March 2010 Whale Sightings

March, 2010

There have been one or two grays in the northeast part of Port Susan almost every day for the past month or so. Once I saw Patch (#49).
Gary Lingenfelter, Kayak Point

March 31, 2010

We saw at least two whales spouting and rolling in Liberty Bay between the Poulsbo marina and the Yacht Club marina. We live on Fjord Drive near Oyster Plant Park and saw them about 3-4 times for about an hour starting at 6 pm. Many people were lined up along Fjord Drive and on the docks to watch them. Two people were in kayaks and were very close when one surfaced just south of the Yacht Club Marina. They looked like Grays, one large and one small, perhaps a mother and calf. About 7 pm, just before it got dark, I observed one of the whales surfacing and heading toward the head of the bay.
Annette Franzen, Project Manager, Sealaska Environmental Services, Forwarded to Orca Network by Chris Dunagan, Kitsap Sun
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Just a distant sighting, here, at Mariners Cove (NE Whidbey Isl). A couple of spouts, from several hundred yards out; ending, in a dive with a fluke/tail [good bye]. Then, gone.
Robert Stonefelt Oak Harbor
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12:05 PM, near Victor Hotel off the Victoria Waterfront. The deep sea freighter ran right through the middle of a pod of 15 or so transients Orcas, never slowing or changing course. None of the Orcas retreated nor seemed disturbed, or changed course either.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Westside Charters, San Juan Island, WA
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My wife and I spotted two Orca whales West of Harstene Island, just South of Jerrel cove in So. Puget Sound at ~ 5:20 PM.. They were headed South toward the bridge to Harstene. They submerged and surfaced about 12 times, then submerged and did not resurface about 1000 yards North of the bridge. Shortly after, we spotted several Orca heading North up Pickering Passage. I think there were three or four. The time was a little after 6:00 PM.
David Callan
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Donna Fisher called from Stretch Island in Case Inlet, between Harstene Island and Key Peninsula, to report 5 orcas heading north, between 7:30 and 7:45 AM today. She said there were 2 adults and 3 calves. She called back at 10:30 to say they were now headed west near Harstene Island, and that it looked like there were six orcas.
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Ken Balcomb called at 5 pm from the ferry Coho en route from Victoria to Port Angeles, with a report of 15-20 transients, heading east between Race Rocks and Trial Island.
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Transients were heard early in the morning so our passengers gathered earlier than planned and we headed out at 10:00 AM. With the help of Mark Malleson, we found a large group of Transient Orcas about 6 miles southeast of Victoria. Calm seas, amazing skies, and playful Orcas. We left them about 7 miles West of Victoria. Not a bad day.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Charters, San Juan Island, WA
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The day began with hearing Transient calls at about 6:15 a.m. on the OrcaSound hydrophone (NW San Juan Island) I spotted them coming south in Haro Strait, near Kelp Reef marker at 6:55 a.m. and followed them (via binocs) all the way down Discovery Island and until they went out of view. I went out with Capt. Jim Maya at 10 and with direction from Mark Malleson we found the Ts - apx 15 animals - south of Discovery Island - as in the morning they were moving slowly and changing direction. There appeared to be a new calf. With the new calf and mom was a juvenile - brother or sister perhaps. The whales slowly continued west in the Strait of Juan de Fuca when we left.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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Listening to whales on Orcasound hydrophone right now. 6:50 AM.
Caprice Hinshaw Kutz (via Facebook)
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Hearing Orca calls 6:21 am Pacific time on the Orcasound hydrophone.
Suzy Roebling, Florida
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Karen of Camano Island called to report 2 Gray whales, 1 large and 1 small, feeding off Mabana Beach, SW Camano Island at 5:30 pm.
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At 5:00 this afternoon, we were looking across Saratoga Passage at Sandy Point, where two or three [gray] whales looked to be feeding or slowly moving south. As we were watching them, another large grey appeared moving south in front of our bank, about 100 yards out. He appeared out of nowhere, as we did not hear him approach with blows. He blew twice, then disappeared to the south, toward Hat Island. He seem to be holding his breath for long distances; otherwise we would have heard him coming.
Peg Boley, South Camano
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Veronica von Allworden called at 9:44 am to report a Gray whale observed from the Clinton/Mukilteo ferry, closer to Mukilteo and heading north toward Gedney/Hat Island. Later updates: One more report today, Eric was flying at 3:40 pm and spotted three gray whales north of Camano Point at the entrance to Port Susan. The whales were not feeding but were headed towards Everett. Eric just returned from his flight. At 5:15 PM, he flew near the big marker west of Everett and northeast of Hat Island. All three whales that he saw earlier were there and all three were feeding in the shallow water on the big sand shoals.
Veronica von Allwörden, NW Langley
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A lone gray passed by our home, between Polnell shores and Mariner's Cove, today, at about 4:30 pm. It rolled onto its side at one point, showing its pectoral fin, presumably feeding, but after that one snack, continued on to the Mariner's Cove neighborhood (NE?) at a steady cruise.
Catherine Beard, Oak Harbor
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I headed to Hill Road, (S of Ebey's Landing, W/Central Coupeville) and SAW the [gray] whale underwater, right in front of me (around 1 pm). He did not show much of himself, was traveling approx 3-4 mph I estimated, and I only saw him surface this one time.
Jill Hein, Coupeville, Whidbey Island
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Christina Baldwin called at 12:35 pm to report a juvenile Gray whale 200' offshore of Ebey's Landing, W/Central Coupeville, heading south. She called about 20 minutes later to say it had stopped traveling south and was still hanging around Ebey's Landing.
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~12:30 pm - I see 'em !!!! (Gray whales, we presume?) Saratoga Passage - west Camano Cama Beach area!!!
Judy C Lervold-Kielhamer (via Facebook)
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Ron Selvige of Poulsbo called to report a Gray whale in Liberty Bay, 50 yards south of the commercial marina in Poulsbo at 9:30 am.
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Paula Rounds of Oak Harbor called to report 2 Gray whales off Polnell Pt., NE Whidbey Island, making big circles and feeding close to shore in the bay at 9:20 am.
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Nancy Zaretzke of Greenbank called to report 1 Gray whale headed north in Saratoga Passage, outside the bouys off Hidden Beach, Greenbank, SE Whidbey Island at 8:25 am.
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6 pm - a grey whale feeding between Ebey's Landing and Pt. Partridge (W/Central Whidbey Isl) ~ 1/4 mile out.
Al Luneman, Coupeville, Whidbey Island

March 30, 2010

We have a beach house on Elger Bay on Camano Island. Unsure of exact amount, but it appeared to be three Gray whales seen on both Monday and Tuesday. They appeared to be slowly moving East. We are pretty sure they were feeding, as they were close to the beach and it looked like they were swimming on their side, with their (arm) flippers out of the water. We think they were digging up the sand in order to find food.
Kris Wehmeyer and Family, Camano Island, WA
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After hearing that there were Orcas in Penn Cove, we went to the wharf at Coupeville and spotted them moving east out of Penn Cove about 7:30pm. The orcas were closer to the north side of the Cove. When we first spotted them, they were close to Monroe Landing.
Val Hillers, Cooupeville, Whidbey Island, WA
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7:30 PM - Two Ocras came through Penn Cove, Coupeville. A large and a small. Two seals were avoiding them as they came close to the shore on the Scenic Heights side.
Theresa Gonsalves (via facebook)
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The afternoon 'Goldwing' tour was planned to take Brett and I way to the Northeast of Victoria to Pt. Doughty (Northwest corner of Orcas Island). We had recent information that Ken Balcomb was on scene with a group of Transients which were making a kill on a Sea Lion. However, as we were transiting through Oak Bay, one of the Prince of Whale zodiacs picked up a small Gray Whale Westbound in Enterprise Channel. We spent about 20 minutes sitting with our engines off as the whale swam circles all around us, which was very curious behaviour to see in such a busy channel. After our short visit with the curious little Gray Whale, we got a call that 4 Transients were picked up just a few miles South of our location. Upon arrival we found the T-30's !!! They were very spread out and headed West at about 5 knots. We followed these animals for about half an hour towards Albert Hd. before we broke off and headed out to Race Rocks.
Jeff Lamarche, Captain "Goldwing", Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria B.C.
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Saw the Killer Whales about 3 PM in the same spot for several minutes on the surface going back and forth, from Hill Street on Camano Island. 2 - 3 whales from what we could tell. Didn't see any Gray Whales.
Justin Donnelson, Camano Island, WA (via facebook)
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The guy with the photos was actually the one who spotted the male Transient orca off Pt. Wilson yesterday morning (3/29) - he pointed it out to Bob. His photos are on Flickr. Some great shots taken in Saratoga Passage off Canamo Head of the male, and a couple of the eldest gray on her side.
Erick Peirson, the Olympus, Pt. Townsend, WA
Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research looked at these photos and identified the Transients as the T18s.
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Jan Graham called to report a small pod of orcas in Penn Cove, Coupeville - they had gone into Penn Cove until they were ~400 yards from the Capt. Whidbey Inn, and at 7:10 pm were heading toward the Coupeville Wharf and out of the Cove.
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Jill Hein of Coupeville called to relay a report from John Howard, who saw 4 orcas in Penn Cove, near Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA this evening.
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We woke up to the sight of six or seven transients (?) off of Parker Reef on the north side of Orcas Island feeding and drifting slowly with the tide. Looked like maybe six or seven orca including three juveniles, too far off for getting any ID's.
A follow up on the transients I saw this morning: We found them on our trip today pretty close to where they earlier. There appears to be a new born in the group but I kept my distance and really couldn't get a good ID on any of them. Ken Balcomb took some photos to ID when he gets back to the Center. We did notice they had made a Steller sea lion kill and were in the process of finishing it off.
Tom Averna, Deer Harbor Charters, Orcas Island
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6 Transient's + a newborn in Presidents Channel (San Juan Islands) feeding on a sealion!
Matt Stolmeier (via Facebook)
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Ann Casey and Carol Plunkett of Freeland called Orca Network to report a sighting of several orcas from the Clinton/Mukilteo ferry at 11:09 am. The orcas were north of the ferry lanes, heading N, & included 1 adult male and a small one.
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Sounds like Transients on Lime Kiln Hydrophone (posted ~7 am PST). hopefully my recordings will be OK.
Gina West (via Facebook)
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Erick Peirson on the Olympus called Orca Network at 12:05 pm to report a small pod of orcas off the south tip of Camano Island. It appeared as if they were headed north up the west side of Camano in Saratoga Passage. He called a few minutes later saying they also had several Gray whales in the area, very close to where the Orcas were. At 12:15 pm, he called to report that the orcas (1 male, 2 females and a juvenile) had approached the Gray whales (2 adults & a smaller one). The adult male orca made contact with one of the adult Gray whales - he said the Grays got in a defensive position, & rolled over a bit, and the orcas circled and the water roiled for awhile, but after about a minute the encounter ended and the orcas continued heading NW up Saratoga Passage at a fast pace. Whew!! He left them at 1:30 pm as they continued north, mid-channel in Saratoga Passage, between Greenbank on Whidbey & Elger Bay on Camano.
We tried to find them again a bit later but didn't see them, so not sure what direction they went from there. Chris Dunagan of the Kitsap Sun interviewed Erick for his blog, Watching our Water Ways - click here to read more about this interesting encounter!
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3 grays heading north in front of Tulalip Shores in Marysville Wa. 20 yards off shore, rolling and eating/playing - 5:00pm.. They've been here for 10 minutes. We see them daily so this must be a favorite eating spot. I'll try to upload the video I took later. Such beautiful creatures!
Tamra Nelson (via Facebook)
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We went to look for the orcas in Saratoga Passage, which we didn't see, but we did see 1 Gray whale NW of East Pt, Whidbey Island, heading toward Baby Island & into the entrance of Holmes Harbor, at 3:25 pm.
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island
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Another "gray" day at Mariners Cove. Single gray whale, with little/no appetite quickly passed through at 10:15 AM; this morning. Heading, SW. Low tide was around noon. Same? gray, with appetite; was back feeding at 3:30 PM this afternoon. Gradually, heading SW towards Polnell Pt. Again, close to shore, within 100 feet or so.
Robert Stonefelt Oak Harbor

