August 2012 Whale Sightings

August 31, 2012

Encounter # 60 - J, K, L pods in Haro Strait.
Center for Whale Research
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'Mystic Sea' went the distance to Tsawwassen ferry dock, BC, to spend time with members of J pod enjoying the Fraser River salmon. Active whales traveling at speed among the whitecaps - and little J49 knows how to breach...
Sandra Pollard, Freeland, Whidbey Island
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Today we saw several members of the resident L-pod actively feeding offshore of South Beach, SJI, (4826'N, 12300'W). First we saw members of the L12 matriline, including L41 "Mega". He was switching directions and slowly coming to the surface. At one point he rolled on his back and slapped the water with his pectoral fins and tail. We also saw L94 "Calypso" with her calf L113 "Molly". "Molly" was very active, splashing, rolling, tail-slapping. L77 "Matia" was also spotted with her calf L119 born earlier in 2012.San
Juan Safaris Naturalist Jenny
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T41A, T69A2, T69A, T69A3 off Point no Point, BC.
Josh McInnes
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11:51 am - Just left the T69As and T41s off point no point (BC).
9:12 am - Just received a call possible transients off sooke.
Josh McInnes
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1:30 PM - Just south of Protection Island in Discovery Bay. A large Orca (ID'd as T30) passed by our boat while we were waiting for the tide to change to enter Cape George Marina. We noted spouts from 4 additional Orcas in the distance.
Paul Happel
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I was fishin' at lagoon pt. -- and at about 7:45'ish.... i - and the other 4 guyz & 1 gal who were fishin' saw a HUGE 'thing' burst out of the water - about 30-40 ydz from shore - it was NOT a seal / sea lion .... and it was NOT a porpoise = this 'thing' had a very large & blunt - sorta rounded (NOT pointed) 'nose' - and a broad head ... THATZ all that was visible - whenst 'IT' surfaced... az it immediately dove down.... then - about 50 ydz further south - it 'surfaced' again ... tho' not az much was visible...it seemed to be following the 'rip' ....southward = towardz Bush pt. we ALL were sure twaz some sort of whale...whatcha thimk ?!?!??
wayne, downtown greenbank
This was probably the same humpback that was last seen off Mutiny Bay August 29 at 5:30 pm.

August 30, 2012

Encounter # 59 - J, K, L pods from Haro Strait, East Point.
Center for Whale Research
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We caught up with four Southern Resident Killer Whales near False Bay. This group of Killer Whales included Cappuccino (K21) a mature male born in 1985, as well as, Opus (K16) and her son Sonata (K32). The whales were initially traveling southeast before changing direction and double-backing to the west. Further to the west we spent time viewing another group of Killer Whales near Pile Point (4828.0017N, 12305.6076W). All in all there were roughly 20 whales spread out along the southern end of San Juan Island. Although the whales were largely spending their time traveling, a few individuals performed aerial displays; in total we saw 5 breaches! Crazy AWESOME!
Amy, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours
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Today we had J's and some K's heading north past Turn Pt including K20, K38, K25 and K34 heading towards the Pender Bluffs.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
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11:11 - Echolocation and a few squeaks on Lime Kiln, too.
Gayle Swigart
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11:00 - start hearing faint calls and echolocation on OrcaSound.
10:44am - an abundance of vocalizations and echolocation continues
10:20 - start hearing echolocations....louder now at 10:27a
10:00 am - Calls on Lime Kiln.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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10:26 - Starting to hear more K pod calls.
10:13 - Orcas heading north from False Bay!
10:04 - Sounds like K pod!
Melisa Pinnow
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10:22 am - Heading west now fill speed!!!! This is weird they may have picked up transients.
9:27 am - Lots of orcas inbound near sooke!!!
Josh McInnes
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8:10 am - Report of Orcas off Sheringham light near Sooke this morning. Unknown if Resident or Transient heading East
Sooke Coastal Explorations
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2 or 3 grey whales feeding for over 2 hours just east of Shipwreck point in front of Chito Beach Resort, Sekiu (20 miles east of Neah Bay in the Strait of Juan de Fuca).
Amy Harmon Cramer

August 29, 2012

Another amazing day out on the ocean. Transient killer whales were again sighted and turned out to be the T60 group. They were spotted less than a mile from a Humback whale which they left alone. They then made their way West in the middle of Juan De Fuca Strait and swam past a minke whale and a school of harbor porpoise. Soon they locked onto a Dall's porpoise and the lead female T60 began breaching at full speed at the swift little porpoise. The rest of the pod seemed to not know how to handle the foraging behavior. This may be due to inexperience because of the younger whales in this group. The Dall's porpoise fled the female orca and the hunt was stopped. It seemed the mother was giving a hunting demonstration to her offspring.
Josh McInnes
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California - Pt. Sur Clipper was on the whales before we were, and I guess there was a male with this group [of orcas] before but we didn't get a chance to see him. We caught up with the group at about 12:15 at 48/00 and stayed with them until 1pm. They were moving NW at about 5 knots and then did a 180 and started to chase something... we could see the tips of their dorsal fins zipping under the surface and two of them porpoised completely out of the water. We didn't get a look at what they caught, but they quickly moved on afterwards to the NW. We ended up at 49/02 before going home.
Kate Cummings
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At 5:30 PM I was fishing from my boat on my buoy and was startled by a very loud blow and turned to see a Humpback surface about 300ft from me. I live about in the middle of Mutiny Bay. It then surfaced about 10-12 more times as it was heading toward Bush Point. There was a small inflatable following it for about 4-5 miles. Pretty sweet evening!
Robert Armbruster
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Spotted a single whale in Admiralty Inlet, immediately east of Eglon Wa. Swimming north towards point no point at 3:15p.m. Possibly a humpback. Seemed too small for a Gray.
David Williams
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Just missed the pic but what a close encounter we just had with humpback. Fluked right next to our boat at 1500 heading north about 2 miles north of Kingston quarter mile from shore. Very cool finish to our sail today :)
Tim Ferris
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3:30 PM - The Three Minketeers: 3 Minke Whales out in Haro Strait, just south of Salmon Bank and San Juan Island (4824.97N 12259.02). Doing their Minke thing, traveling from bait ball to bait ball and lunging after any food in their course.
Naturalist Tara, San Juan Safaris

August 28, 2012

Encounter # 58-1 & 58-2 - T18, T19's, T60's and T2B in Haro Strait and the Gulf Islands.
Center for Whale Research
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South of Henry Island (4835.33N, 12312.53W) we began to see spray...the spray of four transient orcas! They were moving towards the northeast, hugging the shoreline. We believe this group included T19B. Just to the west, closer to Sydney Island (4837.30N, 12315.69W) we observed another group of four transients, possibly T60s, milling and then moving to the northeast.
San Juan Safaris Naturalist Jenny
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I would like to report a whale sighting: At approximately 2:30 PM aboard the Sea Lion of San Juan Safaris, we sighted a group of 3-4 transient orcas swimming south along the shore of Sidney Island (Haro Strait). The was 1 male and 2-3 females following closely behind. They were surfacing in rapid succession, then diving for an extended period of time.. I heard something about the T60 pod, but I cannot be sure it was about these whales. Later, at about 3:15, we saw another transient pod, also with 1 male and a few females, but this group was surfacing and circling a point in the water. Perhaps they were tracking prey, or engaging in some other activity.
Joshua Glant (12-year old whale fan and orcanetwork.org reader!) (_^){
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We watched them attack and apparently eat a harbour porpoise in Swanson Channel opposite Pender bluffs. Another big leap was involved in this kill, although not as high. And on Aug. 26-27 (both days) they did a loop across the Victoria waterfront, occasionally munching on seals and causing shrieks of excitement from onlookers as they cruised close in to the Dallas Road shoreline, including directly below Victoria's iconic Ogden Point breakwater. Same route, both nights!
Val Shore, Naturalist, Eagle Wing Tours
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L41 Mega and other L podders were off Otter Point heading west.
Josh McInnes
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Minda at the Marine Mammal Institute in Newport OR called to relay a report phoned in at 8 am of 20 orcas at 44 57.5 by 124 46.8, which is about 20 miles due west of Lincoln City OR.

