August 2011 Whale Sightings

August 31, 2011

The T60`s were off Albert Head BC in the afternoon, T31 passed William Head eastbound heading for the 60`s, T11 and T11a were westbound off William passing directly by T31. great day on the water with Transients!
Reid Philip
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Transient Orcas (T060s) came right into shore at Saxe Point in Victoria BC between 1:50 and 2 PM. One came into the bay while the others stayed a little further out. One graced us with a spyhop! And was probably the one that did an upside down tail lob and righted itself! I believe there were 4, but when I was looking through the ID catalogue there are 3?
Tim Green Victoria BC
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Orcasound hydrophones - Ts headed north (travel direction inferred from previous detection 5km south at Lime Kiln).
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It's T's - probably 3+ miles offshore, but we could see faint blows and splashes from breaches!
Heather Hill
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Faint calls on Orcasound now, 7:34 am. Sound like possible transient calls.
Meg McDonald
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7:22am hearing faint calls on Lime Kiln hydrophone.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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Lime Kiln hydrophones 7:22am Ts. Auto-detection of a possible transient call an hour ago (reinforced by subsequent detection 5km north at Orcasound)
Scott Veirs

August 30, 2011

Off Clark and Barnes Islands (just above Orcas Island on the east side just as you come north out of Rosario Strait) - afternoon. T's traveling right on the rocks created come interesting lighting :)
Katie Jones
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Transient killer whales were the big sea creatures in town today! We went out to the Rosario Strait just past Orcas Island in search of ocean life. In the distance, we could see a splash then a white cloud indicative of whale snot (a blow) and then a black fin. After another minute, two more whales surfaced and then a female and a little orca. And then, even further, we saw yet another group of four or five transients. Generally, transient (mammal-eating) killer whales are found in pods of four or five but today it seemed that multiple pods were gathering in larger numbers. Theories as to why this occurs can include anything from spreading the gene pool to socializing to hunting. At one point, we did also see a harbor seal pup in the menagerie, perhaps trying to escape becoming a killer whale meal. We learned later that T036 and T036B were part of the group we saw.
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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~8 transients between Hope Is and Seal Rocks, (south of Fidalgo Island, Skagit Bay, Saratoga Passage), hunting seals. Young calf with them (still yellow saddle/eye spots), mom seemed to have a bump protruding from center of the base of her dorsal fin on the right side.
Stephanie Raymond
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Orca sighting: at least 5 orcas off Seal Rock in Skagit Bay (48 deg. 22' 28.79" N, 122 deg. 33' 48.91" W), traveling south at 10 AM on 8/30/2011. First I've seen in this area.
Mark Kennedy

August 29, 2011

We found and identified the CA50s, Ca51, and CA23s in Monterey Bay today.
Nancy Black/Monterey Bay Whale Watch
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We were with the Eclipse whale watching tour by Victoria waterfront Great chain Islands at 3:15 pm we think it was T31.... Thanks
Daniel Acosta
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We had a fun afternoon with T31 today, playing hide and seek around Trial Island ..pretty sure he got a seal too!
Mercedes Powell
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Was fishing for pink salmon when I saw a slower than usual Clipper Ship pass by going south between LaConnor & Whidbey Island's Strawberry Point. Decided to follow and was surprised when Clipper came to a stop at around 5:30PM. It was a beautiful evening with puffy clouds above Cascades, so I thought the stop was to view the scenery. I noticed a crowd of people, all at the bow and then I saw ORCAS. Clipper let the 6 or 7 orcas pass by and they were on the move/heading north. Clipper turned around and at slow speed keeping its distance, along with a yacht, a neighbor friend, and myself following Clipper's lead. At bouy entrance to LaConnor, transient orcas stopped to feed. All boats came to a halt and I was next to Clipper Ship watching orcas, with no little excitement when we saw couple of tail splashes. After the short feed on presumed pinks (note: these were likely transients, who eat only marine mammals), they went on their way north. As Clipper and other boats left, I decided to stay and was rewarded when Orcas did an about face and headed back towards me/going south. More, feeding as orcas circled, just south of LaConnor entrance, again. Then, off they went northbound towards Hope Island and possibly Deception Pass. Great stuff. When I returned to Strawberry Point where boats were fishing for pinks, another friend told me when orcas passed by to feed, he observed two of the smaller orcas surface at the same time/heads straight up with their mouths wide open. Does it get any better than that?
Robert Stonefelt
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Ed Young of Whidbey Island Kayaks called to report encountering a small pod of orcas off Sandy Pt, south of Langley, Whidbey Island, WA at 11 am. There were approximately 6 orcas, breaching, tail slapping, etc.
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Nona Hill called at 11:28 am to report a pod of at least 7 orcas off Sandy Pt, Whidbey Island, close to the point breaching, tail slapping, and spy-hopping for quite some time, then heading north. Two of the orcas were smaller, one of them very small.
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12:15 pm: 4 orcas, including 1 large and 1 small one, were crusing inside Elger Bay, Camano Island, off Camano Island State Park, foraging and milling in 60' of water.
Roger Clark, Whidbey Island
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7:30 - Clipper II just passed another small group of northbound Ts in Saratoga Passage, just north of Camano Head. 6:30 - Victoria Clipper III just found 4 transients northbound at Strawberry Pt in Skagit Bay and followed them to just south of Swinomish Channel. They're moving pretty fast but seem to be hunting as they go.
Stephanie Raymond
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Orcas heading north in Saratoga Passage, just north of Langley about noon. Oh, what a time for a longer lens. At least the whale bell in Langley worked well. Crowds were able to see the parade of fins.
Tom Trimbath
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Just spotted a pod of @ 5 or 6 appear to be Orca passing the Mukilteo Ferry Landing ~ 8:30 AM Monday..near all the fishing boats not far from shore, heading east.
Mary Ann Macomber
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Today we traveled all the way to Victoria to see one lone transient. He was magnificent. It was a long haul but when we arrived he appeared to be patrolling up and down the rocks. He has one of the broadest dorsal fins I have ever seen. The word on the street was that he had been harassing a sea lion prior to our arrival. When we got there he was just cruising, back and forth along the rocks, occasionally rolling slightly on his side as if he was looking up toward the rocks to see what was on the lunch menu.
Laura, San Juan Safaris

August 28, 2011

This pod was seen Sunday going south in Case Inlet. These pictures are from Herron Island looking West to Harstine Island.
Lauren West
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A group of 8 or so orcas was seen on three consecutive days (August 26, 27, 28) in Case Inlet in south Puget Sound.
Mike Benson
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Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research reports encountering the T100s from Bell Island, WA to Tumbo Island, BC, on their way to Active Pass.
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I just came in from the deck and an hour of "whale watching" from my porch. There were at least 6. They were coming out of Budd Inlet - right near Boston Harbor. They were traveling north along that eastern shore. So, I'm looking at them from a distance of two inlets. They have now made their way north through Dana Passage - where I lost sight of them after they rounded the corner of Harstene Island.
Kim Merriman
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At about 7:30 pm - in Tacoma, about 1/2 mile north of the Narrows Bridge - heading north towards Point Defiance. Saw at least 8-10 - they were moving rapidly and jumping - we could see the dorsal fins and their heads above the water. We have lived here for over 4 years and have not seen Orcas here before. A Coast Guard boat was about 3/4 mile behind them.
Jeannine Mott
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Yesterday at 3:30 PM I observed a group of 10-15 orcas in the vicinity of Boston Harbor, including at least one male. The animals were moving toward the East in strong currents.
Raphael Martin
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Residents gone today, but the T100s showed up north of East Point, Saturna Island, BC.
Capt. Jim Maya
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@ 7:30 pm. Latitude, Longitude: 47.277831,-122.541504 A group of 10-12 Orcas traveling North under the Narrows Bridge. We have never spotted whales here. Were they maybe feeding down at the Nisqually Delta on seals? Spotted them from our Deck at 3016 N. Narrows Dr. Tacoma, WA 98407
Katy and Andrew Madderson
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We saw them at about 5:30-ish as they were heading out toward Henderson Inlet. We counted at least six, maybe as many as eight including a very young orca. They were moving fairly fast so I just kept snapping photos. The sheriff boat here yesterday may have a better count. We called them to thank their effort. They were not in the bay here for very long.
Scott Berg.
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We were thrilled yesterday to spot 4 whales right in front of our cabin property in Case Inlet, WA. It was a sighting of a lifetime. My grandfather who has been going to the cabin for over 80 years said he has never seen any orcas in the area. It was wonderful!!
Eliza Webb
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3:10pm - My friend just said they were breaching like mad out at Burfoot Park, here in Olympia near Boston Harbor. Now they're headed toward Woodard Bay....and so are my friends!
Diana McCandless
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About 10 or so sighted going south past Boston Harbor Lighthouse just after 2:00 pm this afternoon. They turned around and headed north around 2:15pm. Did a show for all the fleet following them (at an appropriate distance) for at least an hour as they headed through Dana Passage. At one point they split into two groups. There were some young ones in the front group and it was almost as if some of the adults were doing a sweep to make sure everyone moved forward safely. They did some breaches, but mostly surfaced and swam forward. One or maybe two of the smaller ones appeared to try doing flips. What an experience.
Margaret McPhee
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We saw 4 Orcas today, at about noon. We were looking east from Herron Island and the whales passed traveling southbetween Herron and Hartstein Islands. First, the largest one breached twice and got our attention, only about 20 yards from shore. About a minute later 3 more passed by, close together, breaching several times. Two appeared to be smaller than the first and the third seemed much smaller. They just continued swimming east at a pretty good pace.
Marilyn Polis
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On Maya's Westside Charters at about 3:45 p.m. in the Strait of Georgia we had an encounter with the T100s. It appeared they had made a kill and were having a meal. There was some exciting surface action including a double spyhop - one whale facing us and the other facing the other way. Included here is either T100E or T100B1 caught on camera in the middle of an exuberant breach. For more pictures and the story see my blog: Whale of A Purpose - 8-28 'Doing A Double Take'
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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5:30 or 6pm - we spotted a group of about 5 or six at the south end of Anderson. We moved into Oro Bay to fish and found at least 3 young looking whales playing and swimming up to boats fishing in the bay. All boats in the bay stopped to watch as the whales played for about 30 minutes before heading out toward Ketron Island. We left Oro Bay at 7pm and headed back toward Narrows Marina. We caught up with a large group heading north just off of Steilacoom. It was hard to count them but we estimate there were around a dozen. We followed them for about an hour as they continued to make their way north following the Tacoma side shoreline heading north toward Tacoma. We finally passed the group near Day Island. They were playing, breaching, jumping, tail slapping. There was at least one very large whale that seemed to be leading the parade on Sunday.
Doug and Donna Hogeberg
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We saw five orcas go by just west of Squaxin Island, headed south.
Michael and Sally Brick
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Carrie Newell reported a pod of 6 orcas, 5 females and 1 male, off Depot Bay, OR at 7:15 am, in 200' of water heading south fast. She also observed humpback whales in 220' feet of water,

