Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Photo of the Day
Southern Residents.
Transients/Bigg's Killer Whales
Coastal Orcas
Gray whales
Mystery whale
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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July 21, 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.
This report has been a long time coming, mostly because the "Superpod 3" events on San Juan Island - a meetup of Blackfish crew, orca biologists and naturalists - proved to be nearly a week of non-stop whale encounters, informative talks and good times with friends and colleagues new and old. The entire week was filled with orcas of both types in all directions. There were too many sightings to get them all down in a report that's already too long, with groups large and small of both Residents and Transients, morning, noon and night. The reports below are just a smattering of the whole flowing scene because the whales were constantly on the move, from the west side of San Juan to the north, south, east and then again doing the "west side shuffle." This has been a surprisingly abundant summer for Resident whale sightings since May 29, by all accounts. At last report at least most of J and K pod were still around the San Juans, while L pod seems to have headed out to sea yesterday.

We also have had humpbacks in various places, usually south of Victoria, no doubt more often than we heard about them, in fact probably every day this week. A special treat were the Pacific white-sided dolphins seen on the 17th, first among the Residents heading up Stuart Island, then seemingly having fun pestering L95 Nigel off the southwest side of San Juan in the afternoon.

This year's August 8 Capture Commemoration Event will take place first aboard the brand new ferry Tokitae in early afternoon, then in Clinton at the Community Hall. Full details will follow in future reports and on the Orca Network Facebook page.
Photo of the Day
One from today. We went north almost to Vancouver but it was definitely worth the trip.
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, July 21, 2014.

Southern Residents (and Pacific white-sided dolphins)
July 21
Today with part of J Pod and K Pod! Lovely day on the water for sure! Whales were socializing up and down the west side.
Traci Walter
Today off San Juan Island.
Photo by Traci Walter, July 21, 2014.

Resident Killer Whales right out front of Sooke!
Photo by Sooke Coastal Explorations, July 21, 2014.

Resident orcas near Sooke.
Photo by Sooke Coastal Explorations, July 21, 2014

July 20
10:10 pm - still/again hearing Southern Resident calls on the OrcaSound hydrophones!
9:30 - still calling, and no ships now.
Orca Network

July 20
7:30pm - SRKWs on both hydrophones now... It was Ks at the end there on LK but there were Ks in earlier lead group too...still faint calls every so often getting less audible and here comes tankers from both directions.
Alisa Lemire Brooks

L pod heading west at Sooke (19-year old L92 Crewser is the male in the middle).
Photo by Sooke Coastal Expeditions, July 20, 2014.

A cartwheel from L pod, heading west at Sooke.
Photo by Sooke Coastal Expeditions, July 20, 2014.

L pod close to shore at Sooke as 18-year old L95 Nigel shows his saddle patch.
Photo by Sooke Coastal Expeditions, July 20, 2014.

21-year old L90 Ballena heads west past Sooke.
Photo by Sooke Coastal Expeditions, July 20, 2014.

Heading west at Sooke.
Photo by Sooke Coastal Expeditions, July 20, 2014.

J27 Blackberry breaches south of Victoria with Js and Ks, L87 and three Humpbacks.
Photo by Capt. James Maya, July 20, 2014.

July 19
6:30 - 7:30pm we saw maybe up to 20 Orcas spotted at Lime Kiln Point.
Owen Begley Collier

July 19
Our Saturna Island Marine Research Education Society put on an event just yesterday at East Point, Saturna Island with divers from the marine life sanctuaries society etc. At about 2 p.m., as if on cue all of L-pod showed up just off the beach heading east in Tumbo channel out into Boundary Pass. We had a spectacular showing of porpoising, breaching and general cavorting and no vessels following them, it was absolutely magical. In the 33 years I have lived on Saturna, I have never before seen the southern residents in Tumbo channel......amazing. Many folks got some really great photos, perhaps they will read this and send some in, I did not have a camera or cell phone with me at the time.
Robert Bruce
L-pod heading east in Tumbo channel (north of East Point, Saturna Island) during the Saturna Marine Life Sanctuaries Society Beach Interpretation Program.
Photo by Roy Mulder, July 19, 2014.