March 29, 2010

Gary Kennedy called to alert me. 6:15 to ~ 6:20pm, 3 orcas off Gary's house, North Beach, Pt. Townsend, WA, ~ ¼ mile from public access beach heading very slowly westward toward Protection Island. 2 were swimming together, one was smaller than the other. 3rd whale small distance away. ~ 100 ft off shore. Lots of birds and 2 sea lions present in H2O when I first saw them. Did not see sea lions again until after orcas gone. Obviously large school of fish due to activity on the water. Whales kept surfacing and diving. Saw their fins, back and occasionally tail as dove.
Meredith Lowry, Port Townsend, WA
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We have a beach house on Elger Bay on Camano Island. Unsure of exact amount, but it appeared to be three Gray whales seen on both Monday and Tuesday. Not far off the beach, in Elger Bay, on Camano Island, Washington (Lat 48 degrees, 7.8 minutes North; Long 122 degrees, 28.2 minutes West). They appeared to be slowly moving East. We are pretty sure they were feeding, as they were close to the beach and it looked like they were swimming on their side, with their (arm) flippers out of the water. We think they were digging up the sand in order to find food.
Kris Wehmeyer and Family, Camano Island, WA
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I had 3 orca's off shore by my house at 6:15 pm. They were fishing or playing, spent ~ 10 mins surfacing and diving just off North Beach in Port Townsend. One was smaller than the others, the small one stayed by one of the larger ones, 3rd was usually off to the side.
Meredith Lowry
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After getting the report of a Gray whale off Hidden Beach last night, we went down to find it. We watched from around 6:30 - 7 pm - it had headed S, then N. again - but we finally spotted it close to shore just N. of Hidden Beach, Greenbank, then mid-channel, and then heading back south down Saratoga Passage.
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Whale spout in Clinton-Mukilteo Ferry Channel, 4:00pm.
Toni Ferrell (via facebook)
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Jerry Schimmie of Freeland, Whidbey Island, called to report 1 Gray whale off Bush Pt. at 6:55 pm, heading north slowly about 1/3 of the way across Admiralty Inlet.
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After, last night's lengthy meal, a gray came by at 3:15 PM this afternoon, for another visit. Had a brief snack out front, here, at Mariners Cove. Then, watched, a trail of spouts; as it quickly cruised N.E. towards, Strawberry Point, under a full head of steam.
Robert Stonefelt, Oak Harbor
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3 Orca sighted off of Berry Point Road on Gabriola Island (BC Gulf Islands) in front of the Surf Lodge (49.206888W, -123.8345N approximately), traveling north at around 2:00 pm.
Lee Ker
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Bob Whitney of Pt. Townsend, WA called Orca Network at 10:51 am, he was watching 1 male Orca - it was about 300 meters off Pt. Wilson, NW of Pt. Townsend, heading SE toward Marrowstone Island (& the Steller sea lion haulout!).
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Nancy Zaretzke of Greenbank, Whidbey Island called at 6:05 pm to report 1 Gray whale feeding close in at Hidden Beach, Saratoga Passage.
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About 5 PM tonight a gray whale came by the old Point No Point Resort heading southeast towards the Pt. No Pt. Lighthouse (N. Kitsap Peninsula).
Judy Anderson Roupe (via Facebook)
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Matt Nesheim called Orca Network to report 1 Gray whale off Camano Island State Park at 4:50 pm, heading N in Saratoga Passage.
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Whale spout in Clinton-Mukilteo Ferry Channel, 4:00 pm.
Toni Ferrell (via facebook)
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Glanced out our window about 12:45 PM today and was surprised to see whale spouts among the wind and waves. I spent half an hour watching 3 grays feeding out a ways off the drop-off south of Mabana (SW Camano Isl). They slowly moved south.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island
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Don from Freeland, Whidbey Island, called to report 2 Gray whales in Holmes Harbor at 7 am this morning, northbound past Beverly Beach.

March 28, 2010

I heard about a juvenile gray in Liberty Bay the weekend before Easter. Our friends at Liberty Bay Marina said it surfaced and blew not far from the outer float at the marina, heading slightly north up into the bay.
Pamela
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Don from Freeland, Whidbey Island, called to report 2 Gray whales in Holmes Harbor at 1800.
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6:45pm - 1 gray whale approx. 20 yards off the shore in front of Tulalip Shores. Spinning around, rolling and eating. 7:05 he's still here, but slowly moving north along the shore.
Tamra Nelson (via facebook)
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It was another full on dinner, in rough seas; at Mariners Cove [N.E. Whidbey] this evening for a single gray whale. Gray, must like what's on the menu here. No reservations required for this VIP guest. We saw neighbor's guest taking pictures and thought it was about the big waves coming in; until we saw spouts. Very, very close into shore. Closest, I have ever seen [50/60 TO 75 MAX FEET OFFSHORE] which is surprising due to rough seas. You would think gray would keep further away from shore, due to large/choppy forceful waves pushing it in, towards shore. We saw feeding begin before 7PM [probably, not at the start of its feeding] and last spouts seen heading SW towards Polnell Pt. at 7:45 PM, feeding the entire time.
Rather than opine, here are questions that came to mind, during gray's visit.
1) Lengthy feed in rough seas. Could large waves help stir up sand/assist and make it easier [not more difficult] for gray to swirl around/feed on the ghost/sand shrimp?
2) Why so close to shore in rough seas? Is there a type of back eddy or pushing up wave action; that can assist and/or make whale, more buoyant? Kinda, opposite to what one might think; as, in, concern of large waves pushing gray onto shore and potential beaching. BOTTOMLINE, is that gray didn't appear to have any problem whatsoever, with stormy churning waters.
Robert Stonefelt Oak Harbor
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Sunday at 7:00 pm a single gray whale swam past Tulalip Shores about 25 yards offshore, heading north towards Spee-bi-dah. The whale was not stopping to eat, but rather appeared to be on a dedicated course north.
Vicki Mattson, Tulalip Shores
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A single grey whale was seen from Possession Point State Park, at aproximately 7pm, traveling north. We watched it for quite a distance, it would surface 3-4 times in a row then travel quite a ways before surfacing again. The blow sound was quite loud. We watched from the deck until we couldn't see him any further.
Tess Cooper, S. Whidbey Island
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Well, back out myself today, had the same Transient's as Mark Malleson has been reporting for the last few days - T49's and T103 in the area of Race Rocks. Thanks to the 1300 Prince of Whales boat for the heads up call, they were still in the area at 1615.
Ron L. Bates, MMRG, Victoria, BC
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6:45pm: 1 gray whale approx. 20 yards off the shore in front of Tulalip Shores, Port Susan. Spinning around, rolling and eating. 7:05 pm, he's still here, but slowly moving north along the shore.
Tamra Nelson (via facebook)
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I live in Greenbank and saw a gray whale quite close in front of our house around 5ish .
Mary Jo Stansbury
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Katy Bunnell of Seattle called to report 1 Gray whale off Shilshole (N. Seattle), 1/4 mile outside the Ballard Locks at noon on Sunday.
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Karen Bishop of Freeland, Whidbey Island, called at 6:10 pm to report 2 Gray whales in Holmes Harbor, south of Dines Pt. and Baby Island, across from Beverly Beach, 100 yards offshore and heading north.
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Today at 3:00 pm [gray] whale # 53 came by feeding from the SE and continuing to the NW. There are a few new scars.
Veronica von Allwörden, NW langley
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Went looking for the Gray this morning and I was not disappointed. At 9:15 am from Carkeek Park ( N Seattle) I could spot it's spray down south off the point at Golden Garden's. I talked with a fisherman who had seen the Gray in the inlet between the two parks throughout the morning, 50 yards off shore. He said he also saw a dorsal fin (so maybe an orca is back. ? ) and harbor seal popped up near him as well. I headed to and arrived at Golden Garden's about 9:45 and YEAH!!! spotted the Gray just off the north point, about 100 yards off shore, Big and Beautiful !!! At first it was headed slowly in a northeast direction, but mostly it was circling and milling around the same general area, surfacing about every 2-4 minutes. I watched it until 11:00 am at which time it was slowly headed in a southwesterly direction near that green bouy. The picture below is from Golden Garden's
Alisa Brooks
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We have had a mature (approximately 30' to 40') gray whale within 25 yards of shore in front of our house for 30 minutes at a time. We live on the south shore of Oak Bay near Admiralty Inlet, just north of Port Ludlow, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. Our GPS position is 47 degrees-58 minutes-17 seconds north and 122 degrees-41 minutes-9 seconds west. It appears to be either feeding or scraping itself in the shallow waters, but does not appear to be in distress. Regards,
Mike Brasfield, Port Ludlow, WA
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We spotted one gray whale off Discovery Park's South Beach (just east of West Point) in Seattle. We watched it for probably twenty minutes and it didn't travel far at all, but blew several times and we were able to see some mottled coloring and lack of a dorsal fin. This was at about 3:30 pm, but the whale had been reported by some visitors a little bit prior to this time.
Kit Benshoof, Docent Coordinator & Naturalist, Discovery Park
Our guess would be a Gray whale since there were other sightings and photos of a Gray off W. Seattle yesterday. Often when a Gray is feeding, only its pectoral fin & fluke tip are visible and can sometimes be confused with a dorsal fin.
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At about 1 p.m. we observed a single small Gray whale close to shore at Discovery Park's North Beach. His back, mottled black and gray, broke the surface several times. He then disappeared underwater, emerging three or four minutes later spouting and heading north in the direction of Shilshole Marina. This is probably the same small Gray reported near Carkeek Park on March 22 and 26.
Mike and Claire Dole, Seattle

