October 2002 Whale Sightings
October 31, 2002
I was just barely getting my eyes peeled at around 7 this morning, watching the rising sun reflect off windows on Marrowstone Island, when I saw orcas! A small group was swimming south, close to shore, and were just south of Bush Point (west Whidbey Island). I counted only about 5 or 6 whales and saw no adult males. By the time I got them spotted in my telescope, they were passing out of sight. They were simply making their way south--no special effects.
Bush Point, Whidbey Island
I met up with a purse seine boat off Kingston this morning. As I arrived
about 10:20 a.m., the fishermen there told me that a large group of orcas had just passed by, heading south. I'm anxious for more reports from the Kitsap Peninsula. chris.
Lori Robinson of Seattle called in to say she'd watched the orcas as they headed north going past Edmonds. She thought it looked like some of J's and some of L's, possibly with the new little one! She said it looked like they were staying close to the east side as they neared Whidbey, so maybe they'll come up Saratoga Passage? It sounds like those on the Edmonds/Kingston ferry today got a good look at them, too!
Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research called and said a Seattle TV station had called him to report that they'd received calls of orcas heading north past Edmonds - so maybe we'll get to see them on the news tonight!
(approx. 3 PM)
Our office manager, Sue Johnson, reported seeing a pod of Orca's going north past the Edmonds ferry dock earlier today. She's not sure how many, but she thinks it might have been as many as 15 individuals, including one large male.
Environmental Education Coordinator
Edmonds Parks and Recreation
I was able to catch up with the orcas around 1p.m. today at the Edmonds fishing pier. There were roughly 25-30 whales about a mile and a half off shore, heading north. Apparently they had made it a bit farther south in the morning before they turned around and headed back north. Pretty sure I saw J1 and L57, and a very wee one who I'm convinced was L101 (that's my story and I'm sticking to it! ). The kids were playing together, there were a bunch of breaches just as the Edmonds/Kingston ferry came through with most of the passengers hanging off the back of the ferry watching. The killer whales grouped up past the ferry dock and continued heading north. The last I saw them, about 1:40p.m., they were travelling abreast heading toward the west side of Whidbey, up through Saratoga Passage.
-- Lori Robinson, Seattle
Hi ... Hey, as my ferry was approaching the Edmonds dock, the mate announced that there was a pod of orcas just off the dock! I've seen orcas many times, but never from the ferry. Not only that, but this pod (I think it was L-Pod) was incredibly active. They were breaching, spy-hopping, tail slapping, and even doing head stands! What a nice accent to a beautiful Autumn day.
Just got a call from my wife, from the ferry headed toward Clinton. They saw several whales headed north toward Saratoga Passage.
This was about 4:10 PM
MJ & MJ on North Bluff
It’s our first sighting!! How exciting, splendid and magnificent.
We watched approximately 15 orcas between 4:00 pm and 4:15pm heading north from our view ½ mile south of the Clinton ferry dock. It was obvious the passengers on the ferry saw them too.
Monica Uhl and Bob Thurmond
A number of whales were between Langley and Camano Head at 10:00 p.m. on Halloween. The whales seemed to be moving very slowly toward Hat Island and Everett.
October 26, 2002
...5 Transient Orcas traveling between Oak Bay and Trial Is., near Victoria. Right before we got there they had made a kill, (most likely a Harbor Seal) and were pretty excited. So were the birds going after the leftovers. They were jumping and vocalizing a good deal. I heard that they were headed west at Race Rocks by late in the afternoon.
We also saw lots of Dall's Porpoises, an Elephant Seal, a Minke, and a
ton of birds on our late afternoon trip.
Capt. Jim Maya
Maya's Whale Watch Charters, San Juan Island
October 25, 2002
Transient T61 (V1) was also reported at Race Rocks on the 25th.
October 23, 2002
No Orcas spotted, but we did see a large Minke in north Haro
St., not far from where the transient Orcas took a Minke a few days ago, along with many Dall's Porpoise that ran with us for a long time. There were scores of deer and sheep on the south side of Speiden Is. and lots of Steller Sea Lions showing up, especially near and on Whale Rock, Cattle Pass. Also a huge number of Loons have shown recently, mostly Pacific Loons, along with many wintering migratory water fowl.
