. She was on the BI ferry east bound, orcas were west bound. I'm looking from Rockaway, but not seeing them. -Susan Marie Andersson

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12:25 p.m. -An orca spyhops near Discovery Park. I saw them...in the bay south of Discovery light, followed by small red boat which has now headed north. There were at least 7 in the pod that passed by the South Bluff Trail. -Steve Smith

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Noon hour- While walking Discovery Park myself and several others saw a good sized pod (at least 6)with babies halfway between Discovery Park and Bainbridge Island in the Sound. They seemed to be playing and feeding, active then quiet as a whale watching boat came nearer. They resumed play and then circled a speed boat, surrounding it, jumping, and spouting. -Adrienne Villa-Stanley

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12:05 p.m. - Just spotted a pod of orcas of the Discovery park south bluff trail, Heading south. 500m from shore. South of the lighthouse. Traveling fast when we last saw... An Argosy cruise ship was heading towards them. -Pwint Htun

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1030 - Faye Bainbridge S. Medium travel...coast guard boat behind them. -Bethany Ryals

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10:55 a.m. - I gotta go. Last seen transect Golden Gardens/Shilshole and Faye Bainbridge park...still southbound steady clip east of mid channel.
10:40 a.m. - they are haulin. Now approaching Golden Gardens/Shilshole. I cannot keep up.
10:15 a.m. - they are powering along southbound. Carkeek would be next..soon. They are just east of mid channel in choppy seas.
10:00 a.m. - quick glimpse too far for IDs..they are out from Richmond beach transect approaching Jefferson Head, Indianola. Southbound good clip. Adult male in group. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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9:12 a.m. - line of sight to the Pod is between north Edmonds and north of Kingston.
9:04 a.m. - looks to be a baby with this Pod...Definitely a small one and unique the way it surfaces.
8:53 a.m. - looks more like 5 or 6 orcas.. Still heading south, still just north of Edmonds / Kingston ferry route.
8:47 a.m. - several + orcas closest to Edmonds side.. Just north of Edmonds / Kingston ferry run. They are heading south at a quick pace!! -Stu Davidson

February 4

3:30 - 5:30 PM. - Juan de Fuca - Orca Pod hunting sea lion east of Sequim - A pod of five orcas was hunting a sea lion at Diamond Point. This family had two full grown adults and three smaller juveniles. They seemed to be teaching the little ones to hunt. The whole grouping slowly drifted west from Diamond Point to Thompson Spit from The sea lion seemed to escape into the shallow waters and the orcas didn't follow it onshore into the shelf area. It got dark, so we don't know if the sea lion finally escaped or not. They were hunting a large sea lion. Breaching, heading, spy hopping, and pouncing. They hunt like cats! -Megan Black

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5:09 p.m. - They have now past Camano State Park still heading north......seemed to me like 3 females and one baby. (Notes by Melisa Pinnow, Center for Whale Research: These ones are probably the T100Bs and T124A1 . They were up at San Juan on Jan 29th.) -Marilyn Arbruster

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3:58 p.m. - Pod of 4, traveling steadily northbound up Saratoga Passage mid channel - Camano State Park in background. Passing in front of Dog House, downtown Langely, Whidbey Island - now mid channel. -Marilyn Armbruster
3:50 p.m. - They have just passed marina and just this side of Langley east. They are moving somewhat slow...at a leisurely pace.
3:35 p.m. - Sitting above Langley Marina...here they come at Sandy Point just east of Langley, saw one blow. Four Bigg's (Transient) killer whales traveling northbound in Saratoga Passage, passing the seaside town of Langley, Whidbey Island, home of our Langley Whale Center. -Marilyn Armbruster. -Marilyn Armbruster

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2:43 p.m. - 4 orcas near the Clinton ferry terminal on Whidbey. Just saw them on the crossing. initially headed west. Can't tell if they were going north into Saratoga Passage or south into Possession Sound...First had them right in front of the boat headed west when we were mid channel. then they went under and found them again just out from the Whidbey dock. ...on the way home the ferry captain announced orcas just off the bow. We had a super close and headed straight on pop up within about 5 feet of the stopped ferry then they dove under and didn't come back up. -Amy Carey

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Gray whale also reported by the WS Ferries at 4:15 outside Eagle Harbor, headed west.

