June 2004 Whale Sightings

June 30, 2004

J's & L's about 4 miles south of American Camp as they slowly moved South (SW. San Juan Island). Then a 180 had them heading North towards Lime Kiln. They passed Lime Kiln, only to turn around to pass Lime Kiln again and headed East. As they passed the lighthouse, we observed several breaches close to shore. The direction changes kept us on our toes all day, that's for sure! Lots of breaching, lobtailing, and even a brief spotting of a "sea snake"! One of the younger whales (no ID) was spotted playing with something near the park, slowly pushing it around with his nose. Great day.
John Boyd (JB)
Soundwatch Volunteer
*
7:00 PM - J & L Pods near Cattle Pass moving towards Eagle Point. Whales are frolicking and seem to be enjoying the beautiful evening.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters
San Juan Island
*
Had a great time at Lime Kiln Park today watching J pod breach, dive and frolic around.
Dave Baumchen
Camano Island

June 29, 2004

We left Js headed down San Juan Is. at Lime Kiln Pk. at 7:00 PM this evening. Ls were south of Lopez Is.
Capt .Jim Maya, Maya's Charters
San Juan Island
*
I saw J-Pod passing the Center for Whale Research, W. San Juan Island (this time heading towards my house), so I jumped in the car and zoomed over to San Juan County Park. Just in time to see the pod already porpoising by towards Lime Kiln. So I jump in the car again, zoom down to the lighthouse just as J-Pod rounded the corner. They were aways offshore, but it was a beautiful evening so I just sat and relaxed as they went by. Then into the car again to catch them at Eagle Cove, but they never arrived. Must have done the old West Side Shuffle! :)
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions

June 28, 2004

J-Pod snuck by the house this morning heading North (west side of San Juan Island)!
John Boyd
San Juan Island

June 27, 2004

J-Pod at False Bay...Tons of vocalizations, including a couple of very deep grunting vocalizations added so much to the viewing. J's were taking their time as they moved South East. Last reports had them around Hein Bank in the evening.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions
*
Lpod going west, left them nearing Otter Pt. in the am. Met transients at Race Rocks, as this is a restricted area to us, we pulled out. I did see 1 Male, 1 Female later reports from around the area indicate 1 Male 2 females but they stayed in the sanctuary, maybe T40's? Jpod had come to the west side in the mean time, I left them south of False Bay going South at 1500.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria

June 26, 2004

Lpod was on the South side of San Juan Is. until at least 2000.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
*
As we rounded Cattle Point, we found that the J's and some L's had moved on up north towards the Center for Whale Research, while the remainder of the L's (excluding the L's with K Pod) headed slowly south towards Cattle Point.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions

June 25, 2004

L's in from the west as Ken stated, J's down Boundary Pass they all met 4 miles east of Discovery Is. and 4 miles west of Pile Pt. this afternoon. At 2100 they were 2.5-3 miles off Eagle Pt. going towards Port Townsend.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria BC
*
...the distinct calls of J-Pod coming out clearly on the hydrophone. The calls were as loud and clear as I've ever heard on our boat, and then J-Pod made a 90 degree turn and headed South out towards Middle Bank. As we listened & watched, we heard a literal symphony of calls near and far, and realized we were listening to both J's & L's! Later as the two pods approached, we saw multiple breaches, including a few dual whale breaches.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions
*
Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research just relayed a report of L's coming back in near Otter Pt. this morning.

June 24, 2004

11:00 AM - Whales along NW shore of San Juan Island. (likely J pod?)
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters
San Juan Island
*
J's went north this afternoon.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria

June 23, 2004

Jpod came accross the top end of Rosario and into Boundary Pass this afternoon. Left them going to Lime Kiln from Andrews bay about 1545.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
*
J-Pod decided to give us yet another curve ball by altering what has been a somewhat regular pattern of coming down from Pt. Roberts and heading down Rosario/Bellingham Channel. Today they decided that Eastpoint/Boundary Pass was the way to go. They weren't in a big hurry until they started heading from Pender towards the Turn Point Lighthouse, where they picked up lots of speed. The action really got going as they passed from Stuart Island towards Henry Island. The whales began porpoising as they moved south. One whale went into a 9 breach cycle. We left the whales passing Lime Kiln heading in a southerly direction.
John Boyd (JB)
Soundwatch Assistant
*
A Gray off March Point; about 10:30 ish.
Bob Plank
Viking Cruises
*
Shane Aggergaard of Island Adventures called in a report of J pod 4 miles south of Pt. Roberts, heading south at 10:45 am. He also reports a single gray whale at March Pt, south of the refinery docks at the N. entrance to Swinomish Channel. Shane called again to report the gray whale was being VERY active - 4 breaches, 6 spyhops!
*
11:30 AM - J Pod 4 miles north of Patos Island probably headed south down Boundary Pass.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters
San Juan Island

