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In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Photo of the Day
Southern Resident orcas
Coastal orcas
Possible gray whale
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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 

   DeathatSeaWorld


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December 26, 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.
Puget Sound orca-watchers were treated to an unplanned Christmas present Wednesday when members of J and K pods foraged and mingled their way south at least as far as Alki, West Seattle, shortly after dusk. The following morning they showed up in about the same place, this time heading north and continuing, mostly spread out for miles out Admiralty Inlet and up Haro Strait to San Juan Island by nightfall.

We hope to see you at the 2014 Ways of Whales Workshop in Coupeville, Whidbey Island, on January 25. You can register for Ways of Whales HERE.
Photo of the Day
Christmas Orcas @ Sunset from Fay Bainbridge State Park.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, December 25, 2013.

Southern Resident orcas
December 26
11:15 -
just heard them briefly over the freighter.
Connie Bickerton

December 26
21:38 - J pod on Lime Kiln Hydrophone.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

December 26
7:51 - hearing faint calls on lime kiln
.
Jamie Grundhauser
3:45 pm - Incoming container ship dwarfs J and K pod orcas and the NOAA research boat passing Fort Casey - on the Port Townsend side.
Photo by Jill Hein, December 26, 2013.
December 26
3:38 - I can see three for sure from Pt. Hudson (Port Townsend).
Kyra Berkovich

December 26
3:38 - Looking like they're staying on the Port Townsend side, best viewing is likely from Ft Worden and pt Wilson.
Orca Network

December 26
3:37 - I wasn't sure at first, but it's definitely them. It's pretty faint, but you can hear clear calls come through every few seconds. So cool listening to them!
Barbara Bonner

December 26
3:31 - I hear em (on PT hydrophones)!
Whitney Neugebauer

December 26
3:30 - Hearing faint calls! J's and K's for sure.
Melisa Pinnow

December 26
3:20 pm - the orcas are now off Marrowstone Pt., headed toward Pt. Townsend and out of Admiralty Inlet. A good time to tune into www.orcasound.net and listen to the Pt. Townsend hydrophone, or head to Ft. Casey, Ft. Flagler or Ft. Worden state parks to see the whales.
Orca Network

December 26
3 pm - just got back from Bush pt they are heading N and very spread out. LOL been here for 10 years this is only the third time I have seen them...today, yesterday and about 2 years ago!!
Jim Barrett

December 26
2:25 - Leading edge of the pod must be at about Bush Point by now. There is a small pleasure point on the trailing edge.
2:05 - mid-channel, still near Mutiny Bay. Heading North towards Windmill Heights and Bush Point. Moving quickly.
Mike Meyer

December 26
From 2 to 2:30 we watched distant orca outlines in the sun as they surfaced, slowly moving northward, with a few foraging diversions and taillobs, spread out for several miles 2-4 miles from the Whidbey side.
2:15 pm - after watching the orcas pass by for about 30 minutes, thought they were all by us, then looked up to see more coming! They are traveling very spread out, still heading NW out of Admiralty Inlet. The leaders must be at or close to Bush Pt. by now, with more further back, between N. Mutiny Bay and the entrance to Hood Canal. Beautiful day!
At 1:45 pm it looks like they are heading NW into Admiralty Inlet, between Mutiny Bay (Whidbey Isl) and Skunk Bay (N. Kitsap) now, looks like the little NOAA boat is with them. So far the sun has kept the fog from closing in so we can see them!
1:30 - First glimpse of blows NE of Point No Point, heading up Admiralty Inlet.
Orca Network

December 26
Wow, did they give us a present at point no point. Two whales came right up to the shoreline. The research boat is still following them through admiralty inlet! Still heading north.
Dianne Dee Iverson

December 26
1:00pm - Granny (J2) and Onyx (L87) gave us a pass right off Point No Point with NOAA boat. Heading north. Lots more whales were further off shore and east towards Whidbey. Happy whale watching all!
Sara Hysong-Shimazu
L87 Onyx cruising past Point No Point.
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, December 26, 2013.

The newly-attached satellite tag shows clearly on L87 Onyx's dorsal fin.
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, December 26, 2013.

J2 Granny and L87 Onyx close to shore at Point No Point.
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, December 26, 2013.

A spyhop seen from Point No Point.
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, December 26, 2013.

J2 Granny behind K12 Sequim, seen from Point No Point.
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, December 26, 2013.

December 26
12:55 - Susan Marie Andersson called to say the whales were off Point No Point and seen orcas passing close by land, including J2 Granny.
12:46 - L87 passing Point No Point, with others spread out from west side of possession point south to Eglon. NOAA with the group to the south.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, December 26, 2013.

12:46 - J2 passing Point No Point.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, December 26, 2013.

