June 2010 Whale Sightings

late June

The breaching whale in the photos (see photo of the day, above) jumped out of the water right next to the boat 3x in a row!! The engine was off and we had been sitting there (Soundwatch was near by observing...) and the whales changed direction sneakily under water and re-appeared with the breaches beside the boat. Absolutely shocking to us all since the last few minutes before that they had been going in the totally opposite direction!! I'll never forget that moment!! As soon as that breach occurred, all the whales began surfacing beside the boat!!! The whales were HUGE up close!!! :) Completely unbelievable!!! Barbara Bender, Florida

June 30, 2010

The water looked like glass tonight as we headed out of Friday Harbor in search of the Orcas. Earlier on the afternoon trip we observed K pod just outside of Cattle pass slowly traveling north on the west side of San Juan Island but this evening there were new reports of [orcas] even closer by. We quickly caught up to them as they traveled along Stuart Island. After only a moment of observing this pod I saw that familiar wavy dorsal fin pop up and knew we were in the presence of J-pod. 'Ruffles' one of the adult males has an unmistakable wavy trailing edge to his dorsal fin. The whales traveled along slowly in a tight knit group but a quick glance ahead revealed that there were more whales to be seen. After reaching turn point (the most northwestern point in the United States) they became a little more active and we were lucky enough to see several breaches, tail lobbing and a cartwheel or two before heading back home.
San Juan Safaris, San Juan Island
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9:09 pm - calls heard on the Lime Kiln hydrophone.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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I've heard no calls but detecting echolocations on Lime Kiln hydrophones 7:11 pm PDT. Heard one brief call 7:14pm PDT.
Suzy Roebling, Florida
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Orcasound hydrophone - Val's software detected a couple calls about an hour ago (1250 pm), including S1 and S4, implying J pod may be around.
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Erick Peirson called at 1:10 pm to report L pod off the SW side of San Juan Island
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Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales called to report L pod off the west side of San Juan Island. They first were heading north to Edwards Pt. at 8:30 am, then turned and headed south, then north, then south again (the West side shuffle)! He IDd L12, L845 & L41.
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Erick Peirson called to relay a report from Mark Malleson of a large pod of Transient orcas off Victoria, B.C, at 8 am heading SE toward Admiralty Inlet at a fast speed.
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4.45 pm - about a dozen Harbor porpoise milling and 'porpoising' off Ft Casey.
Sandra Pollard, Freeland

June 29, 2010

We were on our way today to see the residents along the west side of San Juan Island. In the Strait of Georgia, we ran into about 100 Pacific White Sided Dolphins. They put on an amazing show, riding our wake and breaching.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
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Warren Peterson of Quadra Island, B.C. called at 8:20 pm to say there were six orcas including one male, heading north toward Seymour Narrows, across from Campbell River.
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7:30 pm: Great calls on Lime Kiln hydrophones.
Ruby Keefe (via Facebook)
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5:27 pm - Orca calls on Lime Kiln Hydrophones; 5:55 pm - calls at Orca Sound (further N); 6:05 and 6:46 pm - calls on Lime Kiln Hydrophones.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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We were boating on the west side of North Pender Island BC at 6:45 p.m. and observed 15+ orcas heading towards Active Pass. Observed 5 or 6 breaches!
Nancy Lee Westrell (via Facebook)
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We headed north towards S. Pender Island. We said goodbye to the U.S. and hello to the orca whales! We spotted at least five orca whales that were most likely from the J-pod because J1 "Ruffles" was traveling near by. They were tail slapping and cartwheeling all over the place!
Sally, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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So. Resident calls on OrcaSound hydrophone - 3:47 pm. Orca calls at Lime Kiln, at 2:11 and 2:45 pm.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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Listening to the Lime Kiln hydrophone this afternoon, heard various chirps and calls in the distance from about 2-3:30 p.m.
Caryn Friedlander, Bellingham
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Phyllis Thoreson called Orca Network with a report of many orcas, some breaching, including 5 males, in Rosario Strait headed south in mid-strait, abeam of Burroughs Island at 10:25 am.

June 28, 2010

1:30 pm. Whales were seen offshore from False Bay in the morning. They were spread out and foraging. By noon they moved up island. There were many conflicting reports as to who was present. The following whales were ID'd as they passed by Lime Kiln Lighthouse in the afternoon: J1,J2,J8, J19, J41, the J-16s family group, the J-14s family group, L12, L85, L22, L79 and L89. No other whales were seen. Later in the afternoon, about 4:30 pm.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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Ken Balcomb, Astrid van Ginneken, Emma Foster and Erin Heydenreich of the Center for Whale Research encountered J's and some L's traveling north at Lime Kiln State Park (48° 32.100 N; 123° 09.878 W) at 2:06 p.m. They were spread out moving slowly and foraging. The encounter ended just off Mitchell Bay (48° 33.895 N; 123° 10.746 W) at 3:49 p.m.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island Map & photos here
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9:49 pm - Orca calls on Lime Kiln Hydrophone.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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Superpod! We saw all three pods traveling north by the coal port near Point Roberts. Lots of breaching, spyhops, tail slaps and foraging, it was a great day! I was able to ID L41, L105, L92, L90, L26 and K21, K40, K16 and finally J27.
Gary Sutton Wild Whales Vancouver
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Orca calls on Lime Kiln hydrophones at 3:30 pm.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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Calls being heard on the Lime Kiln hydrophones at 2:25 pm - Scott Veirs reports hearing S4 calls and clicks.
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Erick Peirson reported Orcas off False Bay, SW San Juan Island, milling at 10:20 am.
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Today was filled with sightings of marine birds, several bald eagles, harbor seals, and killer whales. By the time we rounded the north end of San Juan Island, our guests had learned about the connections between the nutrient rich waters, fish, marine mammals, and humans. There we saw J-1 & J-2, slowly leading several groups of J's along with some L's and K's, north along the west side of San Juan Island. At Mosquito Pass many of the younger whales breached several times! The orcas showed us a bit of their culture and lifelong family ties.
Caroline Armon, OnBoard Tours

June 27, 2010

After watching whales pass the house (Center for Whale Research) Ken Balcomb, Emma Foster and Astrid van Ginneken departed from snug and immediately encountered whales off Kellet Bluff (48° 59.378 N; 123° 20.358 W) at 6:03 p.m. We saw several groups of L-pod whales engaging in very social behavior. During the evening we saw L26, L90, L92, L95, L72, L105, L55, L86, L106, L27, L82, L103, L109, L47, L83, L110 and L91. Finally we finished our encounter north of Turn Point (48° 70.798 N; 123° 24.364 W) at 8:03 p.m. with the L12s and a few spectacular breaches from a couple of the males.
Center for Whale Research, SanJuan Island
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As a volunteer at Lime Kiln, I was down at the whale watching area (rock wall) explaining to the tourists who they were looking at -- some of L pod were in very, very close to the rocks giving a great show. At one point a male just floats on the surface, keeping himself in one place, looking. Then all of a sudden he raised his head and let out two calls, splashed his tail still floating in place and then sunk straight down under again. Everyone at the observation point heard those calls. Very cool and my first time hearing calls in the open air, not via the hydrophones!
Dennis Linden, WSU Beach Watcher SJI, Lime Kiln Interpretive Center
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4:30 pm. The L-12s came in late on Saturday night, but little did I know many other L pod whales would show up on the west side Sunday afternoon. When they passed by at Lime Kiln Pt. State Park, members of the L4s, L26s, L21s, L12s (10 of them - not L87 he travels with K pod), L7s and L43s, were seen. More of the story and pictures on my blog.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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As I was awaiting for what I thought would be their return from the Fraser River heading south some of K pod approached Pt. Roberts Lighthouse Marine Park heading north. Wow! they spent over 12 hours in this critical habitat. My previously recorded maximum time was seven hours. The first orca seen was Raggedy "K40". She and others were moving slow. There were groups of three and four doing some foraging. A male did a speed turn to get a salmon right off the dock pilings that is a favourite spot for them to grab a fish or two. One orca logged close to shore for about 4 minutes. They like it here when it is quiet. Four seals grouped together and came close to shore but didn't have to worry about these residents since only transients may eat them. A few hours later reports were that these one were at the South Arm of the Fraser River while there was another group at the North Arm. I had expected that some would be passing Point Roberts later but hopes were fading when it looked like they were heading to Active Pass to head back to San Juan Islands. However, this large group of Js and some Ks turned to head north to the Tsawwassen Coal Docks. So is this going to be a return to the Fraser River? Nope they decided to follow the orcas that I was photographing who were off already off the park heading south. It looked like "Granny" J2 was in this group (I still have to check all my ID photos). One baby did four consecutive breaches. About two hours later the second group with the Js and some Ks approached. One adult did a couple of lunges with the massive body completely out of the water. At the end two J babies starting breaching. Land based whale watchers were thrilled. Within 100 yards the orcas grouped up, tail slapped, and breached as the rain stopped and the sun lighted the adventures of both orcas and people. Nature can be predictable in that they will be unpredictable.
Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Founding Director
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There are some great Orca sounds, whistles etc and some echolocation clicks on Lime Kiln hydrophone at this hour - 11.15pm - still happening at 11.45pm. Now it is the noise of a deep sea vessel. Deafening!
Marie O'Shaughnessy
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Orca on the OrcaSound hydrophones at 10:42 pm and at Lime Kiln hydrophone (further S) at 11:49 pm.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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Tuned in to Lime Kiln (hydrophones) at 11:20 PM to hear sounds I haven't heard before. Possibly transients? Chatter ended at 11:36.
Vicky Miller, SSAMN
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Faint calls on orcasound hydrophone -11:00pm.
Melissa Kaday (via Facebook)
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Orcas @ the Lime Kiln now - 4:53 (AND again at 5:59)
Jaime Castro (via Facebook)
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From Pender Island, B.C.: Tonight, around 25 orcas came by. We saw flukes & 1 breach. It's a calm night & we could hear their breaths before seeing them in front of the house. Some were close in, some were about 1/3 of the way across Swanson Channel towards Portland Island. After most had passed by, around 10-11 of them turned back & went south again towards Thieves Bay. A wonderful evening, & the icing on the cake was a flamboyant sunset.
Nancy Lee Westrell (via Facebook)
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We just came back from Lime Kiln Point State Park on San Juan Island, where a group of Orcas was passing by at around 5 p.m., heading north. It was amazing, they came really close to the rocks and some were breaching.
Thomas Kleinteich
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Was listening for whales all day on the hydrophone, when I heard a few quiet squeaks this afternoon and headed to the west side (San Juan Isl). We missed the main group that headed north, but the L12's were not far behind and VERY close to shore. Lots of breaches, and cartwheels! Amazing time! I'm guessing this was at 4pm on Sunday.
Traci Walter, San Juan Island
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J27, J28 and others including two calves, one of which was J46, at Point Grey today! We had 7 members of J pod who were trailing far behind the rest of the pod who was near the coal port. They were doing a lot of foraging followed by breaching and spyhops. Here is a picture of one of the calves and another picture of a spyhop.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
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Erick Peirson reported J pod and some Ks milling off False Bay, San Juan Island at 3:30 pm, with some of L pod up at Salmon Bank.
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The 12.15 pm Ocean Magic out of Victoria headed deep south toward Whidbey Island, where we found several members of L pod, that were slowly foraging in wide circles and then traveling leisurely north, one by one. L 12, Alexis, with her two nicks in her dorsal fin was identified as was L 79 who surprised us on board with two enormous breaches. Two other males were seen off in the distance but not identified. Conditions were excellent for viewing today with no wind and flat calm water. An awesome encounter with Skana, L 79.
Marie, Orca-Magic. Prince of Whales, Victoria.BC
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Rudy Deck of Whidbey Island called at 12:40 pm to report the orcas off NW Whidbey were about 5 miles SW of Smith Island - he could just make out some fins and tails, and the Victoria Clipper passengers were getting a good look at them!
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Erick Peirson called to report So. Resident Orcas milling and foraging at Partridge Bank, from 10:30 - 11:30 am, including L41.
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Bev Wenthin of Whidbey Island called to report seeing 2 either large porpoise or small orcas heading south off Bush Pt. at 12:45 pm. They were black and white, but she didn't see spouts, and they looked a bit small for orcas, so possibly Dall's porpoise?
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The same [orcas] reported in Monterey the day before yesterday (6/25) were still here yesterday (6/26) and today (6/27), but it looks like they were with another pod as well this afternoon. They were pretty playful, and one male was showing off his "assets".
Kate Cummings, Moss Landing, Monterey Bay, CA
re: Kate's photos: I was also there the last 3 days they have been here so have photos. These are the 122's.
Nancy Black of Monterey Bay Whale Watch
These are the whales that were tagged (2 of them) in April. They were the CA51s (5 whales) and the CA138s (three whales, including a young calf), as well as CA171's juvenile male. These same whales were photographed last Tuesday (6/22) afternoon around 1:30 pm off the Los Angeles area, headed north.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger, California Killer Whale Project, ACS/LA Gray WHale Census and Behavior Project