3:45 - Lotsa whales on the west side this afternoon! Ks and some Js came down from the north and met up with a large group of Ls. Word was more Js came down Rosario, too!
Photo by Monika Wieland, July 18, 2014.

July 18
We saw them breaching in front of the ferry, then got to see some (20+) of the J and K pods at Lime Kiln around 1 pm. Fantastic first shore based whale watching trip. Never heard about LK until I started following this page. Thank you!
Jen Carr DuPre

July 18
2:15pm - orcas traveling east to west off Flint Beach/Iceberg Point, Lopez.
Sally Reeve

July 18
Yep same group. Identified as Doublestuff, Cappucino, Princess Angeline and others.
Lisa Cope Kelly

July 18
They had a feeding mission and were headed toward Smith Island. We were able to watch them for over an hour feeding, diving down and surfacing like this. What a blessing! It was my first time and I'm still excited.
Barb Dugin

11:28am - They've come by Rosario Beach! Now they have turned southwest, heading past Deception Island.
Chanel Giles

July 18
11:51 - K Pod...North of Henry Island..coming south at a verrrry fast clip!! We are heading north for even more whales!
Vickie Doyle

July 18
9:28 am - WA State Ferries called again this morning, with the Ferry Hyak reporting several orcas just west of Anacortes/Ship Harbor, heading south.

July 18
8:40 am - Whales chatting on Lime Kiln hydro!
James Gresham

L95 Nigel was accompanied by a Pacific White-sided dolphin for at least a half hour off the west side of San Juan Island about 5:30 pm.
Photo by Jeff Friedman, July 17, 2014.

L95 Nigel being harassed (?) by a Pacific White-sided dolphin. I've never seen lags and orcas in the same frame before.
Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, July 17, 2014.

L72 "Racer" on the Blackfish trip. In my opinion, she has the most beautiful saddle patch. I'm also quite fond of her because my Papa's nickname for me was Racer.
Photo by Traci Walter, July 17, 2014.

J31 Tsuchi and friend along the south shore of Stuart Island during the Blackfish cruise.
Photo by Kyra Laughlin, July 17, 2014.
L105 Fluke and L92 Crewser along Stuart Island from the Western Prince on the Blackfish cruise.
Photo by Howard Garrett, July 17, 2014.

July 17
12:00 PM - 17-20 Orcas from North Pender Island, BC. facing Swanson Channel about a half mile east of the entrance to Thieves Bay Marina. Heading east to west. Sighting lasted more than 1/12 hours. Traveling quickly but some stops to fish and play. Just a few spy hops and tail slaps near us.
Ken Plato

Ophelia L27 blasts a beautiful rainblow as she swims just a few feet from me at Lime Kiln State Park.
Photo by Meg McDonald, Wild Northwest Beauty Photography, July 17, 2014.

July 17
WA State Ferries called to report 2 - 3 orcas sighted by the Chelan Ferry at 10:30 am, west side of Haro Strait, no direction of travel given.

July 17
8:20 - Lime Kiln hydro. Chattering away.
James Gresham

July 17
8:03am - Faint calls increasing at Lime Kiln on the hydrophone. Sounds like J Pod?
Jay Schilling

July 17
8:20 - Lime Kiln hydro. Chattering away.
James Gresham

July 17
Ks went north past the Center for Whale Research about 7:45 am.
Orca Network

L86 Surprise breaches near Lime Kiln.
Photo by Jeff Friedman, July 16, 2014.

July 16
8:08 am - Beautiful morning of still waters and familiar sounds of members of all three pods engaged in their daily lives. For two hours a symphony of echolocation, calls, whistles on both hydrophones. So much gratitude to the Veirs and Whale Museum (and whoever else) for making it possible for us humans to listen beneath the sea where whales and other beings roam.
6:15 am...J pod...Lime Kiln...maybe Ks too.
Alisa Lemire Brooks
This was the juvenile and adults swimming together, off Land Bank around 8am 7/16/14..going north.
Photo by Vickie Doyle, July 16, 2014.

J37 Hy'Shqa and her son J49 T'ilem I'nges as they scooted by the rocks at the lighthouse yesterday. I almost couldn't fit both of them in the frame they were so close!
Photo by Katie Jones, July 15, 2014.
Kelping in Active Pass.
Photo by Jeff Friedman, July 15, 2014.

