PHOTOS: Orcas in view off West Seattle

10:04 AM: Orcas are in the area again – Kersti Muul reports they’re “breaching off Constellation Park.” Updates to come.

(Added: Photo by David Hutchinson)

10:15 AM: Now reported to be “off the volleyball area” on Alki.

11:58 AM: These are still the transient orcas that have been in the area recently, Kersti notes in comments. That means, among other things, they primarily eat mammals – seals and sea lions, in partiicular – while the Southern Resident orcas prefer fish.

2:38 PM: Adding more photos:

(This photo and next by Mike Burns)

ADDED: And a photo from Danny McMillin:

37 Replies to "PHOTOS: Orcas in view off West Seattle"

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul April 20, 2022 (10:41 am)

    T123s continue their presence in west seattle.Very close to shore this morning and made a kill

  • Robin Sinner April 20, 2022 (11:05 am)

    Someone left nice black gloves after watching orcas at 64th and Alki see older gal in navy coat for gloves 

    • Robin Sinner April 20, 2022 (12:02 pm)

      I left gloves on Public beach ends sign 

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul April 20, 2022 (11:27 am)

    T123s continue to make a presence here in West Seattle.They passed southbound last night just as it was getting dark.They were on a kill close to shore for quite some time.Currently northbound out of the Bay, But still visible

    • AP April 20, 2022 (1:24 pm)

      Would love to get my hands on any photos you got from today!

      • Kersti Muul April 20, 2022 (1:54 pm)

        Would you now? Lol

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul April 20, 2022 (11:59 am)

    Still visible from Alki but more Northwest 11:55

  • Kersti Elisabeth Muul April 20, 2022 (12:13 pm)

    Yes, thank you Tracy for clarifying that. They had a sea lion for lunch!

  • BB April 20, 2022 (12:16 pm)

    As exciting as it is to see Orcas, I hate to think of them killing our resident seals and sea lions.

    • wscommuter April 20, 2022 (12:38 pm)

      Why?  It’s how nature works.  

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul April 20, 2022 (1:01 pm)

      It’s what they eat and it is the circle of life. Humans kill all kinds of animals and eat them everyday.

      • Kersti Elisabeth Muul April 20, 2022 (1:06 pm)

        Also I’d much rather see a sea lion or seal or harbor porpoise be a meal for a killer whale rather than a rogue fisherman shooting it in the head

    • Namoo April 20, 2022 (1:30 pm)

      Maybe they should just order Ivars.

    • Elton April 20, 2022 (3:28 pm)

      If you’re happy about seeing Orcas but not happy that they eat other animals then I think you may want to re-evaluate your joy for Orcas ;)

  • TinaR April 20, 2022 (12:45 pm)

    Thanks so much WSB and Kersti.  I got to see them!

  • PeterT April 20, 2022 (12:50 pm)

    The foolhardiness of the paddleboarders to the orcas feeding just…..astounds me. 

  • Susie Saalwaechter April 20, 2022 (1:23 pm)

    Why are paddlers so close to them?

    • Wendell April 20, 2022 (3:18 pm)

      In my experience, the Orca’s come towards you, not the other way around – a human powered craft could never catch up with them anyway. I’ve had the honor of being in the midst of a pod while kayaking in Haro Strait. We were just paddling along and a pod came towards us from several hundred yards away. Adults and calfs swam around me and my paddling partner – beside us, and under our kayaks for about 20 mins. We were just in awe, with nothing much we could do except count our blessings and thank mother nature. This was a while ago, when Ruffles was around.

      • Kersti Muul April 20, 2022 (4:00 pm)

        That’s not what happened today. These people went out of their condo with the INTENT to chase them. I took pictures of him since he left his house and started chasing.

        • For orca mammas April 20, 2022 (7:57 pm)

          Thanks for looking out for these orcas, and sharing your photos!

    • Lynn April 21, 2022 (7:42 pm)

      Because they’re not very educated.

  • Susan April 20, 2022 (1:36 pm)

    Wonder what was going through the paddleboarder’s  mind as he found himself so close to a surfacing orca?!  There’s probably more distance between them than appears here, but it would still be a rush!