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Greetings from Sechelt Sunshine Coast BC. June 25th had a gray whale off Davis Bay feeding around 5:00pm. The lonely whale was spotted the night before at Gibsons also feeding along shore line and then on morning of 25th had moved further up coast to Mission Point where it was feeding close in, in kelp beds. Moved up to Davis Bay Sechelt and collected several hundred watchers along highway watching the whale in close. It proceeded further up coast and away from shore. Last seen heading to middle of straight. This morning (6/27) it was again seen off Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast feeding for about an hour. Lots of people saw the whale with cameras but we're sending this just in case. keep up the good work
Don & Cornelia, Sechelt BC

June 26, 2010

Ken Balcomb, Astird van Ginneken, and Lisa Moorby encountered J's and K's off the west side of San Juan Island (48° 54.12 N; 123° 17.418 W) at 5:22 p.m. The whales were in tight groups milling off San Juan County Park. The encounter ended a few miles north of Lime Kiln State Park (48° 53.107;123° 16.526 W) at 5:56 p.m.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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Orca Network received a call at 3:40 pm from Mike Blair of the Kalaloch Lodge on the WA Coast - they have 4 female orcas & a calf in front of the lodge, milling for 15 minutes in the waves off the entrance to the creek. They saw them coming down from the north, presumably trending south.
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It isn't often that we see a Gray Whale on our side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This young animal has been hanging around Oak Bay, Victoria waterfront, Mary Todd Island and Willows Beach for a few days. Affectionately named 'Phantom ', since he doesn't show himself too often, but he is there. I saw him on Saturday June 26th at 1pm. He seemed to be foraging close to a channel marker in the Oak Bay vicinity.
Marie, Orca-Magic. Prince of Whales. Victoria BC.
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Orca calls at OrcaSound hydrophone - 3:36 pm, then at Lime Kiln at 6:53 and 8:13 pm
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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Lately the Orcas have been cruising the west side of San Juan Island so when the reports came in today of whales over by Lummi island I was really excited. Whales and somewhere new to see! Lummi Island is located just off of Bellingham. We barely made it out of Friday Harbor before we encounter Dall's porpoise frolicking in the wake of boats passing by. The adorable black and white porpoise are often found riding the bow of boats. After a few glimpses of the tiny cetaceans we continued on in search of our larger black and white friends the Orca. We all marveled at the gorgeous day and the wonderful view of Mt. Baker in the distance. Reaching Lummi Island the guests were delighted at the site of a towering dorsal fin gracefully sliding by. Just as reported earlier we were observing J pod. Members of the pod were widely spread and appeared to be casually traveling along. Moving further offshore we encountered the infamous Ruffles and Granny. The flat calm waters made it easy to see the saddle patches of the Orcas. The saddle patch is unique for each individual and is used in photo identification.
Casey, San Juan Safaris
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Orcas passed Point Roberts Lighthouse Marine Park in the morning. They were traveling south to Rosario Strait and it looked liked it would be down Rosario around Southern Lopez to Haro Strait. But in the early evening they turned and were pointed north. Now orcas have changed directions in this Strait previously but the time to show up at Point Roberts was somewhat unusual.
Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Founding Director

June 25, 2010

Ken Balcomb, Emma Foster and Astrid van Ginneken of CWR encountered members of J-pod just a little South of Snug Harbor at 9:44 a.m. (48° 50945 N;123° 14.934 W), and stayed with them down to eagle cove. They were spread out and slowly traveling north. We ended our encounter with a spectacular breach from J19, right back outside Snug Harbor, at 12:07 p.m. (48° 51.323 N; 123° 15.034 W).
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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I have also enclosed a picture of J28 & J46 near False Bay, at 3.10pm. The Orcas were heading south when we left them, we had about 10 Orcas including J28 & J46, J14 & J45, K21 & K40. We picked them up again in the evening just below Lime Kiln and followed them as they moved steadily south during the evening. Most of J-pod had earlier moved north.
Andrew Lees,Marine Naturalist, Five Star Whale Watching
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A Gray Whale has been hanging around Victoria for the past few days. One of our Naturalists, Kristen Kanes, who was involved in Gray Whale Research & I.D. last summer with UVIC has recognized this Gray Whale as one they nicknamed "2 dot Star". We first saw this particular Whale about a month ago near Hein Bank and the Whale has been seen around Victoria for almost a week now. We encountered him on June 25th just south of Great Chain at about 4.30pm.
Andrew Lees, Marine Naturalist, Five Star Whale Watching
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Debbie Lewis called Orca Network to report a sighting of 3 orcas at about 10:30 AM, including "one adult and 2 juveniles," 14-15 miles out from the Crescent City CA lighthouse, in 100 fathoms depth.
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Who was Mr. Ruffles traveling with this afternoon? Around 5 pm, about 8 orcas were heading east through Active Pass on a bit of a tide. First a group of about 5, then a group of 3. Some tail slapping, body cartwheels, and a breach or two.
Karoline, Galiano Island
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Softly we sat and watched the whales (So. Residents) about 700 yards away from us. At first we could only see white wake, their bodies like boats zooming through the water. As we waited, their dorsal fins began to loom in the distance. We followed them as they swam parallel to us west along the south side of Stuart Island, reuniting with their pod at Turn Point Light House. It was a slow but satiating afternoon as we watched the orcas loll about the land, hugging the shore. Bright, sunny, peaceful and with a bit of wind, when it was time to go, it felt like a dream one wasn't quite ready to let go of.
Lauren Sands, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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10:34 am: Awesome calls, squeals and clicks on Lime Kiln hydrophone! It sounds like they are breaching and smacking their flukes agains the water's surface as well!
Holli Balowaara (via Facebook)
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10:10 am - calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophone.
Erick Peirson
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Orcas on Lime Kiln hydrophone, 9:56 am.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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Calls on the Lime Kiln Hydrophone now (7:59am)!
Darwin Ed Pinkham (via Facebook)
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There were Orcas spread out at 7 AM this morning headed north towards Lime Kiln Lighthouse. Such a nice way to start the day!
Helen King, Innkeeper, Highland Inn of San Juan Island
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This morning started off wonderfully at about 6:00am with flat seas and soft lighting on the west side. When I went outside I found members of J Pod resting on the water off of Hannah Heights. They were not really going anywhere- rarely diving and not a lot of activity. It was as if they too were enjoying the new found warmth in the air. They continued in this manner for the next 3 hours with very few vocalizations on the hydrophones, milling slowly towards Land Bank eventually grouping up rather nicely offshore. Languid seems to be the word of the morning!
Sandy Buckley, Postcards From Friday Harbor
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We found a group of five killer whales today at 36'45.2 and 121'58.3. We were near sea lions as well as pacific white-sided dolphins and it was pretty obvious one of the two became their lunch. We could see slick on the water (probably the oil from whatever they killed) and gulls and albatross started picking bits off the surface where the whales were. Very exciting!
Kate Cummings, Sanctuary Cruises, Moss Landing, CA
Here are IDs for most of the transient killer whales that Kate Cummings saw today in Monterey Bay: CA122 (T164), CA122a, CA122b, and a sprouting male (juv of CA171). This male was sighted off of Los Angeles Harbor on May 20, and off of Oxnard, CA on May 30. We may have had him again off Los Angeles Harbor on June 22; I will be receiving photos soon that will allow me to confirm this. We have had a cluster of transient killer whale sightings off of my area since May 10 - very unusual for us.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger, California Killer Whale Project, ACS/LA Gray WHale Census and Behavior Project


June 24, 2010

Emma Foster, Erin Heydenreich and Astrid van Ginneken of the Center for Whale Research encountered J's heading west through Spieden Channel at 1:23 p.m. (48° 36.327 N; 123° 12.058 W). They were spread out in tight groups traveling fast and porpoising. We followed them until Kellett Bluff where the combination of wind chop and fast whales made it too difficult to collect photo ID's. The encounter ended off Mitchell Bay at 2:27 p.m. (48° 34.752 N; 123° 11.838 W) with the whales continuing to travel quickly south.
Center for Whale Research, SanJuan Island
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Minke whale sighting today from the Westside Preserve, SJ Island. First sighted around 11am off Edwards Point. Noticed a number of surfacings over the course of an hour ranging from 50 yards off shore to at least a quarter mile out. Last seen off Deadman Bay/Limekiln State Park. Fun to see a different cetacean off this coast. Orcas showed up a short time later mostly heading south.
Doug McCutchen, San Juan Island
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Between fox Island and University Place (Tacoma), 2pm, north bound small pod of Orca whales.
Charlie
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Orca Network received a call from someone reporting a Gray whale off Ebey's Landing, W. Whidbey Island at 10 am, heading south.
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Watched a grey whale loafing or feeding off Ebey's Landing 100 yds offshore and adjacent to the freshwater lagoon from 800 AM until 930 AM. The whale then turned south and moved farther from shore and was last seen heading down toward Keystone Ferry, Fort Casey.
Matt Fort Langley BC
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~8 am: A grey whale hanging around between Ebey's Landing and Pt. Partridge (NW Whidbey Island) ~1/2mile out now moving slowly south.
Al Luneman, Coupeville

June 23, 2010

Erick Peirson texted a report of So. Residents soutbound, approaching Sandy Pt, N of Lummi Island at 1300, spread out to Pt. Whitehorn.
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Around 5:45 or 6PM a bunch of us were picnicking off South Beach (SW San Juan Island) and saw a huge gray whale really close to shore. It was pretty amazing. Seemed to be covered in barnacles.
Stephanie Walker
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Listening to orca calls and echolocation clicks on the Lime Kiln hydrophone as I put together the whale report, at about 9:30 pm. Others report calls on OrcaSound earlier, so they must be moving south.
Susan Berta, Orca Network, Whidbey Island
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12:35 & 4:58 pm - orca calls at Lime Kiln hydrophone.
6:04 pm - calls at Orca Sound hydrophone.
6:18 pm - calls at Lime Kiln and Orca Sound hydrophones.
8:26 pm - Orca calls at OrcaSound hydrophone.
9:38 pm - calls at Lime Kiln.

Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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2:30 to 3:15, west side of Lummi Island by the Willows B&B: 4 orcas in travel mode heading south ½ mile off shore. 9 fully loaded whale watching boats in pursuit. 4 working boats of crab fishermen stopped to enjoy the view.
Gary Pitman Isle Aire, Lummi Island
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The orcas off Lummi were members of J Pod and a few K pod whales.
Simon, Ocean Ecoventures
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These were J pod members with J1 and J2 present. They passed Point Roberts earlier.
Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce, Pt. Roberts, WA

June 22, 2010

10:02 pm - Orca calls on Lime Kiln Hydrophone.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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8:15a.m. - [orcas] spotted in the distance from Lime Kiln. They were down island near False Bay area and appeared to be milling.
12:27p.m. in the fog the following whales were spotted. Several had gone up past Lime Kiln light and turned back south. Cappuccino K-21, Raggedy K-40, DoubleStuf J-34, Oreo J-22, Cookie J-38, Riptide J-30 traveling with one unidentified whale (possibly K-35).
5:00 pm - traveling north slowly, appearing to be foraging, echo clicks heard but no vocals, were J-34 in the lead with J-22 and J-38 together behind him; then K-21 and K-40. J-34 passed the lighthouse and J-22 and J-38 barely made it to the lighthouse when they turned and went back down island. K-21 and K-40 were farther south and also turned and went back down island. click here for Jeanne's Blog.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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We headed out at 2pm and our sunny day soon turned to dense fog as we reached Cattle Pass. We had reports of J'pod and K21 & K40 spread out on the West side of San Juan Island. Captain Hobbes with JB's assistance navigated carefully to Eagle Point Area where we soon spotted J26 (Mike) a 19 yr old male and J16 (Slick) his 38 year old mother. They seemed to be content to mill off the point; surfacing very slowly with each breath. After awhile the whales changed direction, picked up some speed and were joined by J42 (Echo) Slick's 3 year old daughter. The fog lifted; J42 playfully swam upside down, sideways did a few breaches and then a spy hop and cartwheel! Our already happy crowd were delighted by this activity and the awesome scenery that revealed itself as the fog lifted. To top it off we spotted a Minke Whale off South Beach on the way back to Friday Harbor.
Alison Engle, Western Prince, Friday Harbor
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I was flying over the bay west of Everett at 3:00 PM and photographed a Gray Whale that I think is the same one I've seen feeding there for the last week. The whale was feeding on its left side and releasing huge clouds of mud and silt. It was northwest of the marine marker directly west of Jetty Island. There were several seals and sea gulls staying close by .
Veronica von Allwörden, Langley, Whidbey Island
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A Gray Whale has been hanging out in and near Victoria Harbour for the last four days! Yesterday (6/21) it was seen right by Fisherman's Wharf and was sighted again today (6/22) just off Victoria.
Andrew Lees, Marine Naturalist, Five Star Whale Watching