March 27, 2010

I heard about a juvenile gray in Liberty Bay the weekend before Easter. Our friends at Liberty Bay Marina said it surfaced and blew not far from the outer float at the marina, heading slightly north up into the bay.
Pamela
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Carrie Newell called to relay a report of 3 female orcas heading south off Depoe Bay, OR at 12:30, as well as 3 female and 1 male orcas sighted off Lincoln City, OR at 10 am.
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Followed a gray whale with my bike all day yesterday as it worked its way just offshore from Lincoln park to just past Alki Beach - what a great day for land-bound whale watchers in West Seattle. I only hope that this one will be okay.
Karol Fern Sample (via facebook)
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Well our gray whales returned for a day visit. Two, mother and calf were sighted in the channel of Penn Cove just off Scenic Heights Road about 500 feet off shore. Feeding and playing westbound towards the mussel farm. What a sight, as this was my first sighting ever. About an hour later, they returned coming back through (no outlet) and I waited. I did take some pictures but used my SLR camera and will have to take them in to be developed. I am so thrilled they came during the day time. Mom is big but the calf is much smaller and they came up for air about every 10 minutes.
Theresa Gonsalves, Whidbey Island, WA
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We have had a mature (approximately 30' to 40') gray whale within 25 yards of shore in front of our house for 30 minutes at a time. We live on the south shore of Oak Bay near Admiralty Inlet, just north of Port Ludlow, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. Our GPS position is 47 degrees-58 minutes-17 seconds north and 122 degrees-41 minutes-9 seconds west. It appears to be either feeding or scraping itself in the shallow waters, but does not appear to be in distress.
Mike Brasfield, Port Ludlow, WA
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We had a whale around 11:45 am around the same area - off the South Beach of Discovery Park. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good look at this whale and don't know what kind it was for sure. It was definitely 20 feet or larger and reports from visitors and park volunteers have varied on whether there was a dorsal fin or not. Most have reported it to have a dorsal fin, but mottled coloring. Sorry for the lack of ID!
Kit Benshoof, Docent Coordinator & Naturalist, Discovery Park
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Just wanted to let you know that we saw 2 grey whales (one very large and one smaller) last Saturday morning just off Onamac Beach on Camano Island, 10:00 am - 11:00 am, heading from South to North. Surfacing and diving, no feeding.
Theresa Metzger, Camano Island
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Mallard or somebody from Victoria should be reporting T49A's & 49B's again near Race Rocks today. Lots of Steller sea lions around, so eats is good.
Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island, WA
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I saw 3 orcas swimming approx. 500' off of the end of the Suquamish Dock, Kitsap Peninsula this morning at 10:40, heading west. This is the first time I have seen orcas in this area.
Darcy
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Warren Hartmann, volunteer for Whale Watch Spoken Here at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, called to reporting another sighting of 4 - 6 orcas off the N. Jetty, Ilwaco, WA at 12:15 pm. They had been milling in the area for the last hour.
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We watched the grey whale off Carkeek Park (N. Seattle) tonight from 5:00-5:30. It was ~1/4 mile south of the main beach in the large cove and was surfacing and spouting about every 3-5 minutes.
Kris Jones
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3 of them (Gray whales) just passed by in front of Tulalip Shores about 25 yards off the shore (~3:40 pm). Feeding and playing. They're heading north around the point towards Tulare.
Tamra Nelson (via Facebook)
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Lori Willson called to report one Gray whale off W. Seattle at 1:30 pm, swimming N. She then sent this report: Wow! What a joyous day here on the shores of West Seattle. I just got back after spending about 3 hours watching the gray. I first saw it just south of Emma Schmitz Memorial Viewpoint. It slowly made its way north, stopping and staying in one area from time to time, before moving on again. It generally stayed fairly close to shore, sometimes as close as 150 yards or so. It seemed to pick up the pace, though, once it got to Alki Point. I lost sight of it after that and kind of lost it in the crowd along the main drag of Alki. Some kayakers and possibly some divers got some amazing views. Lots of boats out on the water today but most seemed to be keeping a respectful distance. Around 4:00, when the whale started to move north faster, there did seem to be an increase in the number of boats closer to it and headed the same direction. I was unable to tell if they were chasing the whale or just going the same direction. It was just a fantastic afternoon and it was so fun to hear the excitement in the oohs & aahs of the kids and adults around me. What a treat! I never thought I'd see this right off the shores of West Seattle. You can see my pictures of the whale posted on Picasa here.
Lori Willson, West Seattle
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We saw a grey whale at the mouth of the ship canal and the entrance of the Shilshole Bay Marina. (posted at 7:45 pm) Alice Laird (via Facebook)
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We observed a lone gray whale approximately 100m off the west shore of Me-Kwa-Mooks park, West Seattle. We began watching from the park at 1330 and continued for about 30 min. In that time the whale transited slowly north, moving less than a quarter mile. We saw distinct feeding behavior, seeing the animals fluke and pectoral fins as it was on its side in the shallow water. Hope some of you also enjoyed the sighting,
Heidi and Kwasi.
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many people, including me :~) at the lighthouse in discovery park were watching a whale close to shore within 200 yards right at the tip of the lighthouse point. it swam from there towards ballard locks and then towards the north. others seemed to think it was a grey whale. it was by itself. it was about 1pm today. what a sight to see on such a calm water day!!! i hope it is healthy and able to make it's way to where it should be going - it is not 'normal' for grey whales to be in puget sound, is it?
lee atwell
We do get Gray whales in Puget Sound each year - one group of 10 - 12 whales arrives each spring to feed in the waters of N. Puget Sound, around Whidbey & Camano Islands and in Possession Sound. But each year we typically get a few "stragglers" from the migration north that aren't strong or healthy enough to make the full migration, and often arrive in Puget Sound skinny. These whales may not know where the good feeding beaches are, and there are usually several Grays that unfortunately don't survive and wash up somewhere on a Puget Sound beach. sb
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Erick Peirson called at 11 am to report 1 Gray whale off Fauntleroy, W. Seattle, heading N. He called again to relay reports of 1 Gray whale N. of Hat/Gedney Island, and another off Sandy Pt, south of Langley, Whidbey Island at noon.
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A small gray whale spent much of this morning foraging just offshore on the north side of Colman Pool, Lincoln Park, West Seattle - much to the delight of a gathered crowd of adults, children, and dogs. Around 11:00 am, it headed north to Lowman Beach (about 1/2 mile north). Amazingly, when I opened the photos on my computer, I saw that the angle of the sunlight gave some of the blows a rainbow effect I hadn't seen with my naked eye!
Trileigh Tucker
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9:50 am: Gray whale 15 ft off shore Lincoln Park in West Seattle.
Wendy Ringer Damoth (via Facebook)
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Ariel Martin called to report a Gray whale off Lincoln Park, W. Seattle since 7 am this morning, still there at 10:40 am.
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At 730 this morning, I saw what looked like an unusual disturbance in the water, just south of Brace Point (W. Seattle), very close to shore. It was in about 15-20 feet of water, but close to the drop off to much deeper water. It appeared to be a large whale, black or dark gray, with no dorsal fin. It looked larger and also longer than the Orcas we've seen around here. At first, it was moving quickly and sporadically, just breaking the surface of the water and not showing much of itself. Then it started moving slowly in a circle for a few minutes, disturbing the water, mostly submerged. It then partially surfaced and spouted twice, a few minutes apart, then swam off toward the deeper water, showing a lot of it body before disappearing. Approx coordinates: N 47 30'59.04, W 122 23'47.04 Thanks!
Rick Rasmussen
Definitely sounds like a Gray whale - sb
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I awoke at 7AM this morning to a gray feeding out front (Mariner's Cove, NE Whidbey Isl). About, 20 minutes later, gray, spouted its way NE towards Strawberry Pt. It certainly appears, gray has established, as, one of its feeding areas; waters, between Polnell & Strawberry Points.
Robert Stonefelt Oak Harbor

March 26, 2010

Linda Brown called to report 1 30' long Gray whale off Redondo Beach, Tacoma, WA, swimming back & forth between 6 & 9 pm.
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I went kayaking today. I put in at the Mukilteo Light House and paddled over towards Whidbey Island, in hopes of spotting some of the gray whales that have been roaming around there. And, around 3:05pm I encountered one! This gray appeared to be feeding in the shallows off Whidbey Island, about a mile north of the Clinton ferry terminal (exact coordinates: N47 59.934 W122 22.195). I watched as this gray blew repeatedly, then lifted its white pectoral fin into the air, holding it there for 15-30 seconds, before submerging completely. It repeated this blow followed by pectoral fin display another 3-4 times. I'm guessing it was feeding. After the last pectoral fin display, the gray whale submerged then began swimming in my direction. I backed up to give it more distance, and, as I backed up, the gray changed direction and began heading almost directly east towards Gedney/Hat Island. I gave it a several minute head-start and then began pursuing it, watching for its blows, being careful to maintain a respectful distance. I followed it for another 50 minutes, watching it blow, sometimes arching its back, exposing its tail fluke, then diving for an extended period. I was luckily enough to continue spotting its blow, and I was able to follow it all the way to a point just north of Gedney/Hat Island. I last saw it at 4:05pm (exact coordinates: N48 01.806 W122 19.942), when I had to turn around and head back to Mukilteo Light House. A google map of my GPS path can be found here, with two markers for the first and last sightings of the gray whale. I also filmed this entire encounter with a wearable HD video camera. I was able to capture the initial sighting and all the subsequent sightings. The video of the initial sighting is pretty good overall. Unfortunately my respectful distance and the lack of zoom on this waterproof HD camera make for a lack of significant details for identifying this gray whale. It's cool to watch, if for no other reason than to watch the pectoral fin display as it fed. I'll work on paring down the video sizes and post them for you and others to see via the Orca Network Facebook page. I'll also see if I can get some video editing / effects software that will allow me to zoom in on some of the sights I detailed above, take stills from the video, etc.
Dave Haas
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I happened to be in the First Beach area of Country Club (E. Camano) this AM about 8:30 AM . There were 2 grays quite a ways out in Port Susan, too far away to see much more than spouts, backs, and occasional tail fluke.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island, WA
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Shortly, after 9PM tonight; a single gray I presume passed through Mariners Cove area (NE Whidbey Isl). Hearing, a spout every few minutes, heading northeast towards Strawberry Pt. Easy to hear as waters were glassy calm on quiet evening.
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Howard Learned of Irondale, WA called to report 1 Gray whale spotted in Pt. Townsend Bay at 5:30 pm. It was south of Chimacum Creek, heading north, between Irondale and Indian Island.
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It has been a while since I was able to get out on the water but today was that special day when despite sizable waves, gusty winds and plenty of wet spray, we had whales! It made our Zodiac trip all the more exciting to see the killer machines, the Transients, the T49's and the big bull T103 milling around. They were identified by Mark Malleson who was Skipper on the Zodiac. The whales were onto something, beneath the surface when we arrived at 2pm. We never saw the kill but could smell the oily slick off in the distance and could see the clean-up crew, the Mew Gulls, fly in to take the crumbs off the surface of the waves. No doubt a hapless, Harbour Seal. We first saw them off Albert Head, Vancouver Island, after a tip from shore. We left them heading toward the Victoria Harbour and south east.
Marie, Orca-Magic, Prince of Whales, Victoria, B.C.
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Back again! This time much closer. What we believe to be a large gray whale (easily 50') close in to shore, 75 yards or so. Apparently feeding, cruising back and forth south to north, in a quarter mile circle, just south of boat launch at Redondo (N. of Tacoma, WA). Closer in to shore than the floating break water, sometimes within 50 yards of shore. Have been watching since 7 pm until too dark to see well but still hear him blow!!
Mark & Tracey Eide, Redondo
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Orca Network received a call from Thayer Cueter of Edmonds, WA, reporting 2 Gray whales off Brackett's Landing, N. of the ferry. 1 was further out, the smaller whale was 25' from shore and had been in the same spot from 3:30 pm until 5 pm, but moving its tail. 3/4 of its body was out of the water during the lower tide, but as the tide was coming in it seemed to be shifting around a bit.
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Vicki Morrison called Orca Network to report 1 Gray whale off Edmonds at Brackett's landing near the underwater park, N. of the Ferry dock from 3:30 - 4 pm.
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Note: We believe some of the reports from previous days of Orcas off Carkeek Park may indeed have been this Gray whale - though earlier reports of a Gray and orcas may have been both species.
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Brian McLoughlin of the WA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife called Orca Network to report 1 Gray whale in the cut between Oak Bay and Port Townsend Bay at 1454, heading toward Port Townsend, WA.
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Fred Lundahl of Langley called in two reports of Gray whales south of Langley today: 10:30 am: 3 Grays off Witter Beach, S. of Langley - 1 large whale and 2 smaller whales, feeding. 1:45 pm: 2 of the whales had headed S. toward Clinton, but the large whale turned around and was back feeding at Witter Beach at 1:45 pm.
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Nancy Zaretzke of Greenbank called to report 2 Gray whales heading N off Hidden Beach in Saratoga Passage 10:35 - 11 am.
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This morning at 8:45, 3 gray whales came by NW Langley, Whidbey Island, WA traveling from NW to SE, feeding in the shallow water. I've included pictures. I think two of them are #22 and #531, I'm not sure about the third one and I'll try to ID it by its fluk
Veronica von Allworden, NW Langley
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Whew - ran to Carkeek Park on my lunch and, lo & behold, I actually found the whale! In my humble, lay opinion I believe it is a gray whale. It is still in the little cove immediately to the south of the park. I did not see any dorsal, just a smooth back. It does seem on the small side, though.
Lori Willson, Seattle

