VIDEO, PHOTOS: Orcas swim past West Seattle whale-watchers

(Starting at :15 in, you’ll see some whales – sorry for the shakiness, very long zoom!)
8:59 AM: If you’re anywhere near the water today, keep watch for orcas! Just before nightfall Thursday, the Orca Network had southbound sightings in the north Sound – first sightings that far south in quite a while. Then this morning around 7:30 am, according to West Seattleite Jeff Hogan from Killer Whale Tales, sightings were reported off Vashon Island – still southbound, but at some point, they will have to head back this way, so we’re sharing the alert. If you see whales, please let us know (text/voice 206-293-6302 is our breaking-news hotline, and this qualifies); we’ll update with any reports.

9:40 AM: Still southbound, south of us, per this ON commenter – off Point Robinson on Maury Island (across Puget Sound from Des Moines) about 20 minutes ago.

10:44 AM: Now at least some of the whales are reported to have turned and headed northbound.

12:14 PM: Jeff just texted to say that whales believed to be from all three resident pods are “trending northbound” past Three Tree Point south of West Seattle.

(Added: Photo by Greg Snyder)
1:28 PM: In view! Passing Blake Island.

1:58 PM: The research boat is visible off Blake Island – binoculars definitely needed – if you are near Me-Kwa-Mooks on Beach Drive as we are now. Some whales are ahead of it, some behind.

5:38 PM: Continuing to add visuals from today’s sightings as we get them. Above and (added) below, photos by Gary Jones, as the orcas passed Alki Lighthouse.

10 Replies to "VIDEO, PHOTOS: Orcas swim past West Seattle whale-watchers"

  • Trileigh October 17, 2014 (12:47 pm)

    I went down to Lowman Beach looking for them about 1/2 hour ago – didn’t see any, but that may have been due to rainy conditions. Keep looking!

  • Jen October 17, 2014 (1:16 pm)

    They are northbound. Closer to Vashon side, nearing the ferry dock. It is a big group, spread out. They are easy to spot as they are very active and there is a research boat following them.

    • WSB October 17, 2014 (1:51 pm)

      I watched them from south of Fauntleroy, and I usually miss them, so it IS indeed an easy group to spot! En route to Beach Drive now…

  • DML October 17, 2014 (1:58 pm)

    From above Jacobsen Rd they are towards the north end of Blake Island. Just counted 5 and there is an official looking boat near by.

  • Michelle October 17, 2014 (2:09 pm)

    They’re a ways out, but I can see them from beach drive. They’re a little hard to see, but pop up now and then, heading north.

  • Ray October 17, 2014 (3:53 pm)

    If the video owner is here, what camera/zoom combo did you use? That zoom was incredible.

    • WSB October 17, 2014 (4:00 pm)

      Um, I don’t know if you mean incredible good or bad, but we just have a little handheld JVC Everio. It was stupid of me not to take the tripod, but 99 percent of the time, if I run out after a whale report, I don’t see them, but I always bring the camera for optimism’s sake. Once I caught them through the binoculars, I hurried back to the car for the camera. – Tracy

  • cj October 18, 2014 (6:04 am)

    Who were the guys in the small boat behind the orca about 0:44?

  • LS October 18, 2014 (10:35 am)

    Has anybody seen any orcas this morning around West Seattle?

    • WSB October 18, 2014 (10:54 am)

      No reports of them anywhere in the vicinity today, from our sources or from Orca Network commenters, who say they were fairly far north and still northbound as of nightfall. – Tracy

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