March 2012 Whale Sightings

March 31, 2012

Awesome way to end the day. 5 miles from Oak Harbor at 6 pm found a gray northbound mid channel of Saratoga Passage.
Deception Pass Tours
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Two adult Gray Whales at 1:30 pm at Mabana Shores, Camano Island, feeding. One adult Gray Whale at 5:00 pm at Mabana Shores.
Jack Salvadalena
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3:00 - two gray whales south bound mid channel off of Fox Spit, Whidbey Island.
Deception Pass Tours
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Greys hanging out on the SE side of Hat Island right now 11:20am Saturday
Gary Peterson
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About 3 PM one of the Victoria Clippers was with a gray off Mabana Road.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island, WA
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There is one gray whale feeding between due south of us, just west of the Camano Head/Hat Island passage, about 200 yards off shore. We watched it feed in the same area for about five minutes, at 10:00 this morning, before it headed out of sight towards Everett. We've seen the whale here before this month, perhaps there is a new area of available food this year.
Peg Boley, South Camano

March 30, 2012

Orca - only seeing one, small one at 19:15 at Bush Point, Whidbey Island.
Marlene Naughton
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4:04 pm - 5 north bound Transients 1/2 mile off shore 1 mile south of Bush Point. Lots of gulls maybe they just made a fresh kill.
Deception Pass Tours
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11:43 am - Transient orcas, spotted by Mackay whale watching today at the Gilford island near Knight inlet, north of Johnstone Strait. Lots of vocalizations. Awesome encounter and report. Pretty sure its the T19s and T18.
Josh McInnes
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Heard one blow Friday night after dark...11 pm?
Margaret (Peggy) Sullivan
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11:20 am - a call came in that there were Hundreds of fast moving Pacific White Sided Dolphins between Black Point and Myrtle Rocks heading Northward towards Powell River. The ocean was a massive foaming boil from their fast maneuvers. They just seemed to disappear.
Bill Taylor
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3:45 pm - Three Orca two large dorsals and one small one were very slowly moving Northward right where the Dolphins (Powell River, above) had been. They were doing long dives and just taking their time.
Bill Taylor
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Just spotted (4:10 pm) about 8 orca of all sizes coming north up the middle of the Malaspina Strait past Myrtle Rocks. They were rolling and diving and tail slapping and one breach. Too far away for a photo unfortunately.
Holly Roy

March 29, 2012

The old salts who work at Lovric's boatyard in Anacortes said they spotted an Orca near their yard. That's unusual I think, or at least they think so.
John Shoosmith
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Just saw three Orcas right off Bush Point, Whidbey island, heading south at 9:05 A.M.
Marlene Naughton

March 28, 2012

Transients on Neah Bay hydrophones 9:58pm!
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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6 pm- [orcas] south of Lopez dock headed North...3-4 Call from my brother
Jim Maya
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We saw J pod heading west out the Juan de Fuca Strait. They were widely spread across the strait and moving quick with the ebb current.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales
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5 pm - Transient Orca in Port Hardy Bay (north of Johnstone Strait BC)! By Carrot Park. 2 adults & a new juvenile
Josh McInnes
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Left J-pod 9 nm SW of Sheringham Pt. Lighthouse, 15 miles west of Race Rocks at 1620 hrs. still Westbound :) This afternoon I got to see Granny (J2) and the J-16ss including the big guy "Mike" J26.... Very cool to see Granny still doing so well at 101 yrs. of age :-))
Jeff Lamarche
1120 to 1231 - Jeff Lamarche called with a sighting of J pod in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 4 miles east of Race Rocks, heading west to the open ocean, very spread out. He had J34, J27, the J11s, J17s, J22s, but there were others in the distance they were unable to identify.
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8:47 am - Cowichan Bay - J pod, 28 Orca whales sighted again this morning 35 minutes from our office!!
Ocean EcoVentures Whale Watching
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J Pod on OrcaSound hydrophones 6:55am, a lot of echolocation as well as loud calls! 7:17 can be heard over at Lime Kiln now as well. Echolocation very audible, much quieter waters
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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I woke up at 7:15 and saw at least two KWs southbound at Orcasound. Heard some S4 calls on Orcasound hydrophones and then switched to Lime Kiln where clicks and occasional calls have been heard over rising ship noise since ~7:20. Still hearing clicks.
Scott Veirs
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J Pod - 5:17 a.m. - faint J pod calls on the Orca Sound hydrophones. An hour later their calls were heard more clearly, still on Orca Sound hydrophones and soon began on Lime Kiln. I spotted one whale cartwheeling, south of Kelp Reef marker heading toward Discovery. Then at Lime Kiln I spotted 4 whales apx 1/2 mile from shore heading down island. I could then see another on the east side of Discovery Island heading out. The whales were spread all across Haro Strait heading down and west.
Jeanne Hyde
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12:11 AM - T calls on orcasound. Calls getting louder on orcasound.....
John Boyd