March 25, 2010

Mark Malleson and Ken Balcomb were taking the newly reconditioned research vessel "Shachi" out on its first day of break-in sea trials off Victoria when Mark spotted killer whales heading east a few miles west of the Victor Hotel buoy off the waterfront. At 1003, we had just approached the whales when the RCMP approached us and conducted a rather extended interview to be sure that we were operating under permit (enforcement will be vigorous this year, they said). We relocated the whales at 1023 and identified them as T49A, 49A1, 49A2, 49B and 49B1, who had by then found an adult male Steller sea lion. The whales finished the sea lion by 1132 and we left around noon so that Mark could get out in another boat and I could continue the sea trials.
Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island

March 24, 2010

Howard Learned of Irondale, WA called to report 1 Gray whale spotted in Pt. Townsend Bay at 5:30 pm. It was south of Chimacum Creek, heading north, between Irondale and Indian Island.
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A dark dolphin-like cetacean, larger than a harbor porpoise with a larger dorsal fin farther forward on its back but not as large as that of an orca, sighted at around 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. at 48.097N,-122.5114W in Saratoga passage. It was apparently feeding - I couldn't tell if it was struggling with a seal or going after the same prey. I watched through binoculars and saw no blood. Other seals watched calmly while this was going on for over half an hour, so I'm assuming the seal wasn't hurt. The cetacean jumped clear of the water periodically but mostly stayed under water in a small area with one large seal and causing the water to roil at the surface.
Linda Frasier
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Warren Hartmann, volunteer for Whale Watch Spoken Here at the Lewis & Clark Interp. Center near Ilwaco, WA, called Orca Network to relay a report of probable orcas off the North Jetty at 1pm . No direction of travel or definite numbers, but it could be the whales reported several days ago? Warren also reported they had counted 109 Gray whales passing by during their 3 hour count!
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2 young orcas just south of Carkeek (N. Seattle) from 645-745pm. It was a treat to see them.
Anna Morgan (via Facebook)
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Jeff Morgan called Orca Network to report 2 orcas off Carkeek Park, N. Seattle at 7:36 pm. They were SW of the parking lot, looked very small, didn't see any real tall dorsal fins. They were staying in one area, in the small inlet to the south of the Park.
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Nathan called Orca Network at 7:30 pm to report seeing 2 whales just south of Carkeek Park, N. Seattle. He saw 2 spouts, no tall dorsal fins, but said people who had been there earlier saw dorsal fins and saddle patches on the whales.
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Orca, at least 2, possibly 3 sighted directly off Carkeek (N. Seattle), just west of the low-tide breakwaters, traveling north, from 420 - 445PM. It seemed like they were feeding. Saw large fin on back of one, several side displays.
Justin Andrews, Seattle
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Eric and I went out this afternoon to photograph whale pits (this is part of an Orca Network & Cascadia Research program to chart whale feeding areas throughout the year). The tide was not very low, but there are quite a few. While we were at it we flew over to Hat Island and found three whales off of the SE tip of the island. One of the whales was easy to ID as "Patch" (#49). They were doing deep dives and headed towards Mukilteo.
Update: Here are some of the pictures I took of the 3 gray whales about 5:30 Pm last night off of the SE point of Hat Island. I got a pretty good sequence of Patch (#49) and I believe #53. Patch seems to have a few more scars on his/her left side, pics 20 and 32 really show it. I was not able to get a clear shot of the third whale.
Veronica von Allwörden, NW Langley, www.skyandseaphotography.com
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At 5pm had two small Gray whales feeding at low tide near the shoreline of Oak Bay, Port Hadlock, Wa. This is about 9 miles south of Port Townsend. The tip of S Whidbey Island is almost due east from our house. The whales worked their way north until they entered the cut that goes from Oak Bay into Port Townsend Bay. Indian Island is on the east side of the bay and Oak Bay is on the south side of Indian Island.
Diane Mulholland, Port Hadlock, WA
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Just wanted to report two gray whales we spotted off the southern tip of Camano Island at 1:30 PM. We followed them north to South Elger bay then had to leave around 3:45. They appeared to be feeding in some spots. They were feeding a lot on the flat as you go into Elger where we left them.
Ralph & Pat
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We were on the ferry M/V Cathlamet going to Clinton (S. Whidbey Island) when we observed a gray whale surface, blow, and then dive showing its flukes. It was off the starboard side of the ferry 300-400 yards off Clinton Beach just prior to docking at the terminal. It was about 1:10 PM.
Phil & Dawn Frazer
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At around 7AM, over 3 hours before high tide, gotta call from a Mariners Cove neighbor, that a whale was out front. On a totally calm morning, gray, started its swirling/feeding activity. Very close in, 100' out from shoreline. Again, slowly, moving southwest towards Polnell Pt. Watched, for 20 minutes. Hard to say if this was the one yesterday, who is staking its territorial claim here or a new kid on the block.
Robert Stonefelt, Oak Harbor
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This morning around 7:30 we spotted another gray whale, or the same, whale stopping for just a few minutes to feed before heading south. He was a bit closer to shore this time.
Sandy Byers, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island

March 23, 2010

Marlene Vale called Orca Network to report a sighting of 3 Gray whales at 9 am, off North Camano Island, heading east. One of the whales was smaller than the other 2.
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30 minutes before a 10AM high tide; a single gray started what became a major meal near Mariners Cove (NE Whidbey Isl). After, feeding out front for 30 minutes, I took to the water via boat to continue whale watch. Gray, fed very close to shore for over an hour, slowly heading southwest towards Polnell Pt. Along, the way, gray slept?/rested just off shore, probably its body, on the bottom for about 45 minutes after the hour feed. Pretty much in the same place, with once every minute spouts. Then, started feeding again, all the way down to N.E. of Polnell Pt. Turned around, and headed back up to Mariners Cove, feeding most of the way. At Mariners Cove, at 12:30PM, [3 hours after first seen in this area] it turned around again, and went out to deeper waters in mid channel. Heading, S or SW, back towards Polnell Pt. To all concerned, yes, throughout feeding/resting, I kept boat a respectful distance away, with motor mostly turned off. However, one time, while I was adrift 100/125 yards away, talking to a guy fishing, it headed right for us and came within/less? than 50 feet to briefly feed for a minute or two, before moving on.
Robert Stonefelt, Oak Harbor
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From past 5:30 through 6:15, we've watched a gray whale. (possibly two) make it's way past Langley moving North through the Saratoga Passage.
Esther and William from Seattle
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Gail Fleming called Orca Network at 5:45 pm to report 1 Gray whale heading west off Sandy Pt, near Edgecliff, S. of Langley, Whidbey Island, WA. There were many feeding pits in the little cove at the end of Edgecliff.
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We had the pleasure of watching a large single gray whale feeding a bit south of Strawberry Point on NE Whidbey for (at least) a half hour in the morning. We noticed him around 10 am though he may have been there earlier. He was slowly working his way south.
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At 4:00 pm my sister watched two female Orcas 100-200 feet off shore from the parking lot at Carkeek park (N. Seattle). They were swimming around in the area and surfacing, heads out too. She had to leave at 4:15 at which time they were slowly headed North. My husband and I made it to Carkeek by 5:30 and spotted them just south of Carkeek headed south towards Golden Garden's. They were about 500-1000 feet offshore at this time. We could only see their dorsal fins and spouting/sprays. We left at 7:15 and they were still just north-side of Golden Gardens.
Alisa Brooks
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Orca Network received another call from Tony Lanphear, again reporting 2 orcas 1 mile south of Carkeek Park, N. Seattle, at 3:30 pm, heading N/NW. They were out of sight by 3:45 pm.
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Eric Peirson onboard the Olympus, called Orca Network to report 3 Gray whales mid-channel in the Clinton/Mukilteo ferry lanes, heading north toward Hat/Gedney Island at 1:10 pm.
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Paula Rounds called Orca Network to report 1 Gray whale off Polnell Pt, NE Whidbey Island, heading east close to shore at 11:43 am.
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Tina at Cama Beach State Park on SW Camano Island, called with a visitor's report of 2 Gray whales between Cama Beach and Whidbey Island at 10:20 am, heading north.
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10:54 am: gray whale near sydney b.c.! (via Facebook)
Erin Corra

March 22, 2010

In the early afternoon of March 22nd, a group of us were thrilled to see a smallish gray whale close to shore off Carkeek Park in Seattle. After about 15 minutes, we suddenly saw two, maybe three, orca dorsal fins approach the gray, and appear to harass it. We all commented on how unusual that seemed. After another 10 or so minutes, the gray started moving north along the shore, with the orcas still nudging right up alongside it. At the time, I called a NOAA phone number someone gave me and reported this into a voicemail. I hadn't learned about Orca Net yet. Clarissa Fetrow (via Facebook)
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My husband and I saw a gray whale from our deck at about 7:15 pm tonight. It was about 300 yards off the shore of Indian Beach, Camano Island, heading south. It spouted and surfaced a few times, it didn't really linger, it seemed to be just passing through (via facebook).
Lauren Donnelson
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I saw the lone gray whale calf at the north entrance to Shilshole marina (N. Seattle/Ballard) @ 330. (via facebook)
Paul Trettevik
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12:35-12:50 p.m: lone whale - appeared to be a small gray whale, covered with barnacles, in shallow water which is bare sand during lower than normal low tides. Approximately 1 mile south of Carkeek Park in Seattle (47° 42' 23.2452"N, 122° 22' 49.692" W), moving slowly south/southeastward, appeared to be feeding. sorry, no photos or videos - only other whales seen in this same area was a pod of Orcas (including juvenile/s) in October approximately 10 years ago.
Update - 1:45 pm: Tony called us to report that the Gray whale had circled back north, and now there were 2 Orcas swimming in circles in the same area - at one point all 3 whales were close together! They were going back and forth, both north and south, and all 3 whales were still there until some time between 2:15 & 2:30 pm when he had to leave.
Tony Lanphear, Seattle, WA
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From the West Seattle Blog: Orca Network had passed along news of a few orcas spotted off Carkeek Park in North Seattle earlier today - and now we've just heard from Vanessa at Alki that it looks like they're off Alki Point/Lighthouse as of a few minutes ago (~2:35 pm), "heading toward the islands."
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Orca Network received a call from Brad Hanson at NOAA Fisheries in Seattle, relaying a report from a co-worker that 3 Orcas were sighted off Carkeek Park, N. Seattle, from the parking lot, between 8 - 9 am. No direction of travel was given
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Orca Network received a call from Ken Hitchings, volunteer for the Whale Watch Spoken Here program, reporting 6 - 8 orcas sighted from Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach OR at 3 pm today, heading south ~.5 - .75 mile offshore.
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We heard a whale breathing and saw plumes a few times tonight at sunset. Location in Saratoga Passage from the Camano side near Indian Beach.
Donna King
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Sandy Dubpernell relayed a report of a Gray whale, observed from somewhere on Camano at 5 pm, heading west.
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This time I got to see the whale, not just his feeding pits. This AM about 9:30, I noticed our neighbor on the edge of the bluff with his camera. Sure enough, a lone gray was in so close to the bluff I hadn't see it from the house. I watched him feed for over half and hour. Sometimes the gray floated on his side, with his head down, without moving either fluke not fin for quite some time. That's when the seabirds moved in very close. When the whale swished his tail, the seabirds scattered, only to regroup as things quieted down (see photo). Unfortunately, no ID shots. Hope the neighbor might have one.
Barbara Brock, Mabana, Camano Island, WA
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Two grey whales were seen in Elger Bay, Camano Island, this morning. Observed them feeding in bay for at least two hours (rec'd at 10:24 am).
Adele Grant, Camano Island, WA
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March 21 & 22: Last evening (3/21) my wife and I watched a gray whale moving between Polnell Pt and Strawberry Pt (48deg 16'N, 122deg 32'W) eastward. Just now - 12:50 pm, 3/22, we were treated to a very close gray whale slowly moving westward in the same area but much closer to Camano Island. We first saw it about 300 yards off our beach (48deg 15'40"N, 122deg 30'32"W) and watched it moving toward the Maple Grove boat launch. BR>Gerard Pence, Camano Island, WA
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March 21 & 22: Chrissy McLean of the Pt. Townsend Marince Sci. Center relayed a report of a Gray whale in Oak Bay, between Indian and Marrowstone Islands, WA March 21st at 3 pm, heading south, and again this morning (3/22) from 6 - 10 am, this time with a "calf" or smaller whale, in the same location.
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Baja Pilot whales: Just wanted to let you know that I just saw two Pilot Whales about 200 yards off shore on the Eastern side of Baja California Mexico near the small town of Puertocitas. I did not get any pictures, but they were here for about a half hour feeding in the shallow areas off shore. It looked like a mom and calf as one was much larger than the other. This is my first morning here and this was quite a treat.
cindy gregory

