West Seattle Whale Watch: Orcas in the area

(No orcas in this pic but they’re out there somewhere – shot around 1 pm, light on the Olympics)
11:48 AM: We’re getting reports of orcas in the area – they were first spotted from the Bainbridge ferry about an hour ago; Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail called to say they appeared to be heading this way; and now we’ve just gotten a phone call from someone who saw them from a ferry “between Alki and Blake Island.” We’re out looking – let us know if you spot ’em!

11:55 AM: Just talked to Donna south of Alki Point – the whales are much closer to the Bainbridge side right now, so you’ll need really good binoculars/camera at this point – updates to come if that changes.

1:24 PM: They’re now visible from Lincoln Park, according to wildlife watcher/photographer/writer Trileigh Tucker. Donna also has checked back to say they’re between here and Vashon. Please share photos if you get ’em! Thank you!

8 Replies to "West Seattle Whale Watch: Orcas in the area"

  • bobc November 29, 2011 (2:08 pm)

    I live on 56th just north of Dakota. Can see Orcas between our house and halfway to Blake Island. Do not seem to be traveling in any particular direction. Perhaps feeding?

  • Donna, The Whale Trail November 29, 2011 (4:08 pm)

    The orcas milled and foraged mid-channel between Blake and Vashon for a while, then turned and headed north again. We last saw them breaching on the horizon from Alki, still headed north. Still waiting for confirmation on which pod(s) – J and K? A chilly but thrilling day!

  • Trileigh November 29, 2011 (4:11 pm)

    I talked briefly with the folks at OrcaNetwork around 2:20, and they wondered if they might be transients after all, since I only saw three. Donna, how many did you see at once?

  • Donna, The Whale Trail November 29, 2011 (4:29 pm)

    There were two groups, Trileigh. Not sure if it was one pod in two groups (26 whales – J pod) or two pods (46 whales – J and K pod). At one point there were blows stretching from the north end of Vashon to the north end of Blake, and still more at the south end of Bainbridge. On the north bound trip they were bunched up in two tight groups. So my guess is two pods. Waiting for confirmed IDs from Mark Sears.

  • bobc November 29, 2011 (4:30 pm)

    I never saw more than 3 or possibly 4. Hard to tell with the wind and waves.

  • Donna, The Whale Trail November 29, 2011 (6:02 pm)

    Just heard from Mark Sears that it was J and K pods out there today. (Thanks to Maya Sears for taking the ID photos!) KOMO-TV posted some great video too:


    Trileigh- they didn’t make it very far south so might not have been as visible from Lincoln Park.
    Bob – Yes, hard to pick them out among the whitecaps. They did some breaching, which helped!

  • Bruno November 30, 2011 (8:15 am)

    We saw a bunch of orcas off discovery point yesterday around 4 pm

  • Donna, The Whale Trail November 30, 2011 (3:24 pm)

    Bruno – how close were they?

    The whales are back today. We last saw them headed south down Colvos Passage mid-afternoon. Maybe see them on the return trip north? Keep watching!

Sorry, comment time is over.