Orca encounter 7/14
A rising chorus of sheer excitement.
Orca encounter 7/14 by Kyra Laughlin, July 14, 2014.

L87 Onyx breaches off the west side of San Juan Island.
Photo by Mark Malleson, July 14, 2014.
Lots of fog on the south end yesterday! The fog lifted to reveal fins everywhere!!! All 3 pods were back on the west side.
Photo by Traci Walter, July 14, 2014.

Playing with the superposition at the bottom of San Juan island.
Photo by Stephen Ellwood, July 14, 2014.

July 14
@3am this morning we awoke to loud blows echoing off the shoreline along San Juan County park. In the light if the moon we were able to spot a few dorsals cutting at a steady pass north. Hard to really see much though, leaving us with the sweet experience of just listening for over a half hour.
Susan Marie Andersson

July 13
K-Pod continued to do the west side shuffle today. Between 10:20 and 10:40 AM they went north past Lime Kiln Point State Park, got as far up as Open Bay, then turned and came back south past Lime Kiln around 12:30. They also poked their heads as far north as Lime Kiln at 8:45 PM before turning and going back south. Meanwhile, J-Pod spent the whole day up north, with the J16s coming down Boundary Pass and going back up Swanson, while the others by all accounts stayed near the mouth of the Fraser River throughout the day.
While we've had residents around on almost a daily basis for the last month and a half, it's interesting to note there have been changing groups of whales here every week or so. Since they all went out west on July 8th, for instance, there's been an interesting combination of whales in inland waters. For those "keeping score", present from July 9th onward in inland waters are K-Pod (minus the K16s and K21), L87, and from J-Pod J2, the J14s, and the J16s (no J19s, typically part of "Group A" in the past). It's easy to report "Js and Ks are here", but I think it's equally interesting that we're ending up with new and different combinations of whales all the time. It's been difficult but fascinating to keep track this year as we're seeing all kinds of new groupings!
Monika Wieland, San Juan Island
Transients/Bigg's Whales
July 19
This morning we had a taste of just how unpredictable weather and whales can be sometimes. We never take either for granted. We had unusually high winds up north today which prevented anyone from finding Resident type Orcas this morning, although there was plenty of other wildlife to be seen. Then early this afternoon 10 Bigg's Killer Whales, Transients T137s and T124As, popped up in Rosario Strait, and ended up coming almost to Friday Harbor by this evening.
Ivan Reiff

Bigg's Killer Whales heading toward Friday Harbor.
Photo by Ivan Reiff, Western Prince Whale Watch, July 19, 2014.

Photo by Ivan Reiff, Western Prince Whale Watch, July 19, 2014.

July 19
Maia of WA State Ferries called at 3:33 pm, relaying a report from the Capt. of the ferry Hyak, with a report of 15 orcas in Thatcher Pass heading west.

T077A. He sometimes travels with another male, TO49C who has a very similar notch in his dorsal fin. When they are together, they are known as "The Twins." They spent a couple weeks in central and south Puget Sound earlier in the year.
Photo by James Gresham, July 19, 2014.

Male Transient Killer Whale, TO137A breaching. He must have breached 10-15 times. They were raising havoc with the seals today. That's Anacortes in the background. We were real close to home. We were with them for a long time. Over 3 1/2 hrs. They must have killed 5 or 6 while we were there. We left them as they headed towards Thatcher Pass.
Photo by James Gresham, July 19, 2014.

July 19
Noon - T137s reported heading up Rosario.

July 19
10:30 - Off Williamson Rock we saw transients heading down Williamson Rock to James Island where they turned around and started hanging out about a mile west of the Deception Pass bridge, just west of Deception Island for about an hour.
Capt. John Stone, Cutty Sark

4:15 pm - T60s near Mandarte Island. Out with Dave Ellifrit to photo-ID a group of five Transients, the T60s and T2B.
Photo by Howard Garrett, July 16, 2014.