June 21, 2010

2:45 p.m. - 5 miles south of Pt. Roberts, headed south, almost directly toward the Patos Island Lighthouse, while on the Peregrine of Maya's Westside Charters, we encountered Southern Residents. Leading were Raggedy K-40 and Cappuccino K-21. There was a group of whales not far behind the leaders: DoubleStuf J-34, Oreo J-22, Cookie J-38, Opus K-16, Sonata K-35, Rhapsody J-32, and Tsuchi J-31. Blackberry J-27 was behind this group and off to their right. Word was that there was a large group 4 to 5 miles behind this group.
8:20 p.m. I began hearing faint calls on the Orca Sound hydrophones and the first calls heard were K pod S-16 calls (the kitten sound) - then a few J pod calls. There were a few calls but mainly echolocation clicks that continued until about 11:30 pm.
9:06 p.m. - passing southbound at Lime Kiln Lighthouse in the lead were Raggedy K-40 and Cappuccino K-21, DoubleStuf J-34, Oreo J-22, Cookie J-38, and several others but too dark to get any other IDs.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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4:30 pm: Transient encounter - As we were returning from seeing the residents to the north, 4 transients were near the Cactus Islands (north of San Juan Island). These were the same Ts that were in San Juan Channel earlier in the day. T65A, T65A2, T65A3 and T36A1 were present. The mom of T36A1 was not present during the short encounter as these four whales had a meal of most likely a harbor seal.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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So Resident KW calls, including S1s, S5s, S10 automatically recorded at Orcasound hydrophone between 22:10 and 22:40.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales called to report J pod at Lime Kiln, San Juan Island at 9:10 pm. They had been sighted up north at Sands Head earlier in the day.
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From 7:45pm to 8:20pm by the Willows on the West side of Lummi Island, there were about 14 Orca's headed south along West shore drive. 5 males were in the group I know because they have tall fins. Some tail slapping by 2 whales and a big hop and side splash by one. glad to be alive. No tour boats in sight.
Gary Pitman
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Happy Solstice whales - finally! orcas passing off Lummi Island at 7:30 p.m. going south - spotted mid-channel out near Clark and Barnes Islands - some great breaches and a cartwheel! spread out, a few large fins, possibly J1 in there - darn it, too far to ID - last seen and heard heading towards Lummi Rocks and beyond. p.s. also counted 14 eagles (mature and imm.) at Viti Rocks - gulls were NOT happy.
Penny on Lummi Island
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We spotted 3 or 4 Orcas leaving the Friday Harbor marina and heading up north in the San Juan Channel at around 2 p.m.. I took some pictures of them from the weather station at the Friday Harbor Labs Campus. They came really close to the rocks, it was exciting!
Thomas Kleinteich
Thanks to the photos sent by Thomas, these orcas were identified by Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research as the T65As plus T36A1.
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Erick Peirson called to report 3 female and one juvenile Transient Orca in Griffin Bay, NW San Juan Island, preying on a seal from 11 - 11:52 am.
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I was out flying this evening and at 4:50 PM I spotted a Gray Whale to the west of the marine marker north of Hat Island and west of Everett. The whale was not feeding but swimming along the drop off in a southeasterly direction toward the east tip of Hat Island. I did not have my camera but it looked like the same whale that I saw a couple of days ago.
Veronica von Allwörden

June 20, 2010

Transient Orca T031 Male, westbound past Tofino, Vancouver Island, about 5.5 miles offshore. Seemed to be by himself.
Nick Templeman, Weigh West Resort, Tofino
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Center for Whale Research staff Ken Balcomb, Astrid van Ginneken, Emma Foster and volunteer Carolyn Aruthur encountered L's off Kellett Bluff (48° 35.15 N,123° 12.10 W) at 1:40 p.m. The whales were very spread out traveling south. The encounter ended shortly, just off Snug Harbor (48° 35.11 N, 123° 12.4 W) at 2:41 p.m. Only a few L's were seen: L55, L109, L82, L92, L95 and L53.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island

June 19, 2010

Members of J-K-L, the Southern Resident Community of Killer Whales, came in from the Strait of Juan de Fuca up Haro Strait, just in time for summer! There was a bit of wind and waves, which the whales swam powerfully and gracefully through.
Caroline Armon, OnBoard Tours
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11:30 pm - Listening to many whistles, calls, squeaks & mews on Lime Kiln hydrophone - maybe some of the So. Resident Superpod still hanging around?! Cool listening!
Susan Berta, Orca Network
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Another day FULL of orcas off Hannah Heights, W San Juan Island! Beginning with hearing many blows from 12:30 - 1:30 am, coming from all directions, possibly heading north but difficult to tell when you can't see anything. Then we began the day with orcas off Hannah Heights at 9 am, a small pod of Js heading north with some calves, but just passing through, not stopping to play like the previous day. 10:10 am a large male (J27?) traveling north with several females and a juvenile. 12:10 pm, 3 males and several females heading north. 12:35 pm, a larger group of Js and ? passed by heading south, foraging (heard J8). Then from 1:35 - 3 pm a large group mainly trending north hung out off Hannah Heights foraging, mating, actively milling back and forth, first close to shore then later further out. J1, J2 and family formed a resting line and headed north close to shore, and other started to group up. At 3:10 pm, most came back closer to shore, heading north up to Land Bank at 3:30, Js and Ls close in to shore. We haven't had time to go through our thousands of photos yet for IDs, but will post photos and IDs over the next few days.
We also heard reports that the L pod whales that had been up in Johnstone Strait June 17th came back via San Juan Channel and Friday Harbor where they surprised many townspeople! Unfortunately no whales showed up for OrcaSing, but a few porpoise and a lot of people were there to enjoy the music and beautiful evening at Lime Kiln State Park.
Susan Berta, Orca Network
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One of the best days ever today! We had members of both J Pod and mostly L Pod today! Breaching, non-stop socializing and playing, we even saw a female spyhop and she vocalized with her head out of the water.....never heard it from above water before, It was amazing!
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
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Chartered this morning saw two different Pods, One at lime kiln and another on the way back to Lopez Island a little west of the Salmon bank
Captain Tommer Roush, Barlow Bay Charters
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Walked out the door this morning to spot six or eight Orcas heading westward toward Iceberg Point (Lopez Island) off Flint Beach just after 9am.
Tom Reeve, Lopez Island
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Faint orca calls on the LimeKiln hydrophone at 12:26AM. Using the sound archives, I believe we've got members of J pod near the LimeKiln hydrophone tonight.
Nicole Brandt
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2 orcas, no idea of sex , but both about same size, fairly large. 1940, about 200 meters off the shoreline due north from the east end of Skunk Bay, just west of Hansville, on the north tip of Kitsap peninsula (N47-53/W122-34). Direction of travel uncertain. Appeared to be playing. Stayed in sight for 20 minutes, then disappeared, I think west. I reported a pair here several years ago. Sorry for no more info.
Thomas & Carol Wood
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Orca Network received a call reporting 3 orcas in Skunk Bay, near Hansville, Kitsap Peninsula at 7:40 pm, heading south but stopping to play for awhile.
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Erick Peirson called to report orcas at 10:15 am off Keystone, Admiralty Inlet/Whidbey Island southbound. Likely the Transient orcas that have been spotted around Puget Sound and Admiralty the last two days.
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Orca Network received a call from David Riddle of Pt. Roberts, reporting a Gray whale 50 yards off Lighthouse Pt, the S tip of Pt. Roberts, WA at around 7:45 or 8 pm. It was coming from the SE heading NW toward the Tswassen Ferry landing. He has never seen a Gray whale in this location before.
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We spotted a single adult gray whale off the south west beach of Point Roberts near Lighthouse Point, swimming about 50 feet from shore. The whale was traveling northwest and was last seen swimming towards Deltaport. We've not seen a gray whale in this area previously.
Paul Griffin, Point Roberts, WA
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Veronica von Allwörden called to report watching at least 15 Dall's porpoise in Saratoga Passage heading NW at 7:35 pm, mid-passage. They were spread out, traveling one after another - more Dall's than she has ever seen there!
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Kathleen Rollick called Orca Network to report 3 orcas 8 miles from the harbor in Brookings, OR, 3.5 miles from Twin Rocks, traveling back and forth but last seen heading north. The pod included 1 male.

June 18, 2010

We headed north, toward Turn Point on Stuart Island to catch up with J Pod. J Pod had been reported swimming north past Turn Point lighthouse. As we rounded the north side of Stuart, we started to see whale watch boats. Then, we started to see dorsal fins! Captain Mike motored the trusty MV Sea Lion toward a whale traveling in Boundary Pass. This whale turned out to be 19-year-old Mike (J26). Guests aboard viewed Mike as he traveled across Boundary Pass toward North Pender Island. The boat moved away from J26 and caught up with everyone's favorite whale - Ruffles (J1). He, too, was traveling toward North Pender Island. Eventually, we backtracked a bit. We caught up with a group of about 8 orcas, traveling in a close group. They appeared to be socializing - tail slaps, cartwheels, belly flops, and spy hops were in abundance today! These animals (like J26 and J1) were traveling towards North Pender. Eventually, they reached the shoreline and we traveled with them as they continued their socializing antics.
Ashley, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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After watching the two groups passing by Hannah Heights in the morning (in the report sent 6/18), we had another pod pass Hannah Heights from about 4 - 6 pm, heading north. It appeared to be J pod whales with some Ks (at least K21 & J27 were present). They were spread out in small groups, and the last group included 3 males (K21 & J27 +?) and 2 females traveling very close to each other in a tight group, going down & coming up together, one time surfacing together in a tight group of 4 dorsals and 1 fluke!
We saw them off Lime Kiln at about 6:30 pm as they continued north, then at 9:30 pm we saw them pass the Center for Whale Research, NW San Juan Island, heading south as the light faded, and lastly, as noted above, we heard more whales from Hannah Heights after midnight - a great day of whale sightings and hearings!
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network
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Heard many orcas, Jpod and others on lime kiln hydrophones, about 22:05-23:00 and then some after in distance until the writing of this email at 23:29.
Cathy-Lopez Island
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Val's program WhoListener picked up a single [orca] detection earlier this evening at 20:27 at Orcasound (near Smuggler's Cove north of Lime Kiln). The recording is of some weird combination of a s4 and a S10 call and then some clicks. The next detection was at 22:16 at Lime Kiln at the beginning of the current vocal event.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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ORCA AT LIME KILN hydrophones 22:58.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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2237: Faint echoing SRKW calls on Lime Kiln hydrophones. Getting louder... but not audible on Orcasound. Mostly S2s, so perhaps J pod?
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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At 11:45 I was flying across the bay towards Everett and spotted a Gray Whale northwest of the marine marker (west of Everett and North of Hat Island), feeding in the shallow water! I didn't recognize the whale. It does have a distinctive white spot on its left side similar to #53's.
Veronica von Allwörden, Langley, Whidbey Island
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We watched from Hannah Heights as members of J and K pods traveled, foraged and played along the west side of San Juan Island starting at 8 am and continuing until around noon. Several of the J pod calves were especially energetic with multiple breaches, spy hops and tiny tail lobs as they played together! From about 8 - 9:30 they seemed to be heading N, with many direction changes and foraging behaviors. At 10 am some of them headed back south, followed by more heading south around 11 am.
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network
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OrcaSound hydrophone 0832 - J pod heading N. Just heared some calls on OS hydrophone. Previously heared at Lime Kiln hydrophone, whales are heading north.
Jette Hope
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08:24 - Calls at Lime Kiln Hydrophones, Loads of clicking.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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Lime Kiln hydrophone - 0756 - Hearing loud clicks and calls (lots of S1s and some S4s implies J pod). First autodetection was at 07:40 at Lime Kiln and there were no others earlier at Orcasound, so they may be traveling north.
Annie Reese
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Lime Kiln at 7:30 am your time. Started hearing faint calls around then, fading as boat passed. Became louder and more numerous with calls at 7:40 your time with splashes heard. Frequency of calls faded at 7:44 am, but could be heard intermittently. Quite loud squeals and blows at 7:50 am, some splashing and knocking as if at the hydrophone. Very loud clicking sounds heard as well as loud calls to 8:01 am. OMG!! Clicking continued thereafter, calls ceased. Clicking was more distant. Stopped listening at 8:11, though calls and clicks were still able to be heard, and getting louder again.
Pamela Smith

