West Seattle Whale Watch: Orcas in Elliott Bay

11:02 AM: Per the Orca Network‘s e-mail and Facebook alerts, several orcas have been seen this past hour in Elliott Bay – the sighting reports are closer to downtown, but that still means you might spot them from Alki/Harbor Avenues. Let us know if you do! Since the residents don’t usually come this far south this time of year, it’s believed these would be the “transients” that have been in the area.

1:25 PM UPDATE: Sounds like they have headed back out of the bay, according to comments on the Orca Network FB page.

1 Reply to "West Seattle Whale Watch: Orcas in Elliott Bay"

  • Laura Swoyer May 2, 2011 (9:32 am)

    Not sure if your audience is interested outside of their local area . . . but . . .
    April 30
    It was a beautiful, calm day…the kind of day you just want to drive all the way to Vancouver…but it was worth it. We heard tale of transients past East Point headed toward the coal docks. We decided to make an attempt.
    By the time we made it to the coal docks there was no turning back, even though the whales we still headed NW at a steady clip of 7-10 knots. Finally another boat came into view. Then we saw huge splashes. Finally we caught up to the pod, almost. They were cruising at about 10 knots. At first we could see what looked to be 5 or 6 dorsal fins. Then, after a few good surfacings, the rest of the pod came into view. There were at least 10 whales swimming side by side and another 2 or 3 about 700 yards west of the main pod. We watched for about 20 minutes as the pods split and then fused again and again.
    There were at least two juveniles in the pod (one may have been more of a calf size). The whales altered their course very little in the time we saw them. They were cruising at the surface, taking big breaths. We shut down the engines so we could listen to the exhalations. It was so calm and there was so little wind that we could hear them even from more than a couple hundred yards away. Finally, after our epic journey north, we were forced to turn back toward the harbor. It was an amazing day that no one on board will soon forget.
    Laura Swoyer,
    San Juan Safaris

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