West Seattle Whale Watch: Orca sightings!

(Photo from Beach Drive Blog, used with permission)
ORIGINAL 7:56 AM REPORT: Just got a text about orcas “between West Seattle and Vashon” – and a tweet in the past half-hour about orcas off Me-Kwa-Mooks. So if you’re along south West Seattle shores, keep an eye out! This is the prime sighting season. 8:25 AM UPDATE: Rhonda notes in comments that she has pix at Beach Drive Blog. Maggie is on the Vashon-Seattle water taxi and reports via FB that the crew says the orcas have been in the area all morning. We’re on a beach south of Fauntleroy and no luck yet. 9:41 AM: Jeff Hogan from Killer Whale Tales showed up at our vantage point; we saw one orca thanks to his much-better binoculars. Much closer to Vashon than to the West Seattle side, though, but he got a call suggesting some of them are heading back north from Vashon. Jeff told us he’s just back from three weeks on a research boat in the San Juans – some of his reports are up on the KWT website, with photos. (KWT, which brings whale education to local schools, among other things, also has a benefit coming up – details here.) 10:36 AM UPDATE: We came back to HQ to recharge – but heading out again, as Jeff just called to say they’re now visible from Lowman Beach.

(Photo added 11:14 am, whale-watching from Lowman)
Also keep checking comments – we’ve got a Me-Kwa-Mooks sighting too. Thanks to everybody who’s sharing updates!!! 12:09 PM: Latest word – northward, in the Alki vicinity, plus we received a text from someone seeing them on the Bremerton-Seattle ferry run.

12 Replies to "West Seattle Whale Watch: Orca sightings!"

  • Rhonda Porter October 1, 2010 (8:22 am)

    I have a couple photos posted on Beach Drive Blog :) what an amazing way to start the day!

  • Jen October 1, 2010 (8:37 am)

    I can see a large pod with at least one adult male, mid-channel nearing three tree point. They are getting hard to see with the fog rolling in but they seem to be moving south fast and they are very active.

  • k October 1, 2010 (9:40 am)

    thanks for the pix rhonda!

  • Rhonda Porter October 1, 2010 (9:48 am)

    Hubby (@talontitle) spied them first before running out the door for work and gave me the heads to grab the camera… I probably took 100 photos (out of excitement!) … I posted the ones that I think turned out the best. Looks like there was a “baby” whale too.

  • cathyw October 1, 2010 (9:56 am)

    Just got back from Mee Kwa Mooks and Alki Point. Didn’t see anything using high powered binocs. Am tempted to go out again if they are heading north. I think I will take a book and plant myself out at the beach for a while.

    • WSB October 1, 2010 (10:14 am)

      As you probably noticed, Cathy, it’s chilly out there with the fog/overcast having rolled in – it was still partly sunny when I first headed out 2 hours ago – so anybody off to whale-watch, take a jacket!

  • Jen October 1, 2010 (10:16 am)

    Some are headed north again. There is a single large male slowly moving north, closer to W Seattle (Arroyo) than Vashon, north of the male looks to be another large female. It looks like there is a small boat, maybe Mark Sears, closer to the ferry lanes so there are probably a group of whales there too.
    Instead of one big organized pod, I see are lots of small groups of 1-3 whales.

    • WSB October 1, 2010 (10:20 am)

      Thanks – the male is probably the one Jeff and I watched (I’m back at HQ now so the field reports are particularly appreciated) – Jeff did say that was Mark in the boat, which was speeding toward the one we were watching, about half an hour ago south of Fauntleroy.

  • lina October 1, 2010 (10:19 am)

    so cool! why do they always swing by WS while i am at work in the North end!?!

  • herongrrrl October 1, 2010 (10:31 am)

    Just spotted them from Me Kwa Mooks, northbound; they are just south of the Vashon ferry and closer to Vashon.

  • cathyw October 1, 2010 (12:40 pm)

    Just spent about an hour watching the Orcas from Alki Point while they traveled north past the Vashon Ferries, East of Blake Is, up to Bainbridge Is. and along the east shore of Bainbridge. I used Mark’s boat as a landmark to figure out where the whales were on the water. Very difficult to see them well from Alki because they were so far away, even though I had good binocs. Did see one whale breach! Never seen that before. Quite a few other folks at the Point watching as well. Seattle Parks Dept. personnel swung by to take a look briefly. A really thrilling morning. Thanks WSB for posting the heads up, as I would have had no idea that this was going on otherwise.

  • Maggie "SudsyMaggie" Sudduth October 1, 2010 (1:30 pm)

    It was great seeing them this morning! They put on a little show while I was on the 8:10 water taxi from Vashon Island to downtown Seattle. We saw them north of Lincoln Park. The Melissa Ann crew said they’d been “hanging out” all morning, indicated by all the reports. Always nice to see them, seems like it’s been once a week lately. I love my commute!


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