August 27, 2011

Carrie Newell reported observed one or two Blue whales in 220' of water off Depot Bay OR.
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Saw 10 orca just west of Squaxin Island at 8:30 am. They were headed north and were playing.
Michael and Sally Brick
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5pm - we saw about 5 Orca playing just off the mouth of Oro Bay, Nisqually/Anderson Island. They looked like they were heading south to Olympia, around the sound end of Anderson. They looked like they were just heading somewhere.
Doug and Donna Hogeberg
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There was a pod of orcas in Case Inlet, about a mile south of the entrance to Vaughn Bay, maybe half a mile south of 47 deg. 20 " N. We could not count accurately. We watched them, from land, from about 1:45 to 2:30 pm. You probably had a lot of reports, as at one point there were 13 boats watching. I would like to know who they were, transients or residents. (Most likely transients.)
Paul Kellogg
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My neighbor saw a pod at the northern entrance to Budd Inlet yesterday. Haven't seen them since, but we've enjoyed seeing a couple of bottlenose dolphins in the inlet for a couple of weeks.
Rob Penney
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We sighted a number of orcas in Case Inlet. There appeared to be a total of at least eight and to include a couple of calves and also perhaps a couple of males. They worked their way up Case inlet by Stretch Island to about the town of Allyn. They then worked their way south and appeared to be heading down Pickering Passage. All of this over about a four hour period. From what we could tell from our vantage point the boaters were respecting the animal's space.
Tom Richards
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Around midday; 3 Orcas - One larger than the others (bigger dorsal); Bainbridge Island, WA; off south side of island on Rich Passage - near Fort Ward State Park; Headed east back into sound; most likely transited from north down around west side of island (through Agate Passage); Latitude, Longitude: 47.58460, -122.52760; Activity: slowly transiting area - coming up for air every minute or so; sea lions & harbor seals frequently spotted in this area; harbor seals pupping nearby; lost track of them as they approached offshore salmon farm enclosures & small rocky island on SE point of Bainbridge Island, like they submerged for a long period. Apparently sightings in the location are rare. A neighbor, who's lived here for 10 yrs, has only spotted one orca during those 10 yrs. Oddly enough, she told us this the day before our sighting. It was amazing!!
Scott & Julia Stewart
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We saw them again the next day (Saturday) at 11:30am when we were out on our sailboat. All three together again. Once again the male was close to one of the females and the other female seemed to be following behind. They were out in front of downtown Port Orchard heading towards the Bremerton shipyard.
Doug Miller
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Pod of nine Orca whales seen in Case Inlet. Many boats followed the whales and observed them for hours. I was on land too far away to see to identify even though I had binoculars. They sure seemed to be having fun.
Susie Cover
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Grapeview Washington - 10+ orcas sighted on Saturday morning.
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Here are a couple photos of the orcas that were near Bremerton. It was amazing seeing them patrolling the bay! A group of transient orcas, or killer whales (Orcinus orca) swim back and forth near several uneasy sea lions, in front of the Bremerton Naval Station, near Seattle, Washington.
William Byrne Drumm.
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I've attached some photos taken Saturday late afternoon, beginning at the entrance of Hammersley Inlet during the incoming tide. It was a group of perhaps 6 who were splashing/tail slapping from the entrance to just past Cape Horn, after which they all seemed to become focused on heading towards Shelton in unison. Later that evening, what appeared to be the same number were heading north through Pickering Passage, between Squaxin Island and Hungeford Point, towards the Harstin Island Bridge, grouped in a line on the outgoing tide.
Jules Michel
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9:00 AM - Pod of 7-8 Orcas sighted on Pickering Passage, North of the Hartstene Island bridge. They traveled north into Case inlet past Stretch and Treasure islands toward Allyn. Appeared to be 1-2 calves and one larger male with a grey patch/marking behind the dorsal. The group appeared to be feeding (salmon? - the run to the hatchery at the head of Case inlet may be coming through), lots of tail slapping, breaching and rolling around.
Tim Thomsen
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I saw many boaters stopping in their tracks to see the Orcas. My family also saw the whales surface for many hours throughout the morning. We live on high bank waterfront on Bainbridge Island a mile south of Fletchers Bay with views across Port Orchard Bay to Brownsville Marina, Kitsap Co. I went down to the beach for an early morning row on Saturday. I was standing in ankle deep water at 7:01am. The sun had not yet reached the water surface. All was very quiet. The water was like glass. I counted three Orcas surface and breathe. The second I heard the inhale and exhale there was no doubt I was visited by a very large mammal. The six foot tall dorsal fin confirmed it for me The largest of the three I estimate was 25 feet long Maybe bigger. Big enough I had no interest in rowing over for a closer look. I left well enough alone and had a wonderful long row.
John Christiansen
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3-4 transients came a-visiting to Boiling Reef (located just off East Point on Saturna Island). I'm told the male in the group was T19B although I haven't confirmed that yet. Anyway, this is the bull in the group. He is bearing down on a clump of kelp in the foreground where a seal is hiding (or attempting to). You can see its head and back flippers. I don't know the outcome because I got distracted by a female transient that came back to see what T19B was doing. I didn't even know there was a seal in the shot until I looked at it on my laptop later that evening! However, I'm guessing it did not end well for the seal.
Valerie Shore
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Just letting you know that there were three transient orca whales around Snake Island, just off Nanaimo, at approx 10am. They circumnavigated the small island, which is famous for lots of seals. Looking at the fin markings, they are transient family T10 female 'Langara', T10B male 'Siwash', and T10C juvenile 'Bones'. They were there for 15 minutes, then swam back out into Georgia Strait (maybe the incoming ferry noise made them leave?) We did not see them make a kill.
Shana Semrick
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Between 3 and 4 p.m. - saw approximately 20 orcas including one calf off Brook's Point, South Pender Island. They were spread out, doing tail flips looking for food. They turned and headed back towards the San Juan Islands.
Gloria Hockley
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We were boating in the San Juan Islands and near Roche Harbor. We decided to head south to Friday Harbor around 3pm and encountered an amazing number of Orcas. I'm not kidding when I say there must have been 30+ Orcas - they were every where!! They were of all sizes and different size fins. It was impossible getting around them. Just when you thought you were out of their way, boom - more Orcas!!! Many of them were tail slapping and breaching. They made their way from the north of the Islands to Friday Harbor and continued south.
Scott Zaffram
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Two pods L & J went through San Juan Channel at approximately 3:00 PM, porpoising and breaching right through the mouth of Friday Harbor, A sight to behold.
Mack J. Davis
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The orcas were heading south into Budd Inlet. They almost immediately turned around and headed back out, between 8:20 and 8:28. I saw them by Cooper Point, heading north in front of the lighthouse at Boston Harbor. There were adults and young. They never surfaced at the same time so I couldn't get the numbers of all of them. I did see at least 6 at the same time while looking through binos. There were "large" ones leading the pod - and my husband, Scott, said they were bulls. Scott counted at least 8. My neighbor counted at least 10.
Kim Merriman
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A group of at least six whales came through Hamersley Inlet to Oakland Bay around 5:00 PM. They were moving pretty quickly through the area, sounding for 20 minutes at a time. They look to be female with some young, no large dorsal fins. They headed north into Oakland Bay.
Donna Squires
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At least 6 orcas headed north in pickering passage this morning, came back at about 3PM headed south swimming in two separate groups.
tom everhart
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Just now - 3:12 pm - they're at Indian Cove (Harstene) headed south down Pickering Passage. And that entourage of boats is still following them.
Ruby Luby
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North end of Case Inlet opposite the Vaughn Bay sandspit, 1:15 p.m. (don't know how long they had been there, but there were a large number of small boats gathered). Saw adult male, adult female, juvenile. Activity: play (showing off for boats?) Last seen 1:30 p.m. heading south.
Judy Watt
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1pm - Just saw a couple Orcas eastound off of Bremerton just past ferry terminal.
Jack Worthington
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We saw a group of at least eight Orcas, at 11 am, at the north end of Pickering Passage. They were very close to the shore at the foot of Rauschert Road and then headed northeast into Case Inlet.
Ruby Luby
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Around 11 am, there was a group of at least eight killer whales directly off our beach. Latitude: 47.30594 by Longitude: - 122.84319. They seemed to be showing off? Jumping around and splashing with their tails and fins. There were several boats following them as they headed north / northeast into Case Inlet toward North Bay. Very exciting for me to see this!
-Roberta Lubetich
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Well it happened to me again. I am on the west side of Bainbridge at our family place. This morning I hosted a neighborhood meeting in our front yard to talk about restoring our clam and oyster population on this shoreline. Had about 30 neighbors here also Betsy Peabody, county health officials etc. Just as I was thanking people for coming a lady interrupted me and said, there is an orca behind you. Sure enough. We looked out and 4 or 5 Orcas swam north and then back south.
Ralph (Munro)
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I was out kayaking off West side of Bainbridge island and was passed by an adult orca and two small orcas around 10:45 AM
David Jones
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10:34am - Two groups of three orcas in each group were reported in Case Inlet for 45 minutes accompanied by several boats and a kayak.
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10:15am - a caller reported five orcas headed north in Case Inlet at the north end of the west side of Harstene Island.
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Ocras traveling from Hartstene Point to Allyn, WA @ 1005.
Bob & Pat Twigger
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A lively group of 5-6 breaching, spyhopping orcas frolicking this morning - saturday about 8- am, heading north. Same pod?, this time 8-9 heafing south on Pickering Passage about 4-430.
Edie Kroha
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This morning at 6AM, three orca were seen and heard blowing and swimming north in Port Orchard by toward Keyport and Agate pass. There is a big orca, a medium sized one and one little one. Not a baby but significantly smaller.
Sylvia Davis Poff
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Hydrophone reports
6:14 PM - Lots of boat/ship noise but the Orca are there in the background I can hear as well a see them on the Sonogram/SA....
5:56 PM - Lots of ranging/clicks --- grunts - vary little in the way of calls...
5:21 PM
5:19 PM
4:53 PM
7:38 PM - Orca calls off in the distance..
Robo
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It was easy, maybe too easy, finding killer whales today. We headed up north from Friday Harbor, and just east of Spieden Island we encountered both K and L pods. They were everywhere around us! Breaching, spy hopping, and tail slapping. After watching them for a while, we headed back south towards Cattle Point and we headed back into the harbor we encountered the killer whales again! And they were still being super active! We saw at least six more breaches. I was also able to identify Mega from L-pod.
Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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1042 - Orcas heading up island from Pile Point, I think I see Mega L41!!
Melisa Pinnow