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4:15 p.m. - Gray whale seen from Bainbridge ferry at mouth of Eagle Harbor, near ferry marker bouys south end. -Daniel Lipinski

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One of the monitors spotted a Gray Whale between Vashon and Fauntleroy at 12:55 today. It was closer to Fauntleroy. It surfaced twice and showed it's fluke before diving. We have completed pile driving for the day. No pile driving is planned tomorrow or this weekend. -Burt Miller, WSF

February 3



February 2



February 1

T101's east bound off of Victoria. -Mark Malleson

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Had to google it to ID it. Fin whale spotted off Duwamish Head, Elliott Bay, about 2:30 p.m. Moving very slowly, gradually headed north. Someone in a row boat (!) was standing up taking pictures. Hope someone sent one to you. I saw a huge back, what I thought was a back. Rounded and gray. At first I thought it was a humpback, and that's what I was googling for today. What threw me was that 'in front' it had a sharp dark 'thing' stick out, so at first I thought it was a gigantic sea lion. Then I realized that I didn't know what it was, but it was large enough to be a whale, just one I hadn't seen before. When I saw the picture online of the fin whale in September that's when I knew what it was. I saw nothing else. Slowly moving north. -Robyn Fritz

January 31

9:43 a.m. - Unidentified whale - Just noted spray and tail north of Johnson Point, Case Inlet, southeast of Harstine Island, southwest of Key Peninsula, heading west....too far away and mostly spray. Hump was dark and we did see a tail once. -Tina Davis

January 30



January 29



January 28



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January 25

About 3:00pm. Saw two maybe three orcas south Camano Island west side. Second time I have seen orcas first time in my kayak. They where traveling south then came in close to shore maybe looking for something to eat. Picture was taken with a point and shoot water proof camera, south end of Camano Island west side just off shore of Wilkes Gary Hts Road. It is about a half mile up from the south tip of the Island. -Andrew Dillon

January 24



January 23

I want to report what I think was a fin whale sighting. I've done a lot of research and cannot find that it would be anything other than the fin whale. The color, length and serpentine-like shape tic all the boxes for a fin whale. It was sighted by the lighthouse on Vashon Island (Point Robinson) last weekend. Feeding and traveling. My friend and I saw the whale, light brown or light grey in color, long and serpentine in appearance, maybe 30 to 35 feet in length, and solitary. The length is a rough estimate of course. It came up a couple of times for air as it slithered along almost snake like, blowing spray from his (or her) blow hole, and then came up a third time and dove deeper, as its body rose up with greater undulation and disappeared. Maybe feeding? We didn't see it after that. -Celia Reno
My name is Tom. I am a friend of Celia's and I was with her when we sighted the whale from the eastside of Vashon Island. He was about 200 yards off shore. I've seen sea lions before and harbor seals, especially when I was living in Everett. I had a kayak and I would see them down by the Everett Waterfront. I know what we saw on the 23rd was nothing like those mammals. I've also seen Orcas in Puget Sound and Grey Whales and the whale we saw was different. This one was longer and its body undulated as it swam along. I saw it take a couple of breaths from his blow hole on top of his head and the spray, judging from distance, was about 7 to 8 feet high. He dove deeper after seemingly filling his lungs, and when he did dive below the undulations of his body (there were 2 or 3 bumps breaching the water) compressed more tightly so that I could see air between his body and the top of the water. If he had a dorsal fin it was smaller, certainly not the size of an Orca's dorsal fin. I don't recall seeing his fluke come out of the water when he disappeared. If it did it wasn't very dramatic. I just remember that he seemed long, almost snake like, and his coloring was light brown to grey. Hope this helps! -Tom Hodie

January 22

10:00 a.m. - 3-6 [Bigg's/Transient] orcas (including 1-2 adult males) traveling off Stuart Island, from west entrance of Spieden Channel up Haro about 500m from shore of Stuart, west side of Stuart, heading north. One younger/smaller with medium size females. Maybe 1 male? seems that one of the whales's dorsal fin consistently curved/fell to left side? -Dave McGraw
(Howard spoke with Center for Whale Research staff who relayed Jeanne Hyde heard calls earlier on the OrcaSound hydrophone. Logged as Transient calls - ALB)

January 21

Update on satellite tagged Southern Resident killer whale K33 from Dr. Brad Hanson: 21 January Update - As of 19 January K33 (and likely the rest of K pod) had just passed Heceta Head on the central Oregon coast. They continued traveling north such that by the morning of the 20th they were off Tillamook Head. By the afternoon of the 20th they were off Willapa Bay where they turned back south and were again off Tillamook Head this morning (21 January). -Brad Hanson, NOAA-NWFS, NOAA-NWFS 2016 Southern Resident killer whale satellite tagging blog

January 20

3:00 p.m. - They are further north now than I can see. I would think at least up around Kingston if they continued to head in that direction.
1:30 p.m. - two humpbacks west of mid channel northbound between Point Jefferson and President Point, Kingston. -Chris Otterson

