Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Photo of the Day
Southern Residents.
Transients/Bigg's Killer Whales
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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orca Lolita/Tokitae,

captured in Penn Cove,

Whidbey Island, WA

in 1970, somehow surviving in a small tank at the Miami Seaquarium ever since.

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

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June 27, 2014

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.
We should include a disclaimer now and then that the sightings in these reports are not necessarily a complete and total description of all the movements of all whales in the Salish Sea. Often whales of any kind show up in Puget Sound, for instance, without any reports to say how or when they got there. Either nobody saw them or if someone did they didn't happen to report it. So all we can say is it appears that J pod and some of L pod have been almost consistently around or among the San Juan Islands for almost a month, with the exception of a few days. J pod appeared first on May 31, and L pod joined them June 3, and they've been seen either together or separately almost every day since then.

Transients/Bigg's Whales are also still around apparently. A short report with some great photos may be found below.

Scott Rasmussen at the San Juan Journal wrote a lively review of Josh Horwitz' War of the Whales, about Ken Balcomb's work to protect beaked whales and orcas from Naval training exercises.

Speaking of great books, Saturday, June 28 - Orca Network is hosting a Launch Party at the Langley Whale Center for Puget Sound Whales For Sale, written by Sandra Pollard and published this week by History Press. Sandra thoroughly researched every capture, every effort to stop the captures and all the people involved in all sides of the highly-charged issue in this flowing narrative that is destined to be the go-to reference for the entire capture era. Join us tomorrow for the Launch Party and book signing with orca capture historian Sandra Pollard, 3 - 5 pm at the Langley Whale Center, 117 Anthes, Whidbey Island WA.
Photo of the Day

Well it doesn't get much more west coast then this.....J pod with the beautiful backdrop of Mount Baker.
Photo by Gary Sutton, June 22, 2014.

Southern Residents
June 27
This evening from 6:15 to 6:45 I watched spread out Js and Ls make their way south in Haro Strait from Land Bank's Westside Preserve on San Juan Island.
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island
If there was one thing L83 Moonlight did not feel like doing tonight, it was surface like a normal whale! During every breath as she passed me tonight at Land Bank, she lunged up out of the water, rolled over, or did something else unusual! This photo was taken as she did a combination spyhop/lunge.
Photo by Monika Wieland, June 27, 2014.

June 27
6:44 - Just heard them again on Lime Kiln.
Sandy Pollard

June 27
6:31 - Whales on Lime Kiln hydro.
James Gresham

June 27
J's and L's did the west side shuffle.
Melisa Pinnow

June 26
J's and L's came down from East Point and headed down San Juan Island.
Melisa Pinnow

Spyhop near Beaumont Shoals.
Photo by Mark Malleson, June 25, 2014.
J's and L's in front of the Center for Whale Research.
Photo by Mark Malleson, June 25, 2014.
J19 surprised us yesterday with the up close and personal breach. She's looking pretty plump.
Photo by Gary Sutton, June 25, 2014.

June 25
Wednesday's Wondrous Whales!!!! Sunny, glassy smooth water, J and L pod, caught up with them, sort of spread out, off Eagle Point....heading north, gave the folks at Lime Kiln a thrill....then further up...formed up into groups, breaching, multiple big tail slaps, and a lot of rolling over and showing that beautiful white underside...two young ones, maybe Joy and Cousteau of L pod? Pictures to follow. Very happy group of passengers aboard Mystic Sea. Whoopee!!!
Bonnie Gretz

