West Seattle Blog... » Seen at sea http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 14 Oct 2015 02:43:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 You won’t see Shell’s Polar Pioneer back at Terminal 5, per regional reports http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/you-wont-see-shells-polar-pioneer-back-at-terminal-5-per-port-angeles-dutch-harbor-reports/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/you-wont-see-shells-polar-pioneer-back-at-terminal-5-per-port-angeles-dutch-harbor-reports/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2015 08:54:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=325815

(May 15th photo of Polar Pioneer at T-5, by Long Bach Nguyen)
1:54 AM: Since Shell‘s announcement two weeks ago that it was shelving Arctic offshore drilling TFN, we’ve been awaiting word on where its rigs would wind up – whether there was any chance, for example, the Polar Pioneer would come back to West Seattle’s Terminal 5, where it spent a month before heading off to drill. You’ll recall that the T-5 interim tenant, Foss Maritime, said at the time that it was too soon to say.

According to new reports in two publications, both quoting Shell, the answer is “no.”

Both KUCB in Unalaska and the Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles say the Polar Pioneer will head back to PA. KUCB reports that both the PP and Shell’s other rig, the Noble Discoverer, arrived Sunday in Unalaska’s Dutch Harbor. According to KUCB, the ND didn’t stay long, heading out on Monday, bound for Everett, where it was docked until heading north for Shell’s short-lived drilling effort. The PDN reports Shell isn’t saying when the Polar Pioneer is due back in those waters, where it spent four weeks before coming to T-5 for a similar stay. And we don’t know if any of the support vessels might return to T-5; the one that seemed to spend the most time there, Aiviq, is currently Everett-bound, according to MarineTraffic.com.

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VIDEO: New look at what’s under the sea off West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/video-new-look-at-whats-under-the-sea-off-west-seattle/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/video-new-look-at-whats-under-the-sea-off-west-seattle/#comments Sun, 11 Oct 2015 08:13:00 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=325606

An overnight extra while it’s quiet: “Diver Laura” James and fellow diver Lamont G. recorded this video at Cove 2 earlier this week. “So many fish” that night, Laura enthused, while sharing the link, also noting that the sea stars are still more or less MIA.

P.S. We asked about the creature you’ll see about a minute in … “lemon peel nudibranch,” Laura replied.

P.P.S. Remember to do what you can to help keep the water clean for everything that lives there – minimizing deadly, toxic runoff is a start – find out how, here.

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Seen off West Seattle: State ferry Tacoma on sea trials http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/seen-off-west-seattle-state-ferry-tacoma-on-sea-trials/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/seen-off-west-seattle-state-ferry-tacoma-on-sea-trials/#comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 20:50:46 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=325554

SATURDAY: Thanks to everybody who’s messaged to ask about this, including “cugrngneer,” who shared the photo: The state ferry you’re seeing in unusual places and unusual maneuvers today is the M/V Tacoma, which has been at Vigor on Harbor Island for a while and is now on sea trials getting ready to go back into service on the Bainbridge Island/Downtown Seattle run.

SUNDAY MORNING: Just saw Tacoma passing Fauntleroy, out on sea trials again today.

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PHOTOS: Orca sightings off West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-whale-watching-orcas-south-of-alki-point/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-whale-watching-orcas-south-of-alki-point/#comments Mon, 05 Oct 2015 00:43:01 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324965

(ADDED: Photo by Paul Brannan - orca off Fauntleroy)

5:43 PM: Caller says a few orcas are southbound – playfully, not speedily – off Constellation Park south of Alki Point right now. Might be “transients,” which Orca Network says have been in the central Sound today. Let us know if you see them!

7:46 PM: Adding a photo – thanks, Paul!

8:25 PM: And thanks to Araya Casey Photography for sharing these images:

The photos were taken in the Alki area.

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West Seattle whale watching: Sightings reported in Alki area http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sightings-reported-in-alki-area/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sightings-reported-in-alki-area/#comments Mon, 28 Sep 2015 17:51:23 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324324

(Photo taken from Alki today, by Trileigh Tucker)

10:51 AM: Multiple reports of whales in the Alki Point vicinity. First, the Orca Network cited a WSF report of orcas; Jeff from Killer Whale Tales says it might instead be the humpbacks that have been in the area. Off to look!

11:24 AM: Breezy morning so lots of whitecaps off both Constellation Park and Alki – hard to see whale spouts unless you’re really close (or have a great eye/telescope). Jeff says the humpbacks have been breaching in the ferry lanes north of Alki Point. (West Seattle-based The Whale Trail offers a species-by-species guide if you’re not sure you’d know the difference between a humpback and an orca.)

