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Photo of the Day
Transients (Bigg's Whales)
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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?

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The bestseller about orcas in captivity.

Death at SeaWorld, by David Kirby 


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November 22, 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 stealthy Transients/Bigg's whales have certainly lived up to their reputation lately. On Wednesday a small group was seen in full frolic mode near the Kingston ferry dock in the early morning, and were seen trending south from both sides of Puget Sound as far as Magnolia in early afternoon, then no more. Apparently they went into stealth mode and disappeared from view. The next morning probably the same group was seen in resting mode off Blakely Rock near the south end of Bainbridge Island. They weren't seen again for five hours despite many eyes on the water (stealth mode again) until about noon off Eglon, south of Kingston, heading north. They chose to remain in sight in travel mode up Admiralty Inlet to north of Bush Point by dusk. Among them was T38A, with the football-sized white mark on the base of the left side of her dorsal fin. About that time another small group was seen briefly in San Juan Channel just off Friday Harbor.

Erratum: Somehow the last sightings report, sent out on Nov. 18, showed the wrong date (Nov. 11) at the top. Oops. Also, somehow, the photo of T20 was accidentally included with the report of the sighting of Transients off Turn Island, but he was not there that day.

Each year about this time photographer Monika Wieland publishes a photographic calendar featuring members of the Southern Resident Community of Killer Whales: J-, K-, and L-Pods. The new calendar for 2014 can be found here: 2014 Southern Resident Killer Whale Calendar.

December 5th join us for a screening of Lolita, Spirit in the Water, at the Admiral Theater in West Seattle at 6:30, followed by a Q&A session with Orca Network's Howard Garrett.

On Sunday in Edmonds, see the documentary "Blackfish", December 8, 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM, see the award-winning and much talked about  on the big screen at the Edmonds Theater, followed by a Q&A session with Orca Network's Howard Garrett.
Photo of the Day
Transients in Speiden Channel with the ferry Elwha and Mouflon sheep behind.
Photo by Monika Wieland, November 22, 2013.

Transients (Bigg's Whales)
November 22  
12:16 - Ts in Speiden Ch. headed toward Green Pt. Capt. Jim Maya

November 22
10:22 - Whales on the West Side, San Juan Island. Most likely Ts. North of Lime Kiln. 
James Mead Maya

November 21
What a lovely welcome home! We came back to Friday Harbor on the ferry yesterday after being in the UK and was greeted by 4-6 transient orcas right by Friday Harbor!
San Juan Island Whale & Wildlife Tours

November 21 
4 pm - WA State Ferries just called with a report of three orcas in San Juan Channel, heading south off Turn Island, not far from Friday harbor.

Transient orcas in Admiralty Inlet.
Photo by Florian Graner, November 21, 2013.
Off Bush Point, with Mt. Ranier behind Kitsap Peninsula.
Photo by Florian Graner, November 21, 2013

Transients in Admiralty Inlet.
Photo by Florian Graner, November 21, 2013.

A raked and nicked Transient orca in Admiralty Inlet.
Photo by Florian Graner, November 21, 2013.

Transient orca T38A.
Photo by Florian Graner, November 21, 2013.

November 21 
The orcas are between Bush Pt and Marrowstone Island at 4:20 pm, slowly heading NW in the setting sun.
Susan Berta

November 21 
3:13 - Just passed Bush Point headed north at FULL SPEED
Patrick Scott

November 21 
2:37 -  Oops, they turned around again, now heading north again, about where they were a half hour ago, mid-channel just south of Bush Point.
2:17 - Now they seem to be heading south, off Foulweather Bluff!
2:10 - We saw at least five orcas in mid-channel of Admiralty Inlet from just south of Bush Point, heading north. Back-lit blows and splashes are shining in the afternoon sun.
Howard Garrett

November 21 
12:13 - At least three Orcas now off the Eglon boat ramp.
Tom Banks
Here's a great shot taken just off off Bainbridge Island.
Photo by Ken Todd, November 21, 2013, sent in by Tami Mathisen.

November 21 
715 am - Bainbridge ferry reports 5 or so orca milling around Blakely direction as of yet.
Wayne McFarland

November 21 
4 orcas on Bainbridge Island ferry run at 7:15 am just off island.
Shirley Peck Whitaker

November 21 
Just spotted 2-4 orcas on the Bainbridge ferry at 7:05 am.
Laura Alexander Wittig

November 20 
I was on Magnolia bluff and saw a dorsal fin and 2 very scared seals...I could see it in their eyes. Also saw sea lions... rolling around...I was on the beach there. I was there 1:30-3 and right in front of us, maybe 100yds out we saw a fin chasing 2 scared seals. But instead of diving (maybe was too shallow) it was just passing by at a good rate.
Brandi Weill

November 20 
Around 3 - 3:15 pm I was up there too and spotted some marine mammal activity south off the bluff. Saw dorsal fins but agree, didn't seem big enough for orcas or dark enough, more gray, but they were slightly obscured by a tree. And a bunch of seagulls landed too. And yea, looked like a mad dash by some seals. And also heard a couple whoof outbreaths.
Jill Irwin

November 20 
2:17 - Watching them now just above Yeomalt. Yeehaw!
Anne Duggan Smith