March 21, 2010

Our first sighting of gray whales in 2010. North end of Camano Island (+48° 15' 35.58"N, -122° 30' 56.72W"). There were 2 gray whales they were moving east. We watched from 7:00 pm till about 7:30.
Richard Mattson, Camano Island
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I didn't have my binoculars, but several people were watching a large whale traveling south off Hastie Lake Road (NW Whidbey Island) at 4:30 PM. There was a large visible spout of water quite a ways off shore. People were smiling to see one on the west side of the island!
Suse Spear, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA
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4.15 pm from Hastie Lake Road (off West Beach, NW Whidbey Isl) - Dick and I spotted a grey whale traveling south. Although we watched through binoculars for about 15 minutes it was too far away to get photographs.
Sandra Pollard/Dick Snowberger, Freeland, Whidbey Island, WA
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My husband and I spotted one Grey Whale in Crescent Harbor - (the span of beach on NAS Whidbey's Seaplane Base, in Oak Harbor, just behind Crescent Harbor housing) today around noon. He went back and forth for a bit--we spotted him while we were still on shore and watched a bit, and then set off for a very close to shore trip in a kayak. The whale stayed parallel with us maybe 150-200 yards away for quite some time. We stayed very close to shore--close enough that we could put the paddle down and touch bottom most of the time, so it wasn't too far off. When it did divert from the parallel path with us, it seemed to be heading along the shore to the Southeast. There is a small peninsula there, and once the whale was close to that I lost sight of it. We probably watched the whale for 25-30 minutes. Despite the fact that I said 'he/him' above I have no idea if it was a male or a female. It spouted a quite a few times and would come just slightly out of the water--only enough for us to see it's head and back from time to time (I'm not up on my whale lingo, sorry!) ;) I will say today is definitely right up there in my top five days of amazing days of being here in the PNW!!!!
Valerie Roseberry, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Isl. WA
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We observed two grey whales for 30 minutes about 100-200 yards off Mabana beach of Camano Island. They stayed close together at the surface showing their pectoral fins often. After about 20 minutes, they moved away from the shore where we could not track them anymore. We observed them this morning from about 11:00 AM to about 11:30.
Louis, Diana, and Kirstin Craig
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Fred Lundahl of Langley called to relay a report from Sharon Wandler of 3 Gray whales in front of Witter Beach (bet. Langley & Clinton, SE Whidbey Isl.), between 9:30 & 10:30 am. One of the whales was huge!
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March 20 - 21: Now at minus tides the exposed feeding pits appear. There are hundreds from Mabana to Elger Bay on Camano. One string of pits were in circles, another 8 huge pits in a line. Different strokes for different whales. 4 whales came on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.
Dodie on Camano
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Orca Network received a call from David Hanes, reporting a Gray whale south of Edmonds, WA, at 3 pm, just north of the refinery, in the cove, 50' from shore.
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Went to Possession Point Park (So. Whidbey Island) this afternoon and watched two gray whales pass by going south, midchannel.
Caprice Hinshaw Kutz (via Facebook)
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Orca Network received a call from Finn Gatewood, on the Clinton/Mukilteo ferry, reporting 3 spouts (likely Gray whales) at 11:13 am, heading south, closer to the Whidbey Island side at about Glendale.
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This morning at 7:00 AM a gray whale came by form the northwest feeding in the shallow water. It circled back twice and was here until 8 AM before continuing to feed in front of downtown Langley (SE Whidbey Island, WA).
Veronica von Allwörden, NW Langley
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Thanks to a "wakie wakie, there's a whale" call from our neighbor Veronica, we watched a gray whale feed at the bottom of our yard, located along the NW end of Langley. The whale stayed 'round for about 30 minutes, feeding leisurely, then drifted off toward downtown Langley, traveling from west to east. I only saw one, but Veronica may have seen more. I did capture a bit of the activity on video and posted that to my SHAREN HEATH Facebook page, for those who enjoy FB.
Sharen Heath, LANGLEY, Whidbey Island
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A Minke whale (off Ebey's Bluff, central/NW Whidbey Isl) heading north toward Pt. Partridge ~9:30 am.
Al Luneman, Coupeville, Whidbey Island WA

March 20, 2010

"Probably" a gray whale, definitely not an Orca, not a Minke. Time: about 3:25PM. Place: north side of Strawberry Island, east of Deception Pass (NE Whidbey Island). Appeared to be just a single whale. It remained in the area for some time. I watched it for at least 15 min, then had to leave for another commitment. I watched it using binoculars from the south shore of Fidalgo Island. It surfaced and spouted several times in a few minutes, then remained submerged for a longer interval. It Resurfaced and repeated the behavior regularly. It appeared to be feeding in the area rather than passing through. One spy hop observed. Good sightings of the tail a couple of times as it submerged. the area forward of the tail had a conspicuous pattern of vertebra. Difficult to estimate size from where I was. I did get some photos but most just show the spouting, nothing that will likely help in identification.
J. R. Waaland
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Andrew Reding sent us some great photos of several Gray whales he observed in Possession Sound on Saturday. Whale #22 was photographed just yards off the southernmost tip of Whidbey Island at 1:24 pm Daylight Savings Time, at 47 54 N, 122 23 W. It was in the company of a second gray whale (identified as #21). Another gray whale was photographed just off the southern tip of Gedney Island, 48 N, 122 18 W at 12:07pm Daylight Savings time, headed into Possession Sound, where upon hitting the sandbar the whale turned northward. Here are more photos of that whale, in case you are able to ID it (ID'd as #531).
Andrew Reding
Thanks to Andrew's photos we were able to ID and confirm with Cascadia Research the identities of these 3 local whales!
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We were out off south Whidbey and had two large adult gray whales linger around our boat for 90 minutes, the entire time staying very close. Forgot the camera at home. The larger of the two was the biggest gray we have seen in Puget Sound. And they had some very serious odor!
Rob Miller
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I sighted a gray whale in penn cove today. Whale spent several hours there, still there when I left.
Howard Wallace
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I couldn't be in Baja--but I did see the whale in Edmonds, WA this AM -- nice way to welcome spring to Puget Sound!
Jennifer Schuld (via Facebook)
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Orca Network received a call from WA State Ferries Edmonds dock, reporting a Gray whale north of the ferry dock in very shallow water for several hours. It had also been there several days prior.
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Laura Houston reported a Gray whale off Des Moines, WA.
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Thanks to photos from several of you this past week, we have been able to identify three of the "regular" N. Puget Sound resident Gray whales, confirmed by John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research (see their Gray whale ID catalog - click on the very top link). Through photos of the whales' flukes (see above) and dorsal ridges, Whales #21 and #22 were identified, and #531 was identified also by the pattern of pigmentation on the pectoral fin, which was matched by a photo Veronica von Allworden had of #531's pec fin. Thanks to assistance from Veronica and other volunteers, we are hoping to obtain ID photos of all our local Gray whales' pectoral fins to assist with IDs in the future. Since much of their behavior in these waters is feeding behavior, often the pecs are all that are observed or photographed, so cataloging Pec ID photos could be helpful in IDing our local whales.
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We saw 2 Gray whales as we were taking the boat up from Coupeville to Deception Pass. The whales were first spotted at 1:30 pm south of Hope Island feeding just off the channel. They slowly moved around to the north side of Hope Island and were diving into deeper water. I've not heard of Gray whales up this far north as the channel is very narrow with mud flats to the east.
Phil and Debby Ellis, Coupeville, WA
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Orca Network received a call from Kendall Berry of Edmonds at 2 pm - they were seeing distant blows with binoculars that looked like the orcas reported earlier off Possession Pt. The orcas are now west of Possession Pt. (off Scatchet Head) & appeared to be heading W/NW up Admiralty Inlet.
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Orca Network received a call at 1 pm from Laura Nance, Possession Pt. Waterfront Park mgr, reporting 3 orcas heading south off Possession Waterfront Park (in Possession Sound) heading south toward Possession Pt. Likely more Transients!
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Steppe Williford of Oak Harbor called to report a Gray whale in Penn Cove, Coupeville, Whidbey Island at 2:30 pm, less than 1/2 mile off the Coupeville Wharf. At first it was headed into the cove, when it surfaced again it had turned and was heading out of the cove.
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While working on the computer in our office/sunroom, I looked up to see my first Gray whale spout of the year from the Orca Network office! It was off Elger Bay, Camano Island at 11:23 am. I never did see the whale spout again (we only have a partial water view), so am not sure of direction, but it was great knowing there was a Gray in the neighborhood!
Susan Berta, Orca Network, Greenbank, Whidbey Island
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3 grays off of Sandy Point on SE Whidbey at 10am this morning.
Stephen Kilisky
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About 10 AM I glanced out our west window to see a gray blow out quite deep from the Mabana Rd. (SW Camano Island), then a second. They were working their way across Saratoga Passage to south of Bells Beach. It's been over a week since I've seen them, and when I was down on our beach at a 0.0 tide yesterday, there was no indication they had been in feeding recently.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island
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At 9:10am we saw one gray whale swim by, heading north about 50 yards off Tulalip Shores. The whale then veered further out into Port Susan and as it headed North, appeared to be traveling rather than stopping to feed.
Vicki Mattson, Tulalip Shores
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Veronica von Allworden of Langley called at 9:10 am to report 3 Gray whales right in front of Langley, SE Whidbey Island, heading SE.
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My wife Barbara and I were on our way to the Garden Symposium in Coupeville this morning and ended up nearly late. About 8:45 AM, saw a Grey Whale at the end of Penn Cove heading West then East feeding. Barbara saw whale breath over top of the water and said, "what a funny patch of fog", then we realized what it was ! We pulled in to the parking area that the mussel and clammers usually use on the West side of the cove and there he or she was again spouting and rolling. We drove around to Madrona Way to get better light to see him pop up several more times at least once showing nearly his entire upper body. Made for the start of a wonderful day. Still have not seen the Whales from our work place at the Naval Station! Can't wait; it's not spring until we see the Grey Whales off Rocky Point.
Chuck Niedzialkowski, Oak Harbor, WA
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Kendall Berry of Edmonds called to relay a 2nd hand report of a Gray whale N of the Edmonds Ferry dock from 7:15 - 8:30 am, 15' from shore.
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March 19 - 20: Jill Hein forwarded a report from Jackie Johnson of Bell's Beach, SE Whidbey Island - they had 3 - 4 Gray whales off their beach at 10am on March 20th, and 2 Grays on March 19th.
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March 19 - 20: Mary Beth called in a report of a Gray whale in Dungeness Bay from 7 - 9:30 am this morning, swimming toward the Lighthouse, and in the same place last night, 3/19 at 5 pm. She then posted this on our Facebook page: I've watched and photographed this Gray whale 5 times now in the past 9 days in the same bay (Dungeness) just off the beach I live on.
Mary Beth Brodie Beuke, Sequim, WA