August 26, 2011

Transient orcas off Patos Island (to NW of lighthouse) Friday morning. These transients made a harbor porpoise kill. Given the notch in the dorsal fin this orca might be identified. (The male below looks like T20, as seen in the Photo ID Guide to Transient Killer Whales of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.)
Daniel Picard
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Three orca were in our bay about 6pm, between the two Illahee docks. The whales continued to head north, then turned back south and headed into Rich Passage to Bremerton. They seemed to pass north up Port Orchard bay freely.
Sylvia Davis Poff
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My wife and I saw a pod of six or seven orcas about 8:20 pm off Dover Point in the middle of Dana Passage.
JRoly
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4:34 pm - Chris Kennedy of Washington State Ferries called to report 3 orcas were seen by a ferry captain moving into Sinclair Inlet at Waterman Point, headed toward Bremerton.
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3pm - About six orcas in Tacoma Narrows bridge headed south.
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2 Orcas, Rich Passage (north of Pt. Glover, Kitsap; south of Bainbridge traveling west. Est 3 p.m.
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I saw ~6orcas yesterday at 2pm going from Lobster shop towards Pount Defiance park in Tacoma :) was awesome!
Tiffany Russell
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Transient orcas today in Commencement Bay, Tacoma, from Ruston Way.
Gayle Swigart
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We were lucky enough to see three Orcas come through Rich Passage today at 4:30pm. Two were together (male and female) and one appeared to be on its own. They were heading west toward Bremerton in mid-channel. Note: Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research ID'd the male as California transient CA20, and added "We saw both these whales on the 25th."
Doug Miller
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Orca, guessing over a dozen. Saw 8 breach at one time and others right before and after. Near center of commencement bay near tacoma traveling in towards puyallup river, then turned south, then west towards point defiance 1:15-1:45pm. At the time lots of fishermen out at browns point. some caught pink [humpies] salmon. They were swimming and breeching for most of the 20-30 min.
Sandy&Debbie Williamson
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4:30 PM - Two orcas (mother and calf?) Moving west from Rich Passage, thru Port Orchard Bay mid channel, towards Dye's Inlet.
James and Deborah Ellis
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12:19 - My son is on the south end of Maury Island, near Sandy Shores, and can see the orcas, still heading south quickly out in the middle of the sound. My wife also sees them, and says she only sees about a half-dozen fins. Maybe they're mostly underwater, but maybe the larger group has split up?
Jon Ehret
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12:12 - Orcas southbound near maury island regional park moving south FAST.
Preserve Our Islands
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11:45 - they just left tramp harbor and are now visible from pt robinson, heading south.
Janna Ignatow
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11am - Per Linda Henley 10 minutes ago, they were straight east from Dilworth Point on Vashon Island, but on the mainland side. That puts them at Seahurst, Burien. Per Amy Carey, nearing Three Tree Point southbound on Seattle/Burien side.
Meg McDonald
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~11:05 - from Arroyo neighborhood, finally spotted the Orca off Three Tree Pt mid channel. Couple of male dorsals, direction of travel uncertain as I haven't seen them surface again.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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Orcas at three tree point at 10:45. Very close to Seattle side alternating direction but generally still southbound.
Preserve Our Islands
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10:14am - There are about 20 Orcas swimming between Vashon and West Seattle, now making their way down to Maury. One research boat, several yahoos trailing closely. Appears to be two big males and lots of females. Very exciting! Surfaced around 10 am, or that's when we noticed them.
Meg Halverson
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10am - Woke to see a pod of 9 to 14 Orca Whales swimming right in front of me between West Seattle & Vashon Island. A blessing I have waited long for. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen or heard. The sound of their breath is simply beautiful. They were headed south, fishing.
Madeleine Sosin
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As of 9:49am, this from West Seattle Blog Admin: "JUST got a call from Jeff of Killer Whale Tales - they have just passed Brace Point, still heading south. So that puts them out of West Seattle range. But of course, what goes south, must head north again ... so we'll have radar up for later ..."
Amanda Lund
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Our Alaskan cruise boat just pulled into Elliott Bay, there a tad south of Pike Street market and at least 5 orcas were frolicking right in front of the cruise boat. A real treat as we saw only humpbacks on the cruise itself. A police boat seemed to be keeping an eye out for their safety.
Penny Thackeray
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I just saw several Orca whales off of Alki Point headed west toward Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound (Google Maps says it was about here: 47.589, -122.417). I saw at least three, but there could have been more. It was about 8:45 to 9 AM. I don't know what they were doing - looked like they were just traveling because they came up for air a few times (when I saw them) then disappeared. One of the three that I saw was a male with a very large fin.
Erin Ward
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9:19am - Just got a report of orcas southbound from Alki. Apparently about 30 transients - that's a big group for the T's
Rein Attemann
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9:16am - they went all the way to the Duwamish head and then appeared to be heading back out, off Alki 30 minutes ago
Rein Attemann
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In case you in West Seattle or downtown Seattle right now- wanted to let you know that there is a group of 8-12 orcas (assuming transients) in Elliot bay right now. Last report had them near Alki at around 8:50. Strange spot for them.
People For Puget Sound
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Saw orcas this morning at about 8:30am, counted about 9 adults came into Elliot bay circle in front of the aquarium to west Seattle and proceed in the direction of Vashon.
Jessica Barcz
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~8:15 Vashon/Seattle Water Taxi idled about mid-run this morning (8:25ish) to watch them off Lincoln Park, then in Elliott Bay - looked like they were hunting - lots of orcas jumping outta the water action! Best. Commute. EVER.
Amanda Lund
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8:22am - Still just north of TODD on Harbor island.
Ron van den Berg
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8:15 - Heard orcas were being seen from downtown- over by Salty's.
Darcie Larson
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Approximate 8-12 Orcas travelling from Seattle towards Bainbridge, just above Harbor Island at 8 am.
Ron van den Berg
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7:56 - At least 6 orcas off west point (north of Seattle) traveling southbound. 7:53am - Now mid channel between magnolia and bainbridge traveling southbound.
Lance King
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Orca spotted in Elliott Bay this morning!
Trileigh Tucker
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Hydrophone reports
2:13 - Calls moved to the OrcaSound hydrophones.
Vickie Doyle
2:12 - Whales right now on Lime Kiln hydrophone!
Judy Simons
1:03 PM
1:08 PM - Loud calls and cliks
1:03 PM - ORCA STILL AT LIME KILN
11:56 AM
11:04AM - ORCA AT LIME KILN
Robo
Faint Orca calls on Lime Kiln at 11:14
Stacy Wilkinson Petteys
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Me and my fellow naturalist Corey were very excited to see the J16's this morning. The afternoon was also fab as we had superpod up by Henry Island and there were just whales everywhere!! Lots of activity with amazing vocalisations!
Mercedes Powell
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7:42pm - Pod of Orcas passing Point Roberts. Spotted about ten so far. Some feeding behaviour as well as breaching. Heading toward Active Pass.
Sandra Scott
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We found most of the Southern Residents north of Kellet bluff around 2:20pm and watched them all the way to Turn Point. Spyhops, porpoising, and breaching all along the way!
Mike, Captain San Juan Safaris
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12:15pm - Beam Reach students, Robin and students at lighthouse report SRKWs north and south of Lime Kiln. Calls and clicks now started 1103. Direction was north, but may be changing to southwest.
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A superpod passed by East Point on Saturna Island. They did every behaviour in the orca playbook but perhaps the biggest gasp from onlookers came when this group surfaced together in a line as they passed in front of the lighthouse. It was very impressive.
Valerie Shore