June 22, 2004

Jpod came from nowhere this morning, going N. from Henry Is. They later carried on through Active Pass in the late afternoon. Part of Lpod appeared off Race Rocks about 1400. I left them nearing Otter Pt. (west of Sooke) in rough water about 1600. There were reports of many whales that I did not see.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
*
Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales reported J pod swimming north into Georgia Strait at 7 pm.
*
11:00 AM J Pod near Henry Island traveling north.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters,
San Juan Island

June 21, 2004

Captain Hollywood called to report J's & L's engaged in a greeting ceremony near Middle Bank, NW of Hein Bank at 2:40 pm. He said there was lots of activity & spy-hopping going on.
*
Erin O'Connell reports that L's were at Race Rocks heading east around 12:30 pm, with J's headed west from Eagle Pt.
*
J Pod were speeding west in order to join up with L-Pod, who was coming over from Race Rocks. A reunion around Middle Bank! L-41, L-57 and most of J-Pod came by the boat. And Ruffles, that rascal was getting frisky with an unidentified female.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions
*
Great morning with L's in the fog off Races Rocks. J's and L's met between Discovery Is. and Hein bank this afternoon. J's and L's off Pile Pt. milling this evening.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria

June 20, 2004

Mouat Point, North Pender Island - 4pm or so, 6-12 whales heading north almost half way between N. Pender and Salt Spring
Chris Lowe
*
Howie's on San Juan Island this weekend & called to report J pod going past the Center for Whale Research at noon, heading north.
Susan

June 19, 2004

We had J pod up North all day. On our morning trip, the whales were located just north of the the Roberts Bank Coal Terminal, and we left them just north of Point Roberts. They were quite active this morning, lots of foraging and some breaches. Even J1 did a whale cartwheel, a standard breach and 2 high porpoise leaps. On our afternoon trip we caught up with J pod just west of the Cherry Point oil refinery, at Alden Bank. They were on a very slow travel southbound, still doing a little foraging, with 2 subpods resting.
Joan Lopez
Naturalist ... Vancouver Whale Watch
*
J pod was up at Pt. Roberts today, then heading south down Rosario at around 4 pm. L pod passed Dungeness Spit just after 3, headed west, & were again reported at 4 pm west of Dungeness still heading out.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
*
All the L's today, first time. J's in upper Rosario. L's going out west as I write, 2108 past Race Rocks.
Ron Bates, MMRG
Victoria BC
*
J's heading south in front of the Center for Whale Research at 0720.
Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research
San Juan Island
*
Whales just came by at 8 AM heading south from Lime Kiln Lighthouse.
Helen King
The Highland Inn of San Juan Island

June 18, 2004

We left Js and Ls going north toward Swanson Ch. at 8:30 PM. It was an amazing evening. Socialization was the theme of the evening. They would travel a bit then socialize. Almost constant breaching, rolls, tail lobbing and pairing off.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters
San Juan Island
*
Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales reported J's & L's at Salmon Bank, S. end of Lopez & San Juan Islands around 5 pm tonight.
*
1500 hrs - The Center for Whale Research is out with what is believed at this time to be J's & L's near Iceburg Pt, Lopez Island.