July 16
Between the hours of 10:00 TO 12:00 I saw a small group of orcas at Solo Point (south of Tacoma near Nisqually). Between three to four surfaced. There was a lot of herring in the area.
Michael Cameron

July 15
I was on the Clipper and was first to spot them on our boat after reading updates on FB. As we got closer to Kingston, I started looking for the fishing boat and then spotted orcas in front of the boat, probably 100 yards or more away from that boat. Stephanie was great at telling us her guesses of the whales' behavior and she was right!
Monica Zaborac

July 15
Thanks to everyone for posting reports below about what we think are a pod of about 6 Transient orcas headed north up Puget Sound. And thanks to Stephanie Raymond on the Victoria Clipper 3 for calling in a report of spotting this group (1 male, 1 young one and 4 others) at 6:45 pm, just south of Point No Point (N. Kitsap) headed north.
Orca Network

July 15
They went deep and, did not resurface as my sight line became hazy. I stayed until sunset!
They were headed north towards Admiralty Inlet, well past Useless Bay.They went deep and, did not resurface as my sight line became hazy. I stayed until sunset!
8:23 pm - Looks like maybe a kill they are going in circles lots of tail slapping!
8:13 - We saw one big boy at least and four more tail slapping and changing direction
8:02 - Spy hop and fins.
7:51 - They are trending north in front of sailboat at double bluff big male many more!!! I am at Norwegian Point (north of Pt No Pt).
Elyse Sollitto

July 15
My Friend [Bob Dale] & Me Saw An Orca Pod Near The South East End Of Bainbridge Island at approx. 3:15 PM - at Least 1/2 Mile Away - both feeding & playing the male breached a few times & we could see a couple of calves. We could see a large male, 2 calves & possible 2 females - they made our day worth while for sure.
Michael Porter

July 15
And more of an update from Jeff Hogan - now he believes the number of orcas to be between 6 and 10, at 2:10 pm they were approaching the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry crossing, and seemed to be behaving more like Transients rather than Residents but they are still too far out to ID for sure.

July 15
1:43 - They seem to be milling around quite a ways west of Alki. Heading up there now.
Trileigh Tucker

July 15
1:38 - There are 10 to 12 near Dolphin Point on Vashon. Southbound. Two males.
12:37 - They are southbound near Dolphin Point so should be to Dilworth soon
Amy Carey

July 15
Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales called at 12:55 pm to relay reports he'd heard of 10 - 12 or maybe 15 orcas, including 2 males off Vashon heading south. He and others are heading to the shore to try to find them - hope we have photos & IDs soon!!

July 15
Maia of Washington State Ferries called at 12:10 pm to relay a report of 6 orcas heading south in the southbound lanes off the north end of Vashon Island in Puget Sound - anyone else see orcas out there?!

July 15
8 am - From my friend Scott out on Hales Passage. He saw 2 orcas around 8am today in front of his house. Seemed to be eating salmon, seals were not concerned with their presence. Headed towards Tacoma. Could be with the current group by now, or still out doing their own thang!
Melissa Bird
Coastal Orcas
July 19
We received a call from the Port Orford, OR visitors center reporting visitors sighting orcas at Pt. Orford at 1:50 pm July 19, heading north.

July 17
A call from Heidi reporting orcas near Sonoma, CA in Sonoma State Beach at Wright Beach, from 7:40 - 8 (did not say am or pm). She saw 1 male 200' past the breakers swimming quick & silent, with 3 surfacings, and more orcas further north, all north bound.

Humpback Whales out front of Sooke!
Photo by Sooke Coastal Explorations, July 21, 2014.

Humpback flukes on a steep dive.
Photo by Sooke Coastal Explorations, July 21, 2014.

South of Victoria with Js and Ks, L87 and three Humpbacks.
Photo by Capt. James Maya, July 20, 2014.

July 15
2:30 - A humpback reported by a whale watch boat 1.5 miles south of Eagle Point.
Gray whales
July 15
2:45 - A gray whale was seen by a whale whatch boat south end of Trial Isl.
Mystery whale
July 13
Tonight around 8:15 I saw a lone whale (I could tell by the tale, though I only saw it briefly!) on the Canadian side of Haro Strait, from Mt Doug Beach. Perhaps it was a porpoise but it was a beautiful sight nonetheless!
Michelle Rachel
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.