August 27, 2012

Encounter # 57 - K's and L's off Point Roberts,
Center for Whale Research
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We had an amazing group of resting L's just east of Point Roberts. L90 and L92 are on the far left.
Gary Sutton,
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Ls in the False bay area including the baby.
Cathy Miller Scott
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21 year old K25 "Scoter" in Rosario Strait.
Tasli Shaw
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At work today on the M V Quinsam at 1130 hrs I reported approx 8 killer whales off Jack Pt., Nanaimo Harbour to the Whale Reporting System and MCTS.
Fred Wicks
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The weather was perfect: high around 70 degrees, clear blue sky, and very light breeze. We ran north - through beautifully calm water, enjoying the spectacular scenery. As we got nearer to our destination, members of J & K Pods showed themselves. Plenty of porpoising, a breach, a spy hop, another breach - lots of activity. We identified K-25 (Scoter), K-27 (Deadhead), J-27 (Blackberry), and a host of other gorgeous Orcas. It's what we do. 48 47.91N, 122 46.7436W (10-12 miles north of Lummi Island).
Captain Jim, San Juan Safaris
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We found transients at Otter Point foraging near shore at a kelp bed. They traveled from Secretary Island to Race Rocks doing inshore foraging within 200m. Circling each haul out they consumed 4 harbor seals. The identification of the transients was the T60s (T60, T60C, T60D, T60F, T60E). While foraging inshore 200m their respirations were some what synchronous. They did typical 30 second passes near harbor seal haul outs. The transients went offshore near Race Rocks where they killed and consumed a harbor seal. They were spotted a half mile from a mother humpback whale and calf but no interaction between the species was encountered. An example of prey handling time interval:
Dive times: 1st 4.5 minutes, 2nd 3.8 minutes, 3rd 5.1 minutes.
Dive average was 4.46 minutes.
Time from encounter to time of death, Tk= 5 minutes.
Time from death to complete consumption or abandonment, Te= 4.2 minutes.
Josh McInnes
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Orca Network received a report from Shawn Henderson, who saw a Humpback around 5:30 or 6 pm in the Salmon Beach/Tacoma Narrows area as well.
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5 pm - We just saw a very large whale in the water south of the Narrows bridge between Day Island and Point Fosdick area.
Rachel Mae M
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I want to report a whale sighting in the Puget Sound area for your records. The whale was spotted about 12:15pm on the ferry route between Steilacoom and Anderson Island, as well as the return at 4pm. The whale was alone, and I believe it was a Grey whale, definitely not an Orca. We saw no unusual markings. The whale come up to the surface and quickly returned below.
Alyson Note: Considering the other reports and photos confirming a humpback, this may have been the humpback.

August 26, 2012

Type of whale seen: humpback whale (field marks used to confirm ID: triangular dorsal fin with rounded tip and hump in front; easily visible blow that extended up to 2 m from the surface and was conical (v-shaped); the blow was clearly visible from at least 1.5 km; flukes with uneven trailing edge and white along the trailing edge; each time it sounded, it fluked.
Number of animals seen: 1
47deg 20' 13 sec N, 122deg 45' 43 sec W (between Dash Point State Park and Vashon Island in the middle of the channel)
Direction of travel: South (towards Commencement Bay)
What was the whale doing: Traveling and possibly feeding. It sounded on multiple occasions and fluked at least twice. We initially observed the whale from our sea kayaks. We were approximately 500m offshore of Dash Point State Park when we heard the blow behind us (farther out in the channel). The whale was SW of our position by about 400-500m. It continued swimming down the channel to the south. I am a seabird ecologist and conservation biologist and have spent considerable time at sea conducting seabird and marine mammal surveys. I am confident that the animal we observed was a humpback. A colleague of mine, Dr. Kristin Laidre of UW, who is a marine mammal ecologist and whale expert saw the whale from shore and also confirmed that it was a humpback.
Peter Hodum, Ph.D.
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Type: probably a humpback.
Number: one, with one or two pilot whales? (Note: possibly these were the Risso's dolphins seen recently in Puget Sound) Following about 1,000 yards behind.
Location: about 300 feet from shore straight out from 43rd street, Federal Way, near Dumas Bay.
Direction travelling: east to west
Date & time: 8/26/12, 5:00PM+
Appeared to be feeding
Appeared to be a white patch on the right underside of the tail fluke
Carl Jonasson
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I am just wanting to know if the whale many of us saw close to Lincoln Park was a humpback or a gray. In researching and looking at photos, to me it seemed most like a humpback but I didn't think that was possible this time of year in this location. Wondering if there were any reports from yesterday Sunday the 26th of any humpbacks in sound near Seattle? It did several blows, and dived. We saw it dive twice and each time its fluke/tail came fully out of the water. It was dark gray without a visible dorsal fin, or a very small one, and looked like that classic humpback angle on the back. It came up right in front of two standing paddle surfers (the kind who stand and paddle on boards). Very big, very exciting.
Ellen Blau
Note: From the photos above it was a humpback.
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Encounter # 55-1 and 55-2 - J's, K's and L's in Haro Strait. The encounter began at 8:22 am when we found J2 passing San Juan County Park. Trailing behind her were the K12's and K13's. The whales were spread out in loose groups travelling north in Haro Strait. In the distance off Bellevue Point, several large groups of whales worked their way up the strait as their exhales got closer and closer. More on the this encounter and incredible photos at the link above.
Center for Whale Research
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12:59 - Orcas (more than one) off Fauntley cove/ ferry dock (West Seattle), heading south.
Cass Nevada
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Eric Strachan observed a pod of 9 - 12 orcas between 6:30 - 7 am this morning while he was fishing from the old concrete dock on the Fox Island pier (SE Fox Island, south of the Tacoma Narrows) - the orcas were mid-channel.
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We observed between 10-15 members of L pod that were spread out south of False Bay and heading to the southeast (4825.25N, 12305.87W). Five to six orcas were surfacing in a tight-knit group. Three other individuals were at least 500 yards away to the south and east, but traveling in the same direction. One orca breached twice; what an incredible splash! We believe we spotted the L85 "Mystery" in the group, and two-year-old L116 with mother L82 "Kasatka".
San Juan Safaris Naturalist Jenny
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11:17 - Super Pod all around the West Side SJI today!
Nishan DeSilva
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11:05 - Orcas heading north from False bay, I believe I saw Ocean Sun L25 :)
Melisa Pinnow
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This morning I got to Land Bank on the west side of San Juan Island at 8:20 AM, just as the last group of the superpod whales were heading north. In this group were at least: J16, J26, J27, L83, L110, L47, L115, L72, L92, L105, L95, L26, L90, and L91. I went up to San Juan County Park then, where large groups of active whales continued to head north between 9 and 9:30 a little ways offshore. Later, with word the whales had turned back south, I went back out to Lime Kiln Point State Park where K21, K16, and K36 passed by heading south at 11 AM. They were followed by the rest of K-Pod at 11:40. As Ks continued south (towards the L12 sub-group who remained off the south end all day), another large group of whales was visible several miles to the north and offshore, presumably J-Pod and the rest of L-Pod. They were heading southwest, angling towards Discovery Island.
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island
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9:09 am - oooh still hear them =^.^=
8:58 am - So excited to hear calls on orcasound as I tuned in. Possible mewing in the mix, maybe the K's??
CMC
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8:40 - Hearing them on OS now.
7:36 am - Happy Sunday morning--calls on Lime Kiln!
Gayle Swigart
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7:35 - start hearing calls and echolocation
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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At 4:15 pm sighting of a minke whale off shore from Lakota south of Redondo in south puget sound. One whale, came up multiple times arching its back heading south.
Judy Featherstone
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12:59 - It's headed South. It just came up to breath and dove again about a mile or two further down the sound.
12:50 - Just spotted a lone whale diving off the South end of Lincoln Park!!!
Ben Evans
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This morning, at about 9:30AM, we sighted a single humpback whale nearshore opposite Carkeek Park in Seattle. It was heading south toward Meadow Point.
Robert Shinbo