December 26
12:30 -  Sight line south of point no point mid channel.
Elyse Sollitto

December 26
12:33 - Three "stragglers" and NOAA zodiac headed north from Eglon.
12:10 - heading north now, back closer to the west side. A gorgeous sight heading your way PNP-ers!
12:00 - about 1/2 mile south of Eglon boat ramp. Small breach, splash, spouting. Hard to tell direction but I think they are heading slightly east, kind of milling around. One of them is huge!
Rebecca French Gerke

December 26
12.09 - Sounds like they have moved north past Shilshole and Carkeek.
William R Peters

December 26
11:50 - spotting them for last 20 minutes north of Kingston.
Gina James Vigna

December 26
11:27 - Seeing fins from Point No Point, heading north!
Elyse Sollitto

December 26
10:55 - groups north of Kingston ferry with others trailing.
10:22 - have good visual on adult male mid channel at yellow buoy mid Jefferson Head to Kingston with another male and at least three females/younger whales west of mid channel, steady pace northbound.
10:05 - just saw fins and a breach (near a lucky boater) out from Port Madison still south of Jefferson Head/Beach. Northbound.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

December 26
10:59 - huge breach just north of Kingston ferry lane mid channel but closer to Kitsap side still heading north.
9:29 - due west of Fay Bainbridge mid channel big male dorsals rising out of the fog and distortion. At least two males I think. Bad visibility. They didn't seem to be moving too quickly when I saw them briefly. If travel patterns are consistent with the last couple of times into Puget sound the rest are possibly behind those males.
Connie Bickerton

December 26
10:11 - Orcas off president point going north.
Joanne Graves

December 26
9:42 - The whales are here! Bainbridge island!
Dianne Dee Iverson

December 26
8:21 - Victoria Clipper reports a large group of orcas traveling across the shipping lanes from West Point toward Bainbridge Island.
Stephanie Raymond

December 25
Did anyone get a photo of the two huge breaches right in front of West Point lighthouse at sunset last night? From Sunset Hill we could see about 30 people standing out on the spit below the lighthouse, and the whales went right by the bouy and showed off a little.
Susan Vennerholm

December 25
After waiting for a looong time in West Seattle our persistence paid off. Saw a few scattered from Alki long after sunset in the dimming light. At least one male and a couple smaller, presumably females. Not close enough for photos. They were still heading south. Brrrr!
Mike Russell

December 25
From 4:40 to 4:50 in waning light, we pulled off on South end of Rolling Bay, Bainbridge Isl. and spotted a few further south mid channel when all of a sudden in the stillness I heard the unmistakeable blows of orcas. Ed and I watched an adult male, a female and a calf about 1/2 mile from us forage as they trended southbound. They appeared a little bit sleepy, the calf looking so cute as it completely logged for over 10 seconds. Best end to a rather sparse(for us) sighting day. Merry Christmas 2013
4:09 - been watching a group pf 10-12 spread out in smallers groups in glassy calm water, sightline Faye Bainbridge and Carkeek to Golden Gardens still southbound. Breaches, tail slaps and a little one in the pod.Nice to be ending the day seeing orcas who eluded our trip to Kitsap 4:20 orcas have grouped up some. This later group more west of mid channel crossing West Point/Rolling Bay...
Alisa Lemire Brooks

December 25
4:05 - They are past Presidents Point now in Kingston. At least 7. One large male in the rear. They are close to the west side of the sound.
Corrie Beamer Urquhart

December 25
3:52 - watching them make their way south of Golden Gardens. They're not moving fast.
Jessica Pagan

December 25
3:50pm - Orcas, 6 or so going past Shilshole marina to the south.
Merry Christmas!
Veronica Von Allworden

December 25
Perfect sighting of 4 orca on Christmas Day at 3:45p off Meadow Point headed towards Golden Gardens Park.
Michael Hamm
One of the orcas seen earlier today from Carkeek. Great to be there with such a fun group of orca lovers today. Happy holidays!!!
Photo by Steve Smith, December 25, 2013.

December 25
At about 3:30 (when we went back into Shilshole) they were spread out from at least Carkeek Park to south of West Point. They were still moving quite fast, they are just so spread out in small groups that it sounds like they might be going quite slow. They appeared to be moving at about 5-7 knots, so if they keep that up they might be at Alki by now or soon.
Alex Wetmore

December 25
3:30 - It was glass calm on xmas day 2013 as we watched a group of about 16 orcas heading southbound near Seattle at 3:30pm, about 1.5 miles west of Shilshole Bay Marina and 1.5 miles north of West Point/Discovery Park. They were traveling and well dispersed over about 1/2 mile. Several pairs included juveniles. We were in our sailboat motoring (no wind) so we shut down as they passed. We could hear more coming from the north and saw more to the west towards Point Monroe, counting at least 16. We were one of 3 boats in the general area that appeared to have encountered the orcas. A fine xmas present!
Scott Tobiason

December 25
3:29 - there are still some making their way past Carkeek. I'm headed to Golden Gardens to see if I can catch the bull that was "leading" the way.
Jessica Pagan

December 25
3:08 - Jamie Grundhauser called with an update from Carkeek Park: Orcas are surfacing right in front of them not far offshore, and others are still visible across Puget Sound near Kingston. They turned north briefly then continued heading south.

