Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Photo of the Day
Southern Residents.
Transients/Bigg's Killer Whales
Gray whales
Minke whales
Pacific White-sided dolphins
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,

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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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July 13, 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.
J pod arrived in the Salish Sea May 29, followed soon by some of L pod members June 3 and a month later on July 2 K pod showed up. So for well over a month now some combination of J pod with Ks and/or Ls has been found almost every day shuffling up and down the west side of San Juan Island or points north into Georgia Strait, and the streak continued today. Reports have been filled with wonder and appreciation for the opportunity to witness these whales' graceful moves and intense socializing.

Transients/Bigg's whales are still here as well, mainly near Victoria and Nanaimo. Below you'll find a photo sequence of an interaction between a highly stressed harbor seal and the T137s.

White-sided dolphins have been seen in various locations lately, as well as some mystery whales, or dolphins, also reported below.

The World Cetacean Alliance has declared July 14 (the anniversary of Springer's return to her home and family in 2002) as World Orca Day!

Orca Network's Langley Whale Center is now adorned with a very large blue whale jaw bone arch, held up by sturdy steel posts fabricated by Tim Leonard of Langley.

Fred Lundahl admires the 17' blue whale jaw bone archway now gracing the entrance to the Langley Whale Center.

Photo of the Day

Anybody home?
If people can appreciate these magnificent animals then maybe we'll all start to make more conservation-based decisions in our day to day lives. Every little bit helps! This photo was taken today off the M/V Sea Hawk with San Juan Island Outfitters in front of the Center for Whale Research- awfully fitting eh?!
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, July 13, 2014

Southern Residents
July 13
Orcas passed the south end of Lopez around 5:30pm today, cruising east to west.
Sally Reeve

An uncropped photo of K26 Lobo, taken this morning off the rocks at Lime Kiln.
Photo by Monika Wieland, July 13, 2104.

July 13
5:00 PM - 6-8 Orcas traveling east to west about 300 yards from Thieves Bay, North Pender Island, in Swanson Channel (about 9 miles NNW of San Juan Island). Too far away for good pictures. Noticed one very large dorsal fin. Moving at a good speed. Not much time for play, feeding.
Ken Plato

My buddy in Active Pass today...
Photo by Katie Jones, July 12, 2014.

July 12
6:10 - they are on Lime Kiln hydro now.. fantastic vocals!
Traci Walter

The curled flukes of a male orca.
Photo by Kyra Laughlin, July 12, 2014.

July 12
Had the most amazing close pass at Lime Kiln this evening. Scoter and others literally flying out of the water as they headed south against the tide, launching their entire bodies out of the water. I put my camera down and just watched and listened.
Connie Bickerton
Porpoising past Lime Kiln this evening. The power and grace touched me. they were flying against the flood tide.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, July 12, 2014.

July 12
430 pm..Saw 2 Orcas off Lime Kiln but others said there were more..I was down on deadmans bay beach so I only got a teaser..but if you were up on the Rocks...a magnificent show.
Mandy Wegner

From yesterday evening's visit at Lime Kiln. This is J37 "Hy'shqa" and her son J49 "T'ilem I'nges".
Photo by Sara Hysong Shimazu, July 11, 2014.

Nothing much better than whales at sunset - photo taken from shore tonight.
Photo by Monika Wieland, July 11, 2014.

Tonight's lovely night with J's and K's off the west side of San Juan Island near Hannah Heights. In this photo, you can actually see Canada and the United States! Washington State's Olympic Peninsula are the mountains in the distance, and Discovery and Vancouver Islands, BC are in front of it.
Photo by Traci Walter, July 11, 2014.

July 10
4:40 - hearing echolocation and faint calls.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

4:45 - Lime Kiln orcas heading south.
Photo by Sherrie Stahl, July 10, 2014.

Lime Kiln orcas.
Photo by Sherrie Stahl, July 10, 2014.

Lime Kiln orcas on the move.
Photo by Sherrie Stahl, July 10, 2014.

Lime Kiln orcas.
Photo by Sherrie Stahl, July 10, 2014.

Lime Kiln orca.
Photo by Sherrie Stahl, July 10, 2014.

J2 Granny passing Lime Kiln heading south at a good clip.
Photo by Sherrie Stahl, July 10, 2014.

July 10
4:26 - Js and Ks just swam by Southbound towards Lime Kiln.
John Boyd

Mother and son in a silver sea herding salmon cooperatively.
Photo by James Gresham, July 9, 2014.

