Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Photo of the Day
Resident orcas
Bigg's Whales (Transients)
Coastal orcas
Minke whales
Gray whales
Unknown whale
Orca Network recommends:
The Lost Whale, by Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisolm  
An intensely personal story...but this person is a young orca.  

Lost Whale book...ver scaled  

 To learn more about orcas: 

Orcas in Our Midst, volume 3, by Howard Garrett

Orcas in Our Midst,

Vol. 3: Residents and Transients, How Did That Happen?

Click here  

to order YOUR copy!


The bestseller about orcas in captivity.

Death at SeaWorld, by David Kirby 


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Tokitae looking up at us from her tank in Miami, FL in the late 1990s 

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August 11, 2013

We are watching and visiting the whales in their home~

Please observe, love and respect them from a distance.

Having trouble viewing this Sightings Report? Archived Reports can be found HERE.
Superpod today! All 82 members (pending further photographic analysis) of the extended family of Southern Resident orcas were alongside San Juan Island early this morning, heading north up Haro Strait, then up boundary Pass into Georgia Strait. Not coincidentally, that's the route taken by most of the Chinook salmon heading for the Fraser River. At last report most of them were spread out over the alluvial fan of the Fraser, hopefully finding plenty of Chinook, while the L12s and the L22s turned back south down President's Channel and into San Juan Channel, past Friday Harbor at sunset. It's great to have them back in the Salish Sea, and hopefully they're finding enough of their preferred food to stay around for a while.

You may have noticed we haven't posted many whale sightings reports lately, not since July 30 in fact, and that one was titled: "Where are the whales?" Resident orcas have been conspicuously absent for much of this summer. On August 7 finally a small subpod of six L pod whales showed up along the side of San Juan Island. These were the L54s, a mom and her three kids, usually with L88 and L84, two male orphans in their early twenties. They mostly remained in the same small stretch along the south end of San Juan Island where L22 and her three offspring were seen for about two weeks in the first half of July.

During this absence of orcas, minke whales have been seen almost every day on or around Hein Bank, south of San Juan Island, and humpbacks have often been seen from Victoria to Vancouver.

Howard Garrett
Susan Berta
Orca Network
Photo of the Day
Photo by Andrew Lees, August 11, 2013.

Resident orcas
August 11 
Spent sunset with the L12's and L22's as they swam South right past the University of Washington Marine Labs shoreline and Friday Harbor. By now they are probably past Pear Point. 
Melisa Pinnow

August 11
10:53 am - SUPERPOD!!!!!!
Melisa Pinnow

August 11 
James Mead Maya

August 11 
7:36 am - J Pod is back!!! Some L's and probably K's too...
Simon Pidcock

Audio of Superpod of Southern Resident Killer Whales August 11 2013 
Audio of Superpod of Southern Resident Killer Whales August 11 2013.
Audio by Selena Rhodes Scofield 

August 11 
At about 7:15 this morning we saw quite a few whales, approximately 20 traveling NW, N of Smuggler's Cove on San Juan Island. They seem small. They seemed to be traveling, jumping in the air a little.
C Rioux

August 11 
7:00 am Loud calls and echolocation on OrcaSound hypdrophone. After 29 days....J pod !!!
Alisa Lemire Brooks
SRKW August 11, 2013 morning-time vocals 
SRKW morning-time vocals.
Recorded by Alisa Lemire Brooks, August 11, 2013. 

August 11 
Many whales at 6 am! They were trucking north.
Richard Daly

August 10 
3:00 PM - 4 Orcas seen from Lime Kiln SP heading south.
Andrew Shoemaker

August 10 
We reached L pod orcas as we neared Eagle Point. The first two orcas we visited were L88, Wave Walker, and L84, Nyssa. These two big males were swimming around looking for salmon. After watching them for quite a while we moved northward to check out the L54 subpod consisting of L54, Ino, L100, Indigo, L108, Coho, and L117.
Island Adventures Whale Watch