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Saw a grey whale today around 10:30 am south sound. Southern tip of Key Peninsula and Anderson Island. Saw it blow a few times and tail once from about a mile or so away. That's McNeil Island in background looking north. Sorry no tail shots. Between Key Peninsula and Anderson Island. Posted it in the local Key peninsula group and a few responses said it's been in the area since at least last Sunday (January 17). -James Lewis

January 19

8-week-old J54 & older sister J46 (Star) west bound in the Juan de Fuca. -Mark Malleson (For Summary Report and more encounter photos see Center for Whale Research Encounter 8 )

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J28 Polaris and her newest calf J54. Great day today south of Sooke, B.C. - Canada with J pod heading west bound. J27 Blackberry westbound south of Sooke, B.C. - Canada. -Paul Pudwell

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Update on the whereabouts of tagged killer whale K33 from Dr. Brad Hanson. On the morning of 15 January, K33 (and likely the rest of K pod) was southbound and had just rounded Cape Blanco in southern Oregon. They continued south over the next two days reaching the southernmost extent of this coastal trip, just north of Cape Mendocino near Arcata, California, on the afternoon of 17 January. They reversed direction and for the last two days have retraced their route and as of this morning (19 January) had just passed Heceta Head on the central Oregon coast. Map courtesy of Brad Hanson, NOAA-NWFS, NOAA-NWFS 2016 Southern Resident killer whale satellite tagging blog

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3:40 a.m. - Resident calls on the Lime Kiln Hydrophone. (J pod per Jeanne Hyde) -Justine Buckmaster Noon - I want to report a large and healthy population of Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) throughout South Puget Sound. I live on my sailboat and I am on the water all the time, and I see pods of Harbor Porpoise everywhere. This individual was photographed off Day Island and Fox Island, south of Narrows bridge, she/he was one in a pod numbering about 15. -James Lewis

January 18

Meet J55, the newest member of J pod, first documented by NOAA Researchers swimming alongside her/his family in Puget Sound. J55 makes the 6th new J calf and 9th overall calf born to the southern residents in the past 13 months. -Brad Hanson, NOAA-NWFSC

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New Southern Resident Killer Whale Calf Confirmed! We're excited to announce that NOAA Fisheries killer whale researchers documented a new calf during a research survey with J pod yesterday, January 18, 2016, in Puget Sound. Using photos taken by the researchers, the Center for Whale Research confirmed this is a new calf, designated J55. The calf was in close proximity to both J14 and J37, so we don't know who the mother is just yet, and it may take a few encounters before we know. The calf seems to be just a few days old and in good condition.
This good news comes with some sad news, however. On the same trip we observed J31, a 20 year-old female who has never successfully calved, pushing around a deceased neonate calf. -NOAA-NWFSC

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5:20 p.m. - Calls on Port Townsend hydrophone, through the ship noise. -Howard Garrett, Orca Network

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3:43 p.m. - they have passed us (S. Bush Pt) heading north with NOAA boat, leaders should be at Bush Pt. by now, trailing group slowed and was doing some direction changes and foraging-type behaviors.
3:00 p.m. - Looks like the lead group is just off Foulweather bluff now, at the entrance to Hood Canal. NOAA boat still with them, all still heading west, closer to the Kitsap/Jefferson side of Admiralty. -Susan Berta

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2:54 p.m. - beautiful tight group NW bound up Admiralty. They are east of me at the end of limpet Lane. NOAA still with them. -Rachel Haight

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2:24 p.m. - Seeing dorsal fins and blows NE of Point No Point, heading north, with NOAA boat east of the whales. -Howard Garrett, Orca Network

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2:20 p.m. - Orcas passing Double Bluff, Whidbey with NOAA. Northbound still, traveling pretty quick and steady.
2:13 p.m. - some passing Point No Point, Kitsap Peninsula. -Connie Bickerton

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2:05 p.m. - Members of J Pod came down south today, including the oldest and youngest members of the pod. The oldest, J2 Granny (ID by Sara Hysong-Shimazu) in on the right, as they pass Point No Point, Kitsap peninsula. -Steve Smith

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1:56 p.m. - At Maxwelton, Whidbey Island and am seeing blows straight east of me. Still northbound. -Rachel Haight

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Last fin I saw was about 1:10 mid channel Eglon/Edmonds about 1/2 mile south of NOAA-NWFSC research boat at the time. Now 1:29 research boat has moved more northwest but still in general area.
12:48 p.m. - They are spread all across. Some appear to be trending east side if keep current line but others definitelt mid channel and west of. Trailers passing north Edmonds now. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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12:50 p.m. - Ariel Yseth sees orcas off Sunset in Edmonds, heading NW toward Admiralty Inlet.

