October 2004 Whale Sightings

October 30, 2004

...we got a call saying Residents were coming down from the North heading towards Lime Kiln. All 3 pods were out and about--spread out over quite the distance. They were actively feeding and breaching and popping out of the waves! One whale even "surfed" underwater as a wave carried him along.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist At Large
*
Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research reported L pod heading south in Haro Strait at about 2 pm this afternoon. They saw L104, but due to the windy weather & waves, weren't able to ID who all was there.

October 23, 2004

Still no word on Orcas. 3 humpbacks off Victoria this afternoon.
Ron Bates
MMRG, Victoria
*
We were fortunate to locate 1 minke whale in Boundary Pass, just north of Turn Point, and to witness it breach 4 times in succession, about 100 metres from our boat!!
Joan Lopez
Naturalist, Vancouver Whale Watch

October 20, 2004

We had a great encounter with the newest babies in L Pod today near Port Angeles. They were both together with there moms and L72, L43s daughter was nearby. We left them near Ediz Hook about 3:00 going west. I got some photos and put them on my site this evening. The Center for Whale Research had two boats on scene and got some great photos and documentation. There were also about four humpbacks near Victoria.
Tom McMillen
Salish Sea Charters, San Juan Island
*
J's K's and L's going west off Victoria this afternoon, south of Race Rocks. At least 3 if not 4 humpbacks off Victoria this afternoon.
Ron Bates, MMRG
Victoria, BC
*
Tom McMillan called at 2:30 this afternoon just off Ediz Hook, near Port Angeles, with all the SRC (Southern Resident Community) orcas, except possibly the L12's, headed west, out the Strait of Juan de Fuca. He said both new calves were present and accounted for. Dave and Adam of the Center for Whale Research were also there, busy documenting. Any sightings from along the coast, whether north or south, are now eagerly awaited.
Howie

October 19, 2004

Just saw on King 5 news at noon around 12:45pm that L-pod is off Possession Point! They showed some great "live" aerial shots of them frolicking in the water. That means though that they are not too far from the oil spill though. argh.
Sonja Smythe
Marysville
*
1:24 PM - Right now the whales are off Whidbey Island, but I don't have a direction of travel (the newscopter didn't indicate) Great news for L-Pod!
JB

October 18, 2004

All three pods, except maybe the L12's, came south past Lime Kiln and down the middle of Haro around 2:30 p.m. I believe I saw the new calves as they passed Hannah Heights. The whales then foraged for several hours off Pile Point. I lost sight of them heading for Hein Bank at around 5:30 p.m. Lots of breaching and cartwheeling as they headed for Hein.
Sharon Grace
San Juan Island
*
L's at San Juan and a lone humpback playing with kelp. Below is some images of one of the babies (i think L27's). ps the humpback was off of victoria.
Chantelle

October 17, 2004

Dave and Marine responded to a report of five whales heading North in Swanson Channel and they found JKL pods (minus L12s) going through Active Pass. L43s calf (L104) was still with mum, and L27 had a new calf which we call L105. We hope it makes it!
Ken Balcomb
*
A report this am at 1010 of "Orca" in Swanson Ch. going NW. 5+ animals seen. They seemed to be residents as they seemed to be fishing rather than hunting. 4 Humpback off Victoria this am, I found 3 this afternoon. About 200 Stellers on Race and 125 California's, no el seals.
Ron
MMRG

October 16, 2004

We headed out to Constance Bank off of Victoria to observe Humpback whales on Saturday. We observed two whales that appeared to be 35+ feet in length. Some of our guests were fairly certain there were at least two other animals but I cannot confirm this.
Victoria Kirkland
Marine Naturalist
Island Adventures, Anacortes, WA

October 12, 2004

Still no residents, Humpbacks off Victoria.(2) Transient T14 off Victoria, the gray in Freshwater Bay. A minke in south Haro St.
Ron
MMRG

October 11, 2004

No Orcas today in our area - not a resident or transient could be found. We did locate a minke whale near Forest Island at about 1230 pm.
Joan Lopez
Naturalist, VAncouver Whale Watch
*
I have been watching two humpbacks off of Victoria's waterfront (off of beacon hill park). Tails, backs, and today multiple breaches and tail slapping (when a float plane took off near by). Been watching them for 4-5 hours each day. Staying in same location - back and forth from race rocks to the buoy out a few miles from BH park.
Chantelle