June 17, 2010

We had a great day of watching Js and Ks from Hannah Heights, W San Juan Island. At 12:45 pm they were heading south with some milling, foraging & porpoising. IDs included K21 & K40, J22, J34, J14, J30, J38. At 1:25 pm several small groups were heading south including 2 females with calves, again foraging & porpoising. At approx. 3:30 pm small groups of So. Residents were close in milling and foraging off Pile Pt, heading north, reaching Hannah Heights at around 4 pm. 2 large males, several juveniles and females and a sprouter were observed, spread out in small groups foraging. At 4:15 pm a male and several females headed south. 4:30 pm 2 females and 1 male headed north, a few minutes later 3 females and 1 male headed south, then 2 males and 1 female headed north, 1 went south, and ~5 others headed north (are we dizzy yet?!). 6:40 pm members of J pod headed south past Hannah Heights. J1 and J2 were photographed at Lime Kiln around 5:45 pm (see above photo of J2) , remarkable as they were observed and photographed off Anacortes at 1:45 pm! And to top off the day, as we watched a beautiful sunset, the whales started heading by Hannah Heights going south again, around 8:30 or 9 pm.
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network (along with Jeff, Amanda & Coho Hogan, joined in the evening by Sharon Grace & Paul Arons)
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WhoListener software just picked up calls at Lime Kiln hydrophones in substantial ship noise at 1718.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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Began hearing faint chatter at Lime Kiln hydrophone 5:40 pm. Must have been the tail end of group traveling as all I can hear is water at 6:15 pm. If only there were an under water camera.
Vicky Miller SSAMN Member
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Lots of Js and Ks today on the West Side. LOTS of jumping calves.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Whale Watching, San Juan Island
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We definitely had J-1 and J-2, also J-30 but couldn't positively ID the females. There were perhaps 12-15 whales total. We found them just off Washington Park in Anacortes, around 11:20 am, heading south - and after a side trip under the Deception Pass bridge, ultimately left them in roughly the same vicinity around 1:45 or so. It looked like they may have been heading towards Lopez when we left, but they were very spread out.
Jill Hein, Coupeville
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We received several 2nd hand reports on Facebook that L pod was sighted in Johnstone Strait, and found this on Mackay's Whale watch Facebook page, with many photos that definitely confirm many members of L pod up north!
The second and last day with our tour group. This day we went to Nakwakto rapids a place where Belize and Seymour Inlet pour into a small gap creating fast moving rapids. We also saw a raft of kelp grizzlies (Sea otters!), a haul out of Northern sea lions, one humpback whale, 300 + pacific white sides and last but not least --- 20 or so Southern Resident Killer Whales from the "L" pod!
Mackay Whale Watching, Johnstone Strait, B.C.
IDs of the L pod whales in Johnstone Strait June 17: Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research looked at the photos posted on Mackay's Whale Watch Facebook page of the L pod orcas observed in Johnstone Strait, and was able to confirm IDs on the following orcas: L5, L7, L26, L27, L53, L72, L82, L83, L84, L90, L92 and L105.
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I saw two small orcas at 5:30pm. They were between West Point and Elliot Bay heading south.
Adam LindquistWashington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Technician
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ORCA - DEFINITELY THREE FEMALES, POSSIBLY 1-3 ADDITIONAL? .5 NAUT MILE OFF POINT WELLS (EDMONDS, WA): 47deg 46.1' N x 122deg 24.6' W. TRAVELING SOUTH AT1400pst.
andy reay-ellers, r/v JACK ROBERTSON, Applied Physics Laboratory, Univ of Washington
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A pod of Orcas were seen swimming off Edmonds around 1pm.
Norm Mah, KOMO TV News
After viewing the video on KOMO TV, Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research and Candi Emmons of NOAA Fisheries concur these are Transient orcas, the T65As. Dave thinks there is an extra juvenile that has the fin shape of T36A1 too.
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Orca Network received a call from Susan Bullerdick, who reported a small pod of orcas seen from the Clinton/Mukilteo ferry at about 7:45 am. The orcas were heading north, looking like they were going to head up Saratoga Passage.
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Thursday Morning 7:30 am crossing from Clinton to Mukilteo my husband and boys report the ferry slowed down to let at least 3 orcas pass (about midway).
Sharon Harper-Peck (via Facebook)

June 16, 2010

Hugh McIsaac called Orca Network to report seeing 3 - 4 orcas 5 miles south of Point Sur, CA. They were out about 3.5 - 4 miles, and heading north.
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Today reports were of J, K, and part of L- Pod spread out several miles from the north to south end of San Juan Island. The family of L-22 Spirit, with teenage males L-85 Mystery, L-87 Onyx, L-89 Solstice, and L-79 Skana, along with L-12 Alexis seemed to be hunting for salmon until they reached the end of Salmon Bank and turned back toward the northwest. L-12 Alexis doesn't travel with this family regularly, but her grandchildren and great grandchildren have been seen with J-Pod lately, so perhaps the estimated 77 year old matriarch was enjoying a respite?! The pods have been mixing it up, challenging us to identify who is spending time with who!
Caroline Armon, OnBoard Tours
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We had an adventure out to Swiftsure Bank (west end of Strait of Juan de Fuca) yesterday (about 110 nautical miles each way), and amongst the 12-14' swells (so big you lost sight of land!) we found 6 humpbacks!!!
John Boyd (JB) SSAMN Marine Naturalist on Western Explorer
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This evening's sunset tour was quiet the safari! The adventure started with the misty blows of orca whales off Spieden Island. As we approached them we were able to identify a few members of Jpod, including the impressive adult male "Ruffles", 100-year old "Granny", and "Blackberry". They traveled in a large closely knit pod, with at least eight other orcas. They swam along the backside of Spieden towards Turn Point on Stuart Island. The orcas became quite lively while heading over Boundary Pass, breaching, tail slapping, cartwheeling, and spy hopping. The crowd cheered at the thrill of seeing such playful behavior in their natural environment. It was difficult to leave the orcas, however we quickly spotted dall's porpoises as we returned home.
Sally and Casey, Naturalists, San Juan Safaris
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After such an amazing day filled with members of all three pods in tight groups, close passes in the kelp at the lighthouse and lots of resting lines, at 7:00pm a lone humpback whale headed north off the west side of San Juan Island approx 200 yards from shore, the blows highlighted by the sun. What an awesome day in the islands!!!
Sandy Buckley, San Juan Island
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ORCA AT LIME KILN hydrophones at 1049, 1140, 1335 and 1410.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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Lime Kiln hydrophones 1335 - Hearing clicks and occasional calls after about an hour of no SRKW vocalization.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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1048 - Hearing whistles at the Lime Kiln Hydrophone.
Jette Hope
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Lime Kiln hydrophone 0229 - Hearing S2 (So. Resident) calls in the distance over some ship noise from NS Challenger tanker and Vulcan tug bound for Vancouver.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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We arrived on San Juan Island for Howard to do a talk at the Whale Museum. I headed out to the west side, just missed the So. Residents at the Center for Whale Research at about 11:30 am (they'd been heading N but turned back S just before I got there), so I headed down island to Hannah Heights, where at noon I saw two orcas just south of me, heading south (likely the tail end of a larger group) - it looked like a male/sprouter and a female. At 12:15 I saw 6 - 8 orcas heading N around Pt. Edwards, including 2 males, 3-5 females and a calf. At 12:25 3 - 4 orcas heading south, doing some milling - the male looked like J1. 12:33, J1, a female and a calf were then headed N. Another 4 orcas, including 1 male also headed N. At 12:40, what looked like some J pod groups were milling off Pt. Edwards, and some Whale Watch boats were further south toward False Bay, where another group of orcas were. At 1250, 6 or 7 orcas were in a resting line heading N off Pt. Edwards, and another 2 - 3 still milling just S of Edwards Pt.
Susan Berta, Orca Network
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Bonnie from the Bush Pt. Bed and Breakfast called Orca Network at 7:55 pm to report 1 Gray whale at Bush Pt, SW Whidbey Island, close to the dock. She saw it spout and roll.

June 15, 2010

Ken Balcomb encountered J's on the west side of San Juan Island at 9:15 a.m. The whales were spread out traveling south. The encounter ended off Lime Kiln at 10:37 a.m.with the J's continuing down the west side.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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I believe these are two of the three youngest members of J-17's family. If my IDs are correct, the three wee ones (J-44, J-46, and J-47) were playing together as a group while the mothers (J-17, J-35, and J-28) were nearby. The photo was taken Tuesday evening from shore on the west side of San Juan Island.
Jane Cogan
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Jeff Hogan called to report the following sightings of So. Resident orcas. At 7:40 am, the J22s, J28 and her calf, K21 and K40, and the J11s were grouped up northbound off the Center for Whale Research, West San Juan Island. At 10 am, some turned south, and between 11 and noon, the rest of J pod showed up off the Center for Whale Research from the north. Between 11 am and 1 pm, all the whales came down island past Eagle Pt. At 2 pm, they all headed north, spread out between Hannah Heights and the Center for Whale Research. They headed back south around 6 pm, then turned north again. While he was talking to me, he saw an orca breach off Hannah Heights at 9:20 pm.
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Got a couple of pics to share with you (photos included orca and a humpback whale fluke). The Orca pic was taken on June 15th right at Point Baker on Prince Of Whales Island, SE Alaska.
Michael Kampnich, Craig, Alaska
Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research: He is probably a northern resident although he must have got a new nick since the NR catalogue came out unless I'm completely spacing him out. I don't think AF and AG pods go down that far (although there is no reason why they can't).
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[Orcas] calling at Lime Kiln @7:10pm.
Dan Rogge
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6:30 pm: Another day in paradise - sunny skies, flat calm waters and J Pod in huge groups! And honorary J Pod members K21 and K40...and J Pod on the hydros right now!
John Boyd, San Juan Island (via Facebook)
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1735: Intermittent S2 calls quite loud with moderate boat noise.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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around 5:30pm heard orcas (sorry couldn't id pod) on the lime kiln hydrophone!
caryn friedlander, bellingham, wa
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We heard calls off and on all day on the Lime Kiln and OrcaSound hydrophones (NW San Juan Island) - the latest round began at 4:25 pm and continued for nearly an hour!
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island
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4:25 pm - whales...whales...whales ...north ...south ...north ...south ...and I saw Cappuccino today, which always brings a smile to my face.
Sandy Buckley, San Juan Island (via Facebook)
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Nadja Baker of Anacortes reports "Orca just passed on Orca Cam (at the Center for Whale Research) and calls are on the OrcaSound hydrophone (NW San Juan Island), at 4:07 pm.
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I hear [orcas] at San Juan Island at 4:07pm.
Dan Rogge
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Orca calls at Lime Kiln, San Juan Island at 2:33 pm.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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12:05: We're on scene with J-Pod (Including Ruffles) at San Juan Island.
Prince of Whales (via Facebook)
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Just started hearing [orca] calls at 10:37 on lime kiln.
Chrissy McLean, Port Townsend Marine Science Ctr.
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10:31 am - J pod - Loud S2 calls and clicks at Lime Kiln after the same at Orcasound suggest J pod is foraging while moving south along San Juan Island's west side.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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I hear the [orcas] on the San Juan Island link at 10:10am.
-Dan Rogge
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10:05 am: Whales vocalizing on both hydrophones - amazing little J Pod calls on Orcasound - cool grunt vocals on Lime Kiln - life is good.
John Boyd &/or Sandy Buckley (via Facebook)
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8:30 am - Orcas northbound at Kellett Bluff, Henry Island. 10:35 am the leaders at Pilie Pt. down-island (W San Juan Island), quick on ebb.
Erick Peirson, Pt. Townsend, WA
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0027 - Starting to hear S19 calls (L pod) echoing over a quiet background on the Lime Kiln hydrophone.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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Imagine my surprise while out walking at Beverly Beach this afternoon around 5 pm to see a gray whale spout in Holmes Harbor just south of Saratoga Beach! It was moving slowly and close in to shore between Saratoga and Beverly Beaches.
Louise Salmin, Freeland, Whidbey Island