March 19, 2010

I live in Penn Cove just off West Scenic Heights before Monroe Landing Road. This evening while letting out the dogs at 11:30 PM I heard a large long blow hole. I waited for awhile and heard it again three more times. Long loud and big. I live on a 40 foot cliff and this is my second encounter here in Penn Cove. We heard a blow hole two weekends ago while sailing in very calm waters in the same area. I am so excited as I moved here from Wisconsin last May and this is my first whale sighting. A devoted whale watcher,
Theresa Gonsalves, Whidbey Island
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We have been watching undetermined whale for approximately 40 minutes. We live in a condo just off the beach, eastern shore of East Passage - Commencement Bay, Tacoma. Appears to be a single whale, difficult to tell what breed but looks to us rather large, possible Gray. Has not breached but have seen part of its back above water. First spotted the spout approximately 500 yards off shore just south (maybe 100 yards) of the floating breakwater at Redondo boat launch (just couple hundred feet south of Salty's restaraunt). Circled for a bit, then headed south, closer in to shore, perhaps less than 300 yards. Has stayed in this area for 30 minutes. If familiar with the area, 150 yards south of the southern end of the boardwalk at Redondo. Will stay under for between 3 and 8 or 9 minutes, then spout several times before submerging again. Wish we could tell type but certainly a whale of some kind.
Mark & Tracey Eide
Sounds like a Gray whale from this description - sb
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Orca Network received a call from Shirley Llewellen of Freeland, reporting a gray whale in Mutiny Bay, SW Whidbey Island, 100' from shore swimming south at 3:30 pm.
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10 ORCAS sighted but could have been more - Approx. two miles off the coast directly west of the North Head Lighthouse look out point, Ilwaco, Washington State, traveling North West at 8:30 am to 9:30 am. Orcas were swimming around crab pot and eating and were splashing around in the water. There were at least Three large males. First sightings of ORCAS off Ilwaco, Washington for me. No photos just saw with binoculars.
Karin Bardell

March 18, 2010

I was just leaving the Victoria office to head back to San Juan Island in late afternoon when Jim Maya called with a report of transients and a sea lion near Kelp Reef in Haro Strait. I arrived on scene at 1723 and observed seven transient killer whales (T124A, 124A1, 124A2, 124A3, 124A4, 86A, and 86A baby) swimming rapidly and erratically in circles in the tide rips. Jim said that he had seen them thrashing a sea lion about thirty minutes earlier, but had not seen it since. At 1807, I briefly saw a very relaxed looking Steller sea lion just in front of T124A1, but could not determine if it was still alive. Gulls arrived around the same time, so I presume a trophic transition was underway. The tide was flowing rapidly and pushing us all toward Henry Island when I left at 1827. I came away very impressed, once again, at how tough these one ton sea lions are; but, they are no match for a pod of killer whales.
Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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Around 1630, we saw two Grey whales heading west, up Port Susan in Front of Sunny Shores. After watching them slowly pass in front of our house about 150 yds off shore, we were treated to one of the whales launching vertically out of the water more than ½ the distance of its body and slashing down. Don't know if it was the second whale or the same one, but moments later, we observed it a second time. The whales then continued heading up the shoreline towards McKee's Beach and Kayak Pt. Wow, that was a real treat!!! We have had lots of sightings since the end of Feb.
Doug Barlow
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As I was preparing to leave Victoria and come back to San Juan Island in the afternoon, Jim Maya called me with a report of a half dozen Transients one mile SE of Kelp Reef. I spent about an hour with them just before sunset and documented T86A and T124A's. Dave will check the photos tomorrow and we can let you know exactly who was there. It was freezing cold and choppy in the north wind! At least one sea lion was taken by the whales. Jim said he saw one sea lion and then it was gone for half an hour. Later, I saw one sea lion pushed around by the whales.
Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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Orcasound hydrophone 1646 - Transient orca calls. Val's automated detector picked (transient calls?) up this afternoon. No other detections before or after at Orcasound or any other hydrophones, so no indication of direction without further analysis.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound, Seattle
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We were lucky enough to find Transient Orcas on the West Side of San Juan Island, on the Canadian Side of Haro Strait. We were just leaving the Kelp Reef marker, after watching eagles and sea lions, headed south toward Lime Kiln, when Jonathan shouted out, "What's that?" "Orcas!" I said. They proceeded to kill and eat a Steller's Sea Lion, weighing perhaps 2200 lbs. It was an amazing sight that I have seen only two other times, and both times right in this area. One other time the sea lion got away.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Whale Watch, San Juan Island
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At about 2:30PM today noted a feeding Gray whale just off the beach at Ebey's Landing, W. Whidbey Island.
Ingrid Swisher
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Gray whale spotted approximately 2:20pm about 5ft off shoreline at Ebey's Landing in Coupeville, WA. The whale was traveling south along the coast it has been seen (or a gray whale) at this beach for the last couple weeks. Not sure if any of my pictures show the whale, there was a gentleman there who followed the whale down the coastline quite a way down taking photographs.
Nicole Strasburg, Whidbey General Hospital
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Sammye Kempbell of Coupeville called Orca Network to report a Gray whale off Ebey's Landing at 2:20 pm. She watched it about 15 minutes and saw its head and flukes, and 6 - 7 spouts as it traveled south toward Ft. Casey State Park.
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Mary Pacher of Greenbank called Orca Network to report 2 Gray whales in the Clinton/Mukilteo ferry lanes at 12:40 pm, heading south.

March 17, 2010

We were lucky enough to see a small pod of 4-5 orcas headed south a mile or so south of Double Bluff, Whidbey Isl. around 9:30 am. We assumed they were transients because of the small size of the pod. They would surface as a group a couple of times and then not resurface for quite some time (8 - 10 minutes).
LuAnn Fortin, Skunk Bay, Kitsap Peninsula
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Looks like 5 Transients passing Smallpox bay (NW San Juan Island) right now! (7:45PM). May be the same group that was down in Puget Sound yesterday. Heading north at about 2 knots.
John Boyd (JB), Marine Naturalist On Shore, San Juan Island
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Approx 6:45 pm we had a small group of orcas pass by Hannah Heights (NW San Juan Island) headed north rather close to shore. Two males with accompanying females/calves?
Sandy Buckley, Postcards From Friday Harbor
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At approximately 1pm-2:30pm 1 mile South of Clinton Ferry dock on Whidbey Island. (Orca) whales seemed to be feeding. It is known to me as a fishing hole in front of my house where I was during my lunch time when they caught my eye and stayed for an hour and half. Took videos both from bluff and beach. The video shows a minimum around eight blows in a matter of seconds. One whale had a distinct white marking that came up and behind dorsal fin. In the 8-12 whales I saw there were two younger ones, one small and one a bit bigger, trailing four whales that seemed to move together. Hope that helps your research. Maybe you can tell me which Pod I saw.
Damian Greene, Whidbey Island
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At dusk, we were just leaving the Kelp Reef marker, (Haro Strait) "What's that?" "Orcas!" I said.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Whale Watch, San Juan Island
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Around 11:30 pm, just as I was about to fall asleep; I heard a sound. As, in, was that a spout? Got up and went out into the patio and sure enough there was a gray. In the dead calm of night, the swirling/swishing, during the late snack was almost a roar/rushing sound of a river. Then, after a couple of minutes, a mighty blow. Gray, slowly moved south towards Polnell Point after the 15 minute visit. Now, hoping for a day sighting, but, I'll take last night for a starter.
Robert Stonefelt Oak Harbor
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Grey whale off Edmonds just North of ferry terminal - ~2:30 pm.
Jennifer Schuld, Edmonds, WA
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Terri Dix of Edmonds called Orca Network to report a Gray whale off Edmonds, N of the ferry dock at 2 pm, rolling on its side with pectoral fins out of the water (feeding behavior). She watched it for 45 minutes.
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Thanks to Laura Spehar for forwarding this report on: This morning, on a news tip, I diverted from my trip to the office and spent 15 minutes filming a mother and her calf (Gray whale) apparently feeding in the sediment 50-100 ft off Marina Beach (S. edge of the Marina), Edmonds, WA. There were about a dozen people on the beach in awe of the spectacle. What jumped out at me was the idea that the mother and her calf found a feeding spot right at the Edmonds Marsh outlet. In fact, I wondered if they used the discharge pipe as a scratching object. The thought struck me that if we could open up, daylight, increase the tidal flow, the open marsh could be an enhanced source of organic material that would further enhance the benthic food for these whales. They presumably eat amphipods living in the sediments. That is, a real salt marsh might help the whales. Regardless, I am reminded that the Marsh is a resource that connects the watershed to the Sound. And possibly to the whales from Baja.
Alan Mearns, NOAA Biologist, Edmonds, WA
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I am in Juneau, Alaska and went for a boat ride south through Gastineau Channel. A few miles south of town I encountered 6 orcas -- 5 adults and one very young one. They were traveling north in the channel heading toward town. I had some boat problems and the wind was blowing, so I didn't get a chance to take many pics. Always good to see them up here too.
Eric Ogren
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Dick Snowberger called Orca Network to relay a report of 4 - 5 Orcas sighted from the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry at 4:40 pm, mid channel heading north.
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Annette Colombini called Orca Network to relay a report of 5 orcas including a calf off Columbia Beach, south of the Clinton Ferry, 50' from shore at 2 pm, heading north.
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On my drive home from Freeland this evening, I caught a quick glimpse of 1 large spout, likely a Gray whale at the north end of Holmes Harbor, just south of Baby Island.
Susan Berta, Orca Network, Whidbey Island
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Kristin Wilkinson of NOAA Fisheries called to say she had talked to a woman in Edmonds who saw what looked like a Gray whale or Humpback off Edmonds at 9:25 am, south of the Edmonds Marina.
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Nancy Zaretzke of Greenbank called Orca Network at 8:33 am to report a Gray whale off Hidden Beach, Greenbank, Whidbey Island.

March 16, 2010

Jill Hein and Sandra Pollard were doing marine mammal observations for Orca Network at Ft. Casey State Park this morning (central/W Whidbey Isl), & called at 10:55 am to report a pod of 5 orcas heading N fast, by 11 they were at Pt. Wilson - sounds like it could be the Transients that have been in Puget Sound!

