WHALES: Orcas off West Seattle

(Added: Photo tweeted by Robin L, when orcas ventured into Elliott Bay)

2:24 PM: Thanks to Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail for the tip – orcas are reported off Lincoln Park, headed north. Let us know if you see them!

2:38 PM: Kersti Muul texted to say they’re transients, closer to this side of the Sound.

2:41 PM: Donna says in a comment below that it’s a group of four whales.

2:54 PM: Kersti says they’re now off Alki, spotted in the 2100 block.

3:19 PM: Update from Kersti – two groups, two females and a calf off the downtown waterfront, “second group now coming into the bay … at Duwamish Head.”

21 Replies to "WHALES: Orcas off West Seattle"

  • Donna, The Whale Trail September 22, 2021 (2:36 pm)

    They might be further north by now, a group of four. WDFW Enforcement boat was with them but not sure if they still are.

    • Bryan September 22, 2021 (3:35 pm)

      How do we subscribe to text alerts about the whales on Alki and close by? 

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 22, 2021 (3:57 pm)

    There are two groups one is now heading west out of the bay near Grain silos.One group was initially very close to shore along Alki AvenueI have called enforcement on two boats, including the Argosy who were on top of the whales and Mark (NOAA) under power.As soon as I let Mark know where they were in the bay, I hoped they would back off, not so such

    • Oakley34 September 22, 2021 (4:45 pm)

      I was observing from duwamish head and was shocked how close a large vessel came to them. Seemed purposeful to obtain a good view.  Not cool.

      • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 22, 2021 (5:07 pm)

        That’s was the Argosy. The other was a sailboat with orcas painted on it 

        • For orca mammas September 22, 2021 (7:03 pm)

          Very not cool. The asshattery of boaters harassing orcas needs to stop.

          Thanks Kersti, for looking out for orcas, and for all you share here.

    • waikikigirl September 22, 2021 (5:23 pm)

      Will (hoping) that boats and the Argosy will be fined???

      • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 22, 2021 (5:33 pm)

        I’ll let you know when I talk to enforcement again tomorrow

        • waikikigirl September 22, 2021 (6:26 pm)

          Thank you Kersti you’re the Orca whisperer! And sorry about the 2nd post??? how in the heck did that happen :>)

    • waikikigirl September 22, 2021 (5:24 pm)

      Will (hoping) that those boats and the Argosy will be fined???

    • Talia September 22, 2021 (6:57 pm)

      Wow!!! So incredible and shocking. I hate that they are venturing this close to civilization to find food.

  • Guy September 22, 2021 (4:55 pm)

    There was a group of three of them that must have been 50 feet or less from the sand on the 2600 block of Alki today, it was an incredible sight!

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 22, 2021 (5:08 pm)

      It was more like 50 yards. They would have beached themselves. My picture above is from when you saw them

  • El Jefe' September 22, 2021 (9:43 pm)

    Have you ever been on a boat near orcas? These boats might not have seen them. Really, how often are orcas in Elliott Bay? They are hunting for fur bags. The transients are visiting more and more, maybe because they are outgrowing their northern range. Their numbers are large so I welcome there presence in the San Juan’s because there is plenty for them to eat. They are not picky like the inbred SR whales. 

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 23, 2021 (7:41 am)

      These boats were fully aware of the whales as they came over to them, drove over them, paralleled them, despite the research boat being out. It’s hard for the researchers to collect the data and samples they need while tour boats or private boats are tailgating them and chasing the whales away. These boats caused them to take several long dives; chasing the them the entire length, and width of the bay.Orcas go into the bay quite a bit actually. Especially the transients as there are multiple haul out areas for PInnipeds. It’s also harbor seal pupping season in our area. Residents also spend time in the bay in late September and October chasing coho salmon.You’re letting your hate for PInnipeds drive your ignorant and hateful comments.

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 23, 2021 (7:48 am)

      Also, diet isn’t about pickiness. It’s culture and evolution. Transients don’t eat salmon, residents don’t eat mammals. The multiple ecotypes orcas all over the world have very specific diets that do not cross over.Their morphology dictates diet somewhat as well. Body size, teeth shape etc

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 22, 2021 (9:44 pm)

    T36s also present. This is 36B. Still working on the males

    • Greengirl September 23, 2021 (6:28 am)

      Thank you for your beautiful photos and for caring so deeply about the Orca’s in our area. I am out of town and your photo’s keep me connected. Thank you Kirsti and the WSB.

  • Resident September 23, 2021 (11:33 am)

    Any follow-up on the reporting of the vessel violations and enforcement as mentioned yesterday afternoon by Kersti Muul?

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul September 23, 2021 (9:20 pm)

      It’s not a one and done situation. I spoke with enforcement again last night around 8:30 PM.I have to send pictures in, etc.The more people call, the more serious it is taken. If you call the hotline they get quantitative data and it is better then calling the be whale wise line.The thing enforcement struggles the most with is proving distance. 

      Fyi, a citation will never be given without photographic evidence

  • MaryV September 24, 2021 (4:53 pm)

    If you blow up the picture of the light pole on the right, you see the Argosy Boat moving directly to where the Orcas were headed. 

Sorry, comment time is over.