December 2005 Whale Sightings

December 27, 2005

A new Humpback whale was spotted South of Race Rocks this afternoon about 1500. New in the fact its photo id matches nothing taken at least this year.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
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I am a driver with Prince of Whales. We had a single humpback 3 miles south of Race Rocks. No Orca.
Beemer
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Marty Tilley called to report many, many orcas off N. Pender Island, traveling south in Swanson Channel at 8:45 am.

December 24, 2005

Mark from the Victoria Clipper called to report a pod of orcas off Pt. Wells near Edmonds, mid-channel heading south at 8:30 am.

December 23, 2005

Tom McMillen called at noon to report a pod of orcas resting just off Shilshole, heading south. At around 1 pm he called to confirm it was J pod, they were at West Pt. heading south slowly. At 1:30 they were off Magnolia, heading south into Elliott Bay.
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12:00 PM, On our Seatlle whale watch trip today the Island Explorer II sighted and is presently with J Pod, south bound off Shilshole.
Sam
Island Adventures, Inc.

December 22, 2005

Beautiful treat to encounter a pod of orcas on today's Keystone noon sailing (Thursday) to Port Townsend. Pod was mid channel at 12:15 pm heading south. Two prominent males visible. Merry Christmas to all.
Sally Slotterback
Coupeville

December 18, 2005

Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research relayed a report from Mark Malleson of ~50 orcas seen from a ferry in Swanson Channel, heading south at 9 am.

December 17, 2005

Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research reported seeing a pod of orcas while flying from Seattle to Friday Harbor - the orcas were between Possession Pt (so. Whidbey) & Kingston, spread in a big line abreast at 11:50 am, heading south. He thought he saw J1 among them.
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Tom McMillen of Salish Sea Charters & Island Adventures called with updates of the orcas, which were confirmed to be J pod. At 1:25 pm they were in the Kingston Ferry lane, heading south, & at 2:10 pm they were in about the same location - spread out, moving slowly & doing lots of foraging.
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Tom McMillen of Salish Sea Charters & Island Adventures called to say he also had word of the orcas first off Double Bluff at 9 am heading south, then passing Point No Point at 11:40 am.
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Jim from the Victoria Clipper called to report 5 - 6 orcas heading south past Double Bluff, west Whidbey Island at 9 am.

December 16, 2005

I was waiting to take the ferry from Talequah to Point Defiance around 3:30 p.m. I observed approximately 10-12 [orcas] traveling east to west in about mid-channel. They were approximately 1/2 mile off shore. I believe there were at least two from the larger size of their fins. The pod continued around the south end of Vashon and as they rounded the point turned to the north going into Colvos Passage. They appeared to be heading somewhere as they did not stray from that route. A second pod of between 4 and 6 followed the same path, approximately 2 miles behind (10 minutes or so). I could not tell whether this had any males as the sun was now very low and sightings were difficult.
Mark Eide
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At approx 4:30pm approx. 8 orca were spotted off of Point Richmond Beach (north of Gig Harbor) headed north.
Steve
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Tim Shear called to report 7 - 8 orcas at dusk in the south end of Colvos Passage (Vashon Island), west of Spring Beach (47.20.730 122.32.972) . 1 large male was among them.

December 15, 2005

1:00 pm Gray Whale at Chito Beach, heading west, just outside the kelp bed.
Pat Ness

December 14, 2005

11:00 am a lone Humpback did two full body breaches at Chito Beach (seven miles west of Sekiu). He was heading north west on a line straight to Port Renfrew. The flukes had white spots on the underside, with the largest spots on both tips.
Pat Ness
Chito Beach Resort

December 13, 2005

You might be interested to know I just left J's heading South past Nanaimo at 1540.
Cheers, Graeme Ellis
DFO, Nanaimo BC
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Mark Malleson called to report a large gray and a smaller one 2.5-3 miles S.W. of Race Rocks going in a easterly direction today at 1445.
Ron L.Bates
MMRG, Victoriq BC

December 12, 2005

I saw two orcas on the road to Neah Bay just west of the Sekiu River at about 11:30am. They were traveling west at a relaxed pace. One female, one male. The male had what looked like a 5-6" scar on the leading edge of his left side saddle patch. Heard that there was another sighting on that stretch earlier that morning, but can't confirm if they were the same whales or widely disbursed pod members.
Brooke Nelson
Interpretation Supervisor / Biologist
Seattle Aquarium

December 8, 2005

Mark Malleson reported a Fin whale 6 miles south of Race Rocks at 1400 this afternoon. The animal was very elusive only seen a few times but a couple of ID shots taken.
Ron L.Bates
MMRG, Victoria BC

December 6, 2005

4 transients off Victoria this afternoon going east about 1400. T2, T2C, T2C1 and T2C2.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria BC

December 3, 2005

[Orcas] off Victoria this morning my last sighting was a breech at 0940. Mark "Mallard " Malleson went out at 1300 and found it was J's and K's together. He left them 2-3 miles south of Sooke at 1430 going west. ID shots will be sent to the Center.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria BC

December 2, 2005

At about 10:45 AM on the Vashon to Fauntleroy ferry we sighted a pod of 6 or more Orca. There were two babies swimming with larger whales. The pod was spread accross the ferry lane and we got some close looks at one another.
Bekah Townsend
Spring Beach, Vashon
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A friend just called to say that he saw several [orcas] breaching and playing in the Puget Sound at 11:30 this morning. House is in West Seattle area facing Vashon Island. They were heading north.
Lori Branstetter

December 1, 2005

Elsa Leavitt called at 10:30 am to report a pod of ~20 orcas, just south of Bush Pt, heading south close to the Whidbey side. She said there were several adult males (J pod now has several "sprouter" males whose fins are pretty big, so it could be J's or ???).
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Virgina Lindsey called to report whales at Bush Pt. at 10:25 am, & also sent in this report: A pod of orcas is heading south-about 15 or so. I have never seen so many of them so close to shore. Going around the point it seemed as though they would hit bottom.
Virginia Lindsey
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Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research called to relay a report of a pod of orcas observed from the air, off Ft. Flagler around 9:15 am or so.
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It was another wonderful crossing on the Port Townsend to Keystone Washington State Ferry. At least 20 orcas were encountered about mid strait at 8:15 am. Lots of tail and fin slapping, spy hopping and some breaching. They were heading east-southeast. The ferry almost came to a complete stop as the whales surrounded us. Some came up right beside the boat and provided everyone with a great view.
Art Burke, Director
South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District

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