August 25, 2011

Hydrophone reports
7:06 PM - Orca at Lime Kiln
Robo
Faint calls at Lime Kiln. 6:58 pm.
Meg McDonald
Hearing intermittent calls on OrcaSound HP. (6:45)
Gayle Swigart
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I bet that some others will report the beautiful scene today watching J Pod swimming north up Haro Strait as they passed Turn Pt./Stuart I. light and went as far as South Pender I.'s SW shore then turned to go south. We watched them from 1345 to 1515 hours. There was a humpback in the vicinity, as well, that was entangled in some fishing gear. As we left, the orcas were spread out in arc of about 120 degrees around the humpback; distance of various individual orcas to HB = 100 yards to approximately 1/3 mile. Verrrry interesting! Sound Watch was doing their normal great service with the private boaters nearby. Strait Watch was tracking the humpback and Fisheries staff arrived on scene about 1500. We heard they were all going to attempt to cut the gear loose from the whale.
Deb Martyn, Orcas I. Eclipse Charter naturalist
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A fisherman reports that at about 8:45pm, at 44 40 x 125 08 (off Oregon), while pulling in tuna lines, a single juvenile orca surfaced 8-9' from his boat, and "scared the living daylight out of him."
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Here is the Humpback whale I saw from Lime Kiln as he followed the resident orcas up island. (This is the humpback called Canuck that is tangled in fishing gear.)
Photo by Melissa Pinnow
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We had a group of approximately 10-12 Pacific Whitesided dolphins feeding and frolicking off Point Roberts today. They remained in the area just off the marina entrance from 4:30 until around 9 pm when we could hear them slowly moving North. They were very active - leaping, charging, tail slapping, and breaching. Very exciting!
Sandra Scott
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30+ Transient Orcas were sighted off Victoria this afternoon moving mostly East. Ron Bates said that there had been two Orcas i.d. as California Transient:)
Andrew Lees
Dave Ellifrit sent me some great ID pics from the big transient sighting on 25 August. The three CA T's are the large male CA20 (T132), and females CA54 (T134) and CA177. CA20 and CA54 visited Glacier Bay in 1989. CA54 was likely the third whale in Doug Miller's sighting on 26 August.
Alisa Shulman-Janiger

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After two whole days without orcas around (but with Humpbacks and Minkes!) our residents returned to the sound in full force. There were groups representing all 3 pods up in the area between Stuart and Pender Islands. When we came on scene the whales we were with appeared to be resting. After about 20 minutes they suddenly turned around and sped up. There were whales everywhere. We were surrounded! As we prepared to leave the area a Humpback appeared, heading north. We had heard about the animal earlier in the day. We kept our distance and didn't stop to watch the single whale, as it was entangled in fishing gear and there were boats around with the hopes of untangling it from the line.
Laura and Kristen, Naturalists, San Juan Safaris
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Faint calls on the Orcasound hydrophone - 11:35 am.
Meg McDonald
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1130am - J and K pod just passed Lime Kiln with a Humpback whale bringing up the rear.
Melisa Pinnow
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Humpback in Central Puget Sound. 6:00 AM. Approximately 250 yards east of Fay Bainbridge State Park, traveling North then Northwest towards Suquamish
Jeff Engebretson

August 24, 2011

We were fishing off of Bush Point (Whidbey Is) and were thrilled by a Minke Whale that surfaced several times.
Steve Walter
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A few Js were starting to come in towards the Straits.
Catherine Gregory
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J+K+L pods were seen off the west side of San Juan Island this evening :)
Brittany Bowles
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J,K,L offshore from Victoria this afternoon!
Ric Merry
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A report of humpbacks a long way away. Then J Pod. Then Js & Ks. Then Js, Ks and Ls!
John Boyd
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Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca - 1600, K's and L's.
Scott Veirs

August 23, 2011

We saw two humpbacks off of Guemes island while we were out with Deer Harbor Charters. They were swimming in sync, and in fairly shadow water, often swimming close to the island. One had a large notch in his dorsal fin, and our naturalist suspected it may have been a prop injury. Underneath side of the tail was primarily white.
Catherine Gregory
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I was out at Washington Park (Anacortes) today doing my weekly Harbor Porpoise survey. We survey Burrows Pass, the water between Washington Park and Burrows Island. I not only saw two groups of Harbor Porpoise but just as I was ready to leave I heard a blow that could not have come from a harbor porpoise. When I looked there were two Humpback Whales entering the pass. I could clearly see their dorsal fin and as they made their turn around Borrows Island they were kind enough to wave with their Flukes. One appeared to be smaller then the other. Of course I did not have my camera with me. The larger one's fluke was mostly white on the underside and the smaller one had a little white on the underside of each tip of its fluke. Pass is deep but could not believe Humpbacks would come so close to land.
PS: The other thing I noticed, their blowhole and dorsal fin appeared to have a white coating on them. Normal?
Pattie Hutchins
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Headed out between Shaw and Lopez Islands, past Orcas and out towards Lummi Island, we were in search of the ever-popular but very elusive (in the Pacific Northwest) humpback whale. We saw boats out by Lummi. And then, we saw a blow! And then another. But wait, there was another set of blows! We had not one but two humpback whales! As we continued to view the humpbacks, we noticed that one appeared a little smaller than the other; did we have a mother and almost-yearling calf? The larger whale would breathe for about 4-5 cycles and then fluke-up dive and then the smaller one would follow suite. Perhaps two juveniles, teens hanging out. Before we could get too far, though, we saw lots of small gray bodies porpoising (bringing part of their bodies up) out of the water. Harbor porpoises!
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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T100's came around Donagal Head into Cormorant Channel and were Westbound by Mitchell Bay.
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Northern Resident Orca
A12 with the two brothers from the A36 Matriline were in Nodales Channel heading West into Johnstone Strait, then at Ripple Point still slowly headed Westward, and at Vansittart Point, Johnstone Strait. Orca around the Cracroft Point, Robson Bight area in the fog.
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On the 23rd on board the Cutty Sark at 0800 we saw a humpback @ 48 39.50 N and 123 2.00 W heading NE up President Channel. It made our day!
John Stone

August 22, 2011

The T18's were around Lawrence Point, Orcas Island this morning!
Tasli Shaw
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We saw some whales I haven't seen for over two months...transients! There were four of them, traveling very quickly, their dorsal fins waving in front of us. It was the T-19 group, and I love seeing the transients because they are really the coolest, top predator of the sea!
Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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Northern Resident Orca:
The A4, A5 and I15 Matrilines of Orca were Eastbound by Eve River, Johnstone Strait, the trailing group of I15's were still headed East by the Broken Islands.