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12:38 p.m. - Orcas heading by Edmonds marina now...heading north! -Julia Wiese

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12:25 p.m. - Volunteer Vanessa is seeing orcas (possibly 3, one of which is a male) from the Edmonds pier next to the ferry. Still heading north. -Whitney Neugebauer, Whale Scout

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12:23 p.m. - We're spotting 3-5 from the south end of Edmonds off leash park. East of mid channel off Point Wells, Woodway. They're getting closer & we're absolutely giddy! -Tara Bergin

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12:15 p.m. - Looking back at the photos after my phone call. Positive ID for J-28 with one of the groups with a calf off Edmonds beach. Positive for J-17... I had one pic with part of a saddle showing J-17s finger. -Ariel Yseth

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Orca Whale sighting today on Edmonds/Kingston 12:05 pm ferry run. Spotted 3 adults about 10 min before arriving into Kingston. -Deborah Lawrence

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12:18 p.m. - I am now at Edmonds Marina Beach. Several on this side of channel still south of me. Is Residents, J28, J46 and J54 just passed.
Noon - There are at least 12-15 orcas. Spread across channel, leaders north of Kingston/Point Wells in Woodway. Others at about that location with some still to the south heading this way. Several closer to me well east of mid channel with young ones. I've seen at least 3 adult males. I am leaning residents. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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11:44 a.m. - watching the group from Kingston bluff. They are just south of the mid channel bouy. The male is leading. -Dorothy Rosenbladt

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11:17 a.m. - Volunteer Colleen is seeing orcas traveling north past Carkeek now. -Whitney Neugebauer, Whale Scout

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11:30 a.m. - adult male and group transecting RB and Jefferson Head/Indianola steady northbound.
11:20 a.m. - transect south Port Madison and Carkeek, mid channel surface active. Cartwheeling killer whale. Trending northbound.
11:00 a.m. - mid channel group seems to have slowed/stalled. I see action south of Faye Bainbridge west side of channel AND blow east of Faye but north of the others
10:45 a.m. - From Richmond Beach Saltwater Park can see their blows middle Sound transect upper parking lot and Rolling Bay Bainbridge. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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10:45 a.m. - Big male just breached between my location and Shilshole Marina, he's closer to westside, last I saw the rest are closer to mid channel.
10:34 a.m. - I can see them northbound, from Fay Bainbridge. They are line of sight south of Shilshole Marina, mid channel-ish. Seem to be pretty tightly grouped, but too far for a count. -Connie Bickerton

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10:30 a.m. - Orcas off the lighthouse at Discovery Park, about 7! Looked like a baby too. Northbound. -Lisa Thompson

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9:10 a.m. - On the Bainbridge ferry, not far from Eagle Harbor-- spotted at least two orcas on the crossing. Halfway down the photo, left side, you can see a fin. Two years on this commute and finally a sighting! -Andrea Ogg

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9:04 a.m. - Maia with WS Ferries relayed a report of 4-6 orcas in the Bainbridge ferry lane, heading north.

January 17

4:28 p.m. - Orcas out of Edmonds, we saw them from the Edmonds Kingston Ferry. They were headed southwest, closer to the Edmonds side of the route; and there were at least three or four. I only saw one tall, dark fin and maybe 2-3 smaller ones. -Dawn Bennett

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3:57 p.m. - We've been watching a group of Orcas headed north to south close to Edmonds. Four plus in the group. -Jim Finnell
(IDs on both January 17 reports are unconfirmed, but probable J pod since they showed up in central Puget Sound the next morning)

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Humpback Whales around Sooke, B.C. -Paul Pudwell

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10:30 a.m. - Possible Humpback sighting. We have been watching a large whale breach in Hood Canal. Definitely not an Orca, possible Humpback. We are on the south shore of Hood Canal, 17 miles north of Hoodsport, Mason County near Triton Head. Just south of the Jefferson County line. The whale is across the canal between the center & North side of the canal. -Jenny Langlow

January 16


January 15

Looks like we had a visit form CA166 & CA172 - California Transient / Biggs Killer Whales today around Sooke, B.C. -Paul Pudwell

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Orca watchers, here's our latest update on the location of tagged whale K33: Our previous update (12 January) found K33 (and likely the rest of K pod) just north of the Columbia River, traveling south. They continued their southbound trek such that by mid-day on the 13th they were off Depoe Bay, Oregon. On the morning of the 14th they were nearing the Umpqua River, an area we had followed L84 to last year during our winter cruise in late February (see 2015 blog). By this morning (15 January) they had just rounded Cape Blanco in southern Oregon. This southerly excursion in January is similar to what we observed in 2013 when we had K25 tagged. -Brad Hanson, NOAA-NWFSC