November 20 
2 pm - I watched some of it from Sunset Hill Park above Shilshole. What a show! Even from across the water with so-so binoculars, it was clear they were having a hunting frenzy.
Susan Vennerholm

November 20 
1:42pm - We have now moved down to Manitou Beach... they are trending south. Still very active mid channel. Looks like a baby baby in the pod!!!
Kimberly Sylvester-Malzahn

November 20 
2:13 - still off Manitou. Foraging. Bainbridge shore.
1:30 - they are slowly moving south.
1:05 - Bainbridge Island: Watching the whales, confirmed as Transients (solid saddle patches, killing seals!) - she counts about 7 of them, including 2 juveniles and a young calf, less than 1/2 mile from the Bainbridge shoreline, between Skiff Point and Rolling Bay. They have been hunting there for the last hour, and now are moving slowing south again. They witnessed one or two kills, saw a seal flying through the air, blood and gulls. There are 20 lucky folks from Bainbridge getting a thrill today, watching this from a bluff above the whales!
Susan Marie Andersson

November 20 
1:05 - Just spotted about 5 orca 500 yards off Skiff Point, Bainbridge Island (east central part of Island). No binoculars so couldn't get a very accurate count. One younger animal breaching a number of times. I worked with Ken Balcomb for several years, so a passing knowledge of J,K & L pods, but unfortunately not close enough to ID anyone.
Sharon Nogg
Hi Orca lovers. It is 12:40 pm. A group of about a dozen of us (people) have been treated to an amazing show for over an hour. A group of transient orcas have been foraging, successfully off Skiff Point/Rolling Bay. And they are still here. Parking scarce.
Photo by Susan Marie Andersson, November 20, 2013

November 20 
12 noon - There have been about a dozen orcas breaching and otherwise surfacing for at least 20 minutes between Bainbridge Island (1 mile N of Skiff Pt.) and the tip of Magnolia.
Bill O'Neill

November 20 
Lynn Batson reported them off N. Bainbridge: 11:14 am - In rolling bay now! On the Bainbridge side moving south quickly. Lots of blows but not much else on the surface. Very tight group with a bunch of gulls hanging around. 11:24 am - now we've got some breaching and milling around happening. They might hang out here for a bit.

November 20 
10:20 - Can see them north of Indianola pier. Too far to get direction or #'s yet.
Susan Marie Andersson

November 20 
Last sighting approx 10:10, lunging then they bunched up heading south. haven't resighted the pod as of 10:25 (but i moved).
9:53 - seeing some fins Kitsap side, still north of yellow mid channel buoy South of Kingston, north of Jefferson head. Swooping gulls must be lots of scraps. Trending southbound but of yet not seeing large numbers.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

November 20 
9:42 - Just spotted them with binoculars from the Kingston ferry terminal. They were south of the ferry terminal way out far from the dock.
Molly Dennin

November 20 
8:55 am - John Rogstad from the WA State Ferries called to relay a report of at least ten orcas off Apple Tree Cove, near Kingston, just north of the ferry lane, "frolicking" and having a great time, and not traveling any direction. Stay tuned, it's a beautiful day for whales.

November 20 
08:39 AM - Whale news on a cold clear day. First white water, then fins, black and white body and water spouts and they seemed to stay all in the same area, right off the Kingston ferry dock, south side.
Laura Sanderson

November 6 & 7 
Christine Marshall reports that her neighbor Nancy Bixby saw a large group of orcas off Bush Point, close to the Whidbey side, not moving north or south for long periods, on both November 6th and 7th. 
November 20
4 humpback whales between Race Rocks and East Sooke Park. We were out on the water today looking for whales. We searched from Oak Bay Victoria BC to Sooke BC. A lot of life was out in Juan de Fuca Strait with numerous bait balls which fed over 6 species of marine bird. As we approached the bait ball we witnessed bits of fish and scales and deduced that the birds were feeding on sardine. We found a small group of harbour porpoise at Constance Bank, and four humpback whales off East Sooke Park (Lat 48 11.4 and Long 123 40.27). The humpback whales were doing repetitive 5 minute long dives and were very investigative of our vessel, as they did numerous circles with an average circumference of 9.0 m.
The weather was clear and calm but temperatures were freezing and daylight was fading.
Josh McInnes
Humpbacks circling the boat.
Photo by Josh McInnes, November 20, 2013.

November 19
We traveled past Race Rocks, where we encountered not one, not two, but EIGHT humpback whales, all within a kilometer of each other. They were traveling in groups of two and all stayed very close to the surface. After half an hour, the playing began. One group of two started splashing about and waving their pectoral fins at us. Shortly afterwards, we witnessed 2 full breaches in another group. That whale then began tail slapping loudly. Next, the most remarkable thing happened -- these two groups of whales joined together, and started traveling perfectly in unison, all surfacing at the same time.
Prince of Whales Whale Watch
Humpback off Victoria's waterfront.
Photo by Mark Malleson, November 18, 2013.

November 17 & 18
There are still many humpbacks moving around the Salish Sea with sightings in Saanich Inlet, Haro Strait, and the Juan de Fuca Strait.  On November 17th I counted close to 20 individuals between Race Rocks and Sooke.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales
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.