June 14, 2010

We had a nice trip north and west around San Juan Island to find orcas from J-Pod near shore off of Lime Kiln Point State Park. Amazing to watch five generations of an orca family; J-2 Granny, estimated to be 99 years old, along with her son J-1 Ruffles estimated at 59 years old, and constant traveling companion J-8 Spieden estimated 77 years old! However it looked like little 9 year old J-37 Hy'Shqa was ahead of the adults, spending some time with great grandma J-2! They seemed to be foraging, looking for salmon. The rest of J-Pod was spread out behind them in Haro Strait, and reports were that K-Pod had headed toward the south end.
Caroline Armon, OnBoard Tours
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Orca Network received a call from Fran Banasick of Greenbank, reporting a Gray whale in Saratoga Passage off Greenbank Beach near Wonn Rd. at 2:45 pm. Howard went to try to find it, and about 30 minutes later finally saw a spout further out and further south into Holmes Harbor, where the whale appeared to be heading south.
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2359 - The automated detector at the Orcasound hydrophone recorded a single S19 call just before midnight, so there is a hint that L pod is southbound in Haro Strait and (now that I hear lots of echolocation at Lime Kiln) foraging.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound
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I tuned in to the Lime Kiln hydrophone at 7:55 pm to hear some Orca chatter. Its 8:40 now and the sounds are incredible.
Vicky Miller, SSAMN Member
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8:30 pm - we heard and recorded some AMAZING calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophone, & listened to the So. Residents on both hydrophones for several hours.
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network
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2011 - K pod has definitely been hanging around for a while with their S-16 'mews' at Lime Kiln hydrophones. Lime Kiln, 2119 - just hearing some s-1s again too, so Jpod is around again as well.
Laura Swan
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I have been listening to what I believe to be L pod on the Lime Kiln State Park hydrophone since about 7:45pm. They sound like they are very close and it is now 8:45pm. Very high pitched long squeaks and chirping. A very active chat as it has been going on for over an hour.
~Katharyn Preston
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Capt. Jim Maya called at 6:50 pm to report they followed part of J pod (including J1 & J2) and L2, L78, & L88, up Swanson Channel to Navy Channel, where they turned and headed back south. Also at this time are 2 females and 1 calf in Open Bay, San Juan Island. June 14 1409 - So Resident Calls being heard on OrcaSound hydrophones now, whale seen on Center cam, many whale watching boats out.
Cathy Bacon, Texas
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Orca calls at 2:57 on Lime Kiln hydrophone. Orca calls at Lime Kiln at 4:52 pm. Orcas at Lime Kiln hydrophones, 7:51 pm.
Lon Brockelhurst
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Orca calls at Lime Kiln hydrophone, San Juan Island 1:10 pm.
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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After watching J's and the L2's pass by the Center for Whale Research (NW San Juan Island), Dave Ellifrit, Emma Foster and Erin Heydenreich departed Snug Harbor and headed north. We encountered L88, L78, L2, J1 and J2 spread out off Spieden Channel traveling north at 3:23 p.m. (48° 35.462 N,123° 12.463W). We later encountered J33 traveling with J8. The next group we spotted was the rest of the J16's, who appeared to be the last whales going north. Other J's and K's were reported further down the west side of San Juan Island. The encounter ended at 4:33 pm, three miles south of Turn Point (48° 40.373 N, 123° 14.179 W). Photos and map of the encounter here.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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We had confirmation of whales approaching San Juan Island. It was a bit choppy down south, and [orcas] were heading north, so we looped over the top of the island and arrived just north of the Lime Kiln Lighthouse just as the whales were passing by. The whales were mostly hugging the shore, and we were staying 1/4 mile off shore (observing the voluntary no-boat zone). But that didn't mean we didn't get to see any whales! We had a very nice viewing of J1 Ruffles, who was hanging a bit offshore, as was J2 Granny. We also noted J8 Speiden, and J33 Keet. But the thrill of the day was a nice young male that passed about 150 yards off our starboard side. Big fin, finger saddle patch--so my mind went to J27 Blackberry. But something didn't quite look right, and our other naturalist Katie was beaming when she said it was L78 Gaia! I was skeptical at first, but sure enough, it was him!!! Even more exciting was the sighting by Katie of L2 Grace!! This is the first time this year that these whales had been seen so it was good to be able to check of that they made it through another winter. We didn't see my favorite L Pod whale in this group (L88 Wavewalker), but Jeanne called me to let me know he was lagging a bit behind but also present! We left the leaders just working the tide rips at Kellett Bluff heading north. We heard reports that some members of K Pod were also present further south around False Bay, but we didn't have time to see them.
John Boyd (JB), SSAMN Marine Naturalist, Western Prince, Friday Harbor
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I just received a report of a sighting made in the last half hour (bet. 11 & 11:30 am) of at least 2 or 3 orcas about ½ offshore from the mouth of the Siletz River, Lincoln City, OR. The caller said he saw one very tall dorsal fin and a seal flying out of the water to flee from them. He did not take any photographs.
Jim Rice, Stranding Coordinator, Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University

June 13, 2010

We have seen several orcas (6-8) at Southern Pender Island between 5pm - 6 pm. Probably southern residents. We also saw a calf with them (K pod???). They were breaching at Gowlland Point. Later swam around, where currents meet, probably they were feeding. Regards,
Krisztina & Tamas
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Pt. Roberts is a fantastic land-based whale watch park with often long passes, hanging out for foraging/socializing and less intrusive boat traffic. Today it was 2 hours until the last orcas were out of sight. One group spent over 30 minutes foraging in the South Beach "Bay" as commonly seen. As they first approached a little one porpoised and an adult breached. They were very spread out in stormy seas that were calming under a beautiful blue sky. Some were very close off the park. I saw one do a flip as several met up. J2 "Granny" (estimated birth 1911) was close to shore while J1"Ruffles" (estimated birth 1951) was a bit further ahead. Near the end it was J14 (born 1974) with her baby J45 (born Feb/March 2009).
Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce, Pt. Roberts, WA
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9:30 pm: Hearing same callls on both Lime Kiln and Orca Sound arrays with delay.
9:10 pm: Whistles at Lime Kiln.
8:39 pm: Loads of "neat" sounds at OrcaSound array.
8:18 pm: Echo clicks at Lime Kiln --- and --- repeated call at OrcaSound --- Baby ????
7:57 pm: Calls at both OrcaSound and Lime Kiln.
7:34 pm: Orcas at Lime Kiln hydrophones
Lon Brockelhurst, Olympia
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8:54 pm: great vocals on orcasound - js and ks. amazing echolocations. John Boyd (via Facebook)
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Started to hear our residents (on Lime Kiln hydrophone) about 6:55 PM when a noisy boat came by. The Orca sounds got louder about 7:13 PM with intermittent calls.
Vicky Miller SSAMN Member
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Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research called at 6:30 pm to report they had J pod beginning to pass south in front of the Center (NW San Juan Island).
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On Maya's Westside Charters 3:00pm, we met with some J pod whales and 4 K pod whales in Boundary Pass heading south. These 4 K pod whales - K21, K40, K16 and K35 - were with all of J pod when they were last seen on Thursday June 10. After a 2 day absence it was great to see them again. However, I am not sure if all of J pod was present. Those seen by us were the J1, J2, J14s, J16s, J8, J19 and J41 and the 4 K pod whales. The J11s, J17s and J22s...hum where were they? These three groups had split from the rest last week for a day. I'm not sure if that happened again or not. Maybe someone got a picture of one of the J11s, J17s or J22s yesterday. See my blog for pictures from the encounter.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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We spotted three members of our Southern Resident orca community when we arrived at Monarch Head BC. There was a female orca traveling with a subadult and a calf. Our good luck continued when we saw one of the whales breaching about 200 yards away, giving us a great view of its glossy belly. As we followed the whales south we identified the male orca J-26 "Mike". This 19 year old juvenile was given his nickname after the whale researcher Mike A. Bigg who passed away in 1991. Our next stop was Turn Point on Stuart Island. Captain Mike stopped the boat and I lowered our high-tech hydrophone into the water, enabling our lucky crew to hear the whales communicating. Listening to their serenading vocalizations made for one of the most peaceful days I have experienced on the water. Sunkissed and blissed we returned back to Friday Harbor.
Sally, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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There was a small group of orca's off Brookes Point - south pender island this afternoon. between 1pm and 5pm. There was a second group closer to 5pm that were happily on their own with no whale watching boats around. they appeared to be feeding and circling the same spot.
Tracy Hodgins
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After "disappearing" up north for two days, J-Pod came back down today. We were lucky enough to be the ones who found them after an earlier sighting from a BC ferry. What a special treat! I figured we would have to run all the way up to Pt. Roberts, in less than perfect conditions, to find them. Instead, we found the whales at East Pt. in flat calm water under sunny skies.
Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours (via Facebook)
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Carrie Newell of Whale Research Excursions in Oregon called to report the orcas that were observed previously off Depoe Bay, OR were seen off Government Pt, N. of Depoe Bay at 8 am this morning. She observed 2 females, 1 young male & a calf.
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I remembered the day's report on a gray being seen in Polnell Shores area. We continued our search in the Polnell Pt. area and just N.E. of Polnell Shores, whale spout and a boat load of EXCITEMENT. We watched the gray as it stayed in same area feeding on sand/ghost shrimp close to shore. Observations, included, lots of swirling activity, with flippers and fluke sticking above water. Fed as a "right sided" gray; as we could see several times it twist/spiral onto its right side to suction the shrimp. All captured on film. Mid June gray in this area is something. We would not have been able to capture this memorable experience, without your faithful daily reports. Would not have gone searching, unless, we had heard grays are still around. And, here we are, nearing mid June.
Robert Stonefelt Oak Harbor

June 12, 2010

On Puget Sound Express return from Friday Harbor to Port Townsend we saw at least three minkes hunting together in the Strait of Juan de Fuca just south of eastern San Juan Island. One of them had a series of bumps forward of the dorsal fin.
Andrew Reding
Andrew sent his photos to Jonathan Stern of the NE Pacific Minke Project, and Jon replied: Nice photographs, thank you very much andrew - and we know these whales. the one with the bumps is interesting. these bumps are the spinous processes of the vertebrae - this animal is kind of thin, but they will disappear as he puts on some weight throughout the feeding season. or, of course he may be sick - but we have seen these bumps on a whale, and they have disappeared.
Jon Stern, NE Pacific Minke WhaleProject

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There was a lone Minke working his way south to north off of Lagoon point, Whidbey Island Saturday afternoon. Pretty slowly with long dives in between about 1/3 of the way into the channel. It was pretty clearly a Minke because of the smallish hook dorsal.
Ted Webber
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Orcas were in front of the Depoe Bay (OR) Whale Watch center (as reported yesterday by Linda Taylor), at 10:45 am and again from 3:15 - 4:45 pm, playing in the bay. Linda Taylor at the Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center, OR - had what looked like the same pod of orcas return from 3:15 - 4:45 pm - they took another seal or sea lion while there, then left heading to the south. The pod included 1 lg male, 1 sprouter, 1 female and 1 calf.
Carrie Newell, Whale Research Excursions in Oregon
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4:45 pm: Ewan and I are in Depoe Bay OR watching pod of 4 Orcas!
Laura O'Leary.
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I wanted to pass on a report I received of four orcas sighted in Yaquina Bay near the Hatfield Marine Science Center pier, at about 8:30 PM. No word on whether or not photos were taken. The central Oregon coast is certainly getting its share of sightings lately!
Jim Rice, Stranding Coordinator, Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Marine Mammal Institute, Oregon State University
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We heard from some neighbors down the road that they saw a Gray whale on Saturday afternoon, just north of Greenbank off North Bluff Rd, heading north up Saratoga Passage.
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Nate Stansbury called Orca Network to report 3 orcas, 1 female and 2 juveniles outside of Coos Bay, OR, just outside the jetty heading south but traveling back and forth feeding, at 10:30 am.
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Orca Network received a call from Linda Taylor at the Depoe Bay, OR Whale Watch Center this morning, reporting 5 Orcas in front of the Center from 10:45 - 11:15 am, heading N. They took down a seal during that time, pod included 1 large male, 1 sprouter, 2 females & a juvenile.

June 11, 2010

Received a text from Clallam Bay/Sekiu, they had about 9-10 Orca surround them - he said there were about 5 big males in the group. they were feeding most of the day there and were heading out west when they came up on them at 630 pm.
Sandy Weideman
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A group of 5 - 7 orcas was observed 5 miles N. of Government Bay OR.
Carrie Newell, Whale Research Excursions in Oregon
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5+ orcas ~ 1 mile out from Depoe Bay OR heading north at 11 am - reported by Dave Newton at the Depoe Bay Whale Watch Center.

