West Seattle whale watching: Orcas back today; humpback nearby

(Photo added: Northbound orcas, photographed from Alki Point by Guy Smith)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:16 AM: Two whale-watching notes: First, multiple reports this morning of orcas back in the area – seen off Beach Drive, and from the Vashon Island ferry run, headed southbound.

8:47 AM UPDATE: Donna Sandstrom from The Whale Trail just called – now the orcas are headed NORTH from the ferry lane – watch from Emma Schmitz Viewpoint soon.

9:06 AM: Jeff Hogan from Killer Whale Tales texted with news they’re off Lincoln Park right now.

9:46 AM: Via Twitter, MetPatrick reports they’re now off Constellation Park (Beach Drive, south of Alki Point).

1:27 PM: Adding two more photos, from Vicky Piston on Alki:

In comments, Donna from TWT says they disappeared from view here about two hours ago. But this is the season – keep watch and let us know (206-293-6302, text or voice, any time) if and when you see them!

(back to original report) Second, humpbacks have been in the area a while, and West Seattleite Dennis Hinton shares the photo of a sighting off the south end of Blake Island on Wednesday:

He says he was fishing off Southworth in the morning when he thought he saw a humpback – then the captain confirmed the ID as seen from a ferry headed back this way in the afternoon.

NOT SURE WHAT KIND OF WHALE YOU SAW? Check the species-ID info on The Whale Trail‘s website.

8 Replies to "West Seattle whale watching: Orcas back today; humpback nearby"

  • JoB November 5, 2015 (9:26 am)

    it sounds like this is the day to be out there watching
    not one of my options today :(
    the best i can hope for is that someone takes really good pictures

  • Donna (The Whale Trail) November 5, 2015 (1:27 pm)

    We watched the whales (J and K pods) from about 8:30 to 11:30. They were stretched out for miles, foraging in small groups, some coming very close to Alki Point. We moved to Alki Beach and watched them for over an hour – they were spread out and foraging all across the sound. We saw lots of breaches and a spectacular spyhop, too! They continued moving slowly north, disappearing from our view around 11:30. Thanks as always for helping us get the word out, WSB! Another great day on The Whale Trail. :)

  • ashley k November 5, 2015 (2:41 pm)

    Are binoculars necessary to see most of these encounters along Alki? How lucky do you get with the naked eye?

  • Rachel November 5, 2015 (3:04 pm)

    Seeing the whales today off Alki Beach was great! There were so many of them! You could see them with the naked eye, but it was even better with binoculars.

    Thanks for bringing all the binoculars Donna!

  • Lauren November 5, 2015 (3:09 pm)

    No Binoculars needed today – we watched them from Duke’s this morning.

  • westseattledood November 5, 2015 (3:46 pm)

    I store binoculars in my car. Ready at all times when out and about. What good are binoculars in your storage closets! Between sky and sea life here in Puget Sound, you benefit from a better return on the investment of good glasses by keeping them accessible.


  • Michele Thomas November 10, 2015 (8:08 am)

    A big pod of killer whales just showed off for the passengers on the 7:50 ferry to Southworth! Huge pod going south!

    • WSB November 10, 2015 (8:11 am)

      Thanks, Michele! Were they headed for the west passage closer to SW or the east?

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