October 10, 2004

There are two humpbacks, i believe a mother and almost grown calf near Victoria. On Sunday they were sleeping most of the time we were there but look what happened when they woke up. (photo showed both humpbacks in full flight)
Tom McMillan
*
The 2 Humpbacks were off Victoria all day. A gray in Freshwater Bay just east of Crescent Bay this pm. A report of T14 going west from Otter Pt. west of Sooke in the morning.
Ron
MMRG

October 9, 2004

T10's and 2 other T's going West from Sooke this am. The Gray in Crescent Bay. 2 Humpbacks off Victoria this afternoon. The residents have "vanished" for now.
Ron Bates, MMRG
Victoria BC

October 8, 2004

At around 10:30 a.m., I saw an amazing sight approaching Hannah Heights. All three pods in a resting line heading north. They started from about 20 yards inshore and spread out in a horizontal line outwards at least 150 yards, diving and breathing in unison. This was the largest resting line I have seen. I could see only one orca that wasn't in the line. She was about a quarter of mile behind, tail slapping furiously. Although I couldn't identify her due to the distance, I wouldn't be surprised if it were L12. Within about 15 minutes, the L12's broke away, while all the others headed north. The larger group (all but the L12's) turned south again just short of Lime Kiln. For the next several hours against a good flood tide, the orcas seemed to swim in place in several resting lines between Land Bank and Lime Kiln. Some groups periodically took a break from resting to forage a little. Finally, the L12's swam north, meeting up with the others just south of Lime Kiln. Then they all went south with the L12's leading. They stopped offshore between Hannah Heights and Pile Point and foraged for hours. While the whales were doing their resting thing, I spotted an elephant seal off of Land Bank. It was resting until it was approached by a boat. It quickly submerged and I never saw it again. There was also a male Stellar sea lion actively flaying salmon close inshore and attracting lots of seagulls. It was quite interesting. As J pod went south the sea lion purposefully swam parallel to it, less than twenty feet away. I could detect no change in J pod's behavior, not even from the younger calves or their moms.
Sharon Grace
San Juan Island
*
Ron Bates called at about 3 pm this afternoon with the great news of a new L pod calf, possibly with L43 but that is not yet confirmed. He updated us tonight with: The new calf was seen and photographed by at least 3 boats. The Center was unable to make contact. Mother seems to be L43 although L72 was there.
Ron Bates, MMRG
Victoria BC

October 7, 2004

Orcas to the North. Orcas to the South. As we came out of Speiden Channel we saw fins spread out over a mile across, with J's & L's to our North and K's to our South. As we floated near Henry Island, we saw scattered members of L-Pod approach and pass. Then the excitement began as whales began to approach from the South (K-Pod?). We watched as the whales foraged near Open Bay. A large, empty tanker passed by and a lone Orca very near the tanker breached as it passed. A nice pass by L-79 Skana made my day.
John Boyd(JB)
Naturalist At Large
*
K pod spent all day off the south and west sides of San Juan Island, spending lots of time foraging. At around 3:00 p.m. they headed north. After they passed County Park, they headed offshore and met up with lots of L pod. I don't know if it was all of L pod, but many of the adult and sprouter males were there, including L41 and L57. After meeting up, the whales headed slowly south. L57 did a huge breach inshore at Land Bank on his way south. After foraging offshore of Hannah Heights, the whales continued southeast out of sight at around 7:00 p.m.
Sharon Grace
San Juan Island

October 5, 2004

...orcas heading south from Andrews Bay towards Bellevue Point. Woohoo. Of course then I had to do chores so I didn't get the chance to ID any of them.
John Boyd (JB)
Naturalist Doing Chores
*
7:30 to 8 AM this morning there were Orca Whales below (W. San Juan Island) just milling about blowing and splashing and then disappeared into the low fog bank. I couldn't tell which direction they were moving, but nice they are still around.
Helen King, Innkeeper
The Highland Inn of San Juan Island