June 17, 2004

J's did it to us today staying in the north. 2000 unknown id and number at this time but whales inbound at Sheringham Pt. (west of Sooke).
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria BC
*
I heard J's were near Pt. Roberts. I heard they turned towards Active Pass. As we got closer, the whales decided to turn Northwest and head for the Fraser River.
Azuriel
Deer Harbor Charters

June 16, 2004

Last information was that J-pod went through Active Pass at 10 pm yesterday.
Azuriel
Deer Harbor Charters
*
10:45 AM - J Pod near Victoria traveling east. (corrected)
Capt. Jim Maya
Maya's Whale Watch Charters

June 15, 2004

J-Pod all alone in a tightly bunched group slowly moving down Bellingham channel. It appeared that all 22 members where in the same tight group. No vocalizations. Just a slow and steady swim south along Cypress.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions

June 14, 2004

Mouat Point, North Pender Island - 8:30pm or so, 30-40 whales heading North, right off the rocks
Chris Lowe
*
I left J's in Open bay (NW San Juan Island) at 1430. L's went West this am.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria BC
*
J Pod was heading towards San Juan from Iceberg (Lopez), I stopped off at Cattle Point Lighthouse just in time to see J-Pod fake like they were going to head north up San Juan Channel as they passed Whale Rocks, only to swerve right next to the lighthouse and head past Salmon Bank and Eagle Point. As usual when they cross San Juan Channel, they were extremely active with lots of porpoising and breaching, tailslaps and cartwheels.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions
*
A man said he saw what he believes were orcas in Crescent Harbor (Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island) about 10:30 a.m. He saw a tall dorsal fin and saw a smaller animal also.
Susan Mador, Oak Harbor
*
0700 - Orcas passing at a gallop by west side Lummi island - by 0720 they (J's most likely) were already heading into Rosario Strait. They were quite spread out and porpoising and there were some breaches as well!
Penny Stone
Lummi Island

June 13, 2004

J-pod headed North in the morning by Henry Island, then found L-pod moving east against the tide in the afternoon.
Azuriel Mayo
Capt./Deer Harbor Charters
*
J pod in Active Pass today (3 p.m.) just before they left it to cross the Strait of Georgia towards Fraser River. They say that when the whales leave the pass, they often start breaching like crazy - well, it turned out to be true today too- multiple breaches for about 10 minutes, including a few big ones by our old pal, Ruffles (J1). Also lots of tail lobbing and some spyhops.
Penny Stone, naturalist
Great Orca Adventures (the Mercury)
*
J&L Pod traveling together past the house at 10:00 AM. They were in a very tight group and beautiful to see them together! Later, as they approached Henry Island, J Pod continued North while L Pod stayed in Open Bay. Then in the afternoon L Pod headed South along the west side of San Juan Island. Very spread out about 1 mile off shore. As the group approached False Bay, they got very active in their feeding, with lunges and porpoising. L-41, L-57 traveling fairly close together, with L-79 further out.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions
*
Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research said L pod passed by the Center (w. San Juan Island) at about 11 am this morning, heading north. He said the L's last seen with K pod last month are still not with the rest of L pod.
*
9:00 AM - Whales near Lime Kiln Park.
Capt. Jim Maya
Maya's Whale Watch Charters

June 12, 2004

J's going North this am and South in the afternoon. 6 Transients South of Victoria 6+ miles 2 males 4 others. A male looked like T29 but will have to wait for my few photos. Most of Lpod inbound from Sooke area, around Race Rocks at 1630 still going east at about 2100.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
*
J Pod near Henry Island traveling south, 1:00 PM.
Capt. Jim Maya
Maya's Whale Watch Charters
*
J-Pod at Edwards Point off the west side of San Juan Island. It looked like most all of J-Pod was present, with J-22 (Oreo) and family putting on a great breach & tailslap show. Even J-1 (Ruffles) got into the excitement with a small breach and a huge dorsal fin slaps!
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions

June 11, 2004

J-Pod decided to hang out near the Fraser River. We finally found them heading southeast past Pt. Roberts, very spread out. Super vocalizations.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions
*
J's went east in Active Pass about 0800 this morning. On up past the Fraser River in the late am. South bound in the afternoon, late in the afternoon they turned east to East Pt. They are now in Haro ST. going S. at 2100.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria BC

June 10, 2004

J's seem to appear off Salmon Bank just before 1400. Last I heard they were going to Kellet Bluff around 1700.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria

June 9, 2004

J's on the west side this am going north, in the afternoon they went into Active Pass. Last news I had the were going towards Pt. Roberts, 1630.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
*
We left J pod near Vancouver BC tonight at about 7:30 pm. They were still headed north past the entance to the river.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters
San Juan Island
*
Orcas are now entering Open Bay, NW side, San Juan Island, headed north. Most likely Js.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Whale Watch Charters
San Juan Island
*
We received a call a little after 10 am from Newport Tradewinds, reporting a pod of orcas between the #7 buoy and the jetty off Newport, OR. The caller didn't have a number of whales or any description, but said there was a Coast Guard boat on site, & we're hoping someone from OSU might be out with them getting some ID shots or more details.
*
Met J-pod off of Sandy Point, near Lummi island, heading South. We left them at 2:45 and they continued along Lummi then turned back North in the evening.
Azuriel Mayo
Capt/ Deer Harbor Charters

June 7, 2004

J & L pods in the waters off S. Vancouver Island heading toward San Juan Island & according to Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research "Still no K's and none of the L's seen off Tofino with K's on 17 May", which means there is still a tiny glimmer of hope that they could be off the west coast & will stop to pick up Luna before coming home. We did get a report from up off Queen Charlotte Island, but Orcalab ID'd them as the A36's.
*
We left J Pod about two miles south of Trial Island, headed east toward San Juan Island, at about 7:00 PM. L Pod was a couple of miles behind them. I would think it will be a good day to see them off of San Juan Is. tuesday.
Capt. Jim Maya
Maya's Whale Watch Charters, San Juan Island
*
J pod glided by the CWR (west San Juan Island) with the incoming tide at around 2130.
Dave

June 6, 2004

Bill Evanovich today reported a large pod of orcas circumnavigating Langara Island BC (N. tip of Queen Charlotte Island), Sat. & Sun (June 5 & 6). The pod was probably 40 - 50 whales, with at least 3 - 4 large males. He took photos which will be shared with DFO Researchers for identification.
*
Saw some Ls near Race Rocks. We emailed a photo of L78 to the Center For Whale Research which they confirmed. L67 and L101 were ID'd in the group as well. The lead whales (three or four of them) were heading north west, about 750 meters west of Race Rocks at about 6:40 pm. We also saw about eight more whales (including L67, L78 and L101) around 6:50 PM at Pedder Bay heading west. A spyhop and a breech ended our day.
Ryan, ReuniteLuna.com
*
...L pod near James Island and continued northbound in Rosario Strait well past Point Lawrence. Normally they head south in this area and continue their loop back back to the west side of San Juan Island but yesterday they were riding a huge flood tide the other direction. Tons of breaching activity from several youngsters!
Jim Roe, Biz Pt.
*
We did not get out on L pod yesterday as they were way south and they showed up on a team arrival day. From the the visual i.d.'s we heard, it sounded like the same L's we had before. There was not even a rumour of K's or the missing 7 L12's except for L41 being around. However, L41's matriline (the L11's) will (and has been) disattach from the rest of L12's and travel with L57's crowd.
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research
San Juan Island
*
Tom McMillen of Salish Sea Charters called at 3 pm with J's in Boundary Pass, heading south; and some of L's coming in to the west side of San Juan Island, with another group coming in past Victoria.
*
Tom McMillen reported L's off Iceberg Pt, S. Lopez Island; J's at Limekiln, west side of San Juan Island, heading south at 5:15 pm.
*
Our guide Andrew reported several members of L-Pod off of the Burrows Island lighthouse, moving north up Rosario Strait. This was at about 5:30 pm.
Megan Schorr
Anacortes Kayak Tours
*
Lpod was most interesting today, whales over a very wide area this morning going towards Salmon Bank from west of Hein Bank and splitting this afternoon. Contact right outside Victoria Harbour just after 1300. going west..only about 9 whales. J's as you know down Boundary to the west side this afternoon.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
*
...L-Pod, coming back to the area after a week-long hiatus. We were near False Bay when we saw the Orcas slowly milling in a southeast direction. L41 and L57 were traveling somewhat close to each other, with most of the whales traveling in groups of 2-3. As we made our way back towards Cattle Point and home, the whales started moving across from American Camp towards Salmon Bank, and the show really got exciting! We counted 32 breaches (6 from one juvenile alone) and the group began gathering and getting more active!
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist, San Juan Excursions