August 25, 2012

Russ Nicks Spotted all three pods off SwiftSure Banks headed East. At 230 pm we had them at Otter Point near Sooke BC Canada. They were all bunched up breaching and spyhoping. At 5pm the orcas were heading East towards Race Rocks. Leaders were Ks and Ls and trailers were Js.
Josh McInnes
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2:30 PM - 5 Transient Orcas, the T36's and T39's, headed west in Rosario Strait between Cypress and Orcas Island (4831.68N 12248.62W).
Naturalist Tara, San Juan Safaris
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My last report was 7 years ago from North Pender Island. Today a big thrill spotting 5 T's at 12:30 pm hunting a seal off Downes Point (SE corner of Hornby Island). Tracked them eastwards still circling their prey to the northeast side of outer Tribune Bay. Big ones and a teenager making up the pod. The big one did not come across as a male with no strong vertical dorsal - just not sure. They continued circling and chasing down their prey below our cliifside vantage point. After a while they headed southeast towards Flora Islet at the east tip of Helliwell Provincial Park before heading south into the Strait of Georgia (towards Lasqueti Island?).
Kurt Wege
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Teri Giroux, visiting Klaloch on the Olympic coast, saw at least 3 orcas with sea lions and porpoises just offshore just before noon.
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Orcas or humpbacks, or grays?
We received a call from Al Vonner of Olympic National Park, out of the Ozette Ranger Station, relaying a report that 4 whales had been observed 1/2 - 1 mile off Sand Point, on the north coast on Tuesday & Wednesday, August 21 - 22 by himself, and by some campers. He wasn't sure if they were orcas or humpbacks - he didn't see any white, and the blows were very high and could be heard at night by the campers. One of the campers seemed to think they were humpbacks, but Al's description of the fin sounded like they may have been larger fins than what would be seen on a humpback from such a distance. There was a previous report of 4 orcas off the Quileute River the night of the 21st, heading north, so not sure if this may have been the same 4 whales possibly patrolling the area for a few days, or if it was actually humpbacks.
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Russ Nicks counted 40 humpbacks off Swiftsure Bank.
Josh McInnes

August 24, 2012

Identification of transients: T41, T41A, T69A, T69A2, T69A3.
Geographic Location: On scene Race Rocks, left them at Crescent Bay.
Dive time: 5 shallow 20sec dives followed by long 4 minute dive.
Foraging behaviour: Inshore (within 200m), Offshore as well.
Prey captured: 2 harbour seals.
Josh McInnes
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We were out today with Mackay Whale Watching and saw members of the I15s (Northern Residents). They were heading East in Johnstone Strait. The young male I77 (15 years old) surprised us two times and surfaced right in front of us. I65 and her kids I103 and I122 were resting, then starting to play. They made a tail slap and a spyhop. It was awesome!
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1:30 pm - Minke whale and youngster near Lime Kiln, San Juan, traveling steadily south. We were lucky to see some lunge feeding and a beautiful, tapered head breaking through today's calm, glassy waters. Several harbor porpoise nearby 'shared the water', while several growling Steller sea lions on Whale Rocks shared the air.
Sandra Pollard, 'Mystic Sea'

August 23, 2012

After quite a search, the elusive minke whale was spotted west of Waldron Island (4841.44N, 12305.42W). Surrounded by seabirds, including rhinoceros auklets, common murres, and glaucous-winged gulls, a bait ball was just under the surface. Several surfaces by the minke allowed us to see that curved dorsal fin and pointed rostrum. My oh Minke!
San Juan Safaris Naturalist Jenny

August 22, 2012

Encounter # 54 - J's, K's and L's in Haro Strait. With representatives of all three pods in the inland marine waters of the Salish Sea, we opted for a two vessel encounter with the whales today. Dave, Erin, Stewart and Kathy embarked in "Orca" and Ken and Barbara embarked in "Orca Starlet" upon hearing news of whales in Haro Strait again. More on the this encounter and incredible photos at the link above.
Center for Whale Research
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My husband and I had been aboard our sailboat in Desolation Sound, Aug 10 - 22. We saw many seals and a few dolphins. Much to my surprise, after leaving the Outspan Coast and hopping a BC Ferry back to the city ... Orcas! Sadly, no photos, as the camera was in the car and I was on the deck. Sighted between Saltery Bay and Earls Cove (heading south), 2:20 p.m. on August 22. We got a very good look at four Orcas who were swimming along just off the port side. One was large (large fin on his back), two slightly smaller, and what seemed to be a very little one too. In the distance, we saw a couple more spouts, but were not close enough to get a good look at what/who it was!
Beth Triggs, Outspan Coast, North Vancouver, BC
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Was a guest on San Juan Excursions. Saw Polaris/J28 and her new calf (J46?) off False Bay area. A naturalist on-board took a photo that clearly showed the distinctive nick in her dorsal. She was traveling with Princess Angeline/J17. Some K's and L's in the area.
KE Wiley
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3:00 PM: 20+ Southern Residents spread out in Haro Strait from False Bay to Lime Kiln State Park (4827.57N 12304.48W). Members of both J and K pod including Grandma Samish (J14), Mother Hy'Shqa (J37) newborn J49, Deadhead (K27) and brother Scoter (K25). Widely spread, yet exceedingly active; breaching, spyhopping, lobtaillng and porpoising in every which direction.
Naturalist Tara, San Juan Safaris
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11:09 am - Orcas at False Bay heading north. I saw Mike J26 :)
Melisa Pinnow

August 21, 2012

Humpbacks in San Luis Obispo CA - Had to share this photo gallery of whats been taking place in my neck of the woods...no not harvest but WHALES!! Huge humpback whales have been hanging out the past week along the shores down in San Luis Obispo/Pismo/Avila Beach area feeding close to shore.
Molly Dow
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11:51 pm - K Pod on Lime Kiln!
Simon Pidcock
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This was the longest trip in Western Prince history. 79 miles round trip to catch up with the K13's! An EPIC trip that involved a beautiful trip through the San Juans and then through the Gulf Islands in Canada.
Traci Walter
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4:00PM - K13's headed southeast in the Strait of Georgia, about a mile offshore, north of the coal docks, Vancouver, Canada (4859.37N 12310.67W). Initially traveling, but began breaking off to forage. Headed for the San Juans. :)
Naturalist Tara, San Juan Safaris
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Devon Gilbert of the US Coast Guard called to report 4 orcas heading north at 9:30 pm, about 8 miles off the Quilleute River, at 47 53 24 by 124 39 57.
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A minke whale feeding between two "bait balls" at 7:25 a.m. Tuesday morning near the Westside Preserve.