August 10 
We have gotten into a routine in the past couple of days, as we have been fortunate enough to have 6 members of L pod staying in the same area off San Juan Island. They cruised along San Juan Island to Eagle Point, where they spotted 6 members of L pod! Naturalist Wilma noted that the whales appeared to be actively feeding and surfacing, sometimes rolling over, exposing their entire underside! Our last trip came across a lone humpback whale as they were en route back to Victoria harbour! The whale was milling in the waters south of Discovery Island in Juan de Fuca Strait.
Prince of Whales Whale Watch

August 10 
Nice loud L pod calls on Lime Kiln phones now @ 7:22 AM.
Pam Ren

August 10 
loud calls on LK at 7:22.
Faint calls on lime kiln at 5:40 am.
Selena Rhodes Scofield

August 10 
Starting to hear them again now @ 7 AM.
Pam Ren

August 9 
6:50am they're back vocalizing and echolocating on LK.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
   CWR080813L88 & L108
L88 and L108.
Photo by Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research, August 9, 2013

August 9 
Encounter #53
Observers: Ken Balcomb
Location: Haro Strait
L54's SRKW
Individuals present (Orca ID's): L54,  L84, L88, L100, L108, L117

August 9 
Saturday morn roughly 6:00 am. We were heading out to Swiftsure for some salmon fishing. it was very foggy and we ran into a group of killer whales. About 5 to 6 miles off Tatoosh Island, maybe half way to Swiftsure. They ended up on both sides of boat for a short distance before we lost them in fog & rough water. Not sure how to identify them but one seemed to have much larger dorsal fin then others. I believe there was a possible young one in group also.
Greg Story

August 9 
Today we saw both resident and transient orcas, as well as a humpback. Passengers stopped at Eagle Point on San Juan Island to check out some six resident orcas including L54 and her three calves as well as L88 and L84! Meanwhile over here in Victoria, passengers caught up with T20 and T21 just off Clover Point! These two orcas are definitely familiar fins to us as we have seen this duo numerous times already this summer. In the late afternoon passengers were able to see the two transients hunting and eating a harbour seal, which is a pretty crazy scene to watch! Passengers were caught by surprise by the sight of a lone humpback in the Georgia Strait off Galiano Island!
Naturalist Leah Kuzmuk, Prince of Whales Whale Watch

August 8 
6:45 - Loud calls and echolocation.
6:43 now faint & barely audible...a sweet & loud pass-by in the quiet morning sea.
6:30am Calls on Lime Kiln...
Alisa Lemire Brooks

August 7 
Finally, SRKW's showed up on the west side of the island. L54's, with L88 and L84 off Hannah Heights to False Bay after 1pm to at least 7pm. About time! And they looked good. Lots of foraging.
Sharon Grace 
Bigg's Whales (Transients)
August 10
Word on the water is that there are more orcas rounding East Point and heading southwest through Boundary Pass. Looks like the whales could be T20 & T21!
San Juan Outfitters

August 10
Yup it was T20 and T21 today. Went to Active Pass before turning north in Georgia Strait.
Jennifer Leclerc

August 10
Ken Balcomb reports that T20 and T21 were up near the Belle Isles today.

Photo by Andrew Lees, August 9, 2013.

We were sent this image from the Whale Centre in Tofino BC of a new transient orca calf! T041A has had her second calf T041A2! The T041 group used to have a well known male T044 (Ben) who passed away in 2009 near Port Hardy BC. This group spends a lot of the time off the West side of Vancouver Island usually associating with the T069s. This is very exciting news for this group!
Photo posted by Josh McInnes.

Coastal orcas
August 3
My volunteers at the Cape Meares Lighthouse in Oregon were watching from the lighthouse and said they were 2 to 4 miles out, at least 10 possibly more, but too far out to get a firm count, and unless a visitor had a good camera and got some pics the host did not get any. I trust that they weren't mistaking them for Grey Whales because they have been hosting up there for more than 10 years and are used to seeing whales. The orcas are a sight we don't get too often down here and normally not a large group of them.
Travis Korbe
August 11

A curious humpback in the Strait of Georgia. We've had several encounters with this curious humpback whale this week! There have been more humpbacks visiting the Gulf of Georgia this year than any other year since we've been operating, so it's such a treat to get to spend time with one! And SO surreal when they seem to be curious about us too!
Photo by Steveston Seabreeze Adventures whale watch, August 2013.