June 25
4:13 pm - Orcas on the Lime Kiln Hydros. Boats, too.
Kara E. Clayton

June 25
3:54 - Calls on Lime Kiln right now! Distant though.
Amber Prewitt

June 25
1:30 - Lime Kiln still very active chatter. FABULOUS!
Kim Merriman

June 24
The Js and Ls did the unexpected today! They came down President's Channel instead of Rosario or Boundary, and looked like they were going to continue down San Juan Channel. Then they did a U-Turn, and came close to shore at Reuben Tarte County Park (NE San Juan Island, near Roche Harbor) at 1 PM, then went west through Spieden Channel. When they reached Haro Strait they fanned out and slowly made their way south against the strong flood tide, with some whales close to shore and others out in the middle of the strait. It took them from about 2:30 to 5:00 PM to fully pass by Lime Kiln Lighthouse!
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island
I *ALMOST* missed this breach shot this afternoon, but got most of it. J-Pod and L-Pod took an unusual route through the San Juans today - this photo was taken as they went through Spieden Channel on the north end of San Juan Island. Many more photos to come!
Photo by Monika Wieland, June 24, 2014.
Js and Ls wowed us as they went through Spieden Channel this afternoon - this was my first shutter click of the passby!
Photo by Monika Wieland, June 24, 2014. 

June 24
I. AM. EXHAUSTED. After striking out with orcas early this morning, ended up with an EPIC (there's that darn word again) encounter from shore at Rueben Tarte. J's and L's came right by the rocks and were literally at our feet. Most of these photos are not cropped - that's how close they were! What a fun place to see them. A first for me! And then caught them again on the west side as they headed south against a big flood.
Katie Jones
An inverted tail-lob off Reuben Tarte County Park.
Photo by Katie Jones, June 24, 2014.

A normal tail-lob off Reuben Tarte County Park.
Photo by Katie Jones, June 24, 2014.

A spy hop off Reuben Tarte County Park.
Photo by Katie Jones, June 24, 2014.

June 24
Today the J Pod and (part of) L Pod took an interesting route through the San Juan Islands. They came down into President Channel, milled around across the top of San Juan Channel, some made it to Yellow Island, then everyone turned back north socializing and breaching all the way back north. They actually tucked in behind O'Neil Island and some orcas went on both sides. I've never seen Resident orcas in this area. What a fun experience. Very happy whales with lots of adult play time in between!
Traci Walter
Photo by Traci Walter, June 24, 2014.

June 24
It's been so great to have the J's and L's around for multiple days now! So many incredible encounters with them. Yesterday was no exception....J's and L's moving north up Swanson channel along the Pender bluffs. Two big resting groups, J's in the lead and L's trailing. Here is a pic of some of the L's in their resting pattern.
Gary Sutton, Wild Whales Vancouver
Some of the L's in their resting pattern.
Photo by Gary Sutton, June 24, 2014.

Another view of the amazing shore based whale watching at Lime Kiln Lighthouse State Park.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, June 24, 2014.

June 24
3:59pm - They are just talking away on Lime Kiln! So cool!
Jean Karlsson

June 24
3:40pm - Calls still on Lime Kiln!
Vickie Doyle

 J32's adorable fat midsection. If its a baby on the way or lots of chinook in her belly we are happy.
Photo by Tasli Shaw, June 23, 2014.

June 23
On our way off island,we meandered to County park at 11:40 and caught glimpses of the SRKW tail-enders and left at 12:18 with leaders at Open Bay (north end of San Juan Island).
Alisa Lemire Brooks

A shot of one of the SEVENTEEN times J32 breached when the whales left Active Pass heading for the Fraser River.
Photo by John Boyd, June 23, 2014.

Just got back from a trip with Jpod off Vancouver BC. Just dug up a few photographs of J32 who looks pregnant.
Photo by Josh McInnes, June 23, 2014.

June 22
I was on the delayed 7:25pm WSF Kaleetan to Orcas Island. The whales were headed SSE at a pretty good clip.  They were forward and a bit to Port of the vessel when first sighted.
Cindy Wolf

L47 Marina, surfacing.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, June 22, 2014.

L72 Racer's unique saddle patch.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, June 22, 2014.

June 22
The Orca whales shuffled back and forth past Eagle Point, San Juan Island, all day long in tight, affectionate groups, and their emphatic puffs of watery exhales accompanied me as I worked. All day long, back and forth.
Alex Shapiro
Orcas just a few yards off the shoreline.
Photo by Alex Shapiro, June 22, 2014.

One Orca wanted to see me as much as I wanted to see him!
Orcas in all sizes: small, medium, and large!
Photo by Alex Shapiro, June 22, 2014.