    • For orca mammas April 20, 2022 (8:00 pm)

      It’s magical and life changing to have a close encounter with an orca. But there is definitely a difference between an orca approaching you, and chasing down an orca. The latter is harassment and is not cool.

  • jissy April 20, 2022 (1:50 pm)

    Perhaps it’s the Orcas that are close to the paddlers?

  • PatWS April 20, 2022 (2:45 pm)

    Sad to see the paddleboarders with them. I heard that the boarders intentionally went out and joined them – illegal if they paddled themselves within 200 yards of them. (If the boarders were already out there further from the orcas and the whales swam toward them, that would be different.)

  • Kersti Muul April 20, 2022 (4:14 pm)

    One of the first paddle boarders on scene came out of his home with the intent to chase the whales. I have pictures in a series. Also the be whale-wise guidelines / law for transient killer whales is 200 yards on the sides of them and 400 yards in the front and back.Paddle boarders and kayaks often think that they are exempt from the rules but they’re not. Harassment is harassment.

  • Kersti Muul April 20, 2022 (4:15 pm)

    Here is the sea lion, in the forefront after a tail slap/punting

  • Guy April 20, 2022 (4:22 pm)

    As the whales got closer to the 2600 block of Alki an official looking boat stopped nearby where they were milling about, and the first paddleboarder joined up with the vessel. The two others paddled out and went over to where they were feeding. Shameful behavior by those humans. I get it, but keep your distance, bro. 

  • Tar N Feather April 20, 2022 (5:15 pm)

    Wow excellent photos. Also have yet to hear about a vegan orca.. maybe in some other dimension..

  • Rodney April 20, 2022 (6:25 pm)

    Would you guys LIGHTEN up….come on….they’re paddle boarders for crying out loud.  We have them out in front of our beach place quite often in the South Sound…they’re beautiful and have come right up to my boat…several times.  Should I start up and get out of there??  You’d shoot me if I did.  They’re very curious creatures and have to be respected…but they will come right up close to you often times.  Just be still and let them be…but people…LIGHTEN UP on all the comments.  Sheesh….

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul April 21, 2022 (11:10 am)
      1. They were harassing the orcas. We all watched that happen from the second they came out of their houses. There’s nothing to lighten up about. Transients are harassed more now than our residents because of stricter rules on the residents. Two groups have actually rammed boats. One right here in West Seattle actually. Transients are becoming increasingly irritated and it is not advisable to get into their space. 
      2. There are regulations in place for a reason and no one is exempt.
      3. I have repeatedly reported a whale watch boat that was in Elliott Bay twice in 2 weeks but actually drove right through them while they were eating and continued to leapfrog them.
      4. We all want to be close to the whales but this isn’t the way to do it. Watch from shore There’s plenty of close encounters. It’s free, legal, no pollution involved and no harassment
    • Lynn April 21, 2022 (7:41 pm)

      I’m with Kersti on this. Laws are laws. They’re there to protect the animals and humans too. Those ignorant paddle boarders don’t understand Marine Mammal Protection Acts and internationally went close to the orcas. That’s the difference. They were harassing them. And most of the readers here recognize harassment when they see it so no, we’re not going to lighten up. Maybe instead of telling people to lighten up you can read up on why the laws are there in the first place.

  • Auntie April 20, 2022 (6:35 pm)

    In addition to the fact that what that paddler was doing is illegal, unless he is vegan, vegetarian or at the very least pescatarian, he’s got some more ‘splainin’ to do! How would he like it if someone came up to his table at the local steak house and started waving their arms and protesting his meal. Hmph.

  • Susie Saalwaechter April 20, 2022 (6:48 pm)

    The three paddlers clearly made their way to the orcas. We all saw them do it.

  • Auntie April 20, 2022 (7:37 pm)

    Kersti – I hope you will be turning over those pics to the powers that be so that the offending paddler(s) are fined for harassing the Orcas. 

    • Kersti Elisabeth Muul April 21, 2022 (11:12 am)

      Of course I will turn the photos over however without knowing who it is there will be no citation

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