Capt. Jim Maya
Maya's Whale Watch Charters
October 22, 2002
Hi Susan and Howie,
We just had an encounter with all of Lpod heading north past the house. We left them at Kellett Bluff still heading north. We saw all but about two L whales but the whales were spread out in mixed matriline groups so I'm not worried at all about the two whales we did not see. There was lots of foraging activity and all the sprouters (seems like lots!) had sex on their brain. The exciting news is that there is indeed a new L pod calf (L101!) and L67 seems to be the mother!! L67 and calf were in a active mixed group of mostly females. L54 and L100 were close by. L67 seemed very relaxed and approached the boat with calf in tow on several occasions. The new kid also has an open saddle on the left side! None of the other potential new mothers had anything little near them but there is still hope that we will get more new calves this winter. Hope all is well with you all.
Center for Whale Research, San Juan Island
4:30p.m. Cliffside, 12-15 heading east along Boundary Pass; at least four to five males in pod, no juveniles, probably transients, tight formation, agressive movements, close in to shore.
Saturna Sighting Network
October 19, 2002
We received a call from Tom McMillen of Salish Sea Charters, passing on a report from the Center for Whale Research (west side of San Juan Island). All of J and K pods passed by going north at 1:30 today. Dave Ellifrit said they were grouped up and in tight to the shore, so he got a good look at them and they were all accounted for.
J's and K's at Turn Pt. both ended up going into Swanson Ch. in the afternoon.
...around 3:00. J's went up Swanson Channel and K's headed up Boundary. Picked them up near Blunden and followed them to Java Rks at about 5:00.
Whale Spirit Adventures
5:30p.m. Cliffside, 30 plus heading east along Boundary Pass
Saturna Sighting Network
...J and K pods in Haro Strait about 1 pm north of the County Park. They traveled north past Battleship Island, turned around several times as if undecided which way to proceed. When we left them, one pod was heading up Swanson Channel and the other up Boundary Pass.
Jean Van Leuven
Western Prince, San Juan Island
October 18, 2002
10:45a.m. Eastpoint, 8-10 heading toward Tumbo Island and turning north. Whales were close in and traveling underwater.
Saturna Sighting Network
October 17, 2002
T20 ,T21. and what seems to be the T 46's off Trial Is. going N.E. at 1715
October 16, 2002
2-3 Minkes on Hein Bank at 1124 and the dead minke floating at the entrance to Ganges Harbor at 1000 hours.
October 15, 2002
"The big day" T 11's and T 12's killing a Minke in Ganges Harbor.
My first report was at 1127, the minke was on the beach. By 1345 the transients had pulled it back off the beach and the kill was at 1500.
(More on the minke kill by transient orcas at orcacam.com)
October 12, 2002
Over 200 Harbor porpoise just south of Beaumont Shoals marker at 0951. At 1119 Transients T14, T T20 and T21 going east slowly off Beechey Head ( West of Race Rocks).
T11,s and T12,s reported further West. at 1208 coming East.
October 11, 2002
Minke off Discovery Is. at 1439 and transients W. off race at 1640.
The False Killer Whale was a wonderful encounter, it stayed very close to the boat.
(wonder if it was the famous "Foster" or "Wilma" friendly solo pseudorca? - sb)
October 10, 2002
At 4:21 there were 3 to 4 orcas milling off Madrona Beach, Camano Island.
The Whale Museum
1507 Transients between Race Rocks and Sooke, bad surf, no real ID.
October 9, 2002
1024 Dall's and Hybrid off Lime kiln.
1 False Killer Whale off Lime Kiln, it would not leave the stern
wake for over 30 mins.
Transients off Sooke at 1200. Also another report of J's in Rosario St.
October 8, 2002
J's? at Alden bank going S. in the afternoon.
A Minke on Hein Bank at 1500.
Transients going E. towards Race Rocks, 1700.
October 6, 2002
whales at the South end of Rosario St.. at 1223.
October 5, 2002
whales reported off the Horseshoe Bay- Nanaimo ferry at 1030.
October 4, 2002
whales heading towards Comox, Northern St of Georgia at 1730.