August 21, 2011

BEAUTIFUL afternoon with J's and K's on the west side, around Race Rocks so of course lots of lovely sealions too!! For sure i.d'd j2, j8, the j16's, l87, j27, j28, j32, k21.
Mercedes Powell
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Late this morning we heard that the Orcas had been sighted near Sooke heading East.
Andrew Lees
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Northern Resident Orca
A number of Resident Orca were headed East by Cracroft Point and by 9:30 am some had made it into the Bight. The A11's, A8's and A23's for sure. Some Orca made it West to Beaver Cove and back towards the Bight.
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4 Orca (assumed to be Transients) were just outside Spring Passage, the Broughton's, in northern BC.

August 20, 2011

Here in Clayoquot we had 4 bulls heading up the coast with a couple of Xs (females or juvenile males) and we don't know who they were. We've never seen this sex ratio in the past.
Rod Palm, Principal Investigator, Strawberry Isle Marine Research Society
Note: These we identified as members of the R Clan of Northern Residents.
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We were with all 3 pods until 8.20pm and they were moving slowly west!
Andrew Lees
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Just north of False Bay on the west side of San Juan Island, we caught up with some zig-zagging orcas! L-pod was cruising around and we were able to identify L-85 "Mystery" with his shorter but wide dorsal fin and comet-shaped saddle patch of white. At one point, we were surrounded by whales on all sides and we just shut down, dropped our hydrophone into the sea and listened to them. We heard lots of orca sounds, from high-pitched squeaks and squawks to whistles and clicks. We discovered that animals from J and K-pods were headed south towards our spot and we eventually saw K-21 "Cappuccino," a 25-year old mature male.
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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While sitting at Lime Kiln waiting for whales to come down from the north, I was surprised at 1:15 PM when whales suddenly came up from the south! It was the L2s and L54s, presumably going north to meet the other whales. These seven whales just passed the point north of Lime Kiln, then just milled back and forth around until the other whales approached. Around 2:00 PM, whales started coming back south. K20 and K38 passed close to shore, with K27 and K44 a little further off. Some whales were out at least a mile or two offshore, but before 3:00 PM another big group passed about 200 yards offshore. IDs were difficult due to the backlighting, but I saw members of the following matrilines in this group: J14s, L55s, L47s, and L26s. If all members of those family groups were there, that's 23 whales, which seems about right for how many were traveling together.
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island
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Hydrophone reports
2:25 PM
1:16 PM ORCA AT LIME KILN
Robo
1:46pm - Just started hearing calls on the Orcasound hydrophone!
Traci Walter
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I was fishing off Sandy Point (Whidbey Island) at dawn on Saturday morning and heard a large blow. I was able to catch sight of what looked like a lone humpback making its way north up Saratoga Passage closer to Camano Island. It was dead still and quiet and I was able to hear the whale making its whale sounds (not sure what you call that), but it was very cool. A couple of hours later I saw it again coming back south and this time got a clear look and was able to confirm it was a humpback by the small dorsal.
Gary Kocher
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We had a pod of of orcas a whopping 18 miles west out of Moss Landing, Monterey Bay CA. Nancy Black confirmed the pod as CA39s. There was only CA39 and her offspring-- no adult male in the pod. When we got there there were mini-rafts of sea lions grouped together sticking their flippers out of the water. We would see the pod swim toward the rafts and dive under. A few seconds later, the sea lions panicked and took off porpoising east. We saw them charge at a sea lion but then continued west. Nancy said they had killed a sea lion about a half hour earlier.
Kate Cummings, Blue Ocean Whale Watch, Inc
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Nancy Black of Monterey Bay Whalewatch encountered transient killer whales - CA39s - at 10:55 am today. They killed at least 2 sea lions. She left them at 12:00 pm; they were headed west along the north side of the canyon.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger, California Killer Whale Project
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Northern BC whale sightings sent in by Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins of BC
Northern Resident Orca
At least 8 Orca were around Arrow Passage and slowly heading towards Fife Sound. Some dolphins decide to harass them for a short time. They were very spread out from the Holford Islets and worked their way towards Wells Passage/Polkinghorne Island area. I dropped the hydrophone and immediately recognized some G-Clan calls. I left them around Polkinghorne Island 11 am headed West towards Numas Islands, Queen Charlotte Strait. Some Resident Orca by Naka Creek, other Resident Orca at the Broken Group as far as Forward Bay.
Northern BC transient Orca
Transient Orca by McMillan Point, Cortez Island, headed North by Marina Island into Hoskyn Channel, by Cortez Island. They were the T101's and T102. Some Transients were headed North by Cape Mudge towards Campbell River.

August 19, 2011

L pod at Point Roberts.
Cathy Scott
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Huge group of Orcas passing Point Roberts right now! 6:00pm off Lighthouse Park
Sandra Scott
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We ended up at the south end of Saturna to catch up with L pod, headed north. They were cruising up the east side of the island. When we got there they were moving at a slowish speed, which was great because we were able to catch up to them before they headed out into the Strait of Georgia. We were there for maybe 5 minutes when suddenly, things started to escalate. They sped up and started porpoising, occasionally surfacing simultaneously in beautiful "chorus lines" 6 or 7 whales across. We motored offshore of the whales, trying to keep pace. Apparently the whales had other ideas. They always do. A few of them turned in our direction. The captain quickly maneuvered the boat away, farther offshore, but we were met by more sneaky whales coming in toward our stern. Again we turned and tried to move farther offshore. No dice. A third group of whales surfaced outside of us. We were surrounded. We shut down to let the whales pass. These whales did not appear to be interested in us, just the area we were in. I was expecting them to pass as usual, but instead they slowed and started milling around us. No one was particularly close, just milling on all sides of the boat. Perhaps there were salmon hiding under us? We sat, watching and listening to their forceful exhalations. We saw L25 (Ocean Sun) cruise by. We also saw a couple of the little L pod calves scooting around. We dropped the hydrophone and heard some faint calls.
Laura, naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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8:00 this am at the lighthouse.....so many whales, up really close....amazing morning, no boats!
Frank-Vicky Giannangelo
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Hydrophone reports
11am - ORCA AT LIME KILN
Robo
Calls on Orca Sound right now (10am).
Judy Simons
Hearing faint calls on OrcaSound now. :) 8:59
Gayle Swigart
7:47am-calls on Lime Kiln
Alisa Lemire Brooks
Occasional calls and echolocation on Lime Kiln. Started listening (and hearing them) at 7:40am.
Gayle Swigart
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Humpback Whale Entangled in Georgia Strait. A couple of days ago, a Humpback Whale was spotted close to Gabriola Island dragging crabbing gear behind it heading up the Strait. As of a few hours ago, no-one has spotted the whale. There has been a Humpback seen in the upper Georgia Strait, but no mention or queries about any lines or gear on it.
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Northern Resident Orca
Reports of possible Orca in or around Beaver Cove, outside Telegraph Cove and some by the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve, Orca by Cracroft Point and headed along Hanson Island and/or up Blackfish Sound, and a couple of groups of Resident Orca between Malcolm Island and the Penfold Islets, Queen Charlotte Strait. 8 or 9 Resident Orca spotted foraging and Westbound by Camp Point, just above Campbell River then in mid-Johnstone Strait.

August 18, 2011

9pm - All 3 pods are around False Bay area.
Melisa Pinnow
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J pod with a few K pod comrades near Monarch Head, Saturna Island.
Tasli Shaw
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3pm - A group of about 10 or 15 orcas is milling/socializing at False Bay right now!
Melisa Pinnow
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Northern Resident Orca Orca were out by Donagal Head, Malcolm Island foraging then heading West, more Orca were already by Lizard Point doing the same, foraging and heading West, other Orca were Eastbound down Blackfish Sound, while yet another group were already by Cracroft Point. By 10 am the majority had made it into the Bight, as far as the Eastern boundary, yet quite spread out as well as on the rubbing beaches.