March 15, 2010

Gray whale sighted NW of the Edmonds Ferry Terminal @ 4:30 pm.
Chad Emerson, Edmonds, WA
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Orca Network received a call from Krista reporting the Transient orca pod was still off West Seattle at 5 pm.
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Observations, IDs & comments on KOMO's video of the Transients off W. Seattle: "It looks like the T30's and T172. T30A is the bull who bops what looks like T30C. Pounding upon a younger sibling -- that's what older brothers are for! T172 has one nice solo surfacing too".
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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Jennifer Barwick of W. Seattle called Orca Network at 3:11 pm to report orcasnear N. Vashon Island heading slowly south.
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Jim Hodgson, pilot for WDWF, reported seeing a pod of orcas off Vashon Island at the ferry lanes from the air at 2:30 pm.
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My son, Ian, is currently on the ferry from Fauntleroy to Southworth right now (10:40 a.m.) and is watching at least 3 orcas. He says they seem to be just kind of hanging out again between Vashon & Lincoln Park. They're rather surface active. He saw quite a bit of tail slapping. He estimated them to be about 200 yards from the boat.
Update at 1:40 pm: The orcas are still near Vashon Island, in the ferry lane!
Lori Willson, West Seattle
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Amy Carey of Vashon Island called at 11:40 am to report the orcas (presumably Transient pod in the area the last few days) were north of Vashon Island, near the ferry route, milling with no direction of travel. She called back at 12:40 pm to report they were still there, in the same spot, still milling.
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Want to make sure you guys know that orcas have been spotted off the Fauntleroy/Vashon ferry again, within past half hour.
Tracy @ West Seattle Blog
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WA State Ferry ops called Orca Network to report a half dozen orcas sighted by the Tillicum Ferry crew at 10:27 am, 3/4 mile NE of the Vashon Island ferry dock.
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IDs for Transient orcas in photos & report from Kate Cummings of orcas in Monterey Bay CA: These look like the CA51 matriline, often sighted in Monterey Bay and sometimes in southern California.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger, California Killer Whale Project
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We spotted two whales that I think they were Minkes. There were at least two of them that spouted at the same time. We were watching from the deck of our home at Warm Beach. They seemed to be 1/2 between Camano and Warm Beach in front of the Camano Country Club area in Port Susan. We would see the small dark fin and the long dark body. They were stirring up the birds that hung around. They spouted single shots. We were not close enough to hear the spouting. They seemed to be slowly traveling north, but they stayed quite awhile, one hour at least, in that spot. We started watching them about from about 6:00 and watched until 7 pm when it got too dark.
Linda Underhill
Though it's difficult to determine, my guess is these were likely gray whales from the behavior described. Though they don't have dorsal fins, often the pectoral fin or tip of the fluke is seen when they are feeding. The spouts of Minke whales are seldom visible, and they tend to move around rather than stay and feed in one spot for a long period of time. sb
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2:50 pm: We've been watching a single gray whale about 100 yards offshore in front of our house in Olalla, just south of Anderson Point in Colvos Passage. He/she has been taking leisurely looking feeding dives for about 1/2 hour or so, staying in the same area. I'm so glad she/he found a whale 'snack bar' here so we could enjoy the visit- so exciting!
Sandy, Olalla
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First trip of the year on Glacier Spirit! 1210 Two gray whales just off SW corner of Camano, generally milling. 1250 Left two grays just N of Gedney/Hat Isl. One northbound, the other milling.
Erick Peirson, Port Townsend
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8:27 am: This morning two (I believe) Grey whales passed going north toward Utsulady Wa. from Madrona Beach area of Camano Island.
Jack, Camaon Island
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I heard what sounded like one or two Gray whales spouting just south of Hidden Beach, Greenbank, between 2:30 and 3 am. I couldn't determine direction of travel, they may have been moving back and forth feeding.
Susan Berta, Whidbey Island

March 14, 2010

We watched two Gray whales at the north end of the Ebey's trail - very close to shore.
Jim Somers, Coupeville
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Two belated 2nd/3rd hand reports of orcas off Edmonds/Kingston. We somehow missed them from our boat but our neighbors pulled into their slip right after we did (some time between 12:30 and 3:30) and reported seeing four orcas heading north, one tall fin, yesterday afternoon. Then today a volunteer at the Aquarium reported her friend saw orcas (unspecified number) in the same area, same time frame.
Darcie Larson, S/V Groovy, Woodinville
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Transient orcas T007, T007A, T041 and T041A were west bound off Otter Point (Sooke, SW Vancouver Island) in the afternoon.
Mark Malleson, Victoria, B.C.
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The afternoon trip on "Goldwing" took us out to the West of Sooke Harbour! At 1430 hrs., I spotted 5 Transients 1.5 nm Southwest of Otter Point. The T7's and T41's were traveling West in a resting pattern and we followed them until they were just Southeast of Sheringham Lighthouse. On the way home, we stopped in at the Bedford Islands and Race Rocks and sighted over 30 Steller Sea Lions, half a dozen Bald Eagles, lots of Harbour Seals and one Elephant Seal.
Jeff Lamarche, Captain "Goldwing", Eagle Wing Tours
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At 7:10 pm, a large grey whale was taking his time going north in front of our home on very South Camano, on Gull Way. It appeared he/she was feeding, as the water flatly pooled above him. He stayed under at least 2 minutes, taking his time. He eventually slowly moved north towards Pebble Beach.
Peg Boley, Camano Island
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A lone gray whale was reported north of the Edmonds Underwater Park/Sunset Beach Sunday afternoon. This or possibly another solitary gray whale passed me while I was kayaking off Point Edwards at 6 pm that evening. The whale was moving south at a steady pace of maybe 6 to 8 knots. Lat - 47°48'18.67"N, Long - 122°23'51.78"W
Steve Johnson
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Waiting for the 4:30 Kingston ferry - saw a spout, doubted it, then a few more (not very big, sort of fan-shaped) then a curve of back with just a slightly hooked bump on it. Then nothing for a few minutes, then a couple more spouts, another glimpse of a curve with the bump. Then no more. Another passenger who scubas said it was not very deep there, some ling cod in that area. Perhaps a (darkish) gray whale or a small humpback?
Janet Dawson From the description we'd say it was a Gray whale or whales, and we had reports of two Grays in that area at that time from others in yesterday's report - sb
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We spotted a gray whale on the west side of Hat (Gedney) Island at about 11am, and then saw another gray on the east side, very close to shore at about 1pm. And I'm pretty sure he gave us a beautiful spy hop - (I saw it at the end---).
Mac LaMay, Whidbey Island
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5 Transients between Otter Pt. and Sheringham Pt. (West of Sooke BC.) going West around 1500. T7, T7A, T7B and T41, T41A. Thanks to Eagle Wing Tours, Mark Malleson, POW and Russ Nicks, Sooke Coast Ex.
Ron Bates, MMRG, Victoria B.C.
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We found some killer whales about 6 miles west of Moss Landing CA when we were heading in from our trip today. Thought we were only going to see gray whales - what a pleasant surprise! There were two different groups, one consisting of two whales and the other of three. While they were in the same vicinity, within the hour we were watching them they did not join together. When we found them at 1:30 they were heading east towards the harbor and when we left at 2:15, the group of three surfaced about a mile east of us with the pair following them at a distance. Pretty cool! I can see one of the whales has a nick at the base of its dorsal fin. Hopefully you can identify some of these guys! See ya!
Kate Cummings, Sanctuary Cruises, Moss Landing, CA
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We got back to our marina, Fair Harbor in Grapeview WA at 6:10 PM, just in time to see the grey whale surface and blow in about 25 feet of water, just barely clearing the dock. He then dove back down and went under the dock and moored boats and headed back out into Case Inlet proper.
Pamela Benson, Grapeview, WA
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Kendall Berry of Edmonds called Orca Network to report one or two Gray whales right off the Diving Park in Edmonds at 4:20 pm. She called back at 5:05 pm to confirm it was two whales, and there was a good crowd enjoying them from the shore.
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Two gray whales very close to shore at the far end of Ebey's trail on the west side around 4:30.
Jim Somers, Whidbey Island
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My son and husband were hiking today at Ebey's Landing (W. Central Whidbey Island) and spent 20 minutes, starting at around 3:30, watching two whales (they look like grays from their photos) about 100 yards or less off the far end of the spit.
Kris Jones
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At 1:30 PM, I was flying and spotted this gray whale feeding by the large marker between Everett and Hat Island. It might be Patch, #49, I did not get a good look at it's back. Note the bald eagle that was circling over head! Also, at 4:40 PM we were at Possession beach (S. Whidbey Isl) and saw 6 to 8 Dall's porpoises traveling to the south closer to the Whidbey side than to the main land.
Veronica von Allwörden, NW Langley

March 13, 2010

At approximately 4:30 pm I spotted one gray whale moving north approximately 200 yards off shore in Eld Inlet by Green Cove (Olympia, WA).
T. Wakefield
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We were out paddling from Langley and spotted a Gray heading south down the middle of Saratoga Passage around 9:30. She didn't seem to be in any hurry to get anywhere. She got to the area about ¾ mile due south of Camano Head, stopped and just seemed to be "relaxing" there on the surface. We stayed a good 100 yards off and observed her for about 15 minutes, surfacing occasionally for a breath. A boat kept its distance (barely) with his engine idling and maneuvering for the "best view", and it wasn't 2 minutes after the boat arrived that the Gray started to move, fluke came up and down he went. The Gray surfaced about 200 yards off to the east of the Jet Boat, apparent to us that the Gray was now moving far faster than we had observed prior to this. The boat turned and started the pursuit, headed away from us. We could see the blows in front of the boat, with the Gray headed towards the Everett direction. This went on for a couple of hundred yards when we noticed the boat had slowed. After a bit, we saw the Gray surface between us and the boat - he had doubled back! It was pretty apparent to us at that point that the boat had "lost" the Gray as the boat kept idling in the same direction for several minutes before slowly changing his course. The Gray came directly at us, so we decided instead of hanging around to be graced with its presence, we would go on our way to Hat Island and not "tip off" the jet boat again. It worked. The boat slowly idled towards Sandy point, we headed towards Hat Island, and the Gray we could see appeared to have gone back to the same spot, resuming her relaxation!
Jay Reeves, Lynnwood
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Maribeth Beuke reported one Gray whale in Dungeness Bay from 12:30 - 1:30 pm, feeding in shallow water.
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A single grey whale spotted at approximately 8am near the tip of Cooper Point in Budd Inlet (Olympia, WA). Heading north.
Bob Coble
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Tina Denzel-Peterson of Cama Beach State Park, Camano Island, reported two Gray whales in Saratoga Passage, 100' from shore at Cama Beach, heading north at 4:45 pm.
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At 6:45 AM, a gray whale, traveling from NW to SE, came by feeding in the shallow water.
Veronica von Allwörden, NW Langley, Whidbey Island, WA
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Orca Network received a call from WA State Ferry captain Ross McFarlane, reporting at least five orcas, including 1 male, 9:08 AM west of the Fauntleroy dock, West Seattle. Probably the transient T87s and maybe the T30s who have been with them. If so, this is the third day in a row they've been there.

March 12, 2010

At 4:30pm we spotted a Gray very close in shore in front of Tulalip Shores, heading South. He was showing his fin and tail as he was feeding, very slowly moving South. My two young charges (ten year old boys) and I walked south along the beach and around the point, looking now towards Tulalip Bay. We were easily keeping pace with the Gray and delighted to see how much of his body was being exposed while feeding. Then from the direction of Tulalip Bay, we saw another blow. We watched as the second gray headed right for the whale we had been watching. They met up and fed right next to each other for about 5 minutes. Then the gray that was headed south continued on south and the gray that was heading north continued north. They passed by each other around 5:30 pm. About an hour later we looked across Port Susan and saw two blows together, the grays heading towards the head of Camano. It was a delightful dance to watch! Unfortunately no camera!
Vicki Mattson (with Andrew and Dillon) Tulalip Shores
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Is it possible that we saw one or two Humpbacks at Lagoon point? My wife saw a whale surface so I watched for several min but only saw a fluke at a distance far to the south of us. Usually when I have seen Gray it is a long body along the surface. This whale did not show a dorsal fin only a fluke like Humpbacks I have seen in Hawaii though it was half mile away.
Paul Kukuk, Greenbank, Whidbey Island
It's difficult to know whether this was a Gray whale or Humpback, without a description of the back - Humpbacks would have a small dorsal fin, and Grays have no dorsal fin, just "knuckles" or bumps on the dorsal ridge. Both these species show their flukes when doing deep dives - sb
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Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales found the orcas off Fauntleroy at 3:10 pm - he could see 4 - 5 of them in the ferry lanes, ~1/3 of the way across from the Seattle side. They were circling back & forth, hunting & tearing something up, with birds coming in for scraps. 1 male & 3 - 4 others.
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I was on the 3:05 ferry from Fauntleroy to vashon today and we saw 4 orcas swimming about.
Felicia Saathoff
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At 2:38 pm John Rogsted of WSF called Orca Network, reporting a pod of 12 orcas southbound, 1.5 miles east of Dolphin Pt/Vashon Head (between N. Vashon Island & Fauntleroy).
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Orca Network received a call at 2:35 pm from Linda Wheeler with WA State Ferries, reporting the same small pod of orcas circling off Williams Pt., N. end of Fauntleroy near Lincoln Park, so. of Seattle.