March 27, 2012

11:40 PM - Great calls now.
Scott Veirs
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Transient calls on Orca Sound hydrophones at 23:36. They lasted for a while, then quiet. Picked up again at about 00:07 but were more faint.
Jeanne Hyde
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Saw a Grey whale breach in Saratoga Passage at 2:45 ...what an awesome sight...about 200 feet off of Camano Island, directly out from the Camano Island Inn.
Carrie Gilman DiTullio
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Gray whale feeding off of NAS Whidbey Island around 3:15pm.
YG ES Janaan
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Someone just came to my desk to say he saw a gray whale just offshore on the Northwest side of the navy base, Oak Harbor, earlier this afternoon.
Vicki Sawyer
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This is my first sighting of the year from my office, about 3:15 PM. A bit later in the year than usual but definitely a single Grey whale feeding about 500 feet out, West of the Norwester building (Naval Air Station, Whidbey). He/She seems to be awfully close to a group of commercial crab pots! Hope they don't get tangled up. This is just down a couple hundred yards South of the airfield runway itself. Gray whale is generally moving North at this point
Charles Niedzialkowski

March 26, 2012

Transients at Lime Kiln 22:57. Occasional transient calls over last five minutes. Didn't hear on Orcasound previously. Also, the newly arrived Beam Reach students saw a Steller sea lion at Lime Kiln at 17:00 and I saw one at Orcasound at 1935. Both were heading south.
Scott Veirs
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I was out for a daysail in Commencement Bay, Tacoma when this pod of orcas came cruising in at 6:30. I was the only boat in the bay on a beautiful March day. This sighting made the day even more special. After a short while the group headed out of the bay going south. I have also posted more text along with the attached photos on our blog.
Michael R. Boyte
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Marie Waterman of WA State Ferries called Monday morning at 8:08 am to report a pod of 3+ orcas half way between Pt. Wells and Kingston, heading south into Puget Sound (likely the pod that was sighted in Commencement Bay later in the day, and most likely one of the Transient pods that had been off San Juan Island last weekend).

March 25, 2012

9:19 pm - J pod on OrcaSound now!
Gayle Swigart
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6:16 pm - J Pod on Orcasound! Heading north of Kelp Reef spread out all the way across Haro Strait....awesome vocals....
John Boyd
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Just chatted with Jeanne. J Pod, both As and Bs, with Granny, on the West Side right now about a mile off shore in the Kelp Reef-ish area. They came in late this afternoon, after our trip today. Some of my group got to see them from Lime Kiln after the trip with Jeannie Hyde, our naturalist. She took them to the light house to check out rumors, and after a while the reported "Transients" showed up. All of J Pod. I love those guys!
Capt. Jim Maya, Maya's Whale Watch
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At 3:30 p.m. I spotted Granny J-2 traveling north a half mile south of Lime Kiln Lighthouse. Behind her, spread out for a great distance was the rest of J pod. The whales I saw were: J-2, J-8, J-19, J-41, L-87, the J22s, the J34s, the J17s, members of the J11s, members of the J14s and members of the J16s - Mike J-26 being one of them. I last saw them north of Andrews Bay, more than a mile from shore, continuing north at 6:05 pm. Their calls could be heard on the Orca Sound hydrophones until after 7 pm. Pictures and more of the encounter posted on my blog: Whale of A Purpose.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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After a call this afternoon from Jeanne, I made it out to the westside to see J pod very spread out in singles and small groups about midstrait heading north up Haro Strait. The whales made it north of CWR around 1810 still mid strait.
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
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Jeff Lamarche called with a report at 4:08 pm - the 8 - 10 Transients they had been with were 4.7 miles SE of Seabird Rock/Discovery Island, heading SE toward Whidbey Island. At the same time, he had a call from Jeanne Hyde reporting J pod heading north up the west side of San Juan Island. She had ID'd J2, J8 & others off Lime Kiln Park.
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3:15 pm - Jeff Lamarche called with 6-10 transient orcas heading east about 3 miles south of Discovery Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
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Two different groups of Transient Orcas sighted this morning, in the Galiano and Moresby Island area!
Ocean Ecoventures Whale Watching - Cowichan Bay, BC
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Today at 2pm we picked up 4 killer whales including one male at 48/55 (Monterey Bay CA). They were heading steadily WNW at about 6 or 7 knots. We saw another group of 3 whales behind them about a half mile away moving in the same direction. We followed the first group for another 2 miles and then caught up with the group of three which consisted of just females/juveniles. We left around 3pm at 48/57. The two pods were closer together when we left but still separate and continued at the same clip heading WNW. There was a pod of 4 gray whales about a mile north of them. I couldn't match any of the shots with the photos I have, so it's a mystery pod as far as I'm concerned! Been a long time since we've seen some good killer whale action so we were pretty thrilled.
Kate Cummings, Blue Ocean Whale Watch
Three of Kate's whales are CA20, CA54, and CA177. Two other transients from Kate Cummings' "mystery pod" look like CA58 and N160.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger

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A photo & report of 2 Transients off Tofino - they say it is T11 & T11A - can anyone confirm these IDs?
Eugene Stewart, tour guide at Jamies whaling station
T011 & T011A.
Rod Palm