August 17, 2011

Early reports of "lots" of whales in San Juan Channel. Turns out it was J Pod, K Pod, AND L Pod. The whales cruised by Friday Harbor and headed towards Cattle Point, where they decided to split apart. L Pod continued out to the west side of San Juan while Js and Ks (and apparently the L2s) turned and headed back north. We caught up with the whales during our afternoon trip in one of my favorite areas in Boundary Pass--Monarch Head. The whales had been breaching for quite awhile before we arrived, so they were in a bit of resting mode. That is until a huge container ship threw a huge wake across the front of about 20 orcas and they decided to play in the wake and began breaching over and over. Tons of tail lobs, cartwheels, a few spyhops. All with Mt. Baker in the background. More Js and Ks were swimming along the shoreline and doing a lot of foraging. We watched J27 Blackberry do multiple tail lobs as he chased after a female (who was swimming upside down so I couldn't get an ID). We also spotted K21 Cappucino and also little K44 (so peachy colored you couldn't miss the little guy!) It was nice seeing all the boats giving the whales space (except for one private sailboat who Soundwatch had to intercept as they passed between our boat and a nice group of whales). All the surface activity of the last few weeks had us pondering if the whales are so active because they are getting enough salmon to eat? As we prepared to leave, one female gave us a beautiful parting gift of a perfectly lit breach.
John Boyd (JB), SSAMN Marine Naturalist, Western Prince
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Superpod in Boundary Pass. Capt. Jim Mead
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A group of five Orcas passed Lighthouse Park Point Roberts at 6:30 pm. They were moving quickly and heading North. There were two large males present.
Sandra Scott
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The Js and Ks turned and headed north from Friday Harbor sometime around 10am and kept truckin' north until 5. Thats where I last saw them, just around the corner from East Point in the Straight of Georgia, going north.
Tasli Shaw
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It was bright and sunny as we headed north out of Friday Harbor. We spotted a few killer whale dorsal fins off in the distance. As the boat turned there was a large pod of orcas, over twenty whales close to each other surfacing and breathing. Then, all of a sudden one breached, then another next to the first one, then a third after the second one, then two whales breached at the same time! It looked like it was coordinated. The whales continued to be super active and playful throughout the time we watched them; spy hopping, tail slapping, lob tailing, and occasionally more breaching!
Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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J+K+L pod members came by Friday Harbor today, you could see them from the 9 a.m. ferry this morning. After that L pod broke off from the group and was seen on the South side of San Juan Island this afternoon and I'm not sure what the J's and K's were up to by then. :)
Brittany Bowles
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At least eight Orcas passed through the San Juan Channel, near Pt. Caution and the University of Washington property, at 8:45am this morning ... moving east toward Friday Harbor at a fast speed, just forty or fifty yards off of the north shore of San Juan Island.
Kevin Hillstrom
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Northern Resident Orca
Northern Resident Orca were spread out in Johnstone Strait from the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve along the Hanson Island shoreline.Vessel Kermode. Orca were closer to the Pearse Islands, across from Beaver Cove, by Chatham Point Lightstation, where Johnstone Strait starts, just above Campbell River, and more headed into Nodales Channel.
The A30 Matriline made their way up along Johnstone Strait and were actively foraging in Beaver Cove. Northern Residents including some of the I15's and I 16's were Westbound slowly by Lizard Point, Malcolm Island.
A12 and the two A36 brothers were headed West up Johnstone Strait by Eve River. Around 20 Northern Resident Orca including the A11's and others were Westing quickly just above Campbell River by Ripple Point.
A12 and the 'boys' have made it up to the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve.

August 16, 2011

Northern Resident Orca
Orca were spread out from the West end of Robson Bight Ecological Reserve to Beaver Cove, by Telegraph Cove.
A12 and the two A36 brothers were spotted by Kelsey Bay, Johnstone, at Camp Point, the lower start of Johnstone Strait, and Nodales Channel.

August 15, 2011

10am - Around 40 orcas headed down island from False Bay!! Lots of tail slaps and one backdive!
Melisa Pinnow
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9:24am - echolocation and faint calls at Lime Kiln now.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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8:49 am-calls on OrcaSound hydrophone
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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Northern BC transient Orca
Transient Orca the T55's hunting off the Pearse Islands and Stephenson Islets, they headed into Johnstone Strait then turned back up and out through the Plumper Islands. Possible Transient Orca: At least one large male Orca was close in to Vivian Rocks, in front of Powell River. Its dorsal had a distinct lean to it.
Northern Resident Orca
Orca reported by Port Neville and Swaine Point, Boat Bay, Johnstone Strait. The A4's and A5's were caught up to by the tours out of Campbell River, Eastbound by Kelsey Bay.
A very large group of many of pods of Orca are still hanging around the upper Queen Charlotte Strait area and off of the Port Hardy Airport.

August 14, 2011

This afternoon at 2:45 PM a big group of Southern Residents passed by close to shore at Land Bank's Westside Preserve heading north. Included were at least the J11s, J17s, J22s, and the L12s. I was also surprised to see L82 and L116 pop up! They didn't seem to be in much of a hurry and were very playful.
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island
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J, K and L Pods today off the west side of San Juan - a total surprise! No sign of J and K pods until they appeared off the west side of San Juan Island at 2 p.m. The first group of whales passing by the lighthouse had Granny J-2 and Spieden J-8 and several others. Then more came up and as they passed the lighthouse Fluke L-105 and Racer L-72 surfaced. Nyssa L-84, Ballena L-90, Marina L-47 and baby L-115 and more. L Pod had returned! And they kept coming. Even the L-12s were present along with J and K pods. The only family groups that I did not see at least one member of were the L2s and the L54s. What a surprise it was! They continued to travel up island. I'll post more about the encounter with pictures to my blog Whale of a Purpose.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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2:56 pm. Orcas chatting at Lime Kiln.
Meg McDonald
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Northern Resident Orca
Orca at Cracroft Point Westing along Hanson Island to Weynton Pass, continuing West past Donagal Head, Malcolm Island.
Some Orca vocals were heard at Critical Point, by the Bight. Then some past the top end of Malcolm Island and some down to Eve River, close to Kelsey Bay.
2 to 3 Large groups of Orca are milling / foraging and slowly Westbound in Goletas Channel, by Chrisitie Pass, and Orca Easting by Eve River.
A8's and A24's were headed West to Cracroft Point, soon after, the A4's and A5's went West then East.

August 13, 2011

A Big and a large female (later ID'd by Alisa Schulman Janiger as California Transients) southbound at Race Point in Discovery.
Nick Templeman, Eagle Eye Adventures
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Hydrophone reports
10:30 - Chorus of kitties on Lime Kiln make for a beautiful Saturday night orca-stra!
Vickie Doyle
10:27 - hearing really faint calls
Alisa Lemire Brooks
9:05 pm - K pod calls on Orcasound just began!
Meg McDonald
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California transients in Georgia Strait August 8-13
August 9
From: Nick Templeman (To Rod Palm, SIMRS):
These two males were travelling thru past Campbell river today with 7 other animals. I don't think I have seen either of these 2 before and cannot really find them in the books. Any ideas my friend??
Cheers, Nick!
Orca Network sent the above photos on to Alisa Schulman-Janiger, who replied:
Yes, these ARE California transients! Male 1 is N25, and Male 2 is CA24. They are nearly always seen together. Some recent sightings of these boys were in April and May in Monterey, CA. Images posted by Nick Templeman on the Eagle Eye Adventure Facebook page show that CA180 was also with CA24 and N25 on August 8 (by Grants Reef off of Savary Island). Nick told me that they were last seen (August 13) off Campbell River, headed south. It is SO exciting that Nick saw CA24 and N25 off the Campbell River! NICE images.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger, California Killer Whale Project
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My husband and I were walking the South Beach, San Juan Island around 1:30pm and spotted 2 Orcas swimming West. We walked over to a secluded group of rocks on the same beach and watched a very large pod of about 20 - 25 Orcas, including 1 large male with an intense dorsal fin protruding in and out of the water. The entire scene was mindblowing. We then drove to a lookout point about a mile East of the Lime Kiln State Park, crawled on a lower group of rocks and watched the same pod come through. We watched them breach and lobtail. Such amazing creatures. The only bothersome part of the entire viewing experience was the fact that every time a whale popped out of the water, a crowd of whale watching ships stalked the whale and pod. This was our first trip to San Juan Island but definitely not the last.
Jenifer and Michael Hernandez, Seattle, WA.
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Something rare occurred today; killer whales surprised us by coming up not only next to our boat, but a couple swam under our boat! We headed around Cattle Point to the west side of San Juan Island. This is where we saw the orcas. There was a small group of three that were close to land. We stopped or boat to watch when one big male changed direction and the next thing we knew he swam right across our bow. I was able to identify him as Blackberry (J27). Then more killer whales started coming to us from both directions. We watched them tail slapping and milling around, and we even saw the new K-calf (K44) with his mother Deadhead (K27). Then, out of nowhere a group of 4 whales went around and under the boat next to us and then two swam under our boat! It was incredible! On the other side when they came up I was able to identify Mike (J26). This was the closest encounter I've had! What a great summer afternoon.
Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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This morning between 11:15 and 11:30 [orcas] headed south past Lime Kiln in a large, fast-moving group. When they were still a mile or more to the north they started getting very active - I think I saw about 15 breaches in the span of about 30 seconds! I've never seen them quite go off like that before. They settled down a little bit by the time they reached the lighthouse, but we still saw several breaches, spyhops, and tailslaps. I saw members from every matriline in J-Pod plus L87, but there were so many whales I think at least some of K-Pod was present, too.
Monika Wieland
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10am - Pod passing Mitchell Bay heading north
Vicky Stromee
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Northern Resident Orca
The A-23s easting into Nodales Channel, the A-8's and A-25's foraging in Fredricks

