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West Seattle weekend scenes: Low tide; smooth sailing; cleanup

January 11, 2009 2:49 am
|    Comments Off on West Seattle weekend scenes: Low tide; smooth sailing; cleanup
 |   Delridge | Fauntleroy | Seen at sea | West Seattle news

Lina Rose says she and husband Scott Rose are glad they saw the most recent edition of the West Seattle Weekend Lineup – they decided to go on last night’s low-tide walk across from Me-Kwa-Mooks, organized by Camp Long, and their memorable discoveries included the beautiful creatures shown in Scott’s photos above and below:

Lots of future Camp Long adventures ahead – browse online here. Earlier in the day, a different sight on Puget Sound – the Three Tree Point Yacht Club‘s Duwamish Head Race (thanks to Hopey for the heads-up it was happening), photographed by Gary J:

And first thing Saturday morning, dozens of volunteers — including the mayor — fanned out in the South Delridge/White Center business district for a Clean-and-Green spruce-up event:

Those two pix are WSB staff photos, but the great Puget Sound pix preceding it came from WSB’ers – if you have a photo to share with your West Seattle neighbors (and others who use WSB to keep in touch with WS), please e-mail us any time at – thank you!

West Seattle scenes: Spectacular sunset

Thanks to WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli for capturing the beauty of tonight’s sunset, from Beach Drive.

Reminder, Christopher’s photography will be featured at Ama Ama (WSB sponsor) next Thursday night, 6-9 pm, on the inhouse bigscreens, during the Holiday Edition of the West Seattle Art Walk.

West Seattle orca sightings update, with photos from Alki!

Just received that photo and the one below this post from Jeff Hogan, executive director of Killer Whale Tales, who was more closely involved than most people with the sightings we reported yesterday (anyone seen them today? we think we MAY have seen them in the distance, south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock, within the past hour, but our binoculars leave much to be desired). Jeff e-mailed:

I just wanted to let my new West Seattle neighbors know that we have members of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale Community in the area. Yesterday they spent most of the day off Alki Point and were easily visible for the better part of the afternoon. I am including two photos I took from the beach, one is picture of 13 year old J30 and the other has J8, a 75 year old female in the foreground and L7 a 47 year old female in the background. I spent most of the day on the water with a group of NOAA scientists, collecting fecal samples, (yes, poop) as well as scale samples from their prey. If anyone sees them on the water please give me a call at 206.660.0835 or call the Orca Network hotline at 1.866.672.2638.

Here’s the photo of J30:

Our coverage from yesterday is here (first report) and here (Orca Network sightings details, plus a link for more on the individual whales). For more information on Killer Whale Tales, here’s its website.

More on the West Seattle orca sightings: Who saw what, where

(file photo of Puget Sound resident orcas, from NOAA)
In our morning report about nearby orca sightings, we mentioned the Orca Network‘s daily “sightings” e-mail (subscribe to it here). The latest one just arrived, and it tells the story of today’s sightings – we’ll paraphrase:

*8:15 am, six orcas reported by captain of ferry Tacoma on Seattle-Bainbridge run
*9 am, orcas reported off Alki Point by captain of ferry Hyak on Seattle-Bremerton run
*9:09 am, orcas reported “at the mouth of Elliott Bay” by captain of ferry Kalama (Seattle-Vashon)
*9:30 am, five whales seen from Alki Point identified as: J1 (Ruffles), J27 (Blackberry), J2 (Granny), J8 (Speiden) and J30 (Riptide) [find out more on individual whales here]
*9:45 am, report of three orcas “traveling southwest from Alki Beach”
*9:45 am, report from a vessel that saw “about 4 whales just south of West Seattle and east of Blake Island”
*10:20 am Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth ferry run, passenger reported the captain announcing a pod of orcas, one male and four females: “They appear very active and look to be feeding. … The male appeared to be herding salmon down to the others.”
*10:43 am, captain of the ferry Issaquah reported orcas “milling near the Fauntleroy dock”
*10:50 am, sighting between Vashon and West Seattle
*11:40 am, two orcas spotted heading from Alki Point toward West Point (Magnolia)
*11:41 am, captain of the ferry Wenatchee spotted orcas near Bainbridge
*Noon, chief mate of the ferry Tacoma spotted orcas near Bainbridge

Last report says a Vashon spotter saw the whales heading north around 5 pm “after spending at least 8 hours in south Puget Sound.” Tomorrow, perhaps? Thanks to the tipsters who sounded the alert this morning for WSB-land!