June 5, 2004

No one seems to have reported T61 yesterday June 05. Came in as far as Becher Bay turned and went back west. all before noon.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
*
Tom McMillen of Salish Sea Charters called in a report of J pod at the North tip of Cypress Island, heading south slowly at 4:30 pm
*
Jim Maya of Maya's Charters reported J pod at Sucia Island, heading NW toward Pt. Roberts at 7:10 pm.
*
I spotted a grey whale at 6 am Saturday morning about 100 yards out from the east shore of Holmes Harbor about 1500 yards south of Baby Island. It was heading north out of the harbor towards Baby Island and Saratoga Passage.
Pat Timm
Freeland

June 4, 2004

J pod
in Haro Strait near San Juan Is. about 10:45am. There were at lease six, including Ruffles and Grandma we spent quite a bit of time with them. After they went toward Limekiln Point, we saw several Dalls porpoises. On the 5:15 ferry from Pt. Townsend several harbor porpoises swam ahead of us.
Roe and Penny
Coupeville
*
J's on the west side going towards Active Pass this evening.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
*
About six porpoises, playing games around the 7.30 am ferry from Clinton this morning.
Chris Williams
*
J Pod, at 9:30 this AM in Open Bay, northwest side of San Juan Island, headed south down the island. They spent all day on the south and west side, working their way back north to Open Bay, at 5:00 PM., only to turn back south again.
Capt. Jim Maya
Maya's Whale Watch Charters, San Juan Island

June 3, 2004

2 minkes on Hein Bank just after 0900, next a call of whales coming south from Open Bay. Contact with Jpod south of Lime Kiln 1030. Contact with Jpod in the afternoon just north of Salmon Bank.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria BC
*
Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales reported J pod off the west side of San Juan Island at 6 pm, porpoising by close to shore near the Lime Kiln Lighthouse.
*
We saw a few dall's this afternoon from the Fauntleroy ferry dock at 3pm. They were heading southbound and very playful.
Patti Newman
*
Jim Maya reported J pod at Open Bay, NW San Juan Island, headed south at 10:15 am, with J1/Ruffles bringing up the rear.

June 2, 2004

Early morning reports had orcas inbound around Discovery & Trial Island, but no ID. When we arrived on the West side of San Juan just North of False Bay, we had a positive ID of Mike, Granny, and Ruffles (J pod) as they worked the strong tides (there was a very big flood tide).
John Boyd (JB)
*
Jpod west side all day.
Ron Bates, MMRG
Victoria, BC

June 1, 2004

I don't know if it was J-pod, but a lot of Orcas came by here (about a mile south of Lime Kiln Lighthouse on the west side of San Juan Island), last night about 7 PM heading south. They must have turned around and come back.
Helen King, Highland Inn
San Juan Island
*
...about 8:pm to 8:45pm location: Point Defiance, headed north, believe to be 2 humpback whales not traveling in any hurry, they would surface and blow several times before showing thier fluke on the longer dives lasting 5 to 8 minutes (the ones we timed. We did see 2 on the surface at once. Very dark backs and bigger than any other whale I have ever seen.
Brian Lasley
Seattle
*
Brandon of Ferndale called to report seeing J pod off the west side of San Juan Island on June 1, from about 11 am - 1:30 pm. He had definite ID's of J26 & J2, and said the pod was really close to shore and very active.
*
J-pod came south from Kellett Bluff down the west side of San Juan Island around 6:30 p.m. Ruffles was offshore. There was some breaching and porpoising as they came south. By the time they arrived at Land Bank (south of Lime Kiln) at about 8:00 p.m., Ruffles was trailing most of J-pod, but was close in to shore. Ruffles was babysitting at least five of the youngsters, some of whom were having fun trying to breach on him. Ruffles began to do a lazy tail slap about every 4 surfaces. He also went kelping and came up highly decorated. The calves responded by grouping tighter together with Ruffles. When the group got to the bay just before Edwards Point, 2 to 3 adult females exploded to the surface to join the group. Very interesting.
Sharon Grace
San Juan Island
*
This evening about 5:45 PM I saw 6 harbor porpoises east of Tala Point (North Hood Canal) approximately 1/2 mile from shore.
Dave Neault
*
J pod passed the Center For Whale Research (W. San Juan Island) today at about noon, heading north.
*
Wanted to report that I saw a pod of around 8 Dall's porpoises heading south from Alki Point at a leisurely pace at 6 am this morning.
Stephanie Raymond,
Seattle

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