12:41 PM: West Seattle photographer Trileigh Tucker saw one from Alki – and has the photo to prove it. Added above – thanks!

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Off West Seattle, cruise season’s about to end until next year http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/off-west-seattle-cruise-seasons-about-to-end-until-next-year/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/off-west-seattle-cruise-seasons-about-to-end-until-next-year/#comments Sun, 27 Sep 2015 22:28:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324240 Around 4 pm, Holland America Line’s Amsterdam and Noordam and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Pearl are scheduled to sail out of Elliott Bay, ending the 2015 Seattle cruise season. According to the Port of Seattle‘s media advisory for the departures:

For the eighth year in a row, Port of Seattle cruise terminals welcomed over 800,000 revenue passengers. This year brought 192 cruise ship calls. Seattle’s cruise business — currently leading all cruise homeports on the West Coast in passenger volume — is responsible for over 3,600 jobs, $441 million in annual business revenue, and $17.2 million annually in state and local tax revenues. Each homeported cruise vessel brings $2.5 million to the local economy.

Amsterdam and Noordam are leaving Pier 91 in Magnolia; Norwegian Pearl is sailing from Pier 66 downtown.

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West Seattle whale watching: Sighting near Fauntleroy ferry dock; northbound at sunset http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sighting-near-fauntleroy-ferry-dock/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sighting-near-fauntleroy-ferry-dock/#comments Sun, 27 Sep 2015 00:08:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324167 5:08 PM: Via Orca Network on Twitter and Facebook, “Washington State Ferries reports a large whale, probably a humpback, off the Fauntleroy dock in West Seattle.” Please let us know if you see it (and which way it seems to be heading)!

6:50 PM: Sheri reports, via Twitter, that she just saw it dive off Lincoln Park, and that it’s heading north.

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More hope for Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales: Fifth baby orca in less than a year! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/more-hope-for-puget-sounds-southern-resident-killer-whales-fifth-baby-orca-in-less-than-a-year/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/more-hope-for-puget-sounds-southern-resident-killer-whales-fifth-baby-orca-in-less-than-a-year/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2015 05:12:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=322104

For the fifth time in less than a year, Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales have welcomed a baby. The Instagram-shared photo above and news release below are from the Center for Whale Research:

Today there was another new baby in the L pod! L91 was first seen near Sooke, BC this morning with a very newborn calf, confirmed a few hours later by Mark Malleson off Victoria, BC and CWR staffers, Dave Ellifrit and Melissa Pinnow, and by colleagues Drs. John Durban, Holly Fearnbach, and Lance Barrett-Lennard.

These latter colleagues happened to be in the area conducting a sequel to CWR aerial measurements of all of the SRKW’s (Southern Resident Killer Whales), this time with a very sophisticated hexacopter (Unmanned Aerial System – UAS, or drone). The measurements were accomplished on the US side of the border as Dave and Melissa took numerous identification photographs from the research vessel “Orca” at a respectful distance. The new calf is designated L122, and is the fifth new baby to come into the population since December, 2014. The mother and baby and other L pod whales spent the afternoon and evening in Haro Strait ‘fishing’, and by day’s end were joined by J and K pod members.

In the forty-year history of ORCA SURVEY, a long-term photo-identification study of this whale population, the greatest number of calves born in a year was 9 in 1977, and there were none born that survived in 2013 or 2014. We hope this year’s ‘baby boom’ represents a turnaround in what has been a negative population trend in recent years.

The four babies born in the previous nine months:
*J52 in March
*L121 in late February
*J51 in mid-February
*J50 last December

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West Seattle whale watching: Sighting in Elliott Bay http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sighting-in-elliott-bay/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sighting-in-elliott-bay/#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2015 15:46:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=321838 If you have eyes on Elliott Bay, watch for spouts. Ian reports via Twitter that he’s seen multiple spouts by an unknown type of whale that’s “made a huge circle of the bay.” (P.S. Our most recent sighting report was last Sunday, humpbacks near Alki Point.)