August 20, 2012

Encounter # 53 - K13's off Eagle Point. Observers: Ken Balcomb and Barbara Bender on Starlet. After hearing boat chatter of whales just south of Lime Kiln, Ken and Barbara departed in "Starlet" at 7:00 pm to photograph the whales. They found the K13's at False Bay traveling south in a hurry. More of this report and photos at the link above.
Center for Whale Research
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August 12 & 20 On August 12 (4:45 pm local) and again on Aug. 20, 2012 (3:00 pm local) a family of three killer whales were spotted in a small bay of Kodiak Island, Alaska. The bay had a run of Chum and Pink Salmon plus a few Harbor Seals. 152 deg 57' W. Long X 57 deg 30' 5" N Lat is close to the bay called Hidden Basin. They were a male, a female and a baby. They just circled the bay (a basin) once each time they were in. The attached pictures hopefully show identifying marks. I have other pictures showing other info if anyone would be interested. We sometimes get sightings at other times of the year.
lynne murphy
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6:16 pm - Just heard a couple loud calls at Lime Kiln. Also, a few at 6:09.
Gayle Swigart
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Members of the resident orca group K-pod were close by, including K-27 "Deadhead" feeding by False Bay (4828'316N, 12305'047W). Three other members of the K13 matriline were around, including a male, likely K-25 "Scoter". At one point we witnessed SIX BREACHES in a row! What a sight.
San Juan Safaris Naturalist Jenny
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11:19 - Calls starting up on Lime Kiln.
Pam Ren
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8:30 am - Many Orcas off Sooke heading West.
Russ Nicks
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8:22 am - Whales at Eagle Point again milling about. I can see several females and at least one big male.
Brittany Helen
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Hell of a day! We met up with the T36s, T37s, and T99s in Sansum Narrows, between Maple Bay and Crofton around 11am. They were very active at the surface for over 30 minutes, pec slapping, tail slapping, and even some breaching from the younger animals in the group (T36B1 and T99C). In the afternoon, they were still within the Salt Spring Island area of the Gulf Islands, this time off the northern tip of Secretary Island at approx. 15:00. Continuing with the trend from the morning, they were very "playful" at the surface. They made at least one kill during this time, as the gulls began to congregate overhead, and the orcas converged into a cluster to rip apart their prey.
Tasli Shaw

August 19, 2012

Encounter # 52 - T36's, T37, T37A1, T99's, T18, and T19's in Haro Strait. Observers: Stewart Macintyre, Ken Balcomb and Barbara Bender on Shachi. Ken, Stewart and Barbara departed Snug Harbor at 11:15 am. They first encountered the T36, T36B, T36B1, T37, T37A1, T99, T99B, and T99C in mid Haro Strait between Mandarte Island and Stuart Island.
Center for Whale Research
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At 6.15PM I was parked at Davis Bay on the Sunshine Coast, near Sechelt BC Canada. 3 Orcas swam by about 400m offshore, heading S. I have seen a lot of orcas but the big one did the most sensational "spyhop" I have ever seen. Presumably these were the same 3 orcas that have been seen off Pender Hbr this summer........reputedly a mother & 2 calves.
Tony Greenfield, Forwarded by Cornelia van Berkel
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I thoroughly enjoy following the Orca Network emails and photos, and I am especially a huge fan of Capt Jim Maya's photos. I had the great privilege of going on a whale watch with Capt Jim and we saw 4 transients (T18's I believe? T18, T19, T19-B, and T19-C) in Canadian waters north ofSnug Harbor. Orcas are my absolute favorite animal, and this was truly an incredible day. I've been on whale watches before, and even on a few in the San Juans before, but nothing can compare to the wonderful experience I had with Jim and his assistant Jeanne. I've seen J- and K-pod Residents before, but never Transients. I was beyond excited. We were able to witness them hunting harbor seals! I am passing along a few photos, although I'm sure Capt Jim outdid me with his wonderful photography. We saw the orcas cruise along the shore while hunting, and we even witnessed a few fluke slaps. In the tail fluke image, there appears to be a harbor seal tail just to the right of the orca.
Kelsey Tieszen
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5 Transient Orcas came into the Salish Sea today, made a kill, and quickly headed back for open water. We found them at approximately 2:30PM right off Java Islets in Boundary pass circling their kill like a pack of wolves. It was the T18s and T19s including Mr. Floppy Fin (T19B). Within minutes of their kill they had cleaned up the remains and headed north for the Strait of Georgia. We left them rounding East Point, traveling fast, gaining speed to 10 knots.
Naturalist Tara, San Juan Safaris
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A Waldron Island resident told me there were two transient orcas very close to shore near Sandy Point early this morning.
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island, WA
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7 pm - Killer whales are back! Eagle Point heading down island ranging from quarter mile to 1.5 miles offshore. Too far away to tell who's who but as I'm looking out, I can see at least 30+ spouts & surfacing whales spread out over a couple miles. Seriously, they are everywhere! I can see spouts about halfway to Discovery Island.
Brittany Helen
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We live on Stuart Island (West side) watching ~ 5 whales headed north on Sunday at 12:06PM and were sad to see a vessel headed south that was a white pleasure craft fiberglass boat 30+ft with in board motors and a black canvas top- dingy covering the name. This vessel drove right into the whales ( never slowed down) such that they needed to swim under the vessel. Multiple whale watching craft were near the site of this happening floating at a respectful distance and seemed that their presence should have provided awareness of the whales nearby.
Stephen and Diana Friend, Stuart Island Residents
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2 Orcas sighted this morning swimming north along Smugglers Cove, Mitchell Point (west side of San Juan Is.) shoreline at about 6:45am. I saw them too late to note markings or take photos. From what I've been told, they may have been K Pod, based upon their route so close to shore.
Tom Hoyt

August 18, 2012

Saw 3 adult and 1 baby Orca in Tofino harbour.
Dave Keating
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Out on the Mystic Sea: Foggy & cold but we did enjoy seeing the Steller and California sea lions on Whale Rock between San Juan and Lopez Islands. No orca today but we eventually did have an encounter with a Minke somewhere off Iceberg Point, Lopez at about 2:15. She/he surfaced about 8-10 times (in sweeping circles) before she/he went on a long dive. We moved on to explore the south end of Lopez full of harbor seals and their pups before heading back to port.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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The waters on the Strait of Juan de Fuca were calm which made the observation of surface activity noticeable! We spotted a harbor porpoise making quick dives just off the bow of the boat. So many different species of sea birds too. Rhinoceros auklets, pigeon guillemots, common murre, and Western gulls were out feeding Then the appearance of the mysterious MINKE whale! Feeding in the surface waters, it was silently cruising for schooling fish and plankton (4824.88N, 12251.61W). We enjoyed the natural air conditioning as we travelled through the San Juan archipelago today.
San Juan Safaris Naturalist Jenny

August 17, 2012

From BC ferry (4pm ferry) between Sidney and Tsawwassen. About 10 minutes before arriving, in the Georgia strait. Pictures confirmed at least 5 orcas at once coming up for air.
Cuello Veronica
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9:46 am - Lots of Orcas off Otter Point, Sooke heading West.
Russ Nicks
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With the southern residents having made a quick overnight visit to the west side of San Juan before heading out again, we spent time with two or three minke whales off Salmon Bank around 1:00 pm before checking out the Steller sea lions on Whale Rocks.
Sandra Pollard, 'Mystic Sea'
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I live about 1/4 mile north of the Tacoma Narrows bridge, on the water, on the Gig Harbor side. About 10 minutes ago, we watched two Orcas heading north at a pretty good clip, with the outgoing tide. They were hugging the Tacoma side of the narrows. I have not seen any emails from you with sightings this far south so was very excited, of course. We have a good pair of Steiner binoculars, so I am confident they were Orcas...not confident of the number though...it i was at least two. Now that I have typed this, my husband tells me they are heading back south and are now back in front of our house, but across the water still on the Tacoma side. I will keep you posted.
Sue Dynes
Note: Since there were no other reports of orcas in Puget Sound around that time, it's possible these could have been the two Risso's dolphins that have been seen there several times over the past month.