January 14

T123 and T123A east bound south of Oak Bay in the afternoon. -Mark Malleson, CWR, taken under permit #MML-001

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10:05 a.m. - Big humpback blow and high fluke NE of Point No Point. -Howard, Orca Network

January 13

4:00 p.m. - Thomas Ray reported at least a dozen orcas off Newport OR, 1/2 to 3/4 mile off the Nye Beach turnaround, tail lobbing. No direction given and no photos.
(Sounds like So. Residents were heading south. -HG)

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...By 1455, he began an encounter with the T's (Bigg's ecotype killer whales) a mile south southeast of Kelp Reef in gray choppy seas. When Mark first spotted the whales they were travelling north in a group, but they soon commenced long dives (9 minutes) and changed direction each surfacing as if hunting for seals. That is the situation when Ken began the encounter as Mark left to return to Victoria harbor. Read the full report at Center for Whale Research Encounter #6, including short video in Haro Strait of 8 Transients, the T30s and T124As, although one, T30, didn't make an appearance. It's also a teaching video, on how to make IDs. -Ken Balcomb, CWR

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T030's and T124A's northbound up Haro in the afternoon. I found them around 1400 south of Kelp Reef. -Mark Malleson

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8:40 a.m. - Humpback sighting Alki Pt. Observed one (possibly two) humpback whales - 2016, Constellation Park, just south of Alki Point Lighthouse. 100 meters offshore (very high tide, so very close to bulkhead, among substantial floating driftwood, right about at the low tide line), southbound. Several surfaces and blows, then "deep" dive (fluke, but in very shallow water). No obvious feeding activity, no obvious bait-ball in vicinity but some shore birds floating in general area. -Robert Reeder

January 12

12 January update - On the previous update (7 January) K33 (and likely the rest of K pod) had arrived in the northern Strait of Georgia. They headed back south later that day and traveled through the San Juan Islands the night of the 8th. By the evening of the 9th they were at the west entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and spent most of the 10th near Swiftsure Bank before heading south down the Washington coast that evening. They continued south on the 11th and by the morning of the 12th were nearing Cape Disappointment near the mouth of the Columbia River. -Brad Hanson, NOAA-NWFSC

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1:25 p.m. - Maia at WA State Ferries relayed a report of a large whale, either a gray whale or a humpback, in the traffic lane between the south end of Bainbridge Island and Elliot Bay.

January 11

2:30 p.m. -Just saw them (humpbacks) out in shipping lanes still a mile or so south of Port of Eglon. -Donna Moreland

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12:11 p.m. - Just now about half a mile south of Eglon beach there's 2 Humpbacks. There's a lot of tail and fin slapping going on. -Melissa Peterson

January 10

3:42 p.m. - lots of tall blows and tail flukes high in the air... Humpback south of Eglon as seen from north Edmonds. -Stu Davidson

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11:25 a.m. - three humpbacks a few hundred yards off of Eglon, as viewed from Edmonds. -Sherman Page

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11:00 a.m. - A whole lot of splashing going on out in the water! The Humpback Whales on their apparent daily counter-clockwise rounds off Eglon, Point No Point and South Whidbey Island. Around 11 AM they were still fairly close to the Kitsap side and were moving farther out into the ship channel around noon. -Casey Burns

January 9

K & L pod: ..."1235 3 miles SSW of Sheringham Point after a search zig-zagging westerly out the Strait of Juan de Juca...." Full encounter report at Center for Whale Research Encounter #5

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11:59 a.m. - Ks and Ls (edited) just passed Sooke, B.C. a hour ago heading west. -Paul Pudwell

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10:30 a.m. - We were at the beach at Rathtrevor Park, Parksvile BC (20+ miles NW of Nanaimo, in Georgia Strait) and saw a pod of orcas. At least 8 or 10. When we first saw them far off, one group of them was together splashing around so possibly feeding or playing. Another group headed by the male was traveling. Then the splashing group seems to have joined the traveling group. (T093, T036s and T137s were present- Josh McInnes) -Louise Alvarez

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3:55 p.m. - Just saw them (humpbacks) south east of Eglon. -Michelle Rau

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2:47 p.m. - Watching 2 Humpbacks very near Eglon, yet again. The perennial Eglon Humpbacks, milling and cavorting. -Steve Smith

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2:31 p.m. - whale blows seen thru the haze/fog Kitsap side south of Eglon. Looks to be a white boat nearby observing at a good distance. -Stu Davidson

