Dec 21, 2013

Pacific coast (northwest USA): Js and Ks in Puget Sound; Transients off Port Townsend

You can watch them from the shore. Please restrain dogs from disturbing wildlife --- or becoming meals like seals. Leave no tennis balls in the ocean. Enjoy.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Orca Network Whale Sighting Report <>
Date: Sat, Dec 21, 2013 at 10:03 AM
Subject: Js and Ks in Puget Sound; Transients off Port Townsend

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Southern Resident orcas
Transients (Bigg's whales)
Coastal orcas

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December 21, 2013
We are watching and visiting the whales in their home~
Please observe, love and respect them from a distance.

Having trouble viewing this Sightings Report? Archived Reports can be found HERE.
Some days there are whales, and some days there are none. December 18 was a day with many whales in Puget Sound, between the northeast side of Vashon Island and West Seattle, and north of Elliott Bay. They were J and K pods, but they were spread out over a wide area so only a few IDs were possible and the full count is not known.

The next day there were no whales, until late in the day December 20, when a small group of five presumed Transients showed up in Port Townsend Bay, at one point swimming under the awestruck gazes of the crew of the schooner Adventuress.

Every day we wonder where the orca are, and we hope they're finding plenty of food and enjoying the company of their families.

Photo of the Day
4:17 - We just saw orcas swimming by Port Townsend! A rare December treat.
Photo by Sound Experience aboard the Schooner Adventuress.

Southern Resident orcas

December 18
3:28 - They were headed west, past the shipyard, the last time I saw them... Yep, they're still up there, past the Port Orchard passenger ferry dock and the marina, headed toward Gorst. I saw one going past my house, but there are at least two of them. I saw two distinct spouts as they passed the shipyard.
2:47 - There be whales here!(Between Port Orchard and Manette)
L Michelle Gardner

December 18
2:40 - Brad Hanson reports orcas off West Point, just off Elliott Bay, still slowly heading north in choppy seas.

December 18
2:17 - Yeah, on their way past Fay Bainbridge!
Sue Surowiec Larkin

December 18
4:15 pm: Several Bainbridge Islanders watched them from shore at Rolling Bay Bluff between 2 & 3 pm. They were really spread out mid-channel from Elliott Bay north to Fay Bainbridge with 2 males in particular really hanging back, at one point the males did a bit of synchronized breaching. NOAA boat with them periodically.
2:10 - Watching K-Pod from Skiff Point, BI mid-channel. Helicopter and NOAA with them.
Susan Marie Andersson

December 18
Pod in Elliot Bay. Riding the 1:10 ferry today from Bainbridge to Seattle I saw tall dark fins of 3 grouped very tightly with bursts of fanning water. There was one further ahead and East of the group about 30 feet. 90 % sure orcas. My first thought was dolphins but quickly changed with the tall fins and then saw flashes of white near their breaching noses. They swam about 200 feet in front of the ferry headed north towards discovery park.
Chester Bennett

December 18
2:35 - Brad Hanson is with at least K pod (K25 has been ID'd) about 1.5 miles NW of Alki, still heading slowly north, very spread out.

December 18
2:30 - just watched a second group of orcas pass discovery park. This grouping closer to Seattle side than first group
1:54 - Seeing NOAA boat and splashes from breaching at discovery park. Whale Scout in action!
Whitney Neugebauer

December 18
1:45 - Looks like the last of them just passed Eagle Harbor, mid channel. There were quite a few really spread out. I counted 5 in the last group.
Heather Polverino

December 18
1:44 - At Manitou Beach... clear view south. Many spread out around NOAA boat.
Kimberly Sylvester-Malzahn

December 18
1:10 - I have been watching them from country club Road on Bainbridge Island. There are two small boats out there with them. the whales are getting very close to the boats. They are Midchannel directly across from Eagle Harbor.
Aviva Weiss Grele

December 18
1:00pm - Looks like they've all made it past Alki. Still headed north. And yeah, seemed like they sped up.
12:27 - Still Several off Mee Kwa Mooks northbound.
11:58 - See one male off Mee Kwa Mooks. Northbound.
Mike Russell
J26 Mike, 22-year old son of J16 Slick, was part of the group that was heading north off of West Seattle.
Photo by Mike Russell, December 18, 2013.

December 18
12:54 - WA State Ferries reports 6-8 whales in the Bremerton/Seattle ferry lane, northbound.

December 18
12:17 - Me kwa mooks still 12:16 not moving fast.
Kelda Martensen

December 18
11:53 - Possible whales at Jeff Head maybe heading North!!!
Peter Sergeeff

December 18
I had the extraordinarily good fortune to have seen a total of about 30 Orcas today, including some that swam right beside and in front on the 11:05am ferry from Vashon to Fauntleroy! They left "footprints" the entire way. After the boat landed, I watched with my binoculars from the hill above the ferry dock for almost 1/2 an hour as many (15-20 total?) whales slowly cruised by headed North, east of mid-channel. I saw a sleep-line of about 8 individuals! This astounding experience was thanks to Sound Actions Podblasts! Thank you so much Amy Carey and Orca Network for giving me one of the greatest experiences of my life today!
J Felicity Welt

December 18
11:45 - Sweet! from atop Queen Anne I can see big boy and smaller dorsals gliding northbound-sightline between southside of Alki Point and northside of Vashon.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

December 18
11:42 - There's a group of maybe 5, at least one male just south of Blake island still heading north.
11:26 - I'm watching from Gatewood Hill and my best guess is they are right off Lowman beach right now. The whales closer to the west Seattle side still seem to be going north. Those mid channel turned south.
11:05 - Visible from Lincoln Park now. Too bad the weather is getting so gross!
Krista Larson Billinghurst

December 18
11:35 - Just spotted them. I'm near the West Seattle lighthouse.
Wendy Horger Alsup

December 18
11:30 - Mark Savio called to say he saw orcas heading north between Fauntleroy and Vashon Is.