August 12, 2011

"Do whales come up in the fog?" someone asked as passengers on board 'Mystic Sea' enjoyed a thoroughly 'mystic' experience off Middle Bank, west of San Juan Island. Cappucino (K21) and sister Raggedy (K40) with feisty little K44 and Mom, Deadhead (K27) appeared and disappeared through waves of fog. Mega (L41) made a fleeting appearance before being enveloped, once again, in the mist.
Sandra Pollard, Freeland, Whidbey Island
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Looks like K21 is healing nicely? CWR was out there following him and K40 for a while today, hopefully they agree!
Heather Hill
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We made our way along the west side of San Juan Island. Suddenly, someone shouted, "There!" The boat slowed, we turned, we looked, we waited and then: ORCA! One dorsal and then two appeared. They were traveling north so we meandered along with them; they led us to more whales and less fog, perfect! We started seeing more and more; we were able to identify many from K-pod including K-27 "Deadhead" (referring more to a dangerous vertically-bobbing log than a music groupie) and her baby, K44 (yet to be named). Lots of whales in the common hunting formation of trios, pairs and loners. The whales dropped us off at Mosquito Pass, at least that's where the end--the trailers--of the pod was. This allowed us to cut through between Henry Island and San Juan, pass Roche Harbor and ultimately circumnavigate San Juan Island (no more fog on this side!).
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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Hydrophone reports
3:08pm - Orcas at Lime Kiln hydrophones.. loud and clear!
Vickie Doyle
2:57pm - calls and echolocation on Lime Kiln hydrophone
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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Northern Resident Orca
The A-36s/A-12/A-24s/A-11s without the 35s or A-73 (they were reported further west) in Johnston Strait at the Broken Islands and to the west at Forward bay.

August 11, 2011

Yesterday during an outer coast survey we sighted this lone adult male killer whale at 14:10 offshore of Sea Lion Rock N47 59.57 W124 45.03 (South of Ozette WA). Can you let us know the ID of this animal?
Adrianne Akmajian, Marine Mammal Technician, Makah Fisheries Management
Adam U noted that the orca seen near Ozette WA, south of Neah Bay August 11 is T031, which can be seen by going to Transient Killer Whales of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska.
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Hydrophone report
13:48 << ORCA AT NEAH BAY???
Cherrps and squeeeels off in the background.
Robo
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We headed towards Victoria to try and find the elusive Humpback Whale. The last reports we heard were of two animals that had just 'fluked up' and gone for a deeper dive. So we slowly moved into the area, turned off the engines, and waited. After only a few short minutes we had two mature Humpbacks surface not far from the boat side by side. We watched as they each took a few breaths, spouting about 15 feet in the air, and then getting great shots of a double fluke as the dove again. We repositioned the boat and waited for the next surfacing. As we scanned all the around, I heard passengers from another boat gasp in excitement and I turned just in time to see both Humpbacks completely breach out of the water!! Our other boat, the Sea Lion, was between us and the whales, but one of the Humpbacks got so much air that I could see it over the top of the other boat. It was Incredible! Humpbacks are some of my favorite whales in the world.
Mike, Captain - San Juan Safaris

August 10, 2011

Huge groups moving together like ballet. At one point we had probably 30 [orcas] making simultaneous direction changes. Sunset trip was equally awesome with smaller groups of whales, but much more active!
John Boyd
*
It was J's & K's Wed morning at Eagle, L's came in from the west in the morning and met up with J's & K's in the afternoon.
Andrew Lees
*
The first trip we had all three pods meandering up and down the west side of San Juan. Fortunately for us, when we got out on the west side (after finding a very young minke whale), the whales had decided to move offshore. We watched one group of approximately 30 whales surfacing in close proximity to each other. They would surface heading one direction, and then gracefully turn in one large group and head another direction. It was like water ballet--I've not witnessed such large group direction changes simultaneously before. For our evening trip, the whales were still meandering off of False Bay, but in "smaller" groups of about 15 whales.
John Boyd (JB), SSAMN Marine Naturalist, Western Prince
*
We found them today, out by False Bay, very spread out and difficult to ID - am guessing around 35-40 [orcas]. We did spot K21 Capuccino, K27 with K44 streaking alongside mom. Some J's too - J27 and J47 but the water was somewhat choppy and difficult to get clear photos. They were still heading south when we left them, around 2:30 pm, and heard the L's were heading into town also.
Jill Hein, Coupeville, Aboard Mystic Sea
*
As we came around the west side of San Juan Island, we spotted a cacophony of sea birds and right among them, two minke whales surfaced!
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris

August 9, 2011

Another NE Florida orca report from August 9: My family stayed at the beach in St Augustine FL. We were out a little further than normal so the kids could use floats. I saw a huge amount of fish jumping out of the water so i started looking to see what was making them move. When my daughter started screaming shark. I looked to the left where she was trying to get out of the water. I knew it wasn't a shark because of its fin it look like an orca (juvenile), but I was looking at it and it was looking at me. I was shocked because my mind was saying you don't belong here. Have you had any sightings in St Augustine Fl? (Yes, on August 1 from New Smyrna FL and on August 6 in St. Augustine FL). We did hear of other people saying they saw whales. My daughter was right next too it and I was close enough to look into its face. I'll never forget the eyes.
Janet Chronister
*
Boats from Victoria reported the [orcas] were returning and had reached the Jordan River coming east to San Juan Island. For our 1:30 tour the large group of whales had not come far east enough for us to reach. When departing for the 5:30 trip, Captain Craig had learned that the whales had progressed 5 miles east of Race Rocks, which is apprx in front of Victoria break water. While reaching Vancouver Island it was learned that the orca whales had stalled out. But after coming this far, it was decided to continue on. The whales were socializing in a tight group. We could see about 30 of them at a time from the boat.
Captain Craig Melvin, Naturalists Alex Hill and Kristen Dominici, San Juan Safaris
*
J's, K's, and L's returned to the interior waters in the morning. We first picked them up off of Jordan River at 10:30. They socialized and sauntered in towards Sooke no quicker than the incoming flood current and passed up the fishing hot spots to the delight of the local salmon fishing guides.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

August 8, 2011

Very unusual sighting today...a humpback! It was right on the west side of San Juan Island. We saw the spout followed by its large back. We watched for a while and were able to see it go down for two deeper dives, arching its back and exposing its fluke. Plus, when it exhaled, it sounded like it was wheezing because it made a high pitched, scratchy sound. That wasn't all that we saw today. We saw a minke whale, not so far from where we spotted the humpback.
Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris

August 7, 2011

Off the west side of San Juan we watched a group of juveniles splashing and playing for about 10 minutes before we realized what the focus of their attention was. It became clear when this youngster appeared with the latest in orca hat fashion? a salmon!
Val Shore.
*
Members of J, K & L pods passed by Lime Kiln from 8-11am, first heading north and then back south again. J8 put on a bit of a show with several breaches. Many cartwheels and a few tail lobs from some of the others. Members present included J2 & K12.
Cherish Morrison
*
Two killer whales came up real close to our boat! Then a few more surfaced all around us and one even breached! They slowly started moving away from us, but Mike stayed close for a little while longer. The group was in no hurry though, taking the time to tail slap and turn over, slapping the water with their pectoral fins. I was able to identify J26 (Mike) as well as L72 (Racer) from this group. We found more killer whales, lots of them! We slowed and watched a group of about four whales tail slapping, rolling around, and spy hopping. Then to the other side of the boat there were juveniles porpoising and breaching. The groups started coming together and there were now maybe twenty whales, one of which was obviously L41 (Mega).
Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
*
This morning just after 8 AM I arrived at Lime Kiln State Park and whales were already going by heading north. The first whale I saw was L2, and L88 was offshore of her. The whales were very spread out and going on long dives which made them hard to track. Between 8 and 9 o'clock I also saw L22 and L79, K22 and K37, and the L54s. While these whales continued north, at 9 I could see a large group of whales heading south past Land Bank, as well.
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island
*
hydrophone reports
8:00am just heard some calls on Lime Kiln.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
9am - I'm hearing some orcas right now in Limn Kiln on the hydrophone.
Timothy Paul Smith
8:47 calls on OrcaSound now too
Alisa Lemire Brooks
Still calling on OS at 9:57.
Orca Network
*
We saw a large pod of orcas, at 9:30 am at Columbia Beach, French Creek (northern Georgia Strait, about 20 miles north of Nanaimo, BC). There were at least a few hundred, heading south.
Cathy McDougall

