PHOTOS: Leaping orcas! Another West Seattle whale pass

December 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm | In Seen at sea, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 26 Comments

(Click any photo for a larger view)
If you didn’t get a chance to go look for orcas when we published word this morning that they were heading this way – here’s the next best thing. (Or maybe better – we went to look and missed them anyway!) West Seattleite Trileigh Tucker, our first tipster again today, got great photos, including breaches.

They are of course beautiful simply swimming by:

That’s Blake Island and Tillicum Village in the background. And here’s a group with a Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry in the background:

The ferry in the top photo is one of the bigger ones on the Seattle-Bainbridge run. This time of year, orca sightings here usually mean they’re chasing salmon runs to chow down on. For some orca facts and figures – go here. And thanks to everyone who shared sighting info this morning/afternoon, so that others had a chance to go look for them too!

10:30 PM: Mike Russell is also sharing photos – here’s a link to his Facebook gallery, for starters.

26 Comments

  1. Awesome photos! Thank you for sharing!!!

    Comment by ACG — 4:52 pm December 18, 2013 #

  2. A one hour run along the beach and I missed them too. Trileigh, thanks for the photos. They are beautiful.

    Comment by Keri — 5:03 pm December 18, 2013 #

  3. Thanks for publishing! Why are these guys always out and about while I’m stuck at work?!

    Comment by CEA — 7:08 pm December 18, 2013 #

  4. I had him on for a while, only had 500lb test line and he got away. Would have fed the whole family. I’ll try again tomorrow!

    Comment by Dunno — 8:05 pm December 18, 2013 #

  5. Thank you Trileigh and WSB for sharing these amazing photos! Helps me build my case to my sister as to why she should live here!

    Comment by Hoku — 8:23 pm December 18, 2013 #

  6. Wow, that is awesome!

    Comment by Mike — 10:18 pm December 18, 2013 #

  7. Thanks for sharing and making me smile!

    Comment by Pilar — 11:23 pm December 18, 2013 #

  8. @Dunno..I understand. I had him hooked on my Zebco 202 but the line broke…8lb test?

    Comment by Dale — 1:14 am December 19, 2013 #

  9. Gorgeous photos Trileigh! Iconic Seattle kind of beautiful with orcas gliding past ferries and the Village.

    Comment by seewhatseelionsstart — 7:31 am December 19, 2013 #

  10. Its actually called breaching, not leaping. :D

    Comment by Shari — 9:39 am December 19, 2013 #

  11. I’m with CEA about missing out on all the fun while at work! And Hoku, I used this to get my Mom excited about moving out here in the summer :)

    Trileigh, beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Comment by Delridge Chick — 9:39 am December 19, 2013 #

  12. Yes, I know that. Reference to probably-have-to-be-my-age-to-remember-it ‘leapin’ lizards.’ And breach, unfortunately, only makes me think of “security breach.” So I opted for “leap” – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:45 am December 19, 2013 #

  13. …”6 Orcas breaching, 5 GOLDEN RINGS”…

    Comment by vanessa — 9:59 am December 19, 2013 #

  14. These are fabulous! Thanks again to Trileigh and WSB for showing our resident sea pandas in their full glory. Leaping, breaching – it’s all good!

    Comment by enviromaven — 10:02 am December 19, 2013 #

  15. This is one of the things I love about working from home. And that my home is in West Seattle!

    Great shots Trileigh!

    Comment by MikeRussellFoto — 10:11 am December 19, 2013 #

  16. This is just wonderful. We live in such a cool place! I’m so thrilled that the blog and your photography allow me to view our ocean dwelling neighbors in their own habitat. :)

    Comment by Lindsey — 2:47 pm December 19, 2013 #

  17. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos. They lift up all of us.

    Comment by Lori McCallister — 4:26 pm December 19, 2013 #

  18. Just after watching Blackfish, this is how it should be!!! Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by AW — 6:05 pm December 19, 2013 #

  19. Incredible! Thanks so much for the photos!!

    Comment by Alkira — 7:56 pm December 19, 2013 #

  20. WOW!!! Spectacular photos! Thank you.

    Comment by heather — 8:21 pm December 19, 2013 #

  21. Hate to nitpick but that’s the wrong terminal (not Bainbridge or Seattle Colman Dock) and not one of the larger ferries at all. Great pics!

    Comment by Giacopo — 8:35 pm December 19, 2013 #

  22. Gia, I am a total ferry geek. In the top photo, that is for sure one of the Wenatchee/Puyallup/Tacoma class ferries, biggest in the state fleet. If for some reason it was visiting someplace else yesterday afternoon – Vashon or Southworth – then I’m wrong. You can see much of Eagle Harbor looking across from West Seattle’s west-facing shore. But the lines on the stack are a telltale feature, among other things … In the bottom photo, that is an Evergreen State class ferry, one of the smallest still in service, and so that is either Southworth or Vashon. – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 9:11 pm December 19, 2013 #

  23. Well, you are all striking out on which ferries are which. The ferry in the bottom pic is parked at Vashon, and it is either the Klahowya or the Tillicum. The Evergreen State looks like these boats, and is the same class, but it is currently working the San Juan Islands. Sorry I missed the orcas. I rode the ferry to work this evening from Southworth to Fauntleroy.

    Comment by Kristie — 12:39 am December 20, 2013 #

  24. Thanks, Kristie – I didn’t say it was the Evergreen State, but an Evergreen State class vessel – that is the official name of the class of ferries that includes Klahowya and Tillikum.
    .
    http://www.wsdot.com/ferries/vesselwatch/Vessels.aspx
    .
    That page reminds me that the Tacoma, Puyallup, Wenatchee class is Jumbo Mark II.

    Comment by WSB — 12:53 am December 20, 2013 #

  25. I understand they jump like that cause there mad.

    Comment by Al — 10:43 am December 20, 2013 #

  26. I’m a former northwesterner who has lived in France for over 20 years but I still brag about the northwest beauty.
    I was just telling someone about orcas in the northwest and the person was amazed. Now I have a vivid image to show.
    Thank you !

    Comment by Nettie — 3:47 pm December 21, 2013 #

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