June 10, 2010

There was a gray whale feeding at about 2:15 pm, right in front of madrona beach on NW camano island, right up close not far from shore.
Jana Budden
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Orcas off Point Doughty, Orcas Island around 3:30pm. Looked like 3-4 transients?
Kate Grimes (via Facebook)
(this sounds like the group of J and K pod orcas reported by Jeanne Hyde, below)
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Orca Network received an anonymous report of 10 - 12 orcas in Lopez Sound, at the entrace to Mud Bay & Hunter Bay, from 10 to 11 am, heading SW, then NE. there were 3 males and 3 small orcas in the pod.
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Several orcas jumping etc this morning as the 8am ferry headed toward Anacortes near the south end of Blakely.
Shannon Bailey (via Facebook)
(again, likely the group of J and K pod orcas reported by Jeanne Hyde, below)
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This post shows the whereabouts of 4 K pod whales with J pod - whales were reported at Thatcher Pass and a few hours later whales were reported at Eagle Pt. The Eagle Pt. whales passed by Lime Kiln, got to County Park and turned back and went south. Members of the K11s, K14s, and K12s were seen including new calf K43. The Thatcher Pass whales were J Pod with 4 K pod whales. K21, K40, K16 and K35. Members of all J Pod family groups were present and it appeared they were once again back together. J Pod and the 4 K pod whales were last seen at 7pm in the Straits of Georgia, spread out and foraging.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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We saw three female [orcas] and a calf in the Yaquina Bay, Newport, OR. We lost them for a while as they were swimming upriver passing the Hatfield Marine Science Center. After about an hour and a half they came back into the bay and headed off to open waters. Almost exactly one year ago, on June 9, 2009, I observed a group of orcas off of Depoe Bay and north of Newport traveling south (I sent you photos of the sighting last year).
Julia Hager, Newport, OR
ID on Newport Orcas: Julia's photos were sent to our list of researchers, and so far we have this reply from Jared Towers of Canada's DFO: The animal in frame 101 looks like T075B. Beyond that I can't say much with out a lot of guessing.
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As a follow up to Julia's report, it seems the [orca] pod consisted of 6 animals, including 2 calves. They spent approximately 2 hours in Yaquina Bay OR, traveling about 5.5 miles up river before heading back downstream as the tide began to flood. They appeared rather active throughout, displaying some breaches and tail lobbing, but we had no direct observations of predation on pinnipeds.
Jim Rice, Univ. of OR, Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator
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Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales called to report hearing So. Resident calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophone, W. San Juan Island, at 12:55 pm.
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Lon Brockelhurst reported orca calls on the Lime Kiln hydrophone at 12:41 pm.
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Mike Schilling, capt. of the WA State Ferry Chelan called to report 10 - 15 orcas heading south in Rosario Strait at 9 am. They were E of Thatcher Pass and N of James Island.
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Suzan Anderson called to report 7 - 8 orcas near Peapod Island, E Orcas Island heading west through the channel at 8 am. She then sent this report with more info: 8 am - Pod of Orcas moving towards Obstruction Pass from area just south of South Peapod Island. Viewing group from about 3/4 miles offshore via binoculars and observed a fair amount of breaching within a group of 6 or more.
Suzan

June 9, 2010

5:15 a.m and again at 8 am brief calls over Lime Kiln hydrophones. Scanning from the park within 15 minutes of hearing those calls revealed nothing. At 1:00pm J and K pods passed Lime Kiln going up island, but the J22s, J17s and J11s were not present. They were not present through the entire day when the whales were last seen exiting Active Pass at 6:30 pm.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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Just before 6 PM they started coming. Rather than grab the binoculars as I usually do, I went out on the front lawn and just watched with my naked eyeballs as a rather large group of orcas came through Active Pass, hugging the shoreline at Helen Point as they entered Georgeson Bay. There was a bit of tail lobbing, an occasional breach, and what looked like quite a bit of fun as they came through. Then a second wave of orcas (looked like J pod to me) showed up, and when the got into the middle of the Pass, they all congregated quite closely to each other and rested near the surface for a few minutes. And then they went under, not to be seen again on this splendid evening.
Peter B. Reiner, Galiano, BC
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After watching J's, K's and L87 pass by the Center for Whale Research, Ken Balcomb, Dave Ellifrit, Emma Foster, and Erin Heydenreich departed Snug Harbor and encountered them off Stuart Island at 2:45 p.m. (48° 66.694 N, 123° 23.139 W). They were spread out in loose groups traveling north. We observed lots of surface activity and social behavior. The encounter ended at the south end of Swanson Channel at 3:51 p.m. ( 48° 73.043 N, 123° 25.716 W), the whales still spread out heading north.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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Captain Craig, the guests, and I cruised north, meeting members of J Pod off of Kellet Bluff on Henry Island. Henry Island is just northwest of San Juan Island. We started the whale watching portion of the trip watching the Southern Resident Community's most famous member Ruffles, or J1. He traveled along in the lead, not an uncommon behavior for this old guy. After he had passed us by he sharked around up ahead of us at our one o'clock, appearing for roll onto his right side and slowly swim along the surface. After this great viewing, we watched a few whales traveling past us, heading toward Turn Point. Eventually, a large group of tail-slapping, pec-slapping, cartwheeling orcas came past our port side. They were socializing in a way I personally haven't seen yet all season. After they passed by us, we watched them continue their antics all the way up to Stuart Island. In this large group was one adult male, many females (or younger males), a few young animals, and a very young calf. I also saw J26, Mike, having some alone time with a female I was unable to identify. The only orcas I identified today were members of J Pod, but I heard talk of K Pod over the radio and there were many animals I saw that I didn't ID.
Ashley, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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On our 1:30 trip, Js and Ks right in front of our dock (Smuggler's Cove, NW San Juan Island). On our 4:30 trip we went up into Canada and followed Js and Ks through Active Pass with only two other boats. Fantastic clouds behind Georgina Point Lighthouse at the north entrance to Active Pass. And not a bad shot of the Turn Point Light either. We were hoping for a Superpod today, but no L Pod. Great to see the Ks.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters, San Juan Island
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We tuned into the hydrophones at OrcaSound, and heard calls off Lime Kiln starting at about 1:30 pm, and then on the OrcaSound hydrophones at about 2:30 pm as J pod traveled north up the west side of San Juan Island.
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island
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Orcas heard at Lime Kiln Hydrophones, 1:03 pm, and at both Lime Kiln and OrcaSound (NW San Juan Island) hydrophones at 1:19 pm.
Lon Brocklehurst, Olympia
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Erick Peirson of Port Townsend reported J pod at Salmon Bank, heading up the west side of San Juan Island at 11:30 am. At 10 am, orcas were also reported south of Davidson heading SW.
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7:52 am - Orca calls on hydrophone (W San Juan Isl) - possibly K pod?
Nicole Brandt

June 8, 2010

The whales were traveling back to the north. This is when it got really confusing. I had heard calls over Lime Kiln hydrophones starting at 4:20 am. and they moved over to Orca Sound hydrophones. When it got light enough, I saw whales going north. Someone else heard whales over the Lime Kiln hydrophones at about 8:30 a.m. and soon L pod whales (the same groups as mentioned above) were going up island. My pictures show that the Lpod group of five - L12, L85, L22, L79 and L89 were at Open Bay at 10:30 a.m. My pictures also show that at 11:15 at Turn Pt. milling about were the J22s and the J17s. Closer to Spieden Island at 12:00, were L12, L85, L22, L79 and L89 in a spread out group heading back down island; the group of L41,L25,L94,L113,and L77 had turned back at Open Bay at about 10:30 and were heading down Island. I heard one operator say that there were 8 to to 10 whales in that group - so I thought that J27,J31 and J39 were still with them. However, when they passed by at Lime Kiln there were only 5 present - L41,L25,L94,L113,L77. We had been at Turn Pt. watching the J22s and the J17s. They didn't seem to be going anywhere, but trending to the north. At 12:30 as we were coming back down island, whales were spotted out in the middle of the Channel going up island - it was J27, J31 and J39 heading north. in the evening K pod and L87 came in from the west and stayed south.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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We saw a solitary whale in Useless Bay. It was not an Orca, most likely a Gray Whale, but it was pretty far away in the middle of Useless Bay (where the upwelling is) and well out of the shipping channel. We watched this animal for about 30 minutes (8 pm). The whole time, it swam in circles on the surface and appeared to be bobbing in the water (taking bites; surface feeding?) at about 1 bob per second. We had good binoculars, but it was pretty far away. It had barnacles on it's nose. We saw a fin from time to time and several blows. It appeared to be quite long and slender. We watched until it was too cold and dark. Is this consistent with Gray Whale feeding behavior?? It definitely was a whale; the first live one we have seen in Useless Bay in 8 years!
Linda and Gregg Ridder, Freeland, Whidbey Island
Likely the Gray whale observed by others earlier in the week off West Whidbey and Edmonds - sb
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The Center for Whale Research received a report of K pod coming in from the Strait of Juan de Fuca around 3 p.m. Ken Balcomb, Dave Ellifrit, Emma Foster and Erin Heydenreich encountered K's and L 87 spread out in groups traveling east at 6:01 pm (48° 21.56 N, 123° 12.85 W). The L12's came from the south west side of San Juan Island and met up with the K's around Middle Bank. We observed lots of milling, tactile behavior with lots of breaches, taillobs, and logging. All K pod whales were photographed and accounted for, including a new calf. The new calf, K43, was seen traveling with K12. We were also able to determine that K36 is a female. The encounter ended at 7:37 p.m. north of Middle bank (48° 23.60 N, 123° 04.53 W). The whales continued to travel east in spread out groups. They reportedly turned around later and went back out the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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Dave Ellifrit, Erin Heydenreich and Emma Foster of the Center for Whale Research encountered the L12's in a tight group just outside Mitchell Bay (48° 35.16 N, 123° 12.09 W) at 9:50 a.m. They were traveling slow and close to the shore of Henry Island. We left the group at 10:18 a.m. and went north to Turn Point. We encountered J17, J35, J44, and J47 traveling north. We observed a lot of surface activity, mostly from the calves and especially from J pod's youngest member, J47. We later spotted the J22's also traveling north toward Swanson Channel. The encounter ended several miles north of Turn Point (48° 42.89 N, 123° 14.90 W) at 11:35 a.m.
Center for Whale Research
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K pod returned, bringing with them a new calf. K43 was seen traveling with K12, who is presumed to be the mother. K12 is estimated to be 38 years old. She has two existing offspring, K22 and K37, and one grandchild, K33 (son of K22). K pod was first seen this year on February 21st, traveling up Swanson Channel with J pod. Photographs taken by Jeanne Hyde on Jim Maya's boat suggested the presence of a new K pod calf, but we were unable to confirm with any certainty. The June 8 encounter with K43 confirms that the calf is at least 5 months old. The population of K pod is now 20 whales. This is the third calf born in 2010.
Center for Whale Research
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We just returned from Hein Bank with K's and L12's (from 6:03 - 7:37 pm).
Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research
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4:43 pm: many L's and K's off Victoria going East. J's in Georgia St. and L12's West side San Juan Island.
Ron Bates
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The 12:15 pm Prince of Whales, 'Ocean Magic' vessel, out of Victoria encountered some of the L 12's at False Bay, San Juan Island. They were spread out far and wide and zig zagging all over with long dives. We had good glimpses of L 41 'Mega ' and a mom and a calf that appeared to be L 94 with her youngster L 113, who was showing off with many enthusiastic breaches (see photo of the day). We last saw them heading north toward Lime Kiln.
Marie O'Shaughnessy,Orca-Magic, Prince of Whales, Victoria BC.
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J pod up north again today! It's been nice having them in the Strait of Georgia on a regular basis. They were very spread apart again today and we spent most of our day with J1 and J2. When we first arrived on scene though we had a mother and a calf briefly and I couldn't get an ID on them but I'm thinking it was J14 and J45. The calf did a couple breaches.
Gary Sutton Wild Whales Vancouver
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The reports were in, telling us to search near the west side of San Juan Island for a group of L-pod orca whales. We arrived at False Bay shortly after departing from Friday Harbor. From the sunny deck of the Sea Lion we saw a tall, glossy dorsal fin slice through the surface of the water. The scar half way down the dorsal fin hinted that we were looking at L-41 "Mega". Mega was born in 1977, one year after the study of the Southern Resident Community had begun. We have been able to watch him grow from a small calf into the large adult male that we saw today. We continued south to view three other members of the pod near Lime Kiln State Park. The site was picture perfect. The orcas were swimming right in front of the Lime Kiln lighthouse and snow-capped Mount Baker was off in the distance.
Sally, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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So. Resident calls (including S2s) automatically recorded at the Orcasound hydrophones from 13:30-13:43.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach, Seattle
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11:35 am - Just started hearing Orca's, possible J pod, on OrcaSound hydrophone.
Jette Hope
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Orcas at Lime Kiln hydrophones, 11:16 am, and again at 2:27 pm.
Lon Brockleshurst, Olympia
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Transient Orcas northbound past the Campbell River, BC waterfront yesterday afternoon. T-124D, T-123A, T-20, T-21, T49C, T-2C, and one of my favorites T-2C2 photographed that I recognize. About 16 animals total. Came along the CR Fishing Pier 50ft off breaching, tail lobbing, and being very social for the many onlookers on shore!
Nick Templeman (via Facebook)
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Gray whale sighted in Penn Cove South side of cove going north out of the cove at 9:30 PM. We saw and heard him/her making it's way out of the cove.
Theresa, Penn cove resident
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At 4:45 I was out doing some flying and spotted a gray whale off of Scatchet Head (SW Whidbey Isl)! It was traveling to the Northwest, right off the drop off in front of the houses on the beach. The whale did not seem to be feeding, unless it was doing so in the deeper water. It seemed to be traveling at a fairly steady pace for the 15 minutes that I circled it.
Veronica von Allwörden
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The Gray whale is feeding in Crescent Harbor, Whidbey Island again this afternoon (6/8) - thanks to Joe Alicia for calling in the report - it was feeding close to shore at 3:40, near the seaplane base in Oak Harbor. He also watched it on Sunday, June 6 feeding close to shore in Crescent Harbor for 5 hours.