Bulletin: Orcas spotted off Alki/Beach Drive

(photo added 10:57 am – they’re out there SOMEWHERE)
That very quick note just in from David: “Orca pod spotted off Alki Beach at 9:45 am!!!!” We’re getting in the car now. Add comments if you see them – where, when, which way. Photos welcome. 10:52 AM UPDATE: Just back from driving the entire length of West Seattle waterfront, both directions. Got the nice sunbreak photo above (looking south from just south of Alki Point), but no whales. However, as noted in the comments, they seem to have headed southwest; this post on Beach Drive Blog says the same. So they’re out there somewhere – keep a lookout. This is the time of year when the orcas often venture into central Puget Sound. The Orca Network sends daily e-mail with the latest sightings from all around Puget Sound (including the San Juan Island waters where they’re most often seen); you can sign up for it here. 3:05 PM UPDATE: Got e-mail from Mike, who thinks he may be seeing them in Elliott Bay from downtown.

Another reason to be thankful: West Seattle’s water wonders

Fauntleroy’s Ron Richardson sent that Thanksgiving Eve photo, along with the next one and the story that follows:

Jason, a Fauntleroy resident, brings his paddle board to Fauntleroy Cove two or three times a week.

Wednesday is a perfect day for Jason to share the cove with the Washington State Ferries. Jason works for REI and is obviously very proficient with one of their new product lines. The board can be navigated and propelled by a single long paddle or it can be rigged with a sail to use as a wind surf outfit. Folks in Fauntleroy are used to seeing Jason aboard his rig in fair weather and foul. Look for him around Alki as well.

-submitted by Ron Richardson (who is continually rewarded by his walks through the Fauntleroy neighborhood)

We love to share photos, with or without stories, from all over West Seattle – send ’em to any time! Ron also recently shared a story with our partner site White Center Now, a belated Veterans Day tribute to Al Skaretyou can read it here.

West Seattle scene: Two kinds of night lights

(photo copyright Eric Shalit)
Thanks to Eric Shalit for sharing that photo he took around 6:20 tonight while bicycling home past Seacrest.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Salmon; sunset

The fish “flag” is flying at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook – because the first coho spawner has arrived! The notice posted at the overlook is the same one you can read on this page of It says: “Our first coho spawner (dubbed “Hillary” as a kind of consolation prize!) came in on Saturday, Nov. 8, and as of Monday is still awaiting a mate. Congratulations to watchers Ann Samenfink and Cathy Follis for making the first sighting.” So, “Hillary” arrived less than two weeks after the gathering to “call the salmon home” (WSB video coverage here); the fish ladder is marking its 10th anniversary this fall. Shortly after visiting the creek, we headed north to catch tonight’s glorious sunset from just south of Alki Point:

“Time Capsule Day” conclusion: Two last photos

November 13, 2008 11:59 pm
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 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle history

Thanks to Jason for that photo from the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth run tonight, looking back at the moon over Fauntleroy. Last pitch – if you took pix, saved items, or otherwise acquired/created/compiled something to submit for Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza time-capsule consideration, you have till year’s end to turn it in (details here). ADDED FRIDAY MORNING (BUT TAKEN THURSDAY): Wanted to be sure to include a photo of Andrea Mercado from the Log House Museum/Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which is coordinating the time capsule – Don Kelstrom got this photo of Andrea taking a call from someone yesterday about a capsule contribution:

Side note, the annual membership meeting of the SWSHS is tomorrow (more here); its annual fundraising gala dinner and silent auction is a week later (11/22; more here).

More “Time Capsule Day” scenes

November 13, 2008 4:28 pm
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 |   Seen around town | Seen at sea | West Seattle history

More photos just to capture the scenery on the day that’s being recorded for posterity — with contributions of “life as we lived it on 11/13/08” being accepted for consideration for inclusion in the time capsule that will be buried next year at the Alki Statue of Liberty Plaza, for opening on this date in 2058 (11/13 is the anniversary of the Denny Party‘s landing on Alki in 1851). Above, we didn’t pull over in quite enough time to get a head-on shot of what appeared to be a father and son on wheels – with their dog leading the way – liked the photo anyway. Minutes earlier, this shot from the Duwamish Head viewpoint looking back at the downtown skyline:

About an hour before that, we took this photo from the meeting room at Alaskan Way Viaduct project headquarters, 24th floor of the Wells Fargo building at 3rd/Madison downtown – we’re about to write up the West Seattle-specific results of the briefing we attended there – that report’s next.