August 16, 2012

I saw what appeared to be one large male orca, heading east, on the west side of Trial Island, at about noon or just after, only one sighting, and no pics, sorry.
Keith Provan
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10:00 pm - Calls on Lime Kiln.
Gayle Swigart
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Sounded like T's.
Traci Walter
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8:35 - quiet seas and loud orca on Lime Kiln now...
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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8:15 - Big ol' party happening on Orca Sound now....
Pam Ren
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3:30p.m. - as J pod, K pod and I'm not sure how many L pod whales came in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The J14s, including baby J-49, Shachi J-19, Eclipse J-41, and a few others porpoised for several minutes. Baby J-49 was right along the side of mother, Hy'Shqa J-37.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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We spent our afternoon near Victoria (4825.3N, 12309.5W) where we saw Southern Resident Killer Whales. At least 15 members of J-Pod were traveling east, separated into 3 groups. In the largest group 8 individuals were porpoising in close proximity with one another. The whales were cruising at a fast clip, around 11 knots. This larger group also performed some surface displays: breaching, lobtailing, and rolling around at the surface.
Amy, Naturalist, Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours
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7:24 am - Many, many Orcas at Sheringham, Sooke east bound :)
Russ Nicks

August 15, 2012

A wonderfully loud symphony of whale blows and slaps and other assorted sounds for a long time at around 2200 in the still evening at Eagle Point, San Juan Island.
Judith Chovan
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It was the T36's and the T99's at the bottom of East Sound, Orcas Island... They ate dinner at Yellow Island and headed towards Jones Island when we left them last night...
Simon Pidcock
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Monte Hughes of Mystic Sea Charters called in a report of transients in East Sound early in the afternoon, where they found and killed several seals over several hours. Mystic Sea posted this on their fb page "......before continuing up to East Sound, Orcas Island, where we were the very first whale watching boat on scene. Starting out with some wild splashing and tumultuous waters, we knew right away that the Transient Orcas had just made a kill. Soon after, we saw the blood in the water and could see two of the larger bulls tossing a seal back and forth (sad but nature). We identified these Transients as being the T36 and T37 pods."
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We were with around 8 transients yesterday near East Sound at Orcas island from around 4:00 to 4:45. We think some of the transients were the T36s. They were definitely in hunting mode as they swam over to rocks were seals were hauled out. They hugged the rocks and it looked like they were creating waves to wash the seals off of the rocks. They also were tail/pec/dorsal fin slapping, sharking, spy hopping and breaching.
Melisa Pinnow
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We were with the T36s and a few others at the bottom of East Sound, Orcas Island at 16:30.
Tasli Shaw
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When we arrived in East Sound we saw 7 Transient Killer Whales traveling south down the middle of the sound (4837.366N, 12252.303W). Generally Transient Killer Whales travel in small groups, 3-5 individuals, and are stealthy and elusive as they are hunting marine mammals. However, this pod was very surface active: spyhopping, lobtailing, cartwheeling and rolling around at the surface. We were all excited to witness the variety of behaviors and had excellent views as the whales changed direction and surprised us by cruising against the shore.
Amy, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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I was looking out from Beachyhead in East Sooke park (15-20 miles west of Victoria) today and saw two humpbacks. From 3:00PM to 5:00PM the two humpback stayed close together, about 5 miles directly off shore. For two hours they would disappear for six minutes then surface a few times, then disappear again. With the exception of a few passing freighters there were no boats with them. The two were last seen going east.
Vincenz Eberl
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Monte Hughes of Mystic Sea Charters reported seeing 2 or 3 minkes on MacArthur bank, just off Iceberg Point, Lopez Island, rolling on their backs and breaching, highly unusual behaviors for minkes.
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We cruised to Salmon Bank to look for the Minke Whales. We only had to wait a few minutes before a Minke Whale surfaced 200 yards from the boat! At that same time the Captain received a call on the radio that Orca Whales had been seen in East Sound. It was clear the word had spread as the handful of boats viewing the Minke Whale all turned and headed north.
Amy, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris

August 14, 2012

While boating among the Broughton Islands in British Columbia, we spotted about five Orca Whales at approximately 12:15 pm, just west of Kwatzi Bay in Simoom Sound. Kwatzi Bay is located at 50 degrees 52' N ^ 126 degree 15' W. The whales appeared to be feeding as they were circling in the same area during the time we observed them. We were traveling approximately 10 knots and they were in sight for about 15 minutes as we continued down Tribune Channel.
Gene K. Mickelson, Bellevue, WA, USA
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7:00 PM - Bigg's Killer Whales (transient orcas) 2 miles south of Smith Island (west of Whidbey Island), resting in the eastern entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca (4816.12N, 12251.81W).
Naturalist Tara, San Juan Safaris
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Two Minke Whales today in the Salmon Bank area (4825.33'N, 12259.94'W). Still seeing Stellar Sea Lions on Whale Rocks, 7 were hauled out in the sun, while one swam nearby.
Shelly, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris

August 13, 2012

Watched from San Juan County Park as J, K and L pass by Low Island in the morning. Amazing sight seeing so many orcas pass by at the same time.
Jeff Snyder
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Around 8:30 AM off Hannah Heights, West side of San Juan Island, heading North. Lots of whales spread out over a wide area. One large group of 10 or more moving together. Definitely multiple males in the group.
Scott Chytil
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Center for Whale Research Encounter #48 * J's, K's and L's in Haro Strait - excerpt from the commentary by Ken Balcomb: "We think that it is quite interesting that the arrival of K pod from the north yesterday and L pod from the west today in a sort of pincer movement around Vancouver Island is suggestive of some sort of pre-planning on the part of the whales. Of course, if there were gobs of Chinook salmon coming into the core habitat area from both directions at the same time that could serendipitously explain the coincident timing of arrival. But, by all official accounts there are not good returns of Chinook salmon to this area from any direction."
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5:52 pm - Just beginning to pick up KW calls on OS.
Kara E. Clayton
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I actually saw the southern resident SUPERPOD of orcas this morning off Lime Kiln!! It was my dream come true! They were the closest I've ever seen.
Evi Feltus
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I cant account for everyone but most definitely had an amazing pass of members of all three pods this morning. Nice tight groups, L41 included in the last group of 22+ whales, modified resting- close to shore, all up, all down. It was something we don't get to see very often anymore - the close knit groups, resting, close to shore. A magnificent start to the week.
Sandy Buckley
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Killer Whales from both K- and L-Pods were headed north along the westside of San Juan Island. The whales were reported heading north from Lime Kiln State Park. We caught up with the leaders near Open Bay (4834.824N, 12311.685W) who were mostly members of K-Pod. We traveled with these whales to Kellett Bluff where we waited for the rest of the group to travel north. We saw over 15 whales as they cruised by. At times we were surrounded by whales as a few individuals were traveling further offshore as well as the whales that were seen ahead and behind us; we didn't know in which direction to look! It was wonderful. Since the seas were flat calm, we even had a chance to turn off the engine and just enjoy the sunshine and the whales, listening to them exhale as they surfaced. Sigh. It was marvelous.
Amy, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours
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8:52am - Hearing some KW calls on Lime Kiln, behind and between ship noise.
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Yup-- I saw the parade (lying in my bed, no less! How awesome is that??) as they all passed Eagle Cove and rounded Eagle Point, from a little after 7am this morning, onward. It was the sound of their breathing that woke me. Pure magic.
Alex Shapiro
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Center for Whale Research Encounter #49 - T90's and T101's in Haro Strait.
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We had the T90s and the T101s last evening heading north just west of Kelp Reef (Haro Strait).
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research
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8 pm - 4-5 transient killer whales headed north high speed up to Darcy Island. No identification known at this moment.
Josh McInnes
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My colleague Russ Nicks just texted me saying he picked up transients on his way home to Sooke.
Josh McInnes

August 12, 2012

We followed some of the Js north this morning and afternoon. Then this evening the Ks showed up in Boundary Pass. Wow!
Capt. Jim Maya
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Pretty awesome sunset tonight, complete with whales! K-Pod and half of J-Pod headed south past Lime Kiln right as the sun was going down. Despite reports of a superpod, Ls were no where in sight! Mistaken report?
Monika Weiland
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By the time we reached the whales today, near Saturna Island (Canada), people had lined up along the shoreline waiting for their chance to see the Southern Residents. It was six members of J pod slowly moving north in Boundary Pass headed for the Strait of Georgia (4845.88N 12304.69W). In the mix we found Hy'Shqa (J37) and her newborn J49, along with Grandma Samish (J14) and the 20 year-old orphan from Lpod, Onyx (L87). The group appeared to be resting, staying fairly close to the shoreline, synchronizing their breaths and dives. When we came back for our second visit the group of whales began lobtailling and playing around with one another. We then headed home with news of K pod entering the area.
San Juan Safaris Whale Watch