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We have a house on North Bluff Rd on the Greenbank beach side just in the elbow (2923 N Bluff). Around 9am we had two greys about 200yds off the beach headed west towards the beach. Then around 1pm we saw two greys on the other side of the harbor from our house cruising east towards baby beach. Very exciting especially this morning's show.
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I saw 3 gray whales. West side of Camano Island, near Mabana (I think Lat 48, Long -122), 5:40 pm, active & feeding, headed north. They stayed within sight until about 7:30pm. This was my first sighting this year. They were very close in, so exciting! We usually see whales in this area every year in the spring. Feeding pits visible when tide is out.
Debbie Eliasen
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Three grays mid channel Saratoga Passage one mile north of Langley now heading East to Camano Island.
Deception Pass Tours
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1:15 pm - Two greys heading out of Holmes Harbor right now. First we've seen this year. There's a tour boat out there too.
Lori Christian
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1:38 PM - Neighbors to our south in Beverly Beach reported gray whale(s) feeding in front of their houses, moving north, close to shore, shortly before noon. We went down to the beach and followed. Tom is quite sure there were two whales. We followed their rolls and blows north as we walked along the shore. We last saw them off of Saratoga beach, south of the community beach area south of Baby Island, apparently feeding, about 12:45. What a treat on this beautiful day.
Sally and Tom Cahill
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12:10pm - My husband and I observed what we think is a grey whale heading south from Libby Road Park/Partridge Point area (west side of Whidbey Island). L/L: 48.232434-122.765973. This solitary whale was first seen about 100 feet from our bluff when a huge spout was seen before it dove. It surfaced again close to the buoy just south of Partridge Point.
Sue Zaveruha
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One Grey whale sighted 100 yds off of Beverly Beach in Holmes Harbor at 11:40AM. It appeared to be feeding heading north around the north point of Beverly Beach. We have seen other grey whales feeding in this area during past years.
David R Demorest
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11:23 - We found Patch just south of Camano Head, and followed him southbound along the east side of Gedney Island. We saw two other grays blowing in the distance off the Everett waterfront as well.
Stephanie Raymond
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Today at 9:30, we spotted two gray whales heading south in Holmes Harbor, near the old mussel farm. They were on the west side, and were traveling pretty quickly down the shore toward Nichols Boat Yard. We left them at about 10:25. We believe it was Patch based on his Fluke and Dorsal ID.
Deception Pass Tours
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10:31 am - Honeymoon bay (Holmes Harbor, Whidbey Island), right now! Two gray whales. Frolicking in the harbor!
Stephanie Chacharon
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9:45 am - My friends Colleen and Mike Klamm were out flying today and spotted two gray whales in Holmes Harbor today at 9:45 AM. They were near the golf course and appear to be just resting facing the shore.
Veronica von Allwörden, Langley
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Quite certain it was a gray whale I just witnessed passing Eagle Cove (San Juan Island), slowly moving north, fairly close to shore. It surfaced 3 times between Granny's Cove and Eagle Point! Lovely exhales!
Lodie Laurieanne Gilbert Budwill
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On the 7:30 p.m. Coupeville-Port Townsend ferry spotted a minke whale just a bit northeast of Port Townsend, not far from shore.
Joe Dlugo

March 24, 2012

Jeff Lamarche, onboard the BC Whale Tour boat, called at 4:40 pm to report they were with the same group of Transients that was around yesterday - the four T2Cs (T2C, T2C1, T2C2 & T2C3), at Smallpox Bay, west San Juan Island, heading slowly south.
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John Boyd called at 2:10pm with the T2Cs near Battleship Rock (where Speiden Channell joins Haro Strait). The whales were generally milling with no direction of travel.
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While hiking Ebey's Landing on the west side of Whidbey Island, a single gray whale was following the shoreline north around 3 pm. Quite a few hikers were thrilled to see it. We noticed a couple of spy hops, but it mostly just seemed to be meandering north.
DeDe Campbell, Coupeville, WA
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Around 4:30 a grey whale was seen at the mouth of Holmes Harbor, out from Greenbank beach. I watched it for about 20 min before losing sight of it.
Fran Banasick
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We left Patch and another whale heading into Crescent Harbor (Oak Harbor) at 5:00 p.m. this evening.
Deception Pass Tours
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4-6pm - Two grays feeding in shallow water just north of Langley, easily visible from the Langley waterfront.
Rob Plaza, Camano Isl
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At 4PM saw spouts off Forbes Pt/Seaplane Base area outside Oak Harbor. In 100 to 130 feet of water, a single gray continually stayed in this same area. Surfacing to spout a few times, then would roll, show its fluke/dive and each time stay submerged for 5 to 8 minutes. Sure seemed obvious feeding on something, but what? Left gray at 5:30PM with sun shining above Olympics. As, I headed back to Mariner's Cove, looking back from [Polnell Point] could easily see the spouts shoot up into the air from a distance of a couple of miles away.
Robert Stonefelt
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1:40 pm - Patch is moving north 5 miles south of Oak Harbor 1 mile off shore and another about 2 more miles south of us and just heard of another gray just off Rosario beach at Deception Pass.
Deception Pass Tours
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12:50 - Watching # 21 & 22 on eastside of Camano near Hat, 12:10 - Little Patch looking back toward Mukilteo.
David Bieniek
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12:00 noon - There's a gray whale heading north up Saratoga Passage, across from Race Lagoon, closer to Camano side. The Victoria Clipper was with it.
Jill Hein
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11:39 - Gray whale in the middle of saratoga passage right now! Middle of the island straight out from Camano Island Inn, slowly heading north....Victoria Clipper is stopped watching.
Carrie Gilman DiTullio
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1:34 - Watching #53 Little Patch between Hat Island and Everett.
David Bieniek
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At 8:45 we spotted a gray whale feeding at Snakelum Pt. in Coupville.
Deception Pass Tours
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Ranger Hawkins at the Pt. Reyes CA Lighthouse called Orca Network to report that at about 3 pm, 8-9 orcas apparently killed a gray whale calf within 10-15 feet of the rocks below the lighthouse, while about 35 people looked on. The episode that was witnessed lasted only about 3 minutes, after which the mother of the calf continued northward. Unfortunately no photos are available to identify the orcas or the gray whale involved.
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Call from Garry Henkel of 7 to 10 Orca by Campbell River. There were 2 big males. He had heard they were Northbound by Cape Mudge around 10am and at 12:40 pm they were around the Browns Bay area looking like they were chasing seals. His call came in as he was watching the Orca breaching and spy hopping as we spoke between 6:50 and 7 pm. They did not have a direction in mind, but seemed to be milling about.
Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys
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There were 4 or 5 orcas in front of Campbell River between 5 and 6 pm, quite playful and slowly heading south. They seemed to be deliberately staying close to a couple of pleasure boats that were drifting near them.
Elaine Julian