August 6, 2011

This afternoon at 1:15 PM a very spread out superpod started making their way south past Lime Kiln. J2 was in the lead, followed by the J14s, the K13s, and K12s. Many whales were several miles offshore, way too far away to be identified. There was a gap from 2:00-2:30, when another group of whales came by. I'm not 100% sure because they were so backlit but given the number of juveniles and the dorsal fin shapes, I'm guessing it was the L55s, and it looked like L47 and L115 were also there. When I left around 3:00 there was still a large group of whales hanging out in the middle of Haro Strait, slowly making their way south.
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island
*
Hydrophone reports
2:05 PM - ORCA AT LIME KILN
robo
Whistles being heard on Lime Kiln hydrophones, 3:05 pm - Lon Brockelhurst reported hearing calls at 2:04 pm at Lime Kiln as well.
3:30pm - Watched members of K & L (and possibly J) pods pass by Lime Kiln from 1-3pm. Estimated 45-50+ individuals. Amazing!
Cherish Morrison
Echolocation and calls at Lime Kiln. 9:22 am. L pod.
Meg McDonald

August 5, 2011

Arrived at Lime Kiln at 9:30 to see a large portion of the J, K, L pods pass heading north. The last group was large in numbers and much closer to the shore. One headed right in along the kelp line. ID's from our photos include: non-wound side of K21 (Cappucino); K40 (Raggedy); K16 (Opus; K22 (Seiku); J34 (Doublestuff); J22 (Oreo).
Alisa Lemire Brooks
*
Spent the afternoon with L's at Pender. We i.d'd Gaia, Wavewalker, Tanya, Ino, Nyssa and Indigo...we think. The boys for definite! Haven't double checked the ladies yet. There was a really little calf in there aswell. They were resting at first and then all woke up and started feeding and socializing.
Mercedes Powell
*
Transients off Tofino, T41, T41a and very young calf found at 2pm around Cleland Island, SE of Flores Island off Tofino. Jamies whale watching zodiacs were watching these animals as well as grays and humpbacks well into the evening.
Claire Mosley
*
We went international to observe a pod rumored to be around the Gulf Islands of Canada. Shortly after crossing the border and entering Swanson Channel we saw a group of around fifteen lively orcas. The surface around them was turning with activity as Mickey Mouse ear pectoral fins slapped the surface, full-body breaches created wakes and tails slammed onto the water. There were three mature males within the mix and the two that were traveling closely together appeared to be the brothers Wave Walker (L-88) and Gaia (L-78) of the L2 matriline.
Kirsten, naturalists for San Juan Safaris Whale Watching

August 4, 2011

We watched the L's (at least 20-25) from land, a little bit north at Hannah Heights area from 7:00-7:30 am. Exuberant socializing, foraging, tail lobs (many in succession of 3-4), spyhops, lunging, rolls, love, breaches. The sound of their blows heard from way up on the bend at Bailer HIll/West Side Road. Was an amazing 1/2 hour. When we left, they were heading south again at about Pile Point.
5:35pm update: We stayed at Lime Kiln all day, none of the Orca that way. Last reports from Bob Otis at the lighthouse: was L's came through the Juan de Fuca Strait and hooked up with the L12's near Salmon bank, (South Beach) earlier and were still there, possibly heading north. J's & K's last reported off of Lummi Island late this afternoon, heading south.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
*
The killer whales were close today so we had plenty of observation time and were able to see a smorgasbord of species. We first encountered L pod and successfully identify the 34-year-old male Mega (L-41) who was traveling alongside the 22-year-old male Gaia (L-78). What was really exciting was the amount of calves that were traveling and playing together. There were at least three youngsters who were taking turns lob tailing, propoising, spy hopping and breaching next to each other. After spending our fair share of time with the killer whales, minke whales were next out by Salmon Bank. There were two whales which surfaced more frequently than normal and surprised us by coming up right next to the boat, close enough to hear them breathe.
Kirsten and Kristen, naturalists, San Juan Safaris
*
We've had L-pod all day, juan de fuca in the morning, salmon bank in the afternoon, last seen milling at False Bay.
Mercedes Powell
*
I heard echolocation at Lime Kiln for a while this morning, and a lot of loud boats came and lingered, screeching into the hydrophone, so I'm assuming the orcas were there even though I didn't hear any vocalizations.
Meg McDonald

August 3, 2011

Fab morning with J's and K's!! J34's getting bigger each time I see him. Was lovely to see K21, and his interesting new nick! and J27 was much fun in the afternoon with his inverted swimming!
Mercedes Powell
*
We headed north into Canadian waters to find the killer whales. Three of them came up on us, about one hundred yards away! It was K pod; we were able to identify Cappuccino. We watched them slowly move near shore and meet up with other whales. As we were watching the whales, salmon began to jump out of the water.
Kristen, Naturalist, San Jan Safaris
*
Sitting here at San Juan County park. The Orca were at LK earlier and passed by here about an hour ago (noon). First heard what I thought was K pod on Lime Kiln hydrophone around 11:00 am. Overheard someone here saying it was J and some K's. Several groups travelling thru steadily north with some breaches. They continued up the north end of the island out of sight. Very appreciative that J & K pod journeyed back along San Juan Island.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
*
A fast, but happy, whale show past our Orca Rock on a gorgeous afternoon around 5 pm. Js swimming with the fast tide, east through Active Pass. Many tail slaps, spy hops, breaches, backstroke swimming, and fin slaps.
Karoline Cullen, Galiano Island

August 2, 2011

We spotted 2 Orca just off Mack Arch rock south of Crook Point in Oregon at about 10:30 a.m. We have stayed at this particular location many times and have found that it is a haven for summer resident gray whales. This year we observed a juvenile gray whale each day traveling north and south to the inside of the sea stacks where there is good protection from rough waters and predators. The grays have remained in this general area feeding for days at a time during our stays. Our sighting lasted less than 10 min and they disappeared behind the large rock and were not viewed again by us.
Patrice Lester
*
We saw what looks to be the same L subgroup. At 3:45 pm near Hannah Heights area we were watching first 5 Orca (1 adult male, 3 females and a youngin) heading steadily south. Once they passed, another adult male and a female followed quite a distance behind. I almost think this male looks like L41 so look forward to any reports from the boats for all the ID's. All 7 were mostly foraging and slow moving south, with a few tail slaps, porpoising and one spyhop. We watched them from the bluff until 5:30pm. From 6:00-7:00pm we watched them from South Beach, mostly foraging and moving east, then west, then east, then west. When we left them they were heading pretty steadily west. Maybe another day, they will come back in close to the lighthouse.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
*
Joe Huckaba reported a pod of 7-8 orcas seen near Brookings, OR at 12:30pm. They were a couple of miles from shore at N42 12 103 by W124 25 407, headed SSW. They were "playing more than feeding.
*
We received a call from Marlene Wagenheim of Florida, reporting an orca she saw 3-400 yards off the beach in New Smyrna Beach, Florida (about 40 miles northeast of Orlando) at 2pm. She didn't think it was an adult male. It breached 3 times. She said she heard others had been seen there a few weeks ago, but she couldn't find a reliable report.

August 1, 2011

Hi all-2:15 pm from South Beach we saw the L12's (ID from LK Int. Center) foraging out a couple hundred yards or more. They then headed north, last around False bay at 4:00. Yay! More to come we hope.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
*
L-pod, minke. Out into the waters off Salmon bank, where the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Haro strait meet, we found exactly what we were still holding our breaths for: L-pod of the Southern Resident Killer Whales! The pod was spread out near and off shore and from Cattle Pass up towards False Bay. It was every whale for itself, with a few being social and in pairs and trios. Some seemed to be traveling, others hunting and one frisky pair may have been mating (was he an outsider from J or K pod?). They were heading south but after thirty minutes of viewing, they all of a sudden went offshore and started traveling north. The visibility was excellent (we could see Mount Rainier and Mount Baker!). We found "bird balls" (high densities of birds sitting on the water, potentially on a ball of bait fish like herring). One bird ball took off all at once and minutes later, we found out why: a minke whale had come in to eat their herring!
Serena, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
*
Courtney Smith called Orca Network to say J pod is heading west out the Strait of Juan de Fuca this morning from 7 to 7:45 am. She saw J27, J19 and J41 from Port Angeles with a spotting scope, about ten kilometers from shore.




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