August 11, 2012

20? KW, some open saddles, 2nm off the Garrard Island Group (midway on the west side of Vancouver Island), 18:50 last evening.
Rod Palm
Note: Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research has identified these as members of L pod.
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Helena Symonds reported Ks & Ls going by OrcaLab (Hanson Island, N end of Vancouver Isl) silently at 5 am heading into Johnstone Strait, and Nick Templeman reported the following at 3:12 pm: Southern Resident Killer Whale are coming up to Browns Bay, Johnstone Strait, headed South! Should be passing Campbell River in a couple of hours!
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2:22 pm - There are calls on Lime Kiln :)
Erika Barros
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2:21 pm - Hearing calls and echolocation at Lime Kiln State Park hydrophones! I think I hear the new baby!!!
Jay Schilling
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Members of J pod had spread out almost half the length of San Juan traveling south in Haro Strait between Lime Kiln and False Bay (4832.15N, 12300.87W). The first whale we encountered was Doublestuff (J34) rolling around and traveling amongst a few females enjoying the sunshine and family time. The next group we came across was Hy'Shqa (J37) and her VERY new born calf J49 with Grandma Samish (J14) monitoring close behind. What a blessing to see the little one so healthy and keeping up right alongside mama!!! Then we ran into Onyx (L87) foraging by his lonesome and out of nowhere popped up Blackberry (J27) right off our stern. I swear he has a "thing" for the Kittiwake because he always pays us a visit on that boat! The last family we encountered were the J16s; Mama Slick (J16) leading her offspring and Big Mike (J26).
Naturalist Tara, San Juan Safaris
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11:09 - calls on Lime Kiln.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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10:32 - Orcas close to shore at False Bay heading south now.
10:02 - Orcas offshore of False Bay heading north.
Melisa Pinnow
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Got to check in with new mom J37 this morning. J49 looked even smaller being so far away, but there he/she was! Amazing how tiny a six-foot, 400 pound animal can look.
Monika Wieland
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Wow - what a day for Transient orcas in the Salish Sea! We finally were able to get out to look for them in Admiralty Inlet, and first saw them from Lagoon Pt. at 5:55 pm, heading north at a fast pace. We observed two pods, including 1 male, mid-channel - by 6:20 pm they had passed Lagoon Pt. looked like they were heading toward Admiralty Bay. We headed up to a bluff on the border of Ft. Casey/Camp Casey, and found the orcas as the first group had just passed Ft. Flagler on Marrowstone Island, at about 6:45 pm. They were off Pt. Townsend by ~6:55 pm, and another group followed and were off Pt. Townsend by about 7:05 pm. A third group followed, passing Pt. Townsend at about 7:15 pm. They all continued heading west at a good clip; the three groups seeming to be traveling a bit closer together. We left at 7:25 pm and they appeared to be continuing west toward Pt. Angeles. This made up for missing them last night when they headed into Admiralty Inlet! Brad Hanson of NOAA was able to spend much of the day with them, so we will get more ID's by next week.
Susan & Howard
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7:07 pm - Dozen or so orcas just spotted near Port Ludlow.
Anna Henson
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Just heard from my friend at Bush Pt, Barbara Mundell - they got their spotting scope out and the whales were off Bush Pt. at 7:43, a group of 7, including a young one. This fits with the sighting off Pt. Ludlow, and makes the 4th smaller Transient pod heading out of Puget Sound today. We saw a total of ~14 - 18 orcas in the first 3 groups, with 7 more, that makes 21 - 25 total Transients in Puget Sound and Admiralty Inlet today - incredible!
Susan Berta
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5:58 - Paul Kukuk called with a sighting of orcas off Lagoon Point, headed north in mid-channel.
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5:30 - Pat Scott reports the orcas have reached Bush Point, Whidbey Island.
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4:50 - the transients have reached Double Bluff. 4:18 - Brad Hanson reports the transients are travelling at 16km/hour (about 10 mph) northward. 3:30 - Brad Hanson of NOAA's NW Fisheries Science Center reports seeing 12-14 transients, all females and juveniles, no males, at first angling toward Mukilteo, then turning back NW into Admiralty Inlet.
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3:05 - Marie Waterman of WA State Ferries reports that the captain of the Puyallup saw 3 orcas one mile west of the Edmonds ferry terminal, headed toward Mukilteo.
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While sailing, we saw a pod of 6 or 7 orcas swimming north not far off the Edmonds marina. I got some pictures. If someone can identify the individual whales from the pictures, then that would be great. They were swimming fast in a northerly direction. We saw them about 3 pm.
Martin Proudfoot
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From the numbers we saw, my guess is these two groups met up. At 4:15 Ed, Pam, and I left Edmonds where we could still see the Transients surfacing mid channel of Pt No Pt & Scatchet Head, appeared they were nearing Useless Bay. We still could not discern if they were heading up Admiralty or towards Possession. Research boat still with them.
3:40 - T's are zig-zagging. Difficult to say if they'll head up Admiralty.
3:15 - still northbound steady pace. mid channel between Edmonds/Eglon. Looks like NOAA on scene now.
2:41 - Pretty sure we could see up to a dozen when at kayu kayu.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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Graeme Dewitt of WA State Ferries relayed a report from the Edmonds/Kingston ferry of at least two orcas in the ferry lane, headed north.
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Ferry enroute to Kingston dock. Announcement over the loud speaker of killer whales off the port bow at about 2:45. Two whales rapidly approached the ferry, a large, adult male with a slight bend in the tip of the dorsal fin (tip bent toward the right side) following either a large juvenile or female. Both surfaced quite close to the ferry, within fifty feet, headed north and directly perpendicular to the port side of the ferry. Saddle patches were large and appeared to be closed but the whales did not fully expose the entire saddle patch. Unfortunately I did not have my camera or cell phone but lots of folks were taking pics. Hope you get an ID.
Kim Shelden
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2:30 - 2:45 pm - Wendy Harper reported seeing orcas, including one male, just south of Kingston, headed north.
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2:28pm - Estimate 4-6 females / juveniles, plus 1 male in the rear of the group. Approaching Kingston-Edmonds ferry lane.
2:21pm - Another direction change, now east of mid channel. Still headed north.
2:15pm - Veering towards Kitsap peninsula side now. People in and around Kingston: get ready! They're really moving!
2:15pm - Yep, I have them mid-channel, about half mile south of the mid-channel buoy. Making their way north at a rapid pace.
Dave Haas
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2:10 - still northbound mid channel between RICHMOND beach and Jefferson head. 1:25 pm - 4 - 5 orcas including a calf passed Golden Gardens and Carkeek Park, heading north toward Richmond at a fast porpoise, closer to the King County side of the water.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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1:15 pm - 5-6 whales heading north off of Shilshoe Bay Marina, Seattle. Too far away for more detail.
Dan Swenson
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We saw two groups of orcas in the area between Shilshole and Bainbridge Island. We sighted the first group between between 1230 and 1 p.m., between West Point and Shilshole, less than a mile offshore, heading North. They were moving right along in a straight line, and I would think that they were transiting, rather than playing or feeding. There were at least 6-7 total, and maybe more. The main group was bunched together pretty closely, and there may have been a young one in the mix (based on size). A male with a very tall dorsal was traveling about 30-50 yards behind the main group. There appeared to be a faint grayish marking 1/3 to 1/2 of the way up the big male's dorsal. About half an hour later (1:20 p.m.) we saw a smaller group about .8 miles off of Fay Bainbridge park, also heading North. This group appeared to be made up of 3-4 orcas total. There was a male traveling with this group, although his dorsal was not as tall as the previous one that we saw. This male had a slight bend to his dorsal, and a prominent gray saddle immediately aft of the dorsal. Sadly, we twice heard people call the Coast Guard on the radio to report boats traveling too close to the orcas, once before we saw them, and once almost an hour later. As you can imagine, there were a fair number of boats in the area on such a nice day, but everyone seemed to be keeping a good distance off when we saw the orcas. And to top it off, saw a few harbor porpoises a little Northwest of where we saw the second group of orcas.
Jen, John & Evan Kimmerlein
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12:30 - Orcas heading from Seattle, mid way between Bainbridge & Shilshole, very far away, could be 2.
Maria Mason
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11:39 - Back out in the Bainbridge Seattle ferry lanes!
Heather Polverino
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Attached are a few photos of Orcas seen today at the south end of Bainbridge Island. We first spotted them some distance away on the west side of Blake Island - about 4 seen. Then numbers increased and we estimated 10-15 whales in total, and they then headed over to where we were fishing at the south end of Bainbridge. I'm sure lots of people on the Bremerton-Seattle ferry got photos also, but have a attached a few. We saw them at 11am to approx. noon where they headed north following the east side of Bainbridge - a few seemed to be playing and/or feeding - splashing and lifting their tales out of the water.
Sam & Bret Steck
From the photos sent in by Sam & Bret Steck in the previous whale report of transients in Puget Sound: The bull is T20 and then T37 plus possibly T36A and T36A2 are in the 5th picture. Brad had pictures of the T37s, T36, T36Bs and the T99s (in Puget Sound).
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research
T20 and T21 for sure, T28A, I think all the T28s. T20 (kwatsi) and sister T21 (Pandora ) were sighted last week in Campbell river and travelled south to Puget Sound.
Josh McInnes