December 25
2:32 - Whales out by Indianola way to the west side. Heading south.
Jack Nolan

December 25
2:20 - At least 7 orca just cleared Point Edwards in Edmonds. Very casually heading south. Best Christmas present EVER!
Dave Golner

December 25
2:16 - Can see one moving south way out east of Fay Bainbridge. Probably same one seen from Richmond beach.
Sue Surowiec Larkin

December 25
2:16 - They are by the Kingston ferry.
Jamie Grundhauser

December 25
1:56 - Both sides of the ferry - north then south. About halfway - then more closer to Edmonds
1:52 - Edmonds Kingston ferry we just passed them.
Sheila Cox

December 25
2:11pm - Wow! One or two animals are pretty close in to the Richmond Beach side. If you're at Richmond Beach or Carkeek, keep your eyes peeled for these east-side whales!
Like Reply 11 minutes ago
1:37pm - The main group is spread out on both sides of the mid-channel buoy, rapidly approaching it across from Richmond Beach / Jefferson Beach.
1:31pm - At least one has already made it to the mid-channel buoy. They are booking it today!
1:28pm - Seeing them from Richmond Beach now. Group is heading south, mostly mid-channel and maybe a bit west of mid-channel. Best views likely from Kitsap side!
Dave Haas

December 25
Our family has been enjoying watching a large pod of Orcas just off Richmond Beach on this glorious, sunny, sparkling Christmas Day! What a gift! All the binoculars are in use - what a delight!! Surfacing over & over, the whales were heading south, but suddenly turned & headed north, coming even closer to the shore. Wonderful treat!
Karen Weber

December 25
1:20 - they are very spread out across channel still heading steadily south. From Kingston we saw some foraging, breaches, tail lobs. we are moving to Indianola in hopes to see them from there south.
12:55 - Big group of us just above Kingston ferry seeing them stream by, mid channel and west of.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

December 25
12:57 - Brad Hanson is watching orcas in the Kingston ferry from Richmond Beach, south Edmonds.

December 25
12:40 pm - Jamie Grundhauser reports she's seeing fins and blows hugging the shore north of Kingston ferry docks, still heading south. We have Id's of J pod for sure (J27) - they are traveling pretty fast today.
Christmas orcas at Point No Point.
Photo by Rose Anderson, December 25, 2013.

Christmas orcas at Point No Point (cropped).
Photo by Rose Anderson, December 25, 2013.


J27 Blackberry at Point No Point.
Photo by Rose Anderson, December 25, 2013.

December 25
11:28 - Mid channel, Granny in the sound! Seeing many from Point no Point.
Elyse Sollitto

December 25
12:37 - seeing them from Kingston heading south. Closer to Kitsap side. Southbound shipping lanes.
10:57 - They're here (Kingston)!! Mid channel just saw a big spy hop.
Sara Hysong-Shimazu

December 25
10:28 - They're just north of Point No Point, off Hansville, mid-channel, still heading south.
Howard Garrett

December 25
10:03 - mid channel Mutiny Bay now.
Jim Barrett

December 25
Elsa Leavitt called at 9:30 am, reporting seeing the whales just north of Bush Pt, heading south. Saw two big males, and many others, spread out between Whidbey and mid-channel. We should be seeing them from here any minute now - Merry Christmas!

December 25
9:26 - Orcas at Bush Point. Seem to be hunting and going both directions.
Rachel Gaydosh

December 25
Thanks to Alisa Lemire Brooks for alerting us to Resident orca calls on the Port Townsend hydrophone at 8:18 am. We don't know direction of travel, but most likely headed in, so let us know if you see them. Yay, Christmas whales!
Coastal orcas
December 24
R. Kuehn snapped some great shots of 250-300 CA sea lions as they were porpoising away from 7-10 pursuing killer whales at about 1030. The pod included one adult male and were last seen heading north slowly off Sea Ranch, CA (south of Mendocino). He did not get any photos of the whales however. We then had two follow up reports that were likely the same group of animals: 2:05PM Killer whales 1.5 miles north of Sail Rock, 1:30-2:30PM Killer whales off Navigator rocks and south end of Sea Ranch. Sounds like they were working the area pretty good.
Naked Whale Research
Possible gray whale
December 25
Just saw what looked to be (not sure) a small Gray headed towards Belfair off the South Shore of Hood Canal. Am on the beach on the South Shore of Hood Canal. It was swimming towards the end of the Canal near Belfair. It was clearly gray in color, much bigger than a Dahl, too gray for a pilot whale, large flukes, spouting as it slowly porpoised through the water seemingly on a mission. The last time I saw a gray come through here a couple years ago I'm told it got caught in the low tide (as the Canal is only 30-50 feet deep here at mid channel) and died near the Thelar wetlands. I watched for it to come back but didn't see it. It was clearly not a Sea Lion and if a Gray it had to be an immature one traveling alone.
Ginger Miller
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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 info@orcanetwork.org, or post sightings on our Orca Network Facebook page.

 

*BE WHALE WISE! BOATERS - NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AS OF MAY 16, 2011:

 "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.