Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Photo of the Day
Transients (Bigg's Whales)
Coastal Orcas
White-sided dolphins
Find a wide range of books related to orcas at the Orca Network Amazon store.
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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November 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.
Those big black and white delphinids we call orcas have been fairly rare lately, but small bands of Transients/Bigg's whales have been seen here and there doing interesting things. This afternoon some were just outside the Friday Harbor marina.

Sprightly, brightly decorated white-sighted dolphins have galloped across the seascape in all directions all over the Salish Sea lately, often not far from the Transient/Bigg's whales. And what a delightful sight they are, as you can see in:
Dolphins and Transient Orcas - November 10, 2013
Dolphins and Transient Orcas.
Video by Katie Jones, November 10, 2013.

Good news from the Elwha restoration project: Elwha River sees chinook salmon run increase.

Wednesday evening, November 20, at 6:30 PM in Clinton, Whidbey Island, a public event not far from the ferry landing: Friends of the Clinton Library and Orca Network present: Orcas - Nomadic Tribes of the Salish Sea.
At the Clinton Library, 4781 Deer Lake Rd, Clinton, WA 98236
Description: The Friends of the Clinton Library will hold a brief annual membership meeting at 6:30 pm, followed by a program at 7:00 pm with Howard Garrett from the Orca Network. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Contact: Debby Colfer, 360-341-4280.

Some dates to save - December 5th: Awareness-raising orca film - Lolita, Spirit in the Water,
screening at the Admiral Theater in West Seattle, followed by a Q&A session with Orca Network's Howard Garrett.

On Sunday, December 8, 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM, see the award-winning and much talked about documentary "Blackfish" on the big screen at the Edmonds Theater, followed by a Q&A session with Orca Network's Howard Garrett. Thanks to Dawn Clark and her daughter Keely for sponsoring this showing of Lolita - Slave to Entertainment in West Seattle and Blackfish for the Edmonds community.
Photo of the Day
T38A, with the white patch on his or her dorsal fin.
Photo by Jim Maya, November 16, 2013.

Transients (Bigg's Whales)
November 18 
2:40 pm - Marie Waterman of WS Ferries called to relay a report from the Evergreen State of three orcas off Turn Island, just out from Friday Harbor, heading south.

November 18 
A small pod of Transient mammal-hunting Orcas were sighted right outside Friday Harbor this afternoon traveling south in San Juan Channel.
One of the most well known transient Orcas in our area is T20 (pictured above). He has a very distinctive nick at the top of his tall dorsal fin. T20 almost always travels with T21, who is likely a female relative. Some researchers believe they are siblings!
Photo by Josh McInnes
, November 18, 2013.

3:30 pm - A pod between Orcas and Lopez islands, maybe 6-10, a baby too.
Photo by Sherrie Stahl, November 17, 2013

November 17 
3:30 - Marie Waterman of WS Ferries reports 5 orcas headed west off Upright Head (between Lopez and Shaw Islands) in the San Juans.

November 16 
We left Snug Resort at 12:30 today, thinking we might find the Humpbacks that Simon Pidcock had reported over in the Sanich Inlet. We crossed a rough Haro Strait and headed toward Canada. As we got close to the zone, Jeanne saw the blows! But not huge HB blows. These blows were coming from Orcas! Unexpected Orcas! They were T38A, the one with the white patch on it's dorsal fin, T35A and T35A1. The forth Orca we're not sure about. These Orcas are usually seen in SE Alaska. And we did see Humpbacks as well.
Capt. Jim Maya
T38A with companions.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, November 16, 2013. 

T38A's companions.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, November 16, 2013

Transients/Bigg's whales.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, November 16, 2013

November 16
2:30 -  We have been watching 4 orcas with one baby in satellite channel, and also one humpback, just south of Salt Spring Island (BC Gulf Islands, just north of the US San Juan Islands). 
Karen Gray

November 16 
At 10:30AM I was looking out from Beechyhead in East Sooke park and saw 2 orcas close to Secretary Island. One male and one smaller one.  Later, at 2:50PM they were about 2 miles off Albert head still moving east. There were Humpbacks further off shore at both locations.
From Vincenz Eberl

November 11 
The very word "Lags", our nickname for Pacific White Sided Dolphins (Lagenorhychus obliquidens), sets off joy in our hearts here on San Juan Island...Perhaps 400 of them, maybe more, today in front of Snug Resort and my house. I have only seen this once before in our waters...AND Orcas! The T123s. More later...What a day. Out again tomorrow.
James Mead Maya

A Lagenorhychus obliquidens demonstrating athletic form.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, November 11, 2013

Lags in full gallop.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, November 11, 2013.

Lags in travel mode, their only mode.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, November 11, 2013.

A member of the T123s.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, November 11, 2013.

November 4
On a recent Black ball ferry crossing from Vancouver Island to Port Angeles I noticed some activity off of our ferry. This was taken just as we exited Victoria harbor. The attached image (see below) is a clipping of the full shot, but this is really where the action is. These animals were about 100 yards off of the Starboard side of the ferry. 
Anthony Istrico
A mammal-eating orca goes after a Steller Sea Lion south of Victoria.
Photo by Anthony Istrico, November 4, 2013.
Coastal Orcas
November 17
Marcia H. of north Gualala, CA called at 11:10 am yesterday (Sunday) saying she was seeing a pod of dolphins or Orcas heading north. No photos or species ID confirmation.
Naked Whale Research

November 10
We were able to locate 10 humpbacks between Race Rocks and Sooke on November 10.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales
Humpback BCY0409 off of East Sooke.
Photo by Mark Malleson, November 10, 2013.

White-sided dolphins
November 13
50+ dolphins seen between Smith Island and West Beach (Fort Nugent), Whidbey Island.
Sandra Blondin

Pacific white-sided dolphins in Haro Strait, in front of Mt. Baker.
Photo by Karl Bruder, November 11, 2013.

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.