July 9
11:38 AM - Orca Show on East Point. What a wonderful Orca viewing on Saturna Island. Thanks to the Saturna local call network for sharing the news that Orcas were on there way, lots of families on Saturna were able to witness this amazing show up close off East Point rocks. A pod of about 8-15 were traveling against the tide, jumping, tail slapping and a few seemed to stick around for some feeding
Noel Martin
Big air off Saturna Island at East Point.
Photo by Noel Martin, July 9, 2014.

It was beautiful out by Turn Point Lighthouse, here's a photo of K26 Lobo with his kelp ribbon - it was still hanging there when we left the whales (members of all 3 pods) as they headed north. Photo taken from aboard the Mystic Sea.
Photo by Jill Hein, July 9, 2014.
A photo I took while on a 9am whale watch in the fog. K Pod had been heard early that morning on the Lime Kiln hydrophone and we were very excited they decided to grace us with their presence again. The fog was thick and made for an eerie whale watch tour. There were many breaches, spy hops, and tail slaps!
Photo by Emily Schaller, San Juan Outfitters, July 9, 2014.

Part of J and K pod this morning from Land Bank. Love!
Photo by Katie Jones, July 9, 2014.

This is K25, Scoter and the remnants of a satellite tag that was attached December 29, 2012 and partially detached some time after April 4, 2013. This tag was used to determine where the Southern Resident Killer whales go when they aren't in our inland waters. Today, the residents headed west. I wonder for how long....
Photo by Traci Walter, July 9, 2014.

Transients/Bigg's Whales
We have been logging sightings data for transient killer whales since 2009. This season so far the T065As have been the most frequently sighted group in the waters off Southern Vancouver Island. Here is a taste of the recent 2014 sightings of the T065As.
Data by Josh McInnes and Kelsey Cullen, Transient Killer Whale Research Project.

An update on the lone male transient killer whale sighted in Tofino Harbor. Turned out to be T012A (Nitinat). He was last sighted in Cannary Bay at 7:00PM.
Photographs were sent in by Jennifer Steven at the Whale Centre. Posted by Josh McInnes.

July 12
Well, the T137's were at it again today. We have really noticed the curiosity these animals have shown towards boats but nothing prepared us for today!! They started hunting a seal right when we got there and didn't stop for almost an hour. We watched from a distance for a while but as the hunt went on and the seal tired, the whales ventured closer to the boat. We backed up and tried to move away but they kept coming at us. We shut down and they would let go of the seal go so it could swim towards our boat and then just as it was getting close, they would come nail it!! We could hear the seal wheezing in exhaustion and desperately trying to get to us for safety. We had to let nature take it's course and stay out of the way but WOW, what an incredible sight!
Gary Sutton
T137A underneath...can't believe how big this guy is already at 14 years old.
Photo by Gary Sutton, July 12, 2014.

T137A and T137B coming in!
Photo by Gary Sutton, July 12, 2014.

The whole family involved in the hunt.
Photo by Gary Sutton, July 12, 2014.

The look of desperation in the seals eyes.
Photo by Gary Sutton, July 12, 2014.

Getting dragged under.....this was the last time we saw the seal.....alive.
Photo by Gary Sutton, July 12, 2014.

Photo by Gary Sutton, July 12, 2014.

July 11
T137s were headed North at East Point earlier today.
Josh McInnes

July 8
After hearing the residents had headed out to sea in the morning, we were quite happy to hear there was a group of Transients in Griffin Bay, in San Juan Channel. Beautiful sunny day, and we had a lovely peaceful encounter with this group of T' or two males, and a calf as well. Glassy smooth water, Mt. Baker sparkling in the distance, happy passengers. It's so much fun to talk with people from all over the world, and tell them about our wonderful whales.
Bonnie Gretz, volunteer naturalist.
Transients in Griffin Bay.
Photo by Bonnie Gretz, July 8, 2014.

Ken Balcomb @ work on the west side of San Juan.
Photo by Mark Malleson, July 7, 2014.

The T036As off Flattop Island, Haro Strait. They were last seen heading west.
Photo by Maria Alejandra Faria, July 7, 2014.

The T036As off Flattop Island.
Photo by Maria Alejandra Faria, July 7, 2014.