January 8

In the afternoon I joined Eagle Wing's Serengeti with Dale Mitchell and we came across a group of 10 CA/U's west bound slightly east of Pillar Point, 35 miles west of Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula. According to Jared Towers, " I have only seen this particular group of CA's/U's once before in outside waters several years ago during a Fisheries and Oceans survey off Cape St. James (southern tip of Haida Gwaii). They have never been photographed in the Salish Sea before." -Mark Malleson
ID Notes Re: January 8th CA Ts and others. "That group should have included 8 CA transients, from two groups which are have been regularly encountered seasonally off California for over 20 years - mostly in Monterey Bay, but also down in my area (near Los Angeles). They are the CA140s (U105s) - including a juvenile and small calf) - and female CA40 (U104), with males CA137 (U103) and CA163 (U106). Monterey Bay Whale Watch encountered them on 8 December 2015. There are also at least three whales with them that are not part of those CA Ts, that I do not readily recognize: the sprouter with the small nick near the tip of his narrowed dorsal fin (with CA137 in this photo), a (female?) with the narrow dorsal fin that has a tiny nick in the center, and another whale that looks like an adult female (no nicks).... The female in Mallard's image with the large single nick in the center of her dorsal fin is CA140B (U105B). The female with the two large V-shaped notches in the center of her fin (looks like an "M") is CA140 (U105). And the one with the new extensive rakes on the dorsal fin is CA140C (U105C)...I looked at naturalist Cory Mac's photos: the whales that she captured included CA137, CA163 (U106), CA40 (U104), and the CA140s, Emma's (U105's) matriline. " Very cool sighting! -Alisa Schulman-Janiger (California Killer Whale Project)

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Eglon. We saw them first around 1100 am ish, until we left after 2:30 pm. Good food in area from what we can tell. We were conducting other work on area nearby. Big group of California sea lions as well. -Toby Black

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Spent about an hour this morning watching humpbacks (at least 2) off Eglon boat launch. -Amy McElfresh

January 7

The previous update (4 January) found K33 (and presumably the rest of K pod) at the western entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. On the evening of the 4th the whales headed east into the Strait of Juan De Fuca and by the afternoon of the 5th were headed up Haro Strait (with J pod based on the calls on the San Juan Island hydrophones). They spent the 6th in the southern Strait of Georgia and by this morning they were in the northern Strait of Georgia, an area that we have previously seen J pod to commonly frequent. -Brad Hanson, NOAA-NWFSC, NOAA-NWFSC 2016 Southern Resident killer whale satellite tagging

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12 Noon - At least one humpback is waving its flukes around, just SE of Point No Point, Kitsap Peninsula. -Howard Garrett, Orca Network

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10:40 a.m. - Some Porpoises feeding by Chambers Bay. No Orcas or other large whales in the South Sound, so this will have to do... -Robert Storozyk

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11:00 a.m. - I saw a couple orcas aboard the Ganges Hawk. This was about 11. One had a large kinked dorsal fin, kinda wavy looking. The other was large as well but more straight. Very tall both. (outside Fulford Harbor, Salt Spring Island, around Russell Island. He said there were two adult males, one with a wavy dorsal fin. They were travelling SW.) -Lindsey Pattinson

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12 noon - Saw two humpback off Eglon today. Eglon being just south of Point No Point, maybe halfway to Kingston. -Donna Moreland

January 6

3:20-3:35 p.m. - Had the opportunity to use the high powered binoculars at Susan and Howies (south of Bush Point on Whidbey) to watch at least 2 humpbacks. The whales were around the southbound shipping lanes, east of Point No Point lobtailing, breaching, sounding...eventually moving on southbound. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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11:30 a.m. - from Shore Meadows (north end Mutiny Bay, Whidbey Island) I watched several Harbor porpoise (including 2 calves) about a mile out foraging back and forth. -Alisa Lemire Brooks

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...After seeing a potential blow between Saltspring Island and Prevost Island, Morning Star headed south through Captain Pass. Soon, two male transient killer whales were spotted, heading northwest. These were photographed and identified as T093 and T097....See full report at Center for Whale Research Encounter # 3

January 5

Loud calls at 7:10...It was like they waited for the boat to pass.. then they exploded with sounds! -Melissa Bird

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7:10 p.m. - calls have continued, and just now a burst of a wide vocalizations by many whales! A beautiful array of calls.
6:12 p.m. - hearing many calls typical of J pod, including S4s, on Orca Sound hydrophone.
4:34 p.m. - S10 calls now on Lime Kiln.
4:24 p.m. - S4 calls on Lime Kiln. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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6:12 p.m. - Faint calls off Orcasound. Lots of S4 and clicks. -Jeff Hogan, Killer Whale Tales

