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ORCA ALERT: Whales visible from West Seattle

July 6, 2019 10:35 am
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 |   West Seattle news | Whales | Wildlife

Thanks to Kersti Muul for the tip: Orcas are visible from West Seattle. Currently, midchannel southbound, north of Elliott Bay. Let us know if you see them!

WHALE ALERT: Orcas headed this way, southbound

11:36 AM: The tip’s just in from Kersti Muul: Orcas headed this way, transients, southbound from mid-Bainbridge Island. Let us know if you see them!

12:19 PM: Update from Kersti – the whales have paused for “a kill” between Bainbridge and Blake Islands.

WHALE ALERT: Orcas off West Seattle

Thanks to Kersti Muul for the alert – she relays word that Washington State Ferries spotted orcas off the north end of Vashon, northbound, as of the top of the hour. Transients, not residents. As always – if you see them, please let us know!

Seen off West Seattle: Whale’s evening appearance

The photo and report are from Eilene Hutchinson:

Around 7:40 this evening, we were just south of Salty’s when we were startled by a loud sound and looked up to see a whale surfacing close to shore. We believe this was a gray whale.

It moved off to the north along the Harbor Ave shoreline. We drove to Duwamish Head, where along with others, we watched it surface a number of times before the whale headed southwest toward Alki Point about 8:00 PM.

Helicopter search off West Seattle after state ferry hits whale

Thanks to Byron and Marty for the tips and photos. We’ve confirmed with Washington State Ferries what citywide media first reported: A helicopter search in Elliott Bay followed a ferry apparently striking a whale. A WSF spokesperson tells us it happened just a few minutes after the M/V Wenatchee’s departure from downtown, bound for Bainbridge Island. Passengers saw what they believed was a gray whale surface just a few feet from the bow – too close for the ferry to avoid hitting it. The spokesperson says as far as she knows, no one felt the collision – the witnesses got word to the crew. The ferry continued on to Bainbridge Island; the U.S. Coast Guard searched for the whale, which wasn’t seen again:

(The ferry in this photo is NOT the Wenatchee)

The WSF spokesperson says the USCG thinks it might have spotted something near Pier 66 but darkness has complicated the search. No whales – gray or otherwise – had been reported in the area earlier, so that’s made this a bit of a mystery. WSF has, meantime, also notified NOAA.

‘Sea change’ for local orcas, as The Whale Trail gathers

(Photo by Mark Sears – permit 21348)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“It’s a good week for the whales!”

So declared Donna Sandstrom of The Whale Trail as her organization’s May gathering began at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor).

She added: “It’s going to be different for the whales this summer and beyond.” Her explanation at the May 16th meeting was followed by an update from Mark Sears, the West Seattle-based researcher who is ofteb out with them when they visit central Puget Sound.

But first: Read More

ORCA ALERT: Whales in our area

(Video by Karen Therese, as orcas passed Lincoln Park)

8:45 AM: Northbound orcas off Constellation Park, reports Kersti Muul.

10:40 AM: Thanks for the updates and photos in comments!

ORCA ALERT: Northbound off West Seattle

(Added: Photo by Gary Jones)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:35 PM: Thanks for the tips! We’ve gotten several about northbound orcas passing west-facing West Seattle. Most recently, Kersti Muul – who says it’s the T65a transients – reports they’re passing Fauntleroy. Let us know if you see them!

(Added: Photo by Eilene Hutchinson)

ADDED 9:23 PM: Thanks for the photos! And also thanks to the commenters for the updates as they passed our shores.

West Seattle whale-watching: Orcas nearby

April 24, 2019 5:31 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | Whales | Wildlife

Thanks to Kersti Muul for word that orcas are in the area – southbound transient killer whales passing Bainbridge’s Restoration Point as of a little while ago. Let us know if you see them!

Up close with the orcas, and scientists’ discovery of another threat to them, on The Whale Trail

(Thursday’s orca sighting, Photo by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Three times in the past week, endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales have passed West Seattle shores.

It’s also been a busy week for one of their most fervent support groups, The Whale Trail.

Just three days after TWT co-presented “Welcome the Orcas at Alki – with SRKWs showing up for the occasion – the group’s monthly Orca Talk filled the seats at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor).

Unannounced guest speakers stole the show.

Read More