March 23, 2012

Around 1:40 pm today, 5 orcas swam westward through Active Pass. They did some rapid porpoising as the ferry went by them. Transients?
Karoline Cullen, Galiano Island, BC
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We have water frontage in Saltair, BC (about 20 miles south of Nanaimo). Our location is approximately 123-46-12 lat by 48-57-48 Long. My husband spotted unusual activity outside. Around 5 PM, our son yelled "Orcas!" A pod of about 7 members were about 100 feet off our beach in we figure about 20 feet of water. We assume that there were three adults to young whales (one to be the male, much larger than the others). They occasionally slapped the water with their flukes. They moved southward towards Chemainus.
Lynn Stannard
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Below is from the Center for Whale Research automated report:
Orca. Latitude: 48.5951. Longitude: -123.07852 (NE of San Juan Island), 14:59 PDT
Orca. Latitude: 48.57907, Longitude: -123.03848 (NE of San Juan Island) 14:00 PDT
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Finally some great weather for us :) Talk about great visuals of T2C, T2C1, T2C2 and T2C3. The orcas captured an auklet and were playing with it..... And then - all of a sudden a bald eagle came and snatched the auklet away from the orcas !!!!!!! Totally amazing.... Jim got it on video... He already sent me a copy !!!! Amazing [:)] I was the last boat on scene..... 1620 hrs. Left them 1 nm NE of Green Point Spieden Island. Headed North at 3.5 kts. I was aboard "Luna" BC Whale Tours Boat !!!!! T2C1 is the male sprouter and the baby in the picture (below) is T2C3.
Jeff Lamarche
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12:03 pm - [Orcas] 1.5 Miles NW of Friday Harbor...Got a call from a friend, then went to the bluff next to the Bluff and Vinny's, and there they were, crossing the face of the Harbor, going NW.
Capt. Jim Maya
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7:20 pm - Grey whale heading North up Saratoga Passage. Near Onamac on Camano Island, Washington. I got it on video and pics. I'll post some later.
Justin Donnelson
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We spotted one gray whale looked like 56 at mission beach feeding moving north at 10 am.
Deception Pass Tours
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Saw 2 grays going south at Bell's Beach. They were very busy feeding.
Jackie Johnson

March 22, 2012

09:13 AM - (KW) looked like 2 transients headed in direction of the (Nanaimo) biological station spotted from the ferry, headed SW.
08:45 AM - (KW) headed toward Departure Bay (Nanaimo), along the Stephenson Point shore.
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March 21, 2012

Ken Balcomb called in two indirect reports. At 6:20 pm today David Howitt called from the dock at Friday Harbor Labs to say he was watching orca fins, probably transients, across San Juan Channel near Shaw Island. The other report was from earlier today when Farnum Alston was whale-watching in Monterey CA and along with several humpbacks and four orcas.
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Believe a gray is having dinner in Rolling bay area off Bainbridge island. First sighted about 5:45pm Tuesday evening. It is fairly close to the shoreline of Bainbridge Island and slowly heading south and now north. It is still in the N. end of Rolling bay.
Mary Levin
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A friend just informed me that Greys were spotted off the Port Susan side of Camano Island yesterday & today. 48.10194,-122.398733.
Gary Peterson
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Saw two grays (I believe!) this afternoon about 3:15 feeding for about a half hour in the middle of the Saratoga Passage off of Bells Beach. Whales were heading south.
Charlene Cohen
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Yesterday evening from 6:15 till ~7:25, 4 or 5 Gray Whales feeding, ~ 75 feet off the beach, NW edge of downtown Langley. I quietly watched from our bulkhead then heard the most amazing thing: one long tone of a whale song. Magnificent. Also, sighted 3 or 4 Dall's Porpoises playing 200 yards off the beach at the NW edge of Langley, Saratoga Passage.
Susan Cyr
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Saw 3 grays at Bells Beach going south. They were very busy feeding.
Jackie Johnson