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10:40 am - Found them. Right off Toe Jam Hill on south end of Bainbridge Island. At least 1 male, 6-7 females & juveniles. Spread out, heading south, southeast.
Chris Merritt
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Gary Lagerloef called to say he watched a group of about 8 orcas heading north up Rich Passage about 100m from the Bainbridge shoreline about 9:30.
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9:13 - 2 orcas off Port Orchard now.
Bob Bussman
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8:48 am - John Rogstad of WA Ferries called to relay a report from the ferry Kitsap of a "herd of frolicking orcas" off Restoration Point.
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8:13 am - Small pod of orcas right now off Bainbridge heading south. Just lost sight off of Bill Point! Great start to the weekend :)
Heather Polverino
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8:10 am - Stephanie Raymond called from the Victoria Clipper III at to say at least 12 orcas were crossing the Bainbridge ferry lane heading south.
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3 orcas near the shore at Yeomalt point on Bainbridge island right now 7:56 am. Several Dahls porpoise as well. Lots of local fishermen and several humans swimming around the island today.
Chris Slye
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Jefferson Head, Seattle @ 6:20. There were 4, I think 3 female and a litlle guy. They were down last night.
Karen Chapin Rhinehart
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Just got back from fishing, but wanted to report a sighting. I have attached a video so that may be someone can identify them. It looked like there were 6 orcas, maybe a juvenile male and the others female. The first sighting we had was on the south end of Jeff Head north of Bainbridge Island at 6:00 AM. They made a circuit around the island and we saw them again on the south side of the island near Restoration Point at approximately 11:10 AM.
Garrett Waiss

August 10, 2012

5 pm - they just cruised by Ebey's Landing not too far out heading south.
Al Luneman
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Attached are two pictures we took Friday afternoon in Admiralty Inlet. We were shrimping on Partridge Bank when the large Orca appeared and soon met up with a group of about 8 more in the inlet. We found the large male at 5:30 PM. He met up with about 4 others and we followed them into the inlet for the next two hours where they met up with about 4 more. They put on a show for all three cruise ships! When we left they appeared to be headed for Lagoon Point.
Ellis Family
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Turnpoint Lighthouse, Stuart Island around 2:00 pm. Some members of J pod porpoising and moving at a fair clip, including Blackberry (J27) and new calf J49 with Mom, Hy'Shqa (J37). Such a treat to see this little one alongside Mom on a calm, quiet day with few boats around. The whales changed direction a couple of times with occasional milling. Passengers on 'Mystic Sea' were thrilled with the sound of their blows, and being able to see these charismatic creatures in their natural environment.
Sandra Pollard, Freeland, Whidbey Island
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I got to see them from Ft. Casey, first saw them a little north of Port Townsend, well north of the ferry terminal, then they traveled slowly across the ferry lanes towards Ft. Flagler but I would say mid-channel but more so closer to the Pt Townsend side, south side of the straits, about 4 of them. One boat was following them...one had a nice size dorsal fin. I think I was at Ft Casey starting around 6:30 pm until 8ish. at that point they were straight across at the Ft. Flagler side and still moving south, making it harder for me to see them.
Marilyn Armbruster
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We spotted two groups of Orcas traveling south through Admiralty Inlet off of Whidbey. The first group between 7-7:30pm traveling from near Ebey's south toward Lagoon Point. There were 5-7 whales in that group. A second group just past the same direction with 4+ whales at 8-8:30pm. No play just commuting - coming up to breathe then traveling underwater. Such a thrill to spot!
Lindsay and Steve Hovind
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7:41 - Moving slowly south of Ft Flagler (Marrowstone Island) now, closer to that side. Sounds like Lagoon Pt or Bush Pt might be good.
7:33 - Mid channel nearing point at Ft Flagler, one with a very large dorsal fin.
Pam Ren
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5:10 pm - ORCA AT LIME KILM.
Robo Lon
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4:10 pm - Just received a call (~4:05 pm) from Brad West, who lives 1 mile west of North Beach, Pt. Townsend - he is observing a small pod (4 - 5) orcas heading into Admiralty Inlet. Let us know if you see them out there!
Susan Berta
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16:05 - Tuned in and hearing calls.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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Turnpoint Lighthouse, Stuart Island around 2:00 pm. Some members of J pod porpoising and moving at a fair clip, including Blackberry (J27) and new calf J49 with Mom, Hy'Shqa (J37). Such a treat to see this little one alongside Mom on a calm, quiet day with few boats around. The whales changed direction a couple of times with occasional milling. Passengers on 'Mystic Sea' were thrilled with the sound of their blows, and being able to see these charismatic creatures in their natural environment.
Sandra Pollard, Freeland, Whidbey Island
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11:56am - Calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophones.
Dave Haas
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7:00am - Killer whales passing Eagle Point traveling south.
Brittany Helen

August 9, 2012

6:28 pm - Loud calls.
Gayle Swigart
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I finally got to see the new little one today! We spent our whole trip with J37, J49 and J45 along the Pender Bluffs. It was great to see him/her.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
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We caught up with at least 12 members of J-Pod today near Boundary Pass (4843.03N, 12316.14W). The whales were traveling in small groups headed north along the southern end of South Pender and North Pender Islands. In the first group "Princess Angeline" (J17) was traveling with her daughter "Polaris" (J28) and granddaughter "Star" (J46) along with several other whales. The whales were traveling and surfacing in close proximity with one another. "Blackberry" (J27), a mature male, was also traveling with this group. After spending some time with these whales we had reports of other members of J-Pod further north. In the second group we saw "Mike" (J26), a mature male, traveling with his mother "Slick" (J16) and sister "Echo" (J42) born in 2007. At least four other whales were also seen surfacing near shore. So great to spend time with J-Pod!
Amy, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris Whale Watching and Wildlife Tours
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10:30 - Calls on OrcaSound now.
Pam Ren
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10:26 - Back at OS--calls and whistles.
9:12 am - Also hearing echolocation and a few calls on OrcaSound.
Gayle Swigart
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9:48 - still echolocating at LK-calls just now too
9:19 am - they are all over the westside right now.
9:09 - audible echolocation again, and whistles at Lime Kiln.
8:05 - started hearing calls on Lime Kiln.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