3:00 PM - 3 orcas breaching in unison. L55 pod near Stuart island. 3 orcas breaching.
Photo by Kate Nitti's awesome boyfriend, June 21, 2014.

Transients/Bigg's Killer Whales
Ts again!!!! 124As (no 124A1). Lots of surface time for most of the encounter and great overcast lighting. Another great encounter with Bigg's killer whales.
Tasli Shaw

T124A2 with her kiddo T124A2A.
Photo by Tasli Shaw, June 27, 2014.

T124A4 giving us the surprise of the day.
Photo by Tasli Shaw, June 27, 2014.
T124A2, matriarch 124A, and the youngster T124A5.
Photo by Tasli Shaw, June 27, 2014.
June 23
Daylight is dimming and we still don't have a positive visual contact from south of Bush Point. Hard to imagine they got by us, but about 9:05 we thought we heard two blows already north of us behind the bluff and out of sight, still heading north from the sounds.
Howard Garrett

June 23
8:06pm - Two humpbacks just passed point no point. They gave a great show with tail slaps and jumping out of the water. They're headed north.
Mary Bright

June 23
07:15 PM - Humpback Whale Admiralty Inlet. Watched what appeared to be a humpback whale breaching off Point No Point in the middle of Admiralty. Breathtaking sight. It was headed northwest up Admiralty. We were at our beach house at Point No Point watching. Tail flukes smashing the water, breaching, just spouting as he/she traveled up the channel. It started closer to the Kitsap side but seemed to move closer to Whidbey as it swam away from us.
Sean Hatt

June 23
About 3:30 pm was driving my 24 foot sailboat south from Oak Harbor to Seattle - just off the Edmonds Marina I saw a whale just about 50 yards off my starboard side - about 40 feet long (?). Did several shallow dives (3-4 times) - blew (breathed) several times - saw its tail but do not remember seeing the dorsal fin. Just one whale. Wasn't certain it was an Orca - seemed grey more than black & white. Had a bump on its head.
Kenneth Johnson

June 23
I didn't see it for myself, but I was talking with a locksmith at our house in Richmond Beach around 11:00am. He was looking out the window towards the water as we were chatting and claims he saw a "big" whale surface. I scanned for 5+ minutes afterwards but never saw anything. Wonder if this was the same animal spotted up north earlier today?
Dave Haas

June 23
0845 - one humpback at 48deg 09'N x 122deg 41'W, about 200 yards off Fort Casey, Admiralty Head, Whidbey Island, traveling south. Observed it sounding three times, then deep dive (flukes clearly in air).
Andy Reay-ellers, r/v JACK ROBERTSON, UofW,  Applied Physics Lab

June 22
We had two humpbacks very close to shore, around 7:00 PM going south to American Camp.  not sure of exact time. My rock is between eagle point and false bay on san juan island.

June 22
I am on False Bay Rd... I can't see the water, but can hear them when it is quiet. At 5:30 pm tonight... in between Eagle Pt. and Mar Vista I'd guess... the loudest blow ever!!
Cher Renke

June 22
5:45 pm - I suddenly jumped at the other-worldly sound of the deepest, loudest exhale I'd ever heard. Looking up, there it was: my first Humpback whale visitor, in all the years I've lived on this point. I gasped as I saw the huge body lumber past me, powerful, graceful, and just 50 yards from my feet. A memorable moment, and of course, photos don't do it justice!
Alex Shapiro
I had a very special and rare additional treat here at Eagle Point: a smallish Humpback whale lumbered right past me, headed southeast and just 50 yards off the shoreline! The sound of that exhale was twice as loud and twice as low as the Orca blows, and it was a mesmerizing, if short, visit.
Photo by Alex Shapiro, June 22, 2014.

 Once fully on the Cove side of the point, the whale submerged and swam further away from shore, and I did not see it again. A memorable moment!
Photo by Alex Shapiro, June 22, 2014.

June 21
We saw 2 humpbacks from the Edmonds/Kingston ferry on Saturday,  the 9:40 a.m. sailing.
Lisa Brown
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.