West Seattle, Washington
WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli was shooting from Queen Anne when he captured that ferry passing Alki. His next two photos were taken from West Seattle:
And though this wasn’t taken today (last Wednesday, to be exact), Vanessa Hutchinson e-mailed it to WSB tonight to share:
We appreciate your photos and video, as well as news tips – best address is firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
Thanks to David Hutchinson for e-mailing that video he says he got “with a telephoto lens at a respectable distance,” starring a young harbor seal resting on the rocks today near Don Armeni. Thanks also to Cleat for the photo below – the latest Washington State Ferry in a world o’hurt, photographed under tow off Luna/Anchor Park:
The daily update from the Orca Network mailing list (subscribe here) just came in, including this from a couple hours ago. That’s enough to get us away from behind the computer since one of our stated New Year’s goals was an in-person orca sighting. But first, sharing this with you:
Hello, I just wanted to let you know that I am watching orcas in Elliot Bay from my office window, 10:00 am 1/16/2008. I have never seen them this far into Elliott Bay. They are on the west side of Elliott bay, southwest of the Ferry Route, closer to the Alki side, down where there are some cargo ships moored out in the bay. It’s now 10:38 am and it looks like they have moved south and west around the point at Alki. There was a helicopter very high above them for a little while so I’m guessing it might have been one of the news stations. You might be able to track down some footage and determine which pod it is. It’s hard to tell from this distance how many there are, but at least 4. A very special treat for the day. Hope this is helpful. Have a great day!
Two other reports from the Orca Network suggest they were “transient” orcas, not members of the J, K, and L pods usually seen in the sound; and the e-mail also provides this link to the helicopter video, which was from KING 5.
Five beautiful photos from WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli, capturing the rare sighting of the sun. First – driftwood and surf along Beach Drive:
A freighter heads north, with the snowy Olympics peeking through the clouds in the distance:
Heathers in bloom on Beach Drive:
A cormorant keeping watch atop a piling:
And the troubled (but lovely, we think) steel-electric ferry Quinault, one of the 80-year-old ferries that the state is ready to scrap because of their hull problems:
Forecast suggests this may be the last we see of the sun till sometime Sunday.
Orcas off Fauntleroy, spotted by JumboJim:
Wanted to report that we saw approx. 10-12 orcas off of Lincoln Park and Fauntleroy dock around 10:00-10:30 this A.M. There was at least one male (tall dorsal fin) in the group, maybe two. They were passing to the south. A first time sighting for us from our house. Considering we’re one mile from the water, near the crest of the hill, we were pretty amazed to see them. We had been looking for birds with our spotting scope when we spotted them. I checked an orca hotline and it seems they may have been K pod.”
Smaller marine mammals off Harbor Ave, reported by Paul Cozens:
Around 20 California Sea Lions have been cavorting in the waters between Saltyâ€™s and Jack Block Park. There does not appear to be a skinny one in the bunch, indicating they are successfully feeding on something. A Harbor Seal was spotted lounging on the beach this morning, also.
And two luscious West Seattle Farmers’ Market photos from this morning by Lois Grammon-Simpson — heart-y treats from Flying Apron Bakery, followed by those gorgeous tulips (first spotted last week) from Alm Hill Gardens.
Shannon in Fauntleroy reports she was “watching the Olympics pop in and out of the clouds” when her photo caught something else in the distance – a submarine being escorted by the Coast Guard. With the big sub base at Bangor in Kitsap County, you know subs are out there, but they’re not often seen.
First, a great photo:
Larry says it was about 4 pm today when he got that shot of a VERY busy afternoon on Elliott Bay. Thanks for sending it to WSB!
Second – congrats to Jeff from Soundproof Suite 1850, one of the 116 sites listed on our Other Blogs in West Seattle page – he won The Stranger‘s auction for a week of posting rights on the paper’s ever-spectacular Slog, coming up in January, and according to Slog, Jeff “looks forward to defending the honor of West Seattle and the Alaskan Way Viaduct.” (Hat tip to our pals at Capitol Hill Seattle for catching first word of Jeff’s Slog score.)
Third – on the holiday front: Not enough for a complete update of our West Seattle Christmas tree price check, but while out this afternoon, we noticed the Rite-Aids are out of trees, and West Seattle Nursery has marked down some of its Douglas firs (some nice ones for as low as $11!) – they’re open till 8 pm. Also, we’ve added many more West Seattle Christmas Eve and Christmas Day church services to the WSB Holidays page – as many as we’ve found online so far – will be making phone calls to fill out the list; we’re working on the list of Christmas Eve/Day grocery-store hours too.