March 20, 2012

March 19, 2012

About 4 pm today those of us on the the BC ferry 'spirit of Vancouver island' were thrilled to briefly see about a half dozen orcas in the channel between Galiano and Mayne islands.
David Freed
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Orca Sound hydrophones at approximately 10:15a.m. a few faint transient calls; again at about 10:30 still faint but a longer duration of intermittent calls for several minutes; and then at about 11:30a.m. there was a burst of calls/sounds lasting about 27 seconds. See my blog Whale of A Purpose to hear the 27 second clip of those interesting calls/sounds that occurred. Rough seas made it difficult to locate the animals from shore, though some people were looking.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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Transient calls on OrcaSound hydrophone 10:13AM.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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I spotted a gray whale from Camano island looking NW towards Oak Harbor swimming and feeding in Crescent Harbor at 7 Pm tonight. Saw 8 blows and then I lost him behind a small island.
Chase Dekker
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8:10 am - Sighted what appeared to be at least two grey whales off Bells Beach, mid channel...heading South towards Langley.
Kathy

March 18, 2012

About 11:00 a.m. we spotted 2 grays about 1/2 mile SE of Camano Head.
Ed Young, Whidbey Island Kayaking Company
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On Sunday spotted two grays traveling north past Kayak Point, heading for the north end of Port Susan. One of them was Patch.
Gary Lingenfelter
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5:00 PM just outside of Baynes Channel, BC. The male is T87.
Jim Maya
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3 pm - Yup! There they are [transients]!! Still west bound at Eagle Cove!
Erin Corra
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1:30pm - Pod of about 9 traveling east to west
Sally Reeve, Flint Beach, Lopez Island
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9:57 am - An update from the captain of the Sealth ferry: now there are at least 15 orcas NE of Frost Island, near the north end of Lopez Island, heading SE. It's amazing how they can locate each other, considering they go completely silent, not even echolocating, when they are hunting seals or sea lions.
WA State Ferries called Orca Network with a report of 8 orcas off Humphrey Head, at the north end of Lopez Island, heading east at 9:40 am, and we have an indirect report of others this morning in Maple Bay, north of Cowichan, BC.
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I just talked to my 12:00 passengers, who are on the ferry coming to Friday Harbor. They saw whales between Shaw and Lopez Islands, headed NE at around 9:30 this morning.
Capt. Jim Maya
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2:35 a.m. - very faint transient calls on the Orca Sound hydrophones, lasting less than 4 minutes.
Jeanne Hyde
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6 pm - A pair of gray whales moving North mid Saratoga Passage toward Harrington Lagoon (south of Coupeville).
Will Murphy
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Deception pass tours spotted a gray whale at Pt Lowell on camano Is at 4:30 pm north bound about a quarter mile offshore.
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Victoria Clipper III found two grays just north of Sandy Point about 10:30 this morning. They turned toward Camano Head and we left them northbound. Looks like one of them was #22.
Stephanie Raymond
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We had 1 gray feeding from 3:30-4:15 PM in Elger Bay (SW Camano Island). It left headed SW.
Roger Clark
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The neighbors just (1:30 PM) came to let me know a gray whale was feeding in shallow water right at Mabana Road (SW Camano Island). Went out on the bluff to watch, and saw mainly Scoter feeding on the remains. The whale was so shallow he really didn't need to blow. One whale watch boat keeping a respectful distance with their motor off.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island, WA
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About 9:30 AM there was a single Gray feeding deep off the drop-off in front of our house south of Mabana (SW Camano Island). He moved out even further across (Saratoga Passage) toward Langley and I lost sight.
Barbara Brock
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Transient Orca - Killer Whales - Had a report from a friend that the saw 2 Orcas ( one large fin and one small fin) northbound past Cape Mudge (Quadra Island, north Georgia Strait) at 3 pm. Makes sense they were northbound because current was ebbing then. They did say the large fin had a distinctive bend in its dorsal. Sounds like they had a large number around Telegraph area yesterday n this morning as well.
Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys

March 17, 2012

We saw the T124s on Saturday also, but with a different male.
Jim Maya
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In Boundary Pass the whales I saw were T12A, the T124As and the T109As. The T109As I had seen on Sept. 2, 2011 off the Victoria waterfront and at that time there were 3 members of that group. Today, March 17th, there was an additional young whale, a baby, still with yellowish tinge, just not a brand new baby. I think that T109A had her third offspring, sometime after 9/2/11. Both of these encounters were while on Maya's Westside Charters.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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As we were scanning Boundary Pass, we got a call that a group of Transients were just below Pender Island, so off we went. Soon we could see a group of what appeared to be 8-9 Transient Orcas! They must have just made a kill as there were lots of seagulls around, and the whales were milling about and playing a bit. So we dropped the hydrophone just on the off-chance they might vocalize a bit. And the vocals were stunning. So many whistles and clicks, almost Resident-orca-ish! Lots of surface percussive behavior. Then the lone big male (that was later ID'd by Dave Ellifritt from the Center as T12A) had a huge breach! His huge pectoral fins and wavy dorsal fins were very reminiscent of a certain J Pod whale. We continued to watch these very active whales continue east towards Monarch Head and wondered who they were. Turns out they were the T109As and the T124As. After rounding Monarch Head, they proceeded into the bay behind it (which I've rarely seen whales do). Soon they were passing by us and heading East, so we continued back towards the islands. Lots of harbor seals enjoying the full-on sunshine, as well as about 7 Stellar Sea Lions on Greenpoint.
John Boyd, SSAMN Marine Naturalist, Western Prince
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CWR - 14:05 - 16:37, from south to north of East Point, Saturna Island. I left the T109As, T124As, and T12A in Tumbo Channel at 1635 today. The whales were milling but seemed to be heading back west when I left them.
Dave Ellifrit
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There was a whale tour boat watching by the gray whale so it didn't stay long but once the boat left it passed the opening of the bay going north and stayed across the opening looking north within our sight at Fox Spit for about 20 minutes. A sea lion headed south right by the spit passed by us as well! It was our first time seeing a gray whale and was amazing!
Sara Young
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Gray whale North of Hat Island around 12:30 today.
Dave Davenport
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1 gray whale 6pm at fox spit! Saw it breach and spray water. Headed north
Sara Home
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4:50pm - Ed and I are in Langley and have been watching a gray whale blow, moving up island. First spotted around what I think is Bell's Beach area, past Fox Spit? Road, now nearing what I think is towards Baby Island. Sorry going off maps and such..it's heading your way.
3:13pm - Now the south side of the island, moving east. Seen a couple of blows.
3:00pm - On the Mukilteo/Clinton run, just spotted a big whale fluke just off the west side of Hat/Gedney Island. The Clipper is there with it, was a good clue.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
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noon - Gray Whale alert just north of Langley in Saratoga Passage! Our first sighting of the year and always so exiting!! He's in the middle of Saratoga passage headed towards Everett.
Teri Ferren

March 16, 2012

1:24 a.m. - transient calls heard on the Orca Sound hydrophones, fading off after an hour. At 3:11 a.m. transient calls again on the Orca Sound hydrophones until about 4:20 a.m. when ship noise masked their calls. Then no more calls heard until about 5 a.m. when transient calls were again heard on the OS Hydrophones and also on the LK hydrophones until almost 5:45 a.m. and then no more calls on either hydrophone location after that.
Jeanne Hyde, San Juan Island
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I spotted 4 orcas traveling North up the Johnstone Strait at about 12:15pm, viewed from my apartment in Campbell River, BC, which is located directly across from the Cape Mudge Lighthouse on Quadra Island. I followed them in my car, stopping to take photos along the way, the last I saw them, was at Brown's Bay, at 2:45pm, still heading North. I've attached some photo's for ID'ing purposes. I know that there's an adult male, and I'm guessing an adult female with 2 calves?
Tara Bladon, Campbell River, BC
Dave Ellifrit: The bull is T11A and T11 is in there too.
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About 5 PM. Just came in from watching at least one Gray feeding deep off the drop off in front of our house. Wind and whitecaps make for difficult whale watching! I think moving slowly north and west toward Mabana Rd.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island, WA
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I thought I heard a blow from our deck, just north of Greenbank on Saratoga Passage around dusk tonight, possibly the same whale.
Susan Berta
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Vickie Saywer relayed a report from someone on Whidbey Naval Air Station (north of Oak Harbor) of two probable gray whales near the beach at the north end of the base in the afternoon.
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Sue Miller called to report seeing six Dall's porpoises at Point Robinson, Vashon Island Friday about noon.

March 15, 2012

6:15 pm - I just got a glimpse of either a gray or minke in front of my house on the north side of Commencement Bay (Browns Point) about 400-500 yards from shore about 45 minutes ago. Since it did not resurface, or at least I could not see it resurface, I would think a minke. It did have a somewhat slim and long body.
Hélène La Porte, Tacoma

March 14, 2012

Two grays have been feeding just off shore along the north edge of Tulalip Shores. We first heard them blowing about 10:00 this morning, and they are still feeding now, at noon. They have been feeding in close proximity to two amazed and delighted construction workers!
Jim and Vicki Mattson, Tulalip Shores

March 13, 2012

3:35 pm - Today as we walked along the beach below Camano Head, a single grey whale slowly worked its way from the west towards the waters between Hat Island and Camano Head. Didn't seem to be in much of a hurry, came up for air w/o going much distance. It was about 100 yards from shore.
Peg Boley

March 12, 2012

The Aloha spotted 5 transient orcas near Anacapa Island today at about 12:50pm. Island Packer's vessel Island Adventurer got them shortly after 2pm, about 3 miles off of the west end of Anacapa Island (between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles CA, about 15 miles offshore). These whales included the male CA217 ("Chopfin"), who has a very damaged dorsal fin (entanglement injury, then propeller wound). This matriline is the CA216s - the same matriline that Ken Balcomb, Mark Malleson and others saw on the ACS Conference Whalewatch trip on November 12 2010 off of Monterey, CA. The orcas were feeding on some unidentified prey. Luke says that they were very playful: "lots of tail slapping, and one was doing head stands every couple of minutes!"
Alisa Schulman-Janiger