October 3, 2002
1000 J's K's and L's again no L12's off False bay at 1400 off Kellet bluff and at 1515 they entered Swanson Ch.
October 2, 2002
1021 - 48 36 .955, 123 10 .160 J's K's and many L's no L12's.
Whatever the person saw they were not residents and I have no reports of this.
...they went N. and were back in the S. this morning and this afternoon they have gone N to Active Pass.
Definitely a cool day on the water. J's and L's heading North to Active Pass. Met them around Pender and watched them feed. It took awhile for them to decide to head up Swanson, but they finally did. Lot's of vocalizations, once the freighter traffic cleared.
Nice Dalls ride on the way home and plenty of animals on Spieden.
Whale Spirit Adventures
Susan, ...early afternoon. Sighted group of Orcas off North West tip of San Juan island heading North. Lots of whale watching boats around. The Orcas headed to turn point, and continued North lots of breaching, and tail lobbing.
October 1, 2002
Wanted to report sighting of a large orca pod or pods in Puget Sound west of Ebey's Landing, north of Coupeville about 6:30 pm. There were about 20-25 traveling together at a high speed from south to north. I imagine others saw them as well but thought you'd like to know!
Tom McMillen of Salish Sea Charters just called (12:30) to report LOTS of orcas traveling north between Pt. No Point and Possession Pt. (northern tip of the Kitsap Peninsula and the southern tip of Whidbey Island).
Please keep a look out for these whales, and let us know if any of you get photos with a zoom video or telephoto camera lens - ID's are important these days with offshores around the area!
The orcas are in an area where there are many opportunities to view them from shore - so get out your binocs and scopes and let us know what you see -
What a day! After Tom McMillen's call this morning, we headed out to look for the whales. Found them off Double Bluff in Useless Bay sometime before 1 pm. LOTS of whales, as Tom had reported. By then, he'd ID'd them as J's, K's, and part of L's (L2's, L9's & L12's not present). We watched from the Double Bluff Beach Access for awhile, then went to the north side of Double Bluff, where they rounded the corner real close to shore, in tight groups, and we watched in awe for over an hour until about 3 pm. We observed over 20 breaches, lots of lob-tailing, spy-hopping, active behavior.
Then we continued north to Bush Pt, where we watched them come by, close in again, hearing their blows and watching more breaching, active behavior. After watching for about 30 minutes from Bush Pt, we continued north to Lagoon Pt, to watch them come by again, until about 4:20. More active behavior, some coming in very close to shore.
They continued north, some going into Admiralty Inlet, some stretched out across the Strait. We went up to Ft. Casey and watched from there until nearly 6 pm. They were closer to the Whidbey side than we've ever seen them, and so many whales you couldn't count them all! We watched their blows in the sunset as they headed north toward San Juan Island, in a huge line that stretched half way across the strait.
Six hours of watching the whales today - I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present!! And we counted almost as many breaches as I am old......I won't say how many that is, except that it's well over 30!! We also observed some salmon breaching, and fisherpersons along the shore said the coho were running. We saw lots of harbor porpoise as well, including a breaching porpoise at Double Bluff!
They are jumping and swimming closely followed by one boat and they just picked up two more boats. At least one with a really tall fin. Must be the ones that the news said were south of here earlier in the day.
Thanks for the alert about whales.I did not find them at noon, but they showed up at Ledgewood Beach at 4:15. They were just cruising along until a small whalewatcher boat and 2 other small boats appeared. Then they put on a marvelous show--spy-hopping, slapping, lobbing and a couple of full breaches. It appeared they were showing off for the audience. One group of about a dozen, including a male, followed by 6 others I was a mile away, so cannot offer any I.D. However channel 5 had an item tonight about whales off Kingston, and had a good picture of one. These whales took about an hour to pass, and ended up at Ft Casey, very close to the ferry inlet.
Coupeville, Whidbey Island
Elsa Leavitt called in a report while the whales were at Bush Pt, she saw them cart-wheeling and very active!
Jim Koepke called in a report of the orcas headed north from Partridge Pt. at 6 pm.
Transients T10, T10B and T10C off Victoria going very slowly towards
Race Rocks They made many attacks and a few kills but it was mostly
a training day for T10C who at the age of 3 can use all the help it can.
J,s K,s and L's going N. in Puget Sound, still S. of Pt. Wilson at 1500.
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