October 4, 2004

Time of sighting was around 4:30pm at Point No Point. There were about 6 to 8 Orcas. Far off from the main group appeared to be a male (Whidby Island area) the rest of the group was spread out with (looked like females) their babies swimming with them. They were too far off to notice just how many but looked to be 3 younger and 4 adults swimming. It appeared that they were feeding on the local salmon and when done started to swim towards the Whidby Island area and towards the shipping lanes going towards Port Townsend Washington.
Chris Sheridan
*
Several neighbors were out tonight watching at Bush Point. They spotted 20 plus whales who were tail slapping etc. You could hear the tails slap in the water. They headed north, then some returned south. Darkness set in so we could not see if the southbound whales came north again. This was between 6:40 and 7:15 pm at Bush Point (W. Whidbey Island).
Virginia Lindsey
*
There are whales going by-3 or 4-now at Bush Point. 6:40 pm.
Virginia Lindsey

October 3, 2004

On the way into Kingston harbor (just north of it) around 3-4 pm, we spotted 10+ Orcas, including at least one calf.
Chris Castleberry
*
We headed north along the E. side of Bainbridge Is. First we saw two which appeared to be traveling north but after circling we presumed they were foraging as sometimes they were going in circles. Then we saw several more coming from the south and some further north. We actually enjoyed watching approx 18 - 20 orcas apparently looking for an afternoon snack....right at "tea time" 3.30pm to 4.15pm! A few more orcas were just north but fairly close to the Kitsap shoreline. There were several pairs which appeared to be working together with lunging and quick changes of directions. As we tried to position the plane with the late afternoon sun we saw at least two large dorsal fins of males who breached several times also.
Judy Dicksion, Bremerton
*
We first spotted them northwest of our location (Scatchet Head) at 5 PM as they headed out of Useless Bay toward Point no Point. They were VERY far out, so it was difficult to see any details as to dorsal fins, or even to count them, but they seemed very frisky, judging from the amount of splashing we saw out there.
Deborah Houseworth
Clinton
*
As we were about 5 minutes out from Kingston on the Edmonds/Kingston route around 6 PM the Captain announced "Orcas off the Bow". We didn't see anything from the car deck but he apparently was able to spot them from his lofty view.
Judy Davidson,
Sequim
*
Just wanted to let someone know that there were approx. 6 maybe more Orcas just east of Kingston,(approx. 1-2 miles). We saw 2 jump as they were headed south. They then appeared to swim in a large circle and back and forth in a north south direction for about 1/2 hr. After this they slowly started to move south. We had stopped to let them pass but they decided to stop. It was spectacular. There was a very large one with a tall dorsel, the rest appeared to be smaller.
Tom
*
9:47pm tonight heard 3 loud voluminous blows in Colvos Passage headed towards Gig Harbor. Not sure what it was. Maybe some folks down south should keep there eyes peeled. Too big to be a sea-lion. Maybe a humpback has returned. Maybe a minke?
Jeff Hogan, Killer Whale Tales
Vashon Island
*
We were having a walk on the beach at Jordan River (S. Vancouver Island) Saturday evening at about 5:30 when we saw what appeared to be a solitary gray whale headed west, approximately 100-200 yards offshore.
Keith and Shelley,
Victoria, BC

October 2, 2004

We just received a call from the Center for Whale Research, reporting all three pods south of Useless Bay, SW Whidbey at 2:30 pm today. I didn't get a direction, but Dave said they had been headed down from Pt. Roberts yesterday, so they are likely headed south but I'm not sure.
Susan
*
I stayed late at the Limekiln lighhouse working on the SeaSound system. Minutes after getting the first successful live time streaming audio and video running what could only have been most, if not all of the southern residents came into vocal range and put on an incredible show. It was well after dark, but the moon had not risen. I sat on the rocks in front of the lighthouse and heard explosive blows coming from every direction without ever seeing a single whale, including one which surfaced just outside of the kelp bed (about 40 feet from shore).
Doug McCutchen
The Whale Museum
San Juan Island
*
I had 2 Minke's pass me in my kayak east of Iceberg Pt., Lopez this afternoon about 1pm. They were heading east.

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