March 11, 2012

6 killer whales observed at 0900 hrs off westend of Gabriola Island, BC in Northumberland Channel, headed south towards Dodd Narrows, uncertain if Transient or Resident, looked like 2 male 3 female and 1 juvenile, observed from BC Ferry Bowen Queen enroute to Nanaimo Harbour.
Don Wardill
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We found a Gray today at Mabana about 3 miles north of Camano Head. Many Harbor Porpoises in Saratoga Passage near Baby Island.
Deception Pass Tours
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Gray whale (1) moving north spotted off of Joseph Whidbey state park (NW side of Whidbey Island) at 8am.
Bob Stockdale
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10:20 am - one large male Orca surfacing for three more big breaths before the Texada ferry rounded the light off Blubber Bay.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
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We were at Neck Point Park in Nanaimo, at around 11 am, at a spot facing North looking up the Strait and saw 5 Orcas about 100 yards off shore. One had a very large dorsal fin and there appeared to be a baby with them. This sighting was just before the Herring spawn reached here from the north. We were very excited to see this pod.
Sonja Billard

March 10, 2012

11:30 - Ken Balcomb and Dave Ellifrit saw J22, 28, 31, 32, 34, 35, 38, 46 and 47 around Hein Bank, and Jim Maya and Jeff LaMarsh saw in addition J27.
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Jeff Lamarche of Eagle Wing Tours found at least part of J pod, including J27 after searching for several hours, off Port Angeles, headed west, very spread out. The Center for Whale Research was with them until 11:30 at Hein Bank.
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1:15 pm - J pod...We saw 27 and 17 and some others. Couldn't find J26.
James Mead Maya
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Gayle Swigart Just heard one J call at 12:44.
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9 am - Calls still going on the Lime kiln Hydrophone!
Melisa Pinnow
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8:51 am - Whales [orcas] southbound past Lime Kiln.
(text from John Boyd)
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8:45 - Still hearing lots of echolocation, a few grunts, and some whistles on Lime Kiln, and a few squeaks and one call. 8:15 a.m. :)
Gayle Swigart
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A group of 7 kayakers from the Hole In The Wall Kayaking Club spotted a Humpback Whale between Sares Head and Northwest Island, just North of Bowman Bay on Fidalgo Island (just northwest of Deception Pass Bridge). At about 2:30 PM. We could see its blows in the distance as we traveled south from Williamson Rocks. It appeared multiple times surfacing in between deep dives after showing it's tail. It was a perfect way to finish a day's paddle.
Marianne M Banks
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I was kayaking w/a group on Sat. 3/10 & we saw 1 lone humpback whale just north of Bowman Bay, near Deception Pass. It was about 3 PM. It seemed to be hanging in that area, but it dove & we lost track of it.=
Becky Hardey
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I caught one quick glimpse of a very short hook shaped fin very close to shore at 1:30 today at Lagoon Point. I believe it was a Minke Whale?
Paul Kukuk
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From Al Luneman at 9:48 am, from Ebey's bluff, Coupeville, Whidbey Island: Just sighted something? ~ 1 mile out seeming to move slowly south (in Admiralty Inlet). It would only come up every few minutes and seemed to have a small dorsal (larger than a minke, but smaller by far than an orca). And not a flipper of a sea lion. No spout visible and just came up briefly each time and before i could get binocs on it for better look. A single large porpoise...? other...? any thoughts

March 9, 2012

David Miles called to say that at about 4 pm today he had seen an orca near the Beachcomber Motel in Ft. Bragg CA, about 100 yards from the shoreline. He thought it was a male.
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John Calombokidis of Cascadia Research called at 4:45 today with a report of two gray whales in Port Susan, near Tulalip, feeding and slowly moving north into Port Susan. So far he had not heard any sonars, as we heard on Wednesday from about 2:15 until we left the area after 5 pm.
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It's now 10:30 am, and the Gray is still feeding off Mabana, but now in deeper water.
Barbara Brock, Camano Island, WA
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I saw a lone gray whale off of Bells Beach - Whidbey Island - heading toward Coupeville at 3:00 pm today.
Diane
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Time: 1015
Location: 36.48.5N and 121.48.0W (1/2 NW of Moss Landing, CA)
Last seen heading West, looking for prey. Going west and then back toward shore. Observed consuming a cormorant in one bite.
This is CA171B. This is the fist time that I've heard of him eating a cormorant!! He generally prefers sea lions!
Alisa Schulman-Janiger

March 8, 2012

One gray feeding about 200 yards off shore in front of Tulalip Shores, at 3:00, ever so slowly making her way north along the shore, towards Spee-be-dah.
Jim and Vicki Mattson