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3:55 p.m. - Vocals at Lime Kiln hydrophones now...The report is Residents! -Capt. Jim Maya

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BCY0160 and calf in the Juan de Fuca Strait. -Mark Malleson

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Humpbacks still hanging around Point No Point and Eglon. 2:00 p.m. - closer to PNP now. -Casey Burns

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9:50 a.m. - gray whale heading north out of Eld Inlet - toward Harstine Island. Very shallow and slow surfacing and very faint blows. -Kim Merriman
(We viewed a Facebook video by Kurt Heikkila of a gray whale in Eld who was very surface active and breaching robustly several times before Kim encountered this whale. - ALB)

January 4

We are continuing the satellite tagging project that we began in 2011 to help us understand where Southern Resident killer whales go in the winter, and thus their winter habitat use. Last Thursday afternoon, 31 December, we deployed a satellite-linked transmitter on an adult male, K33, in central Puget Sound. The location data transmitted from this, and the previous tags we have deployed, tag will be key for NOAA Fisheries in our efforts to address the data gap in winter distribution identified in the Recovery Plan as well as provide information for the designation Critical Habitat in coastal waters. This project is a collaborative effort between the NWFSC, Cascadia Research Collective, and the University of Alaska, with supplemental funding provided by the U.S. Navy......The tag was deployed on K33 as K pod was traveling north out of Puget Sound on 31 December, 2015. By the Friday, 1 January, the whales had arrived at the west entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. They have remained in the area between the entrance to the Strait and Swiftsure Bank since then. An interesting aspect of them remaining in this area for the past several days may have to do with our observation that the K14 matriline was not with the rest of K pod during our encounter. However, on Saturday, the Center for Whale Research encountered J pod, with the K 14s, as they headed south in Haro Strait and then west toward the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca - likely to rejoin with K pod. -Brad Hanson, NOAA-NWFSC, NOAA-NWFSC 2016 Southern Resident killer whale satellite tagging

January 3

12:50 p.m. - Still seeing humpbacks off Eglon. Amazing to see for this Colorado girl! -Gale Riordan Glenn

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10:42 a.m. - the humpbacks look to be less than 1/4 mile north of Eglon boat launch - line of sight from north Edmonds. -Stu Davidson

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9:45 a.m. - Seeing columns of humpback blows SE of Point No Point this morning. At least three out there now. -Howard Garrett, Orca Network

January 2

J28 and her new weeks-old calf J54 westbound south of Victoria. J26 headed southwest for Discovery Island. -Mark Malleson

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...The J28's including J54 were in a tight group while J35 and probably J47 were loosely spread another couple of hundred yards to the northeast of them. The J22's were a couple hundred yards ahead of the J28's and all three of the groups were traveling slowly southwest. We ended the encounter at 1528 with the J28's just a little south of Discovery Island....- Center for Whale Research staff

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A few moments before our sailing yesterday, we got the word! Vocalizations on the hydrophones! Within a few minutes we were seeing members of J Pod and the K14s. We followed them to Discovery Island, BC, over near Victoria. Here are a few scenes from the day, including the lovely Granny, J2. -Capt. Jim Maya

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3:17 p.m. - Hearing faint calls again on Lime Kiln Hydrophone. -Connie Bickerton

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1:00 p.m. - still hearing them on Lime Kiln...on the quiet side.
11:50 a.m. - Southern Residents live on the hydrophones: Louder on OrcaSound (so is the ship noise) Faint intermittent vocals on Lime Kiln (ship noise increasing there). -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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What an incredible surprise this morning! I had been listening to the hyrophones as I usually do, and had been switching between two of them. I switched back to the one on the north end of San Juan Island and instantly there were LOUD J Pod calls! I ran down to the bluff to look, and here they came! First whale I saw that came in closer to the island was J2, Granny. (She's in the photo) They were spread out across the strait and in several groups. ... If you'd like to listen to the recording from this morning I made, click HERE. Jeanne Hyde identified the K14's in the mix, so you may hear some K Pod calls too! -Traci Walter

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(This report was passed along to us by Susan Marie Andersson, of a humpback in the Tacoma area on Saturday afternoon)
There was a humpback under the Tacoma Narrows this afternoon around 3:00 p.m. I was walking the beach and saw the hump in the water. Someone else saw it breach! -Reported by Peggy Mohn Murphy

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Humpback sounding near Point No Point, Kitsap.
1:45 p.m. - Humpbacks south of Point No Point near Kitsap side. -Steve Smith
(This humpback with distinct fluke markings has been photo ID's in this area regularly since September 2015)