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West Seattle whale watching: Alki Point sighting this morning http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whale-watching-alki-point-sighting-this-morning/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whale-watching-alki-point-sighting-this-morning/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2015 20:58:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=321339

Thanks to Guy and Joy Smith for the photo and this report:

At 9 o’clock this am, we saw 2 marine mammals traveling south off Alki Point. They were exhaling big clouds of steam and we knew they were too large to be either Harbor or Dall’s Porpoises. We grabbed our handy guide, handed out by the Whale Trail organization at the Bath House this summer, and it indicates they were probably Minke whales. They are in the 20 to 30 foot range and that’s about what we guessed. Wikipedia says their dives can be up to 20 minutes. If we had known to wait that long we might have gotten another picture.

Obviously Guy and Joy saw more than just this photo, so they were gauging by more than what’s seen in the photo, but the fin also looks like it could have been a humpback. Anyone else see these whales?

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West Seattle whales: Orcas reported, heading southbound http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whales-orcas-reported-heading-southbound/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whales-orcas-reported-heading-southbound/#comments Sat, 22 Aug 2015 21:41:54 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320609 Three reports of orcas off our shores – most recently, just before 2:30 pm, off Beach Drive in the Me-Kwa-Mooks vicinity, headed southbound. As always, we hope you’ll let us know (comments or text/voice 206-293-6302) if you see them!

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West Seattle whale watching: Orcas reported to be heading this way http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whale-watching-orcas-reported-to-be-heading-this-way/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whale-watching-orcas-reported-to-be-heading-this-way/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 19:07:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320269 ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:07 PM: Just texted by Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales: Orcas reported to be in Elliott Bay, headed toward Alki. On our way to look; please let us know if you see them!

1:26 PM UPDATE: We looked from Constellation Park, around Duwamish Head and beyond, no sightings, and we’ve heard nothing further; checked the Orca Network as well, and assuming this is the group of “transient” killer whales their readers spotted, they have no further sightings either, with speculation the whales might have gone into Kitsap waters. Could turn up later!

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West Seattle scene: Tsunami-debris barge has arrived http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-scene-looks-like-the-tsunami-debris-barge-arrived-early/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-scene-looks-like-the-tsunami-debris-barge-arrived-early/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 17:03:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=319093 Last night, we mentioned a barge full of trash including tsunami debris was expected at Waste Management Northwest‘s South Park dock in time for a media event tomorrow morning. Looks like it’ll be there in plenty of time:

Steve just sent these photos from the low bridge as a barge matching the WMNW photos went through, headed southbound on the Duwamish River:

Here’s more backstory – including some details we didn’t have in last night’s story – the barge is the Dioskouroi.

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Barge with unusual cargo that’ll pass West Seattle on Friday: Tsunami debris http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/barge-with-unusual-cargo-thatll-pass-west-seattle-on-friday-tsunami-debris/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/barge-with-unusual-cargo-thatll-pass-west-seattle-on-friday-tsunami-debris/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 01:41:01 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=319043

(Photos courtesy Waste Management NW)
From the “what you’ll see at sea” file: Waste Management Northwest says the 300-foot barge you see above is on its way to its South Park dock after a trip to Alaska…

… where helicopters were used to pick up more than 3,000 super sacks filled with hundreds of tons of marine debris, each weighing approximately 400 pounds.

A significant amount of the collected debris was generated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and was subsequently deposited by winds and currents along the remote coastlines of Alaska and Canada. … The barge will arrive and unload the super sacks of marine debris on Waste Management’s Seattle dock. In a few weeks, local environmental volunteer groups will sort the material for recycling at an event coordinated by Parley for the Oceans, a national non-profit focused on addressing threats to the world’s oceans. Material Innovation company Bionic Yarn will then transform the sorted marine debris plastic into high-performance textiles and polymers. All remaining debris will travel via train to the Columbia Ridge landfill.

WM isn’t sure yet exactly when the barge will enter the Duwamish River; it’s hosting a media briefing at 11 am this Friday (August 7th) and the barge is expected to be docked by then.

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Also happening today: Seattle Grind canoe races, from Alki http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/also-happening-today-seattle-grind-canoe-racing-from-alki/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/also-happening-today-seattle-grind-canoe-racing-from-alki/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:12:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=318588

Thanks to Kathryn Schledwitz for sharing photos from Alki with news that the Seattle Grind canoe races are under way this morning. The women/mixed long-course racers are paddling from Alki to Blake Island and back right now.

The Lake Union-based Seattle Outrigger Canoe Club organizes the races. This year they’re running a short course too, 4 miles along Alki, scheduled for a 2:30 pm run, after the 12:30 pm long-course men’s race.

P.S. A different group of paddlers will be racing from Alki later this month – the Great Cross-Sound Race on August 22nd.

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