July 7
California transient Bigg's killer whale male CA217 ("Chopfin" or "Stubby"), showed up off Vancouver Island on July 7 with the CA216s! Local whalewatchers did not recognize them; they have only been documented in BC once before (in 2011). I took this photo (below) in Aug 2012, Monterey Bay, CA: you can see that he had unhealed wounds to his dorsal fin that still persist today. I have seen him many times in Monterey Bay as well as in southern California. He usually travels by himself or with another male. His preferred matriline companion is CA216 and her four offspring (his associates in this encounter). We first saw him in December 1998 off of Santa Catalina Island in southern CA (~25 miles from my home near Los Angeles Harbor). At that time, his dorsal fin was completely collapsed, with entanglement injuries at the base of his dorsal fin. Over the next year, necrotic tissue slowly ate away at the healthy tissue in his fin, leaving a stump that slowly righted itself as half of a dorsal fin. I named him Chopfin. In 2007, Cascadia Research Collective sighted him off of Westport, Washington with a relatively fresh prop injury that shredded his dorsal fin. He is most often sighted in Monterey Bay, but has ranged south into Orange County in southern CA.
Alisa Schulman-Janiger, California Killer Whale Project).
CA217 ("Chopfin", AKA "Stubby" or "Stumpy").
Photo by Alisa Schulman-Janiger.

Saw this beauty off Anacortes.
Photo by Durand Dace, July 7, 2014.

Off Anacortes.
Photo by Durand Dace, July 7, 2014.

The Southern Resident Killer Whales headed west, but we were able to see Transient (Bigg's) Killer Whales that were near Friday Harbor today! Check out this photo! See the Harbor Seal in the middle? This Killer Whale seemed to try and flush the seal off the rocks, and the seal stayed put. Smart seal! Another seal later on was not so lucky.
Photo by Traci Walter, July 7, 2014.

Photo by Traci Walter, July 7, 2014.

July 13

Watching a humpback pass within 50 yards of the orcas (Hannah Heights, San Juan Island). Just another day in the life, right? Very cool.

Sandy Buckley

July 7
This morning at 6:53 am saw at cloud of mist in the horizon.  About 3 miles offshore of  Seabank Road in Courtney, northern Georgia Strait.  It is 7:39 am and still in the same area.  Appears to be one individual (humpback?) whale crisscrossing back and forth approx a square mile.  Behaviour- taking four breaths and then sounding (rolls on left side and then no more breaths for four to five minutes). Last time there were seven spouts!  
Janet Russell.
Gray whales
July 9
I noticed the gray whale sighting in your last whale report. Where was that sighting? It says Juan de Fuca Strait but has no other specifics. It is not uncommon for gray whales to be out in Neah Bay at this time of year, though peak numbers are later in the summer/early fall. Although we see mom calf pairs too, those are usually a little earlier at the end of migration or stragglers in June.
We saw the same mother calf pair yesterday outside of Neah Bay. I recognized the mom as the whale in the photo in your posting (the posting says it is the calf but that is definitely the adult) - she is a female we have seen in past years and have biopsy sampled. Cool sighting!
Adrianne Akmajian, Marine Mammal Technician III, Makah Fisheries Management
Minke whales
Minke face.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, July 11, 2014.

Minke dorsal.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, July 11, 2014.

Bet that was exciting for the kayakers. This the first pass - it went past us at least 3 times.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, July 11, 2014.

July 10
2:30 - Had a nice visit this morning with a Minke Whale at Lime Kiln.
Connie Bickerton

July 10
9am - Minke cruising east to west just outside the island at Flint Beach, south end of Lopez.
Sally Reeve
Pacific White-sided dolphins (and mysteries)
July 12
2 pm - 10+ Pseudoorca or minke or pilot or Dall's in Dabob Bay between Pulali and Whitney Pts. Sorry I can't identify what we're seeing. Just now, a "pod" of about 10 of something I've never seen in 63 years of observing from my home between Pulali and Whitney Pts on Dabob Bay. Leaping out of the water, probably feeding on runs of Pacific herring as were the white-sided. Too far out to get good pix with cell phones or video. Feeding avidly in clusters, leaping out of water almost completely, sometimes 4 in "formation," - this went on for about 45 minutes with maybe a quarter mile movement in front of our viewing spot here at our home. Pacific herring are running now. To me fins looked most like pilot whales, but can't find any sign they occur here.
Kirie Pedersen

July 11 
There are resident Pilot Whales in Useless Bay. Saw them....
Tim Arnold
Possibly White-sided dolphins? 

July 11

Five pacific white-sided dolphins in the Hood Canal today. Watched them for a couple of hours.
Jennifer Hiner

July 10
Kari and I were paddling with friends from Portland just southeast of Edwards Point, south of Lime Kiln State Park, and came across three lags. Fun encounter! They were following a rip line down the island. Later bumped into the SRKWs at Limekiln.
Doug McCutcheon

July 8
At least 2-3 Pacific white-sided dolphin feeding in middle of Dabob Bay, Hood Canal.
Kirie Pedersen
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.