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2:38 p.m. - few minutes of blows from at least 2 whales west side the Sound between Point No Point and Eglon. Maybe trending southbound but really they just beauties shuffling north and south all these days. Gorgeous day. -Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network

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11:58 a.m. - Can see whale blows mid point between Pt no Pt and Eglon from north Edmonds. -Stu Davidson

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11:50 a.m. - Michelle Moyer reports two whales south of Point No Point. (Probably humpbacks based on location and blows seen in distant photo)

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I saw them earlier around 11:00 a.m. northward from Eglon, then southward from Point No Point. Back in Eglon I watched for them but didn't find them. Elusive today - I suspect they are hugging the shore close to the Kitsap side in between, just north of Pilot Point, according to triangulation on a map. -Casey Burns

January 1

At (4:50) I could see them line of sight was between north Edmonds and halfway between Point No Point and Eglon boat launch. -Stu Davidson

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4:50 p.m. - Lots of humpback tail-lobbing going on, at least ten in a row, east of Point No Point, possibly mid-channel or on the Edmonds side, seen from just south of Bush Point on Whidbey Island, visible through binocs. -Howard Garrett, Orca Network

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4:12 p.m. - I'm pretty sure I'm watching three humpbacks from Eglon, two have black flukes, and our old friend Two Spot. (White with 2 black spots) -Connie Bickerton

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From 4:00 - 4:20 p.m. -from Edmonds watched the blows of the humpbacks (at least 2, probably more) west of southbound shipping lanes, mid way between Point No Point and Eglon first southbound, then milling then trending slowly north.
3:00 p.m. - from Sunset Ave, north of Edmonds ferry, watched the blows of at least 2 west of southbound shipping lanes, just south of Point No Point traveling northbound. --Alisa LB

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2:19 p.m. - they are moving northerly, lots of frolicking!
2:15 p.m. - line of sight from north Edmonds looking due west- can see them about 1/4 mile north of Eglon boat ramp. -Stu Davidson

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2:15 p.m. - now seem to be heading south mid channel, closer to Kitsap side.
2:00 p.m. - watching from Eglon looking north to south side of Whidbey at 2 humpbacks. Traveling east. -Kimberly Sylvester-Malzahn

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1:57 p.m. - Watching them northeast from Eglon. Looks like 2 or 3 heading south. -Joel Petree

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1:56 watching two humpbacks southbound in the current line. Probably feeding. Whales are north of Eglon, line of sight with Useless Bay. -Connie Bickerton

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1:54 p.m. - 2 possibly 3 humpbacks heading south as seen from Point No Point. Near Edmonds ferry. -Chris Larkin

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12:58 p.m. - At Point No Point and found at least 2 humpbacks pretty far south from here in line with the Seattle skyline, appear to be north of ferry. Hopefully they're swimming this way. Gorgeous day! -Michelle Goll

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12:45 p.m. - Just saw the humpbacks off Eglon. Multiple blows and this nice tail sighting. Beautiful day. Happy New Year! -Chris Williamson

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10:40 a.m. - Yes, a beautiful fluke dive visible from Eglon about 10:40. Looked like the humpback we watched throughout the summer from Point No Point, with the white flukes. -Marilyn DeRoy

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10:39 a.m. - Humpbacks still hanging around today visible from Eglon and Point No Point. -Casey Burns

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There was a large group near the Nelscott Reef in Lincoln City until about 3:45pm. -Jane Holbrook

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Happy New Year from Depoe Bay, Oregon, where Carrie Newell of Whale Research EcoExcursions has been out with probable So. Residents yesterday and today, until about 1:30 this afternoon. Yesterday there were at least 12 within 3/4 mile from shore between Spanish Head and Lincoln City, and today Carrie found about 6 more just north of Depoe Bay, both times very spread out and foraging in place, not traveling. Lots of lob-tailing. Many photos were taken but haven't been analyzed for IDs yet. As of an hour ago they were trending southward.

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12:07 p.m. - Nelscott Reef (near Lincoln City) Central Oregon Coast Orca Sighting. There were approx. 6-8 Orcas (including 1-2 males) feeding outside of the reef. They have been there for about 3 hours. -Monty Langford

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At approximately 11:45 am we spotted at least 5 possibly 7 Orca approximately 3/4 of a mile off shore at Rocky Creek State Park just south of Depoe Bay, Oregon. They were headed south following a juvenile gray whale. -Edith Hitchings, Belfair, Washington.

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11:00 a.m. - Steve Sharp called while watching three orcas about 3 miles from shore at Gleneden Beach OR, between Depoe Bay and Lincoln City. They seemed to be milling in the same place, not traveling.

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