(ADDED FRIDAY NIGHT: Three more photos here!)
(Top photo added 1:44 pm, taken by Craig Savey from Pier 17 on Harbor Island; photo below added 9:40 am – WSB photo by Patrick Sand, from Me-Kwa-Mooks)
8:15 AM: First sighting of the season – just got a text (thanks!) that orcas were seen from the West Seattle Water Taxi this morning. Checking Twitter and the Orca Network Facebook page, it doesn’t seem to be an isolated sighting. (Added: We’re getting LOTS of notes now – definitely something many are seeing, including from downtown!) Keep an eye out and please share if you get them on camera.
(iPad photo courtesy Trileigh Tucker – orca off the downtown docks)
8:56 AM UPDATE: Reported off the Alki business district as of minutes ago. (Moved on by the time we got there, though. Not sure if headed south or north from Alki Point, but Beach Drive, keep an eye out!)
9:20 AM UPDATE: Multiple reports indicate they are headed south – BD, Fauntleroy, Arroyos, be on the lookout. And thanks again to the MANY people who have texted, e-mailed, called, Tweeted, posted/commented on the WSB Facebook wall.
9:40 AM UPDATE: WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand caught up with West Seattle’s resident whale-watching experts, Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail and Jeff Hogan from Killer Whale Tales, at Me-Kwa-Mooks. With their guidance, he caught some on camera – we’ve added one photo atop this story and one atop this paragraph. Donna is sharing binoculars from the new Whale Trail whale-watching kits.
She says they’re “transients” – not the orcas that live year-round in the Puget Sound/San Juans area.
10:03 AM UPDATE: Talked to Jeff by phone a few minutes ago. He says they’ve moved out of range, south of Brace Point, and confirms that the Center for Whale Research says they’re transients (this explains how orcas are ID’d), more than 20 of them. (But what heads south, must come north, so more sightings are possible later!)
ADDED 11 AM: Video clip above this line is from the Water Taxi this morning (thanks to Patrick P!) – watch the top left for spouts. And KIRO TV’s chopper video is here.
ADDED 1:48 PM: KIRO’s video is not embeddable, so we can’t show you the player here, but KING 5 now has video and theirs is:
KING reports that was shot off Maury Island.