West Seattle Whale Watch: Orcas’ post-Thanksgiving visit

November 24, 2012 at 10:36 am | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 24 Comments

(Orcas and ferry, by Trileigh Tucker)
FIRST REPORT, 10:36 AM: Via Twitter, our friend Rebecca from Ravenna Blog passes along the news that orcas have been spotted headed this way, off southeast Bainbridge at last report. (No, the whales didn’t take an inland detour; Rebecca has a maritime background.) We notice this is also being discussed on the Orca Network Facebook page too. Heading off for a look – let us know if you see them!

(WSB photo – whale-watching off Beach Drive)
12:02 PM: We are at Emma Schmitz Viewpoint with Donna Sandstrom (above left) from The Whale Trail and others – the orcas are visible even with weak binoculars! They are off north Vashon.

(Tail-lobbing orca, by Trileigh Tucker)
(We should mention, if you get to whale-watch with Donna, she has GOOD binoculars to share, part of The Whale Trail’s public service.)

(WSB photo – orca spyhopping late this morning)
12:42 PM: Just got a text that they’re visible off The Arroyos, in southwesternmost West Seattle. Donna believes these whales are from resident J Pod, with the possibility of some K Pod too.

24 Comments

  1. Heading out to look – will let you know!

    Comment by Trileigh — 10:37 am November 24, 2012 #

  2. We’re also heading down there, will have extra binoculars!

    Comment by Donna, The Whale Trail — 10:48 am November 24, 2012 #

  3. I see them across From Mee Kaw Mooks.

    Comment by Star 55 — 11:20 am November 24, 2012 #

  4. Opposite Tillikum Village, heading south!

    Comment by Trileigh — 11:32 am November 24, 2012 #

  5. One just went by Solstice park. Seems to be only one and is surfacing every few minutes. going south.

    Comment by Orca — 11:49 am November 24, 2012 #

  6. From Beach Drive I can see quite a few just south of Blake Island.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 11:58 am November 24, 2012 #

  7. Ooh, now seeing several closer to Beach Drive side. There are lots out there, and they are very spread out.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 12:00 pm November 24, 2012 #

  8. Cool! Dude on paddle board out there had to be a bit freaked out. At least 10.

    Comment by Jerry — 12:04 pm November 24, 2012 #

  9. Orcas just east of Vashon. Heading south.

    Comment by Orca — 12:16 pm November 24, 2012 #

  10. Lots and lots from Colman pool! WSB, come down!

    Comment by Trileigh — 12:21 pm November 24, 2012 #

  11. Are they at Alki Point yet? Heading out with the Zoom Camera!

    Comment by Jeff — 12:21 pm November 24, 2012 #

  12. If you are trying to figure out where to aim the binoculars, look for the little research boat with 3 or so guys standing up. Now it’s east of Vashon Island.

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 12:22 pm November 24, 2012 #

  13. Orcas have now disappeared into the sun to the south, leaving LOTS of very, very happy people on shore! WSB should be seeing lots of orca photos soon…

    Comment by Trileigh — 12:43 pm November 24, 2012 #

  14. Oh shoot! Where can we see them then? Not sure where Arroyos are… We just made it down to Beach Drive near Mee Kwa park.

    Comment by A — 12:56 pm November 24, 2012 #

  15. A – the Arroyos are the waterfront neighborhood down below Marine View Drive – there’s a little bit of public property at one end or the other. If you’re able to drive down toward Burien you might catch them or maybe try Seola Beach Drive, which is a southbound turn off SW 106th (I think) when you take that street eastbound toward Shorewood … whale-chasing is tough.

    Comment by WSB — 1:17 pm November 24, 2012 #

  16. Rats, missed ‘em!

    Comment by add — 1:27 pm November 24, 2012 #

  17. No luck on Seola

    Comment by Peggy — 2:01 pm November 24, 2012 #

  18. Awesome photos – thanks Trileigh and WSB!

    Comment by enviromaven — 4:12 pm November 24, 2012 #

  19. Love the picture of whales in front of the ferry. Beautiful, and so Seattle.

    Comment by dcn — 4:55 pm November 24, 2012 #

  20. Keep on the lookout.
    They may come back the same route tomorrow. They have to come north somewhere.

    Comment by orca — 7:29 pm November 24, 2012 #

  21. Nice shot, as always, Trileigh. Thank you.

    Comment by GP39M — 7:50 pm November 24, 2012 #

  22. I headed for the 12:20 p.m. Fauntleroy ferry, made it aboard, but should have gone to Lincoln Park. I took a couple of 300mm snaps from the ferry back towards Lincoln Park, but now I can’t get those into my laptop. How I love technical glitches. Well, at least I got to see them. If I can surmount my technical difficulties, I’ll forward my pics when the pod was near the Lincoln Park pool. I think that had to be my ferry in Trileigh’s photo.

    Comment by Bill Bacon — 10:05 pm November 24, 2012 #

  23. Forgot to mention in those tweets that I was on the 10 AM sailing to Bremerton at the time of the sighting.

    The ferry had started to slow just after crossing the shipping lanes, which was a little odd. And when a crew member got on the ship’s speaker system, it was not to tell the owners of the silver BMW to please turn off their car alarm a third time, but to tell passengers to head to the starboard side of the vessel for ORCAS.

    My first instinct was to tell the WSB. But my second was to call the Orca Network. :)

    Comment by Rebecca — 8:37 am November 25, 2012 #

  24. We were on the ferry and saw them. So beautiful and graceful!

    Comment by Jean — 2:54 pm November 25, 2012 #

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