December 18
11:05 - WA State Ferries reports orca off Dolphin Point, north of Vashon, just milling, no direction.

December 18
11:10 - Trileigh Tucker reports seeing orcas between Vashon and Blake Island, possibly going south now.
An orca breaches near the Vashon ferry dock.
Photo by Trileigh Tucker, December 28, 2013.

An orca breaches between Vashon and Blake Island.
Photo by Trileigh Tucker, December 28, 2013.

A small group travels between Vashon and Blake Island.
Photo by Trileigh Tucker, December 28, 2013.

An orca between Vashon and Blake Island.
Photo by Trileigh Tucker, December 28, 2013.

December 18
10:52 - they are passing through the vashon ferry lanes now I can see them from my house on Glen Acres.
Danielle White

December 18
11:10  - And have about 10 just off Lincoln park.
10:36 - West Seattle get ready. Leaders are about halfway between Dilworth and ferry. Also...looks like the same j and k mashup gang from the other day.
10:24 - At Dilworth spread out northbound.
Amy Carey
Southern Resident Killer Whales: The Edge of Forever (HD)
Southern Resident Killer Whales: The Edge of Forever. J and K pods heading north along Vashon Island December 18.  Produced by Meg McDonald of WildNorthwestBeautyPhotography.

December 18
We were at Vashon Island this morning. Our first time there on the east side of the island. From approximately 10:20 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. the orcas were visible going north just a little north of Burien. Twice breaching.
Elston Hill

December 18
8:39 - Large pod of orcas headed north from Gold Beach toward Point Robinson. Watched them for 15 minutes from Gold Beach, saw at least four adult males and at least 20 total. It looked like they were feeding off Maury Park, still headed north.
Carl Sells

Transients (Bigg's whales)
December 20
We just saw orcas swimming east in Port Townsend Bay at 3:40pm. There were 2, I believe both female. They were swimming slowly, did not appear to be feeding. I have a photo taken outside the Northwest Maritime Center.

December 20
3:15 PM - We were so excited to see at least
5 orcas off the point of Port Townsend, headed across the bay. There were at least 5 of them, and two were large males. They were moving slowly, it was awesome. They were going toward Marrowstone.
Cherylann Turner

December 17
My family and I were at Lime Kiln Point on San Juan Island at 1:30 today. We saw a small pod of maybe 7 orcas that were hanging out briefly and then went booking North - even porpoising out of the water. I believe it they were Transients. Before they took off we saw a spy hop and a tail lob. There was at least 1 bull, maybe 2 and a mother and baby. They were pretty close to shore. Lots of birds flying around - must have been some good food nearby. Some pictures are attached (wish my zoom was better). We got lucky today!!! :)
Coleen Moore
(More photos are available HERE.)
From Lime Kiln Lighthouse State Park.
Photo by Colleen Moore, December 17, 2013.

From Lime Kiln Lighthouse State Park.
Photo by Colleen Moore, December 17, 2013.

Coastal orcas
December 18
Coast Guard Mission at Cape Disappointment called at 2:02 pm with a real time report of probably 2 killer whales at the Columbia River bar entrance, heading north.

December 11
These were taken from the beach in LaPush, Washington. Right after this guy showed up on scene there was a lot of mammal activity in the area. We were swimming our dogs in the surf using a tennis ball, at one point while one of the dogs was about 20 feet out a sea lion popped up 15 feet away and watched him. Soon after that there were several seals around. do you think this was because of the Orca???
Michael Molnar 
Taken from the beach in LaPush, Washington.
Photo by Michael Molnar, December, 11, 2013.
Orca Network is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to raising awareness about the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.

Orca Network's Whale Sighting Network involves citizens in helping researchers track the movement of whales, and encourages people to observe whales from their homes, businesses, ferries, and beaches.
Whale reports are sent in to our Sighting Network and emailed out to researchers, agencies, and citizens on our network, and posted on our website (MAP of sightings also on website). Whale reports and observations are sent in by a variety of sources, and Orca Network does not guarantee the accuracy of any report or whale identification.

TO REPORT WHALES, CALL: 1-866-ORCANET (1-866-672-2638), email, or post sightings on our Orca Network Facebook page.

 "The new rules prohibit vessels from approaching any killer whale closer than 200 yards and forbid vessels from intercepting a whale or positioning the vessel in its path. This doubles the current approach distance of 100 yards. The rules go into effect May 16 and apply to all types of boats, including motor boats, sail boats and kayaks, in Washington"

For more information on the new Federal Regulations, visit the NOAA Fisheries website

To report harassment of whales in US waters
, call NOAA Enforcement: 1-800-853-1964;
In Canadian waters, call DFO's Observe Record and Report (ORR) Violations Hotline: 1-800- 465-4336
Report the boat name &/or a description of the boat, & get photos if at all possible.

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