I finally got to get up to see "Windy" in the Strait of Georgia.
Photo by Ivan Reiff, August 9, 2013.

"Windy" in the Strait of Georgia.
Photo by Ivan Reiff, August 9, 2013.

August 3
By midday we received reports of a humpback past west of Sooke off Otter Point. We spotted the humpback initially off Otter Point and continued following the animal all afternoon towards Beachy Head.  The humpback was seen tail slapping lots and fortunately for us was not taking long deep dives but rather was spotted "logging" or hanging at the surface with just an exposed dorsal hump for long periods of time.
Naturalist Leah Kuzmuk, Prince of Whales Whale Watch

August 2
Our Victoria boats headed out west this morning and caught up with a well-known humpback, known as "Big Mamma". She has reportedly given birth to three calves in the past six years; we identify her by the distinct pattern on the underside of her fluke, and as her name implies, she is a very "big" female! Later we joined three more humpbacks at Hein Bank!
Naturalist Ellspeth McGillivray, Prince of Whales Whale Watch

July 30
Skipper Rush and the 10am Zodiac found 3 humpbacks milling in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Naturalist Leah Kuzmuk, Prince of Whales Whale Watch
Minke whales
Photo by Ivan Reiff, August 4, 2013.

August 3
Skipper Marek and his passengers aboard the Queen of Hearts travelled southeast to Hein Bank where they picked up a lone minke whale milling about. Another highlight for Skipper Marek and his passengers is when four harbour porpoise popped up right off the bow of the zodiac and everyone was able to get a great glimpse of their small shiny grey dorsal fins!
Naturalist Leah Kuzmuk
Another incredibly beautiful day on the water visiting with lots of wildlife and a juvenile Minke Whale!
Photo by Ivan Reiff, Western Prince Whale Watching, July 31, 2013.

July 31
A minke was seen from Flint Beach, south end of Lopez Island, 11:45am, traveling east to west.
Sally Reeve
Gray whales
August 3

We here at Chito Beach Resort have been seeing 3 gray whales off and on for about a week. Looks like 2 full grown and one smaller. This morning they came east from Shipwreck Point right in front of the Resort. One of the adults and the smaller one continued east towards Sekiu. The other adult came back west and around Shipwreck Point. Some feeding going on but the two headed east were really moving.
Amy Cramer

Unknown whale
August 9
1:52 pm - We just heard and saw a huge whale go through Colvos Passage! My husband and daughter went running down the beach with the camera to see if they could get pictures!
 My daughter saw it breach out of the water and then by the time they caught up to never came back up! We got some pictures from far away but they are pretty fuzzy and hard to tell what it was. Whatever it was it was moving slow and breathing big!
Noelle Summit
Orca Network is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to raising awareness about the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.

Orca Network's Whale Sighting Network involves citizens in helping researchers track the movement of whales, and encourages people to observe whales from their homes, businesses, ferries, and beaches.
Whale reports are sent in to our Sighting Network and emailed out to researchers, agencies, and citizens on our network, and posted on our website (MAP of sightings also on website). Whale reports and observations are sent in by a variety of sources, and Orca Network does not guarantee the accuracy of any report or whale identification.


TO REPORT WHALES, CALL: 1-866-ORCANET (1-866-672-2638), email, or post sightings on our Orca Network Facebook page.



 "The new rules prohibit vessels from approaching any killer whale closer than 200 yards and forbid vessels from intercepting a whale or positioning the vessel in its path. This doubles the current approach distance of 100 yards. The rules go into effect May 16 and apply to all types of boats, including motor boats, sail boats and kayaks, in Washington"


For more information on the new Federal Regulations, visit the NOAA Fisheries website


To report harassment of whales in US waters
, call NOAA Enforcement: 1-800-853-1964;

In Canadian waters, call DFO's Observe Record and Report (ORR) Violations Hotline: 1-800- 465-4336

Report the boat name &/or a description of the boat, & get photos if at all possible.