March 7, 2012

Carolyn Mercer reports a gray whale was under the bluff about 10 pm, near their house on North Bluff Road, down the road from us in Greenbank.
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Dick Snowberger, Sandra Pollard and I were about a mile southeast of Camano Head in flat calm water, about 8-10 miles from Naval Station Everett, at N48 03.127 W122 20.779 in their boat to record sonars and document gray whales. At 1430 we heard the first pings and began recording on video tape. At first they were at low volume, but they ramped up within a few minutes to very loud. At 1440 we saw a gray whale moving southeast about a mile north of us. We watched as the whale approached the Tulalip shoreline and continued south. At 1525 we moved about a mile east, toward the whale. At 1540 the whale began moving north at a rapid pace. At 1607 we were at N48 04.260 W122 18.895, less than a half mile from shore. There may have been two gray whales within a mile of us at that point.
The sonars were repeated about every 13 seconds, with two bursts of pings for about 6-8 seconds, then about 4-5 seconds of silence before the next pings. With the hydrophone amplifier turned to the lowest possible volume the pings were extremely loud. I shot video, mainly for the sound but with a few glimpses of whales, and Sandra and Dick were shooting ID shots.
Howard Garrett
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Just watching two, possibly three greys approximately 1/2 mile offshore, headed slowly toward Tulare. They are diving deeply, staying down over 10 minutes and then coming up for about 3-4 blows, then dive down again for 10 minutes. First spotted them in front of Tulalip Shores around 10:00 am. Can still see the blows out our window.
Jim and Vicki Mattson,Tulalip Shores
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We had dorsal fins intermittently poking out of our water for 30 mins from 6:15pm. Fins were all dark, taller than wide, curved, with concave trailing edge. Location was middle of Totten Inlet off of entrance to Little Skookum Inlet. 2-4 animals.
Anders Price
These may have been the two Risso's dolphins that have been in south Puget Sound since at least December 30, 2011. See Cascadia Research Collective for more on these Risso's dolphins.

March 6, 2012

2 + Orca were tight to shore close to Earl's Cove heading towards Egmont, Sechelt Inlet (between Vancouver and Powell River). They were spotted from the ferry.
Parsla Robertson
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4:30 - Just spotted a single gray spouting twice. Heading north. Center channel between Mukilteo and Whidbey!! Got him on my scope!!
Dave Davenport
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J pod near Porlier Pass, Trincomali Channel (25-30 miles southeast of Nanaimo) 1400 hrs.
Ron Bates
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I found J Pod after a lot of searching at the mouth of Porlier Pass in rough seas. They were entering Georgia Strait and I left them pointed for Bowen Island.
Ocean EcoVentures Whale Watching - Cowichan Bay, BC:
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Transient killer whales T020 and T021 along with the T086A's and the T137's were off of Victoria. We left them south of Oak Bay headed for Discovery Island at 1520hrs.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales
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4:45 pm - 5-6 transient killer whales hanging out about 2 miles south of Victorian waterfront.
BC Whale Tours
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Off Clover Point (Victoria) at 2:18 pm saw a pod of what I assume were transients traveling about 3 miles to the east off Clover Point. There was a group of 5 harbour seals taking shelter along the rocks keeping a wide eye.
Maria Chantelle Tucker

March 5, 2012

Just wanted to let you know that late this afternoon, there were 4 Orca in the Port Angeles Harbor. They were out in the middle and it was so rough out, that a picture opportunity was not to be had. There was an adult male and 2 female and a baby/juvinile. I was so excited to see them even though it was short lived and not the best viewing.. :)
Sandy Watne

March 4, 2012

John Calambokidis and some Evergreen students (including Shelby Proie, who posted yesterday they saw Patch!) reports that they saw three of our Saratoga/N. Puget Sound Gray whales on Sunday's whale watch. "We saw three whales: 49, 53, and 56 and they were off Hat Island and off Camano Head"
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1:30 pm - Patch 49!
12:20 pm - S side of gedney island. #53 little patch. "Gray whales at the Port of Everett" about 11 am.
Shelby Proie
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11 pm (3/3)- 1 am (3/4)- reports are that Jeanne Hyde heard orcas on San Juan Island hydrophones.
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Santa Barbara CA - ORCA ALERT! The Condor Express had at least NINE orcas on this morning's trip, including at least one male and some juveniles!!
Alisa Schulman-Janiger
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08:01 PM PST - Large number of Orca are passing through on the inside waters (near Powell River, BC) again, but no word on the Pacific White Sided Dolphins. Sightings reports are few, but at least there are sightings.
Susan MacKay, Whales and Dolphins BC
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20+ Transient Orca, possibly the same ones from yesterday's report by Seymour Narrows, were at the top of Johnstone Strait this morning. If they are the same ones, they must have turned and were headed Southward past Orca Lab in Blackney Pass around 7am.
Reported by Marie on Orca Live

March 3, 2012

Just got a report from my friend Josh Duncan on the Western King (commercial fishing vessel) that he saw 13 Orca heading just north of Seymour Narrows (Campbell River area) in a northerly direction. He said there were 3 large fins in the pod. I asked if he took photos and if he noticed any notches in the dorsals but no reply yet. 130 pm (He didn't take any photos, and didn't notice any notches. No additional information to this posting time. Susan)
Garry Henkel, Aboriginal Journeys Wildlife and Adventure Tours
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Approximately 4:15 pm, one or possibly two Gray whales seen traveling south through westside of Saratoga Passage about 2 miles south of Harrington Lagoon.
Stephanie Wiegand

March 2, 2012

2:45 - We're near Langley in the boat and have been watching a lone gray whale feeding offshore.
Deception Pass Tours

March 1, 2012




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