First photo from Lowman Beach late this afternoon; second from Beach Drive at sunset.
Nov. 21: Orca Network received a call from Amy Carey at 9:45 am, relaying a report from a passenger on the Vashon passenger ferry of a pod of orcas off the north end of Vashon Island heading south at 8:15 am. She found the pod at 9:55 am, between Three Tree Point & Pt. Robinson, Maury Island still heading south. At 10:56 am they were at Pt. Robinson, and she was able to confirm them as J pod. By 11:13 am they had come around Pt. Robinson, moving slowly. A cargo ship, the Greenwich Bridge, blasted right through the pod, after which they did multiple breaches & spy hops. At 11:35 am she said they were still heading south, not quite to Brown’s Pt. At 12:05 pm they were directly off Gold Beach, heading into the Maury Island Reserve.
A new concern about baby seals in West Seattle waters: Local residents who asked to be anonymous e-mailed us (and other news organizations) with a claim that a net fishing crew strung its nets “right across one of the most popular haul-out beaches for these pups at Anchor Park … (Other) fishermen … reported they have never seen a net attached to these rocks before this year. Several fishermen witnessed the net had drowned three seal pups. … This is a clear violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. We also have photo documentation of this same fisherman pulling a fourth seal pup out of his net. We cannot tell for sure if this particular pup is dead or alive.” Here’s that photo (we have cropped out what looks to be a partial identifying number on the boat, as we are still doing research to find out more about this claim):
The e-mail goes on to say the nets were removed for a while last week, then returned this past Thursday. The residents believe these nets belong to a tribe, but haven’t been able to figure out which one — because of what they say is a conflict over tribal fishing rights in the area. Whoever it belongs to, they say, they are “respectfully asking … to move this net for the next several weeks away from this very popular haul out beach for the pups.” We have e-mail out to the tribe that these residents think owns the net, to see what they can tell us about the situation, and will also be checking with the local federal authorities who have jurisdiction over marine mammals such as the seal pups. 5:10 PM ADDENDUM: 47 minutes after we published this report, this tv site posted a story about the situation suggesting something had happened today (“9 am Saturday”), although for the record, the photo published with their online story is one of two photos that we received from the concerned residents YESTERDAY (Friday afternoon).
Just got this uploaded; we shot it at the height of the wind craziness:
Today was Seattle’s last multi-cruise-ship day of the season, according to the Cruise Seattle schedule; from the north-facing WS shore, we caught Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity’s Mercury heading out together about an hour ago:
From hereon out, Mercury is the only cruise ship expected to be seen here again before next spring; between now and November 4th, it will travel Elliott Bay (can’t miss the distinctive “X” funnel) every few days as it comes and goes on short jaunts through WA and BC waters.
Or anyplace you have a view of the Sound from west-facing West Seattle … a bunch of military ships are going by right now (Navy, Coast Guard), we believe as part of the Seafair fleet parade, heading south past north Vashon. 12:45 PM UPDATE, ADDING PHOTOS: They just went back the other way, to dock near downtown. Here are a couple shots we got from Marine View Drive.
If you didn’t see them sail in, go down to our north- or northeast-facing waterfront late this afternoon and you can see them sail out: First day of the regular weekly cruise-ship visits. Every Saturday starting today, it’s Seattle-based Holland America Line’s Oosterdam (left) and Princess Cruises’ Golden Princess at Terminal 30, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Star at Pier 66. Within two weeks, the rest of the “fleet” will be here too — two ships on Fridays and three on Sundays (full schedule here).
This is the usual greeting over the loudspeaker from the Christmas Ship as it arrives at one of its stops, blazing with light, serenading everyone on shore with live Christmas songs from performers on board. And this is the big weekend for our part of town. Here’s hoping the weather won’t be too bad. First, on Saturday, the Christmas Ship (and whichever boats choose to accompany it) will pull up to Seacrest Pier at 5:15 pm, with Northwest Girlchoir Vivace performing. Then it goes back downtown to swap out choirs; with the Vashon Island Chorale on board, it’ll visit Lowman Beach at 8:50 pm Saturday, and then sail back along West Seattle’s west-facing shoreline, to reach Alki Beach for a stop at 9:40. All three of those stops are supposed to have bonfires, by the way. If you can’t catch the Christmas Ship on Saturday, it will make one more WS stop — Sunday, 7:10 pm, Don Armeni, also with a bonfire. The full schedule is linked from our WS Holiday Stuff page, as are other holiday activities in WS this weekend, including tonight’s tree lighting @ Our Lady of Guadalupe. (We’ll be out tree-shopping too, and planning to post a price-check here at some point!)