March 11, 2010

Orca Network received a call from WA State Ferries, reporting a small pod of orcas, including 1 male, from the Fauntleroy ferry at 1420, heading NW off Pt. Williams, Fauntleroy Cove (south of W. Seattle).
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Orca Network received a call from Matt Griffin of KATU TV News, Portland, saying they had received video of 3 or 4 orcas in Commencement Bay, possibly heading north this morning around 11 am, from KOMO TV. We found the video on KOMO's website, as well as more video on KIRO TV's website, and sent the links to the Center for Whale Research. The orcas were confirmed by Dave Ellifrit to be the Transient orcas reported in Haro Strait over the past few days, and identified as T87, T88, T90 & T90B, plus the T30s.
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Susie and I were out with Tacoma Schoool District students today, and we did get to see and stay with the [orcas] for quite some time.
Chris, SEA (Service, Education, Adventure)
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There is a lone gray whale in front of my place (Witter Beach) at 8:45 a.m. this morning feeding and heading north towards Sandy Point and Langley.
Sharon Wandler, So. Langley, Whidbey Island

March 10, 2010

We left Transient orca T87 just off of Halibut Is., N. Haro St. at 4:45 heading toward Mandarte Is. going NW. I guess there were other Ts being heard on the hydrophones as we came in, but he was the only one that we were able to spot. We had found him a half an hour earlier just north of Kelp Reef.
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Westside Charters, San Juan Island
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Another loud call on Orca Sound hydrophone - 3:20 pm.
3:30 pm: We've still been hearing Transient calls off & on, on both Lime Kiln & OrcaSound hydrophones.
4:50 pm - still hearing loud Transient calls on OrcaSound hydrophone!
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island
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Transients are back: 1344.
4:15 pm: animals going North of Kelp Reef (Haro St.) at least one male no id at this time.
4:30 pm: T87 and a few friends nearing Halibut Island, Haro Strait.
Ron Bates, MMRG, Victoria, B.C.
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2:12 pm: the transients are back! (off W. San Juan Island - on OrcaSound hydrophones).
Annika Bowden
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2:09 pm: I'm now hearing the faint Transient calls at orcasound (NW San Juan Island).
Chrissy McClean, Pt. Townsend Marine Science Ctr.
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Listen in to intermittent clear (Transient orca) calls now (14:08) at Lime Kiln hydrophone.
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound, Seattle
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Not sure if this has been reported. but Im hearing I think some transients quite clearly on the Lime Kiln hydrophone at 1:50 pm. it was very faint for quite some time but now they're very audible.
Rose Hite
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11:12 am: just started hearing Transient calls, faint.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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The gray whale we observed swimming around in Budd Inlet on Monday is still here. Preliminary comparison to our catalog has not provided a match to a whale previously ID ed.
Lisa Schlender, Cascadia Research, Olympia, WA

March 9, 2010

Great, clear transient calls (8:31 pm) on OrcaSound hydrophone! There weren't any earlier auto-detections at Lime Kiln, thus far all LK detections have been fainter than at OS, and the prevalence of LK detections is increasing, so perhaps the source is southbound in Haro Strait? To me it sounds like the same calls nearly simultaneously on both streams, so maybe we have a single animal making nice loud calls?
Scott Veirs, Beam Reach/OrcaSound, Seattle
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Transient calls just started at Lime Kiln hydrophone, 8:06 pm.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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Did Ken tell you that he put me on to Transient orcas T087, 088, 90 and 90B in the morning south of Victoria? (yes - this report was also called in by Ken Balcomb, CWR)
Mark Malleson, Independent Tsearch & Prince of Whales, Victoria, B. C.
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On the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry on the way home today, we were happy to spot a few blows from a Gray whale just N. of the Everett Marina at 4:10 pm, heading north. Nice to be welcomed back by the local grays!
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett, Orca Network, Whidbey Island
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Connie Barrett of Camano Island called Orca Network to report a Gray whale traveling north in Saratoga Passage between Cama Beach State Park & Whidbey Island, closer to the Whidbey side at 3:55 pm.

March 8, 2010

After a couple more sighting reports this morning in Dana Passage (Puget Sound), Cascadia responded by land and found a single gray whale in Budd Inlet, milling around mid-channel. It appeared to be a little skinny, but was active. It surfaced several times, arching nice and high, allowing for ID photos. As of 1400, the whale was still there. We don t know who this is, although we do know that it's not any of the North Sound regulars. We ll be comparing it to the rest of our catalog over the next couple of days.
Lisa Schlender, Cascadia Research, Olympia, WA
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8-12 presumed T's which I spotted from the hilltop milling around what looked like a kill a mile or two south of Discovery Island, BC.
Mark Malleson, Independent Tsearch & Prince of Whales, Victoria, B. C.
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A report this afternoon from Cascadia Research of another gray whale in Budd Inlet. It's not one of the North Sound regulars, so we may be having more visitors again this year.
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1:30 pm: 2 gray whales feeding south east of Gedney (Hat) Island 40'-50'.
Mark Millard WDFW
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Two [gray] whales spotted in Dungeness Bay this morning, near Dungeness Spit, feeding back and forth in the shallows between 9 and 10 am.
Maribeth
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0930: one gray feeding for about 30 min up and down the beach (Bell's Beach, N. of langley, Whidbey Isl). Lost sight of him/her in the white caps and the 5 min snow squall!
Peggy, Whidbey Island

March 7, 2010

My daughter was visiting with us and recorded, with her I-Pod, a couple of videos of a Gray whale. She did take a still with her I-Pod (pectoral fin) -I have attached it. We live on high bluff just west of Sandy Point, about a mile east of Langley. Great fun watching these gentle creatures feed.
Noel Goforth, Langley
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We had a report of a gray whale sighting in the afternoon in Dana Passage (Puget Sound).
Lisa Schlender, Cascadia Research, Olympia, WA
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Our group of 4 kayakers saw one gray whale 1 mile due east of the south end of Camano Island at 11:30 AM to Noon. We saw the whale surface to breathe many times, probably 30 to 40, often about twice per minute but with several longer intervals without surfacing. Charted water depth at the site is slightly over 100 meters. We circled around the whale at a distance of about 200 meters, so we could not see any marks or what it did while submerged. The whale did not appear to be moving significantly during that time, so we thought it was just resting near the surface.
Mike Wagenbach, Research Technologist U. of Washington, Physiology and Biophysics Dept.
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Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research relayed a report he heard from Quintin Winks of Port Alberni, who reported a sighting of orcas off Barkley Sound by Peter Mieras of Rendevous Diving. Graeme Ellis of Canada's Dept. of Fisheries & Oceans identified them as G pod, Northern Resident Orcas. We received a few more details from Peter Mieras about this sighting: This sighting was a pod of 26+ Killer Whales of G pod, Northern Residents. Graeme Ellis ID'ed one as G39.
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Paula Rounds called Orca Network to report 2 Gray whales (Mom & calf?) off Polnell shores, Whidbey Island from 8:30 - 8:45 am - they are there for the 3rd day in a row.
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0715 - Bells Beach: 1 gray feeding, heading toward Langley.
Peggy, Whidbey Island

March 6, 2010

The photo is of the feeding pits on our beach (Mabana Beach, Camano Isl) at a 0.2 tide, after three days in a row of grays feeding (per the Wiedmans). Again, I missed the actual whales. Some of the feeding pits were so fresh that the water in them was still muddy, and the gulls were busy feeding on the left-overs.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island, WA
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I saw 2 Gray Whales this morning at 0700 swimming close to shore (within maybe 100' or so). Location: West side of Whidbey Island, several miles north of Oak Harbor, on the west side (and within 100') of Polnell Point.
Steve Rothboeck, Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island
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We had two Gray whales milling just off the point at Beverly Beach in the evening. They were not going anywhere fast and the sighting started just after sunset until dark. Mostly they did short shallow dives. Twice they dived deeper with the tail fluke clearly out of the water as they dived. There wasn't an obvious direction of movement and they were not feeding at the time. They stayed in an area I know to be between 90 and 120 ft deep. Both whales appeared to be adults, though one was slightly smaller than the other. Toward the end of the sighting they had moved about half a mile towards Baby Island / Millionaire's Cove.
Florian Graner, Freeland, Whidbey Island
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Maureen Horn called Orca Network to report 2 Gray whales off Beverly Beach, Holmes Harbor, Whidbey Isl. at 5 pm heading north toward Saratoga Passage.
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Someone called Orca Network to report a couple of Gray whales off Beverly Beach, Holmes Harbor, Whidbey Isl. at 1600 hours.
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Paula Rounds called to report 3 Gray whales close to shore in the bay/lagoon at Polnell Shores, N. Whidbey Island at 7:18 am.
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A second report of gray whales at Polnell Shores, N. Whidbey Isl. in the morning from Steve Roethbeck.

March 5, 2010

Orca Network received a call reporting a Gray whale off the Inn at Langley and the Dog House at 10:30 am.
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John Rogstad of the Wash. State Ferries called to relay a report from the Ferry Spokane on the Edmonds/Kingston run, of a Gray whale north-bound in the south-bound traffic lane at 10:19 am.
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David Day of Fox Spit, Whidbey Island, called to report 4 Gray whales NE of Camano Island State Park at 10:06 am.
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Myself and two others witnessed spouting off of Me Kwa Mooks Beach (Alki/Seattle) between 2 to 3PM this afternoon, with the direction heading south. We didn't see a dorsal fin and assumed it must be a gray whale.
Marc McClintock

March 4, 2010

6:10 PM: Spotted 1 gray whale surface off Redondo Beach Drive traveling south toward Dash Point/Tacoma. It spouted the second time it surfaced and we did not see it again.
Tina Gregory
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A gray feeding on our beach (Mabana, SW Camano Island). I found the numerous scooters interesting.
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My neighbors, the Wiedman's, forwarded me one more photo of the Gray whale feeding (Mabana Beach, Camano Isl.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island
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We got a report of a gray whale passing West Seattle at some point this afternoon.
West Seattle Blog
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John Rogstad of the Wash. State Ferries called to relay a report from the Ferry Walla Walla in Seattle, of a Gray whale off the ferry at Pier 52 in Elliott Bay heading toward the East Waterway at 10:07 am.
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Another report from Mary on North Bluff Road (just north of our house in Greenbank) of TWO gray whales in her back yard!

March 3, 2010

8:55 PM - I just heard gray whales blowing off East Point, at Whidbey Shores, Saratoga Passage in the dark, below my balcony and close to shore. It sounded like more than one and they were heading south.
Christi Shaffer, Whidbey Island

March 1, 2010

Christy Schaeffer called Orca Network at 7:28 pm reporting hearing a Gray whale blowing off Whidbey Shores/Fox Spit/East Pt. Saratoga Passage, heading south.
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Two grays feeding just off shore at Kayak Point, Port Susan, moving north. 9:15am.
Gary Lingenfelter
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Saw a gray whale at 8:30 this morning 200 yards off Mabana on the south end of Camano Island.
David Brown




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