“Time Capsule Day” continues till 11:59 pm, so if you see, receive, create something you might want to submit for consideration – this previous WSB post explains how to do that.

Getting chummy off Alki Point

Seems like a distant memory, but the sun WAS out for a while Monday morning – and these photos sent by Alki’s Bob Bollen (thank you!) are proof. He spotted the Endurance and Quandary out fishing Monday morning off Alki Point. According to this state bulletin, it’s chum-salmon time. (But we will completely confess to being fishing-expertise-deficient, despite having extensively trawled the state and tribal websites, so if you think/know these vessels were doing something else, please advise!)

West Seattle scenes: “Bon voyage” to ’08 cruise season


Taken this morning at Don Armeni: That’s Celebrity Cruises‘ Mercury in the background, making the last scheduled cruise-ship call of the year, so when you see Mercury sail past West Seattle’s north-facing waterfront this afternoon, that’s it till next spring. The Port of Seattle has already posted the 2009 cruise schedule; ship visits are scheduled April 24-October 15, so far.

West Seattle scenes: Private park-n-ride; cruise season ebbing


One week ago, we were first to break the news (outside the company, anyway) that Microsoft’s Connector employee bus service had picked the date to expand into West Seattle; today, a tip from Sue led us to signs like that one in the parking lot by the Masonic Hall on the east edge of The Junction, one of several pickup/dropoff spots with which the service will launch next Monday (and we’re told it’s already full up!). Now, a seagoing sight from Alki:


During the heart of the summer cruise season, you don’t usually see the big ships in Elliott Bay on Mondays. But now it’s shoulder season and schedules are different; late this afternoon, Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas (left) and Celebrity Cruises’ Mercury both headed out. Serenade was the last non-Celebrity ship scheduled to visit this year (according to the schedule on the Port of Seattle website); Celebrity’s Infinity stops in tomorrow, and Millennium on Wednesday, then Mercury is in four more times (running a schedule of short Northwest cruises) until its departure ends the cruise season on Wednesday, October 15.

Seen at sea: Sub sighting; lettuce-lugging


Thanks to Chris Hannemann for that shot of a U.S. Navy sub and a U.S. Coast Guard boat, taken from Alki. “You don’t see that every day!” Chris noted. Meantime, thanks to the state Ecology Department for sending a couple photos taken in Dumas Bay (map) but of Fauntleroy relevance:



Those photos show a trial run on Wednesday for Blue Marble Energy, which DOE hired as a contractor for removing sea lettuce when it’s necessary — in other words, when it’s causing “high odor problems” at Fauntleroy Cove and/or Dumas Bay. It didn’t happen this summer but Blue Marble needed a trial run, so the operation was set up for Wednesday at Dumas Bay. As first announced earlier this summer, Blue Marble will harvest sea lettuce for use as a replacement for petroleum products; read about it here.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Moonrise, seen at sea




Seen from the Klahowya tonight, sailing from Southworth to Vashon (first two photos), then Vashon to Fauntleroy. The official full moon is tomorrow.

West Seattle weekend scenes: Low clouds, high beauty

September 13, 2008 11:56 pm
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 |   Seen at sea | West Seattle weather


We end Saturday with three beautiful photos taken close to its foggy start – that first one from WSB contributing photojournalist Matt Durham, shot from Don Armeni. (Prints of Matt’s work are available from his website, Next two are courtesy of Creighton (who blogs at, taken on Alki:



Looks like Sunday morning may bring some pre-sun fog, too.

Upgraded way to watch which ferry is where

Found out from the WSDOT Twitter feed that Washington State Ferries has upgraded its “Vessel Watch” feature, which uses GPS to show which ferry is where. You can see it here.

For early-morning water-watchers: Carrier’s final journey

kittyhawksandiego.jpgIf you’re looking out at Puget Sound, toward Bainbridge or northward, early this morning, you might see the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63; US Navy photo at left) on the last leg of what’s expected to be its final journey: The 47-year-old carrier is expected to tie up around 9 o’clock this morning in Bremerton, where it will be decommissioned (a public ceremony is expected sometime next year). The Kitty Hawk has been sailing up the coast from San Diego, where it stopped last month after a 10-year deployment to Yokosuka, Japan. ADDED 8:59 AM: Gary J got this photo before the Kitty Hawk turned into Rich Passage:


West Seattle scenes: Friday night fun


That’s the crowd from one of at least two Breast Cancer 3Day fundraisers in West Seattle this weekend — left to right, the grownups in the photo are Kyle Minaglia, Jennifer Carlson, Amanda Armstrong, and Kristi Keithly. Kristi had e-mailed WSB to let us know about her fundraising barbecue at 62nd/Admiral tonight; she’s working to get to her fundraising goal. She’ll be in the 3Day (which reportedly will travel through West Seattle again this year; here’s our coverage from last year) in honor of a dear old friend, diagnosed with breast cancer and not even 40 yet. The story’s a lot like that of 33-year-old West Seattleite Tracy Dart, who is blogging here about her breast-cancer battle — and getting ready for the 3Day with a fundraiser outside West 5 this coming Sunday, 11 am-6 pm. Meantime, back in the Alki area, the Community Center‘s advisory council was barbecuing tonight too:


The council helps keep things humming at this community hub, and put on the event as a community thank-you (and an opportunity to get the word out about the ongoing need for volunteer help). Now we head south to The Mount, where tonight’s outdoor concert drew a sizable crowd to enjoy the always-fabulous West Seattle Big Band:

Providence Mount St. Vincent (WSB sponsor) has one more Friday night concert to go – next week it’s Steve Rice and Big Squeezy. To go with our video clip from tonight, here’s a photo just sent to us by Karen:


And one more photo from WSB-land — it wouldn’t be a REAL West Seattle summer night without a spectacular sunset:


Thanks to Relaena Sindelar for sharing that incredible view.

West Seattle scenes, Heat Wave Night 1 edition


Thanks to JayDee for that sunset shot. After we originally published this post half an hour ago, this view came in from David Hutchinson:


There are still sights to be seen tonight; check out the nearly full moon if you haven’t already (nice picture on Creighton‘s blog, by the way). Latest forecast: Sunny and 90s tomorrow AND Saturday. Here’s a cooling view, from Lincoln Park:


Luckie actually took that one yesterday, by Colman Pool. Not far away, in Fauntleroy tonight, great night for a barbecue:

That video shows an overview of the big crowd on the northwest lawn of The Kenney during tonight’s annual barbecue. The Kenney, by the way, is just about to file applications with the city to initiate its major redevelopment project; we spoke with its CEO a few hours before tonight’s event and plan to publish our report tomorrow.

West Seattle scenes: The dock is jumping


Coming in from downtown on the Elliott Bay Water Taxi less than an hour ago, not only did we see fish jumping in the bay – we saw this lively crowd angling for them from the dock at Seacrest. Didn’t get a photo, but as we walked away from the dock, we saw one man who’d made quite the catch, cleaning a 2-foot salmon over in the Seacrest sink. (If you want a different view of the salmon now running in local waters, looks like it’s a great time to visit the Ballard Locks fish ladder viewing area, according to our friends at

West Seattle Weather Watch: Today’s supposed to sizzle


The water’s really the place to be when the temperature peaks in the early evening – David Hutchinson sent that Tuesday sunset shot of Argosy’s Goodtime II off Alki. Temps could be into the 90s by day’s end (and that Smog Watch is still in effect). And if you’ll be looking for a place to chill with good company by evening, join the “Project Runway” viewing party at Ginomai (southwest corner 42nd/Genesee) to cheer for Hotwire< barista Blayne — 8 pm doors open (bring non-alcoholic beverage/small dessert to share), 9 pm show.

More West Seattle weekend scenes, from the beach to the pool


We spotted that person fishing just offshore at Lincoln Park at sunset tonight – sparkling end to a beautiful day. On West Seattle’s “other” big beach, low-tide-walking and volleyball started the day (both shown in this clip):

The Alki Volleyball Association had qualifying going on all weekend for next month’s US Open in Huntington Beach, California; another big volleyball event on Alki is just two weeks away – the EVP Pro Volleyball Tour is visiting in two weeks (here’s our coverage of last year’s stop). Also at Alki today, the Festival of Indian Culture (back at the beach after a detour to the Eastside last year) – these photos are courtesy David Hutchinson:



And in the early afternoon, we caught some of the first people to use the Delridge wading pool on its first Sunday of the season – added after community concerns were called to the Parks Department‘s attention (WSB coverage here and here):


Later in the day, we’re told, the pool drew quite a crowd. Meantime, now that all the really big festivals are past – it’s time to just relax and enjoy simple pleasures like wading pools, Colman Pool, beaches, parks, forested trails … we’ll be spotlighting some of those options this week.