June 7, 2010

8 AM, Edmonds, WA ferry dock, gray whale feeding, rolling, blowing as crew and passengers on the deck watched this special sight!
Joan Douglas, Edmonds, WA
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3:30 pm spotted at least two pairs of Harbor Porpoise, sighted from Edmonds Beach park south of the marina. First we both saw a large splash ( like a breach splash) south of the ferry lane across towards Kingston, then noticed one fin. Saw a couple more fin surfaces further south. Not certain if the same animal but the splash had us intrigued as we have not ourselves seen that before with the Harbor porpoise. Closer to us, 500 yards from the beach, a pair surfaced a few times heading south. Shortly after spotted another (or first ) pair across mid channel south of ferry lane heading south.
Alisa & Ed Brooks
hmm - wonder if the "splashing" porpoise may have been Dall's rather than Harbor porpoise? Dall's are known to often have a characteristic "rooster tail" splash while porpoising out of the water - sb
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We were lucky to see about 8 Orcas at 8:30am as they moved past our home (near Rocky Point, North Nanaimo) heading north. They were definitely feeding as they circled around a couple of times, and were moving very fast.
Joe O'Connell
Our guess is this was likely one of the groups of Transient orcas sighted in this area the past few days - Sb
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We had J-pod between Hornby and Denman Island, BC, 6pm-7pm.
Alan Fletcher
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We eventually found some L Pod whales in the southern Strait of Georgia, just east of of East Point, Saturna Island. These whales, the L12's, appeared to be resting in the very calm waters. We observed L94 with little L113 beside her. The old girls, L25 and L12, were both there, as well as L41. A little further ahead - more whales. The trailing group of J pod consisted of the J17's and J22's. Both little calves, J46 and J47, were seen with their moms (see above photo). This group also appeared to be resting. As we entered into Boundary Pass, a freighter in the shipping lanes threw quite a wake. Several J Pod whales were traveling very close to the Saturna Island shoreline when the wake caught up to them. Some of the whales surfed the wave, some breached. We left the whales traveling slowly westbound, against a weak flood tide.
Joan Lopez, Naturalist, Vancouver Whale Watch
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The whales were traveling down from the north. J27, J31 and J39 were still with L41,L25,L94,L113, and L77. They reached Turn Pt. at 4 pm and Lime Kiln at 5:30pm. J Pod was leading and they were closer to the shore, with the other two L pod groups who were behind and a couple miles off shore (same grouping as the prior day).
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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At least seven Killer Whales, in two groups (4 and 3+) including one large bull, were traveling north-east in the Strait of Georgia at 7.20am, seen from the BC Ferries Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay 7am sailing, approx. 15 minutes out of dock. The animals all appeared to be traveling slowly and / or feeding.
Pete Davidson
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16:47 - Orca - Latitude:48.59403; Longitude:-123.22289
15:47 - Orca - Latitude:48.65544 Longitude:-123.23613
Ken Balcomb
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1739 So. Residents - Starting to hear faint calls on Orcasound Hps with boat noise.
Cathy Bacon
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1715 --- ORCA at Lime Kiln.
Robo
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A short jaunt over to Saturna Island and we were viewing Orcas. Once again widely spread in clusters of groups we encountered the J and L pods. There were a few splashes but mostly the whales slowly traveled along. No matter how many times I view these animals it never ceases to amaze me when they all come up to surface at once making for a picture perfect moment.
-Casey
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Both this morning (at 530 am) and this afternoon (at 400 pm), there was a grey whale swimming near the Edmonds ferry terminal. The whale was surfacing regularly and didn't seem to want to leave the area between the ferry dock and marina. A bald eagle was repeatedly swooping over the top of the whale just above the water.
Matt Nieuwkoop
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Probably heard that there has been a mother and baby grey whale hanging around the edmonds ferry dock pretty much all day
Mark Leidelmeyer
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Not sure if other folks have heard about this or not, but i just got word about an hour ago via FaceBook that there's a "gray whale struggling near the Edmonds Ferry dock...."
mike etnier
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Around 8:30am, we noticed a whale in the waters between the fishing marina and the Edmonds ferry dock. It appears to be a Gray Whale from what we can tell. It has been swimming around in a big circle, sometimes on its side. Don't have much more to offer than that.
Donna
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Laurie Baker, Operations Supervisor for WA State Ferries, reported that the captain of the ferry Puyallup saw a gray whale near the Edmonds ferry dock at 5:35 AM. The ferry waited for the whale to move away before docking.
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Joan Douglas of Snohomish Beach Watchers reported a gray whale at the north side of the Edmonds ferry dock.
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Norm at KOMO TV called to check out rumors of a gray whale in trouble or giving birth at the Edmonds ferry dock. The circling and rolling on its side in shallow water is, however, normal feeding behavior. Whether it is finding much food is not known.
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Rebecca Timothy called to report a gray whale swimming close to the beach at 5:20 AM in Crescent Harbor, near Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island.
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Charmain Lander called Orca Network to report a gray whale in Crescent Harbor, circling and rolling on its side in shallow water.

June 6, 2010

The mist gave way to partially clear skies and calm seas as we headed around San Juan Island to find family groups of J-Pod and reports of K-Pod by Kellet Bluff! The whales had been swimming at a fast pace with the flooding- incoming tide. J-16 Slick and family slowed down and we were awed by a variety of behaviors; breaches, cartwheels, headstands, and tail lobs! Nineteen year old J-26 Mike and fifteen year old J-30 Ridptide were showing off their male parts! We also got a glimpse of one of the new calves of either J-28 or sister J-35.
Caroline Armon, OnBoard Tours
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Had a great time watching J's and L's today and we were able to witness a bit of a greeting ceremony in Andrew's Bay at approx. 14:30.
Katie Jones :)
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Auto-detection in Haro Strait around 18:00...
Scott Veirs
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A mix of J and L pods on the west side of San Juan Island from Lime Kiln Point State Park to Andrews Bay. Animals were spread out in several groups, converging and dispersing intermittently. We saw L41, J28 with calf, J26 and many more not identified. There was very aggressive feeding behavior with multiple percussive displays. Just before we departed the scene at 1510 L41 displayed his "sea snake" while swimming with several females and possibly juveniles.
Tristen, Naturalist, San Juan Safaris
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About 1/4 mile off San Juan County Park Ruffles J1 was very easy to pick out, as was J27 Blackberry and J30 Riptide. They approached the large bed of bull kelp near Low Island (off San Juan County Park), and began to roll in the kelp. Long strands tangling dorsal fins and tail flukes. Dozens and dozens of spyhops. The whales would split into two groups, circle around the kelp,and then race back towards each other. From our vantage point, we saw one youngster roll over and was carried for awhile on the back of J27. A few breaches followed by more rolling, spyhops, and lolling at the surface.
John Boyd, SSAMN Naturalist at home
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Orca from the shore on the west side of San Juan Island. J pod was traveling to the north.
Jane Cogan
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Around 1:45pm today, spotted a large # of orcas on the orcacam. They seemed to split into at least 3 different groups as they crossed the viewing area. A couple of the groups had the usual dozen boats nearby, but there was a couple groups that seemed to slip past them and got to travel in peace at least for a while.
Susan Berta
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J27, J31 and J39 were last seen at about 7:30 pm with L41,L25,L94,L113, and L77 foraging near Kellet Bluff. L12, L85, L22, L79 and L89 had been last seen to the south of them. The rest of J Pod was far to the north.
Jeanne Hyde
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The Gray whale is feeding in Crescent Harbor, Whidbey Island again this afternoon, feeding close to shore in Crescent Harbor for 5 hours. Thanks to Joe Alicea for calling in the report
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We found ourselves in Transient Orca heaven once again today. We had a report of approximately 6 individuals in the Strait of Georgia, and after some effort, we managed to locate that group. It was the T2C's and T123s - 6 whales. We had last seen these two groups on the 24th of May, traveling northbound in the Strait. Now they were traveling slowly south, doing extremely long dives and possibly resting. While we waited for this group to surface, splashing and fins were noted about 1 mile away, closer to Galiano Island. We left the first group of resting T's, and met up with a larger group - T87, T88, T90, T90B, the T100's, T124 and T124D were Id'ed. These orcas were also traveling south, but in greater haste. However, when a seal was sensed on the surface, most of the group turned around. T87 and T88 continued southbound - more about them later. The T100's, T124's and T90's were determined to get that seal when suddenly, yet another seal appeared on the surface. Both seals lay very still, and it took many passes, some quite close to the seals, before the whales took one, then the other. With their mission accomplished, our group turned once again to the south and began porpoising down the Strait (see photo above). They kept up this amazing show of power for 15-20 minutes, at times reaching speeds over 12 knots. While speed swimming, the T100's, et al, passed right by the still slowly traveling T2C's and T123's without even a break in their pace. They eventually met up with T87 and T88 again, just north of Active Pass. They made a sharp right turn into Active Pass, and we left them traveling westbound through the pass at Miner's Bay. As we headed back across the Strait, there were the T2Cs, T123's, still slowly swimming south, although it appeared they might follow the T100's,etc. through Active Pass.
Joan Lopez, Naturalist Vancouver Whale Watch
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Sharon Grace phoned in reports of J's, K's and at least some L's heading for San Juan Island at 11:30am.
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1:21 pm - calls @ lime kiln now. Started about 10 minutes ago. I'm not experienced enough YET to distinguish the different pods. Soon enough!
Dirk & Jaime
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Mary Jo Adams called at 4:30 pm to say there was a gray whale feeding in Crescent Harbor, near Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island.