August 8, 2012

1100 am - resident orcas in bound at otter point this morning.
Josh McInnes

August 7, 2012

During the afternoon the J11s and J22s were off the south end of San Juan Island while the rest of J-Pod was coming down from way up north. By 6:45 PM the whole pod had reunited off of Andrew's Bay, and began making their way back south. As they came into view from Lime Kiln around 7:45 PM there was a lot of breaching going on in the distance, made all the more impressive by the thunder and lightning going on behind them. From 8:15-8:45 PM the whole pod passed Lime Kiln going south. It was awesome to meet the young J49, who was tucked right in next to mom J37 with aunt J40 and uncle J45 right nearby. Grandma J14 was a bit further offshore. The clouds began to glow pink in the sunset as the whales continued south, so overall it was pretty spectacular viewing conditions! Photos at www.orcawatcher.com
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island, WA
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8:30 pm - Squeaks, clicks, and whistles on Lime Kiln.
Gayle Swigart
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6:29 pm - Just heard a faint call at Lime Kiln.
Suzy Roebling

August 6, 2012

8:30 pm - Approx six Orcas passing Point Roberts heading North. 0ne large male. Traveling quickly.
Sandra Scott
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Caught up with Southern Resident Killer Whales off East Point, Saturna Island, BC (4827.25N, 12302.35W). Fantastic viewing of a large group of tightly packed members of J Pod, with J-37 (Hy'Shqa) and new baby tucked in between, moving westerly off Saturna Island at a slow pace. Also sighted L-87 in the mix. Lots of tail slapping, lob tailing, breaching, spy-hopping.
Shelly, Naturalist for San Juan Safaris
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4:22 pm - Calls on Lime Kiln hydrophone.
Carole May
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Around 2:30 p.m. we met up with members of the Southern Resident Killer Whales, traveling along the west side of Stuart Island and milling in the Turn Point area (first sighted at 4840.67N 12314.92W) Sighted were: L87, along with J-16, J-42, J-26, J-36 and J-2, J-31 and J-39. Hearing rumors that there might be a new calf in J Pod?
Shelly, Naturalist for San Juan Safaris
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New baby J49, born to J37, confirmed by Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research. J37 (Hy'Shqa) is daughter of J14 (Samish), and the great granddaughter of J2 (Granny). Center for Whale Research
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Erin Corra of Friends of Lime Kiln Society posted a few minutes ago that "They're baaack!" She says J's are heading north along San Juan Island at 8:45 am today.
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9 am - As I type, a dozen KW are reported by a sportie 1.5nm off Rafael Pt. (NW of Tofino, west side of Vancouver Island), heading E. That can be fish-eater territory.
Rod Palm

August 5, 2012

It has been an amazing week with humpback whales, with over 4 today! The humpbacks were off Race Rocks lunge feeding as well as bubble netting. One individual showed category 1 scarring from transient killer whale predation.
Josh McInnes

August 4, 2012

Around 5:00 pm a report of a group of five transient (mammal hunting) killer whales, the T30s, were sighted near Victoria British Columbia Canada. The group traveled at high speed south of Victoria towards Race Rocks Pacific Ecological reserve, last sighted at Beacher Bay, a famous harbor seal haul out. The T30s are comprised of an older Matriarch T30 (estimated birth 1967), her son T30A (born 1986), daughter T30B (born 1993), her calf T30B1, and possible female T30C (born 2005). T30A the only full grown male of the group and is very distinguishable from other males by his dorsal fin which tilts slightly to the left. Within the last year T30B gave birth to her first calf T30B1 who already has a distinguishing little notch at the base of the dorsal fin. This group has been seen feeding on harbor seals near shore within 200m around haulouts. They sometimes travel with companions like T46B and calf T46B2 and the T19s. Sightings of this group have become more frequent over the last 7 years Let us just hope we get more opportunities with this amazing group of animals.
Josh McInnes, transient killer whale research blog.
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This humpback was later identified as #409. We counted almost 20 breaches in addition to peck slaps and great fluke-up dives! We encountered the humpback near Andrews Bay on the west side of San Juan Island.
Naturalist Kevin Culmback
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From Lime Kiln State Park we watched a humpback in resting mode traveling fairly slowly northbound in Haro Strait. Suddenly she/he breached and continued to breach (about 25 in all), pec slap, roll, and fluke diving. Spirits were with us all this beautiful sunny summer day!
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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One humpback entertained many people today, with breach after breach after breach. She/he was a little north of Lime Kiln early this afternoon. No orcas, but this was a superb replacement!
Jill Hein
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We left Friday Harbor heading north with word of a humpback whale in the area. We spotted the distinct, 10 foot plus blow of a large humpback whale just off the west end of Stuart Island. It was traveling north east around Turn Point before making a b-line across the US boarder into Canadian waters. It surfaced two, three, up to four times before living up to it's name and "humping," waving it's fluke in the air before it disappeared and was down for about three to four minutes. We watched this for a while until the pattern was broken when the whale decided to lunge out of the water! It was awesome!
~Kristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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A minke whale surfaced at Salmon bank. This one had a nick in the middle of its dorsal fin.
Melisa Pinnow

August 3, 2012

Report of transients off Victoria BC heading west at 5 o clock. T30s.
Josh McInnes
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3:30 pm - Eugene Thrasher was at the Admiralty Head Lighthouse, at Ft. Casey, Whidbey Island, when he saw two orcas headed north out of Admiralty Inlet in the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Report relayed by Janet Hall.
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Morning surprise - We settled in south of the lighthouse at Lime Kiln State Park, and within 5 minutes at 9:55am, out of the stillness of the morning, we hear an enormous exhale. A humpback surfaced 100 feet off the rocks where we sat. It surfaced once again, nearly in front of the lighthouse then went down for a deep dive. From the utter surprise, this calm morning erupted into cheers up and down the park and filled us up with wonderment and gratitude. Humpback continued northward last we heard past Speiden Island.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

August 2, 2012

The OCNMS R/V TATOOSH spotted a large pod of orca whales numbering between 20 to 30 animals. Their location was 23 nm west - northwest (WNW) of Cape Alava (the westernmost point in the contiguous 48 states) and they were traveling in a SSE direction.
Rick Fletcher NOAA
Four photos from this sighting showed J14 Samish (grandmother of newborn J49) alongside her grandmother J2 Granny, J8 Spieden, J19 and J32.
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Five days and no SRKW's to been seen. Today, an early morning report of a humpback sighting in Haro Strait, and eventual confirmed sightings south of Eagle Point, brought us to American Camp by 1:30. When we arrived at the pullout above South Beach we watched a lone humpback surface in cycles of 5-6 times then deep diving for 4-6 minutes (love those flukes). We saw a couple of breaches, but it mostly zig zagged back and forth in this pattern in and around Salmon Bank until we left at 5:00pm. There were also 3 minke in the same general area during this time. We returned to Cattle Point at 7:15pm, the humpback had moved northbound up San Juan Channel, hugging Lopez, and milling in the kelp. It quickly turned and made its way back around Cattle Point towards Salmon Bank, again zig zagging, deep diving, and one last breach. We left at 9:00pm, with the humpback still in that general area.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

August 1, 2012

On the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, my niece and nephew reported seeing a pod of either 4 or 5 Orca whales in Elliot Bay between Bainbridge Island and West Seattle. Only their dorsal fins were visible along. It was around 1030am and they were headed away from Seattle. My niece who is fairly familiar with marine life was pretty certain they were Orcas. I hadn't seen any other recent sightings so weren't sure if there was an actual pod in that vicinity.
Ed Cable
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Humpback BCX 1058 off Magdalena Point, about 20 miles NW of Victoria BC.
Josh McInnes




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