June 5, 2010

Doug Sandilands reported 10 transient whales encountered south of Hein Bank at 11 am Saturday.
Brent Norberg
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Mike Grady left a vm report seeing approximately 8 orca off Lighthouse Point, Port Townsend around 5 pm Saturday. He said it looked 2 calves included in the group.
Brent Norberg
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At 1300 the Js were extremely spread out off the Tsawassen Ferry Dock. From nearly one side of Georgia Strait to another. They appeared to be focused on food searches. Off Lighthouse Marine Park, Point Roberts a male lunged after a meal within 50 feet off the beach. The water was shallow and he might have rubbed the bottom. He then bolted past the Lifeforce boat perhaps after that big one that got away. Orcas in the "Point Roberts Bay" spend a lot of time foraging. This is a critical habitat area where orcas forage and socialize if not disturbed by boat traffic. Caution is advised when travelling in this area. Many Js grouped up when approaching East Point at approximately 1600. At approximately 1700 the J orcas were heading west in Boundary Pass off Java Rocks while Ruffles, Granny and others passed East Point, Saturna Island. As Lifeforce waited for all to pass Ruffles breached twice. As L, K and Js head back into Haro Strait and others are in Georgia Strait on June 6th it is " to be continued".
Peter Hamilton, Lifeforce Boater Awareness Program
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We'd received word of Transient Orcas several nautical miles Southeast of Hein Bank heading towards Puget Sound. Once on scene we encountered the T-30's, T-102 and others actively hunting a Harbour Seal (always thrilling to watch them give chase) on this day, however, the Harbour Seal outsmarted these intelligent creatures by 'jumping' up onto the Starboard engine 'water jet' of the Victoria Clipper III to seek refuge. After several minutes the Transients swam on in search of other food sources, but the poor little Seal spent the next 25 minutes resting on top of the water jet of the Victoria Clipper. The vessel was dead in the water as they were not able to start the engines, so for approximately 25 minutes the Captain and crew of the Clipper attempted to get the reluctant Seal to return to the water. The seal finally returned to the water once the whales were miles away. Never seen this before !!! Brilliant encounter with the whales today as we saw lots of Breaches, Dolphin Leaps, Tail Flips and had great vocalizations.
Jeff Lamarche, Eagle Wing Tours
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We were on the wrong side of the pod for good ID photos, their dorsal shadow somewhat obscures their saddle patches. However I'm sure you or Dave will know these guys by the shape of their dorsals, one leans to the right, and another's tip seems to point forward. When we left they were still heading south west (we were directly west of Partridge Point, Whidbey Island, 2 or 3 miles out, hard to tell, when we left them). We also saw a minke fairly close to Minor Island on the return to Anacortes.
Jill Hein
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We just got this report from Rod Whitten who observed 3-5 killer whales chasing sea lions northwest of the entrance to Grays Harbor @ 19:00. One individual had a very tall and straight dorsal fin. He wasn't able to get any photos, but I will refer him to the photo ID guide of Transient killer whales that you have on the website, because he is eager to identify at least one of the whales.
Annie Douglas
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David Dawley called Orca network about 2 - 3 orcas very close to the beach on the South end of Mutiny Bay, on the Whidbey side of Admiralty Inlet, at 9 pm.
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John Fortin called Orca Network at 8:44 pm to report seeing orcas headed south past Useless Bay, Whidbey Island, headed south.
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At 5:27 pm Erick Peirson called to say the orcas were just off Pt. Hudson, Port Townsend.
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Christopher Kennedy with WA State Ferries relayed a report from the Chief Mate of the Steilacoom II that at 5:30 pm orcas were seen 1/4 from the buoy at the entrance to Port Townsend just off Pt. Hudson.
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5:03 pm - Bob Whitney called from Port Townsend with a report of transient orcas "loitering" between Pt. Wilson and Marrowstone Island, heading south.
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The Ocean Magic left Victoria to head south and east to view 9 Transient Orca that had been reported. With Transients traveling in a straight line made for perfection as they headed further south toward Admiralty Inlet. We were at East Bank. It appeared that the T30's were there, T30A the big bull, and another big male, possibly T103. He was even bigger than T30A. Not sure who the other females were.
Marie, Orca-Magic. Prince of Whales. Victoria BC.
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With reports from Jill Hein and Erick Peirson of a group of 10 - 12 transient orcas headed south off Partridge Point, Whidbey Island around 2 pm, I headed to Ft. Casey, opposite Pt. Wilson at the entrance to Admiralty Inlet to watch for them. Having no luck after an hour scanning the horizon, I was about to leave my perch on the bluff when I looked down and saw a suspicious dark gray fin slicing the water just 30 feet from the waves lapping the beach. Within seconds a second fin swished up about 20 feet from the first and I realized a small gray whale was searching for food at my feet. That was at 3:40pm, and from there I accompanied this whale for about a mile down the beach, around Admiralty Head and almost to the Keystone ferry dock, whereupon the whale turned south and headed toward Lagoon Point at 4:35pm. The whale repeated the pattern of swimming a few hundred yards, then rolling on its side in typical feeding activity, then moving on to the next prospective meal. Since this is not known to be a place where grays have fed before, and the whale never stayed in any one place after one feeding attempt, I'm assuming this gray whale is unfamiliar with the best feeding spots and probably didn't find much.
Howard Garrett, Orca Network
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Whale passing Lagoon Pt. 6:30 pm. We just saw a whale surface right in front of the canal at Lagoon Pt. The small dorsal fin alerted us at first, it circled at the mouth of the canal, and surfaced with a spout, but we couldn't get a good look. Maybe a Minke???? Did anyone else catch a sighting?
Gene and Merilyn Ohlson
From the timing and the sighting, this was probably the same gray whale I saw at Admiralty Head, heading south at 4:35. hg
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16:34 - half dozen orcas over near buoy north of Pt. Wilson seem to be foraging/breaching and heading south toward Pt. Townsend.....
techno-man
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Ken Balcomb at the Center fror Whale Research had J pod coming past the west side of San Juan Island at 9 pm.
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We found J pod in the Strait of Georgia and they were very spread out from the south arm of the fraser river all the way to the east point of point roberts. They were foraging the whole time we were there and going on some pretty deep dives. We were lucky to spend time with the big boys of J pod, J1, J26, J27 as well as J16 and J42. Let's hope there's lots of fish around for them!
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
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Beginning to hear calls 9:16 pm PDT LK hydrophones, same time as last night...
Suzy Roebling
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J Pod was southbound today in Georgia Strait, passing right by the Fraser River as our trips headed out. Lots of breaching, some spyhops, great vocals, and a little foraging observed. We left them southbound, somewhat spread out, going past the Tsawassen ferry terminal in the early afternooon. Both new calves, J46 and J47, were seen with their moms.
Joan Lopez, Naturalist, Vancouver Whale Watch
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SRKW calls on Orcasound last night. From just before midnight until about 24:20. Interestingly, nothing detected at Lime Kiln in previous or subsequent few hours.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach

June 4, 2010

Steve Jeffries of WDFW passed along a report from Rod Whitten, of a pod of orcas sighted off Grays Harbor, possibly chasing sea lions - likely Transients.
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2200 --- ORCA at OrcaSound. 2140 --- ORCA at Lime Kiln 1710 --- ORCA at Lime Klin. 1615 --- ORCA at Lime Klim.
Robo
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2310 - Hearing just echolocation clicks on the Lime Kiln hydrophones -no calls.. just clicks and some slow moving boat background noise. =D
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Orca 14:05 - Latitude:48.46408, Longitude:-123.06908 Orca 09:56 - Latitude:48.60482, Longitude:-123.20972
Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research
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Orcas were around Lime Kiln State Park around 4 p.m. a few meters south of the "Whale Watching Side" in Lime Kiln, just north of Dead Mans Bay. The orcas came from south and where heading north and came really close to the rocks.
Thomas Kleinteich
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Today we saw J34 Doublestuf along with a few other J's on the south end of San Juan Island. J34 came along side of us and I took a picture of him, and upon reviewing that picture I noticed a very pronounced depression behind his blowhole. I've heard of peanut heads, but I don't think I've ever actually seen one. I'm guessing that is what this is, and am wondering how "bad" it is (see photo above)? I know some of the residents have had peanut heads in the past and come back from it, so lets keep our fingers crossed that Doublestuf and the rest of his family are finding a lot of Chinook!
Heather Hill
Happy to report that word from the Center for Whale Research is that J34 has been seen several times looking fine and looks OK in this photo.
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It is 8am and low and behold, Orca trilling off in the distance on Lime Kiln. I can just hear them above the noise of the boat passing by. It is going to be a lovely day on the water again even if it is raining, and those Resident whales are around. I can hear them whistling and echo locating too.
Marie O'Shaughnessy
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Lime Kiln - 7:41 - Just heard some s-1 calls on LK
Laura Swan
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Just started to hear calls on Lime Kiln State Park Hydrophone. 7:40am PST.
Tomoe
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Today at 5:30am I was lucky enough to be awoken by J pod traveling north off of Hannah Heights on absolutely calm waters, their blows echoing up the hillside. They were spread out and between 50 and 300 yards offshore.
Sandy Buckley, Postcards From Friday Harbor
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Off the west side of San Juan Island on the 3.30pm Ocean Magic out of Victoria, we headed over to where it had been reported that members of J Pod were seen foraging. Sure enough we saw Ruffles by himself close to shore, but most of our time was spent with Polaris, J28 and her little one, J46. There we saw three rambuncous youngsters, tail lobbing, breaching, backward swimming, spyhopping as well as mothers demonstrating very active behaviours. It was lovely to see these members of this productive family group all together. Totally awesome encounter, made even better with calm conditions and plenty of sunshine.
Marie, Orca-Magic, Prince of Whales. Victoria.

June 3, 2010

1300, as I was fueling S.V.Cutty Sark at the Coupeville Wharf, I saw grey whale blows near Blowers Bluff at the entrance to Penn Cove.
John Stone
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J pod today around middle bank in Haro strait! J27 (Blackberry) and a friend and another did a tail slap.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
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J Pod all day today...Just as we were getting onto the boat, we overheard a VHF transmission...Going south at Kellet Bluff. Kellet Bluff is right outside of Snug Harbor and our dock. As we worked our way out into Haro Strait, here they came. So we say there and watched them go by. And so it was for the rest of the day. J Pod ...also had the grace to go north, so at 7:30, we strolled back into Mitchell Bay, with them right outside the bay, going north.
Capt. Jim, Maya's Westside Charters via Facebook
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I saw two orcas (from a good distance away) in the Port Angeles Harbor around 6:15PM today. They were visible for about 15 minutes very near the Coast Guard Station.
Kelly and Al Watkins
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1908 - I hear some calls on Line Kilm State Park Hydrophone. Sounds like a big ship is sailing by right now, but I hear orcas now and then.
Tomoe
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8:12pm - Nice loud and clear calls on Lime Kiln Hps. Whales moving south as they were just heard on OS hps. Sounds like Jpod.
Cathy Bacon
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Great calls on Lime Kiln 'phones from at least 8:30 to 9:30 pm this evening.
Howard
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I been listening to them since about 8:30pm ... they sound like they are laughing.. and having a good time..
Vickie Doyle via Facebook

June 2, 2010

L25 going through Race Passage with an oystercatcher with the ebb current. Lpod was last seen 1600 hrs 4 miles south of Point no Point, BC, heading west.
Mark Malleson
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8:31am - Orcas on the Lime Kiln hydrophones. There is a ship passing, but there are faint orca calls mixed in.
Laura Swan

June 1, 2010

This morning we got reports of whales way up by Pender Island heading North towards Active Pass. As we approached Navy Channel we had heard that J-pod which has 28 animals had split into two groups. The main group went through Active Pass and was entering Georgia Strait heading towards Vancouver as the smaller group of 13 animals including 4 J-22's, 6 J-17's and 3 J-11's turned right at Navy Channel and headed East towards Saturna Island. The six J-17 whales were really playful with lots of breaches and tail flips. Great vocalizations were heard throughout the entire tour. During my 16 years as a whale watching captain here in Victoria, I have only seen the Resident Whales go through this channel a handful of times !!!!! Just before we left the scene, the whales did an amazing turn as they went North past Lizard and Curlew Island towards Georgeson Pass. Absolutely amazing to see J-pod go through this narrow little passage to get back out into Georgia Strait. Never seen this one before.
Jeff Lamarche, Captain/Biologist, Eagle Wing Tours
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We had heard that J-pod was already going through Active Pass We then received news that part of J-pod had turned south and was heading south in Navy Channel. This was something I had never heard of before. Over the radio we continued to get reports that they were heading south, now into Plumper Sound. Next the news was that they had turned NE and were going through the pass just south of Georgeson Island! As far as I know this is a first for the Southern Residents to travel through these areas (some fairly narrow and shallow passages) in the Gulf Islands. We arrived on scene around 1:30pm, just after they entered the Strait of Georgia. They spread out quickly and started to forage. We saw two belly flop breaches, heard vocalizations over the Hydrophone, and had a wonderful encounter with J-27 Blackberry along with a few other members of J-pod.
Alison Engle
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7:45 am...J Pod on the hydrophones, most likely going north. We find part of J pod headed east in Navy Ch., between N. Pender and Maynes Islands, BC. East? I've never seen them do anything in Navy Ch. Only a couple of the most experienced captains have seen them there. Then they turn north and start going up Georgeson Pass, a narrow channel that connects Navy Ch. with the Strait of Georgia. I know of no one who has ever seen Orcas in this pass, until today. To many, this might seem mundane. To myself and my fellow captains, it was a sight we have never seen before and it was amazing! This picture may be the only one in existence of a breach in this particular spot of the pass. We also saw the L12s on the West Side this afternoon.
Capt. Jim, Maya's Westside Charters
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Erick Pierson reported that L pod came in the Strait of Juan de Fuca this afternoon and spread out off the west side of San Juan Island. Orca calls were resounding on the Lime Kiln hydrophones after 5 pm.
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Scott Veirs sent this report: On the Lime Kiln hydrophones at 1450, despite a lot of ship noise from passing freighter and tanker/tug, starting to hear calls on Lime Kiln hydrophone. L pod was reported at Hannah Heights northbound at 14:30. Also, J pod may be southbound from Boundary Pass area, so listen to Orcasound hydrophone as well.
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1700 -- ORCA at Lime Kilm and OrcaSound....
Robo Lon
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1:10 pm: Capt. Jim Maya was with 13 members of J pod, mostly younger ones, traveling through Georgeson Pass, just south of Active Pass, where the rest of J pod passed through about two hours earlier. There was a rumor of T's further north near Gabriola Island.
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Reports were in early of the southern resident J pod sightings around Active pass. Although they were spread out we did get some close looks at an adult male and two sets of female/calf pairs. It was such a peaceful day on the water we could hear the blows of the whales as they surfaced to breath.
Casey
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About 9 am: J POD JUST PASSED [San Juan] ISLAND!
John Boyd via Facebook
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Suzy Roebling: Picking up some faint calls 7:32 am at Lime Kiln. Hearing louder calls orcasound 7:34 am.
Suzy Key Largo, FL
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8-9 killer whales reported off Dana Point CA near LA. Guess they were munching on a sea lion and showing their calves how it's done!
JC Smith, Director, Naked Whale Research
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12:22 pm - Just spotted a lone gray SE of East Point, Whidbey Island, in Saratoga Passage. Looks to be a small one. Staying in one place survacing every couple of minutes.
Terry Musgrave
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Barbara Gissell reported a gray whale wallowing in shallow water in Elger Bay, Camano Island, at 9:15 am. At 9:45 the whale had moved away from the beach.

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