Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Southern Residents.
Transients/Bigg's Killer Whales
Gray whale
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 


Quick Links

Click here

to learn about L pod

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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January 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.
As usual around this time of year there haven't been many whale reports lately, but a humpback was seen in Hood Canal, a gray whale is somewhere in Puget Sound tonight, and a couple of Pacific White-sided dolphins were off Anderson Island lately.

J pod cruised the scenic route down San Juan Channel and out Cattle Pass on Monday
. All were present and accounted for, including baby J50 tucked in alongside J16 Slick - confirming she's the mom. They continued south toward Admiralty Inlet for several miles, where observations ended. Everyone thought they would be in Puget Sound Tuesday, so there were watchers out looking for them but they weren't found. The satellite tag on J27 is set to beep every other day now, and it last beeped about the same time as the last visual sightings, so there was no way to know where they went. No word yet on whether the tag has beeped again since then.

The T137 pod was seen off Anderson Island as recently as January 19th, making at least 57 consecutive days this family of Transients/Bigg's whales have been in Puget Sound. Bigg's whales have also been seen around the San Juan Islands and in Georgia Strait.

Coming up on Saturday is Orca Network's annual Ways of Whales Workshop, in Coupeville, Whidbey Island. Registration begins at 9 am, and online registration is highly recommended in case the auditorium fills. Go to the links above for the complete schedule of fascinating speakers. After Ways of Whales the documentary film Fragile Waters will be shown a few miles down the road, and is now sold out.

There are still a few openings for our annual trek to San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico to see gray whales, March 3 to 7. It's a magical few days away from it all, in the presence of friendly gray whales. All details and registration can be found HERE.

A line of at least 1500 demonstrators stretched a quarter mile down the sidewalk in front of the Miami Seaquarium Saturday, calling "Free Lolita - Let the Girl Go," followed by an afternoon of talks and cheers. A variety of local, national and international media covered the Miracle March for Lolita. Here is a sample of some of the coverage, (an in-depth Reuters story is due out in the next day or two). Overall, the events dramatically ramped up awareness of Lolita's plight and our proposal for her return to the waters where she was born and raised. The march was timed in anticipation of an announcement by NOAA within a week regarding Lolita's inclusion as a member of an endangered population under the ESA, raised awareness of Lolita's plight and our proposal for her return to the waters where she was born and raised. Lolita's story can be found HERE.

Howard Garrett and Susan Berta, Orca Network 

Photo of the Day
January 19
J50, almost a month old now, brings her head up as she paddles along beside J16 Slick, in her slipstream for easier swimming.
Photo by David Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research
Southern Residents
January 19
Dave Ellifrit of the Center for Whale Research called after accompanying J pod +L87 down San Juan Channel and out Cattle Pass and south a couple of miles, leaving them about 12:45 headed straight for Admiralty Inlet. Full encounter and incredible photos at the Center for Whale Research HERE.

January 19
19 January update - The transmitter on J27 switched to transmitting every other day late in the day of 17 Janaury in order to conserve battery power. Consequently, there were no locations until late in the day on 18 January which found the whales west of the Fraser River headed south. They continued south during the night and on the morning of the 19th were heading down San Juan Channel. By that afternoon they were in the middle of the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Juca.
Map provided by NW Fisheries Science Center

January 17
17 January update - On the previous update (Thursday, 15 January), J27 (and the rest of J pod) were off the northeast corner of Texada Island in the northern Strait of Georgia. By Friday morning (16 January) the whales had traveled north to just south of Campbell River. The whales then turned south such that by Saturday afternoon (17 January) the whales were off the south end of Texada Island.
 Map provided by NW Fisheries Science Center

January 15
15 January update - Our previous update (Monday, January 12), found J27 (and the rest of J pod) approaching the western entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The whales traveled into the open ocean, but only a short distance and for only for a brief time, before almost retracing their track back into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. By the evening of Tuesday, January 13 they were off Victoria, then traveled up Haro Strait, and by the morning of the January 14 they went through Active Pass. By this morning, January 15, they were off the northeast corner of Texada Island in the northern Strait of Georgia.
Map provided by NW Fisheries Science Center
Transients/Bigg's Killer Whales 
January 21
8:00 AM - A pod of 5 Orcas sighted swimming (exiting) out of Northwest Bay, (in Georgia Strait, 20 miles NW of Nanaimo, BC) swimming towards the bay outlet (Beachcomber Regional Park). Viewed from residence at 1355 Marina Way. Unable to identify detailed unique features due to distance and with binoculars. Traveling, exiting northwest bay towards Brant Pt. (Rathtrevor Beach).
Bill Turko

January 19
Moving fast, 2-3 Orcas heading east SJI at Mineral Point (north tip of San Juan Island)! 3:50p.m.
Donna Radcliff

January 19
Bill Hewitt of San Juan Island passed along this sighting to me from this morning: he saw these whales near Cape San Juan in San Juan Channel and they eventually went south. Josh McInnes has identified them as the T86As and likely T90s. -Monika Wieland.
Photo by Bill Hewitt

January 19
Arrived at my fishing spot to immediately see T137 again. They will be visible from Solo Point or Anderson Island Ferry Lanes from now 1114 until they go somewhere else. Several Kayakers got showered with their cameras from this big guy.
Chris Dearth


January 17
9:18 AM - Single baby or juvenile whale sighting in front of our home this am 200 ft off shore, between Yukon Harbor and Manchester in Port Orchard across from Blake Island. The whale surfaced several times blowing, rolled to side surfacing with fin for at least 15 minutes; we've lived here 10 years, this is first whale sighting. We frequently see seal and sea lion; I am fairly certain what I saw today not either. Seal and seal lion surface frequently near our shoreline however the blowing and rolling behavior does not fit with what we normally observe. I did take pictures with my cell phone but quality is very poor.
Sandy Ringstead


January 15
Jeanne Hyde spotted transients from home this morning off Bellevue Pt. somewhere around 11am and called Dave. The whales headed north and Tom and Jane Cogan kept them in sight while Dave and Jeanne scrambled for the boat. We got on them off Kellett Bluff and found the T60s and T2B milling. They later made a kill off north Kellett Bluff before heading east into Spieden Channel. Then they went around Sentinel Island, around the west tip of Spieden Island and we left them at 1445 heading east in New Channel on the north side of Spieden Island. They may have been making another kill as we were leaving the area. Other boats were still with them after we left.
Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research

January 15
4:00 - a report of orcas at the north tip of Anderson Island heading from west to east at 1:00. I wonder if these are the same ones from Fox Island earlier?????
Kim Merriman

January 15
I am not the reporting party, but per another FB page orcas were spotted near Fox Island today around 11am. RP claimed to have a calf with them.
Clare Honn


January 14
210 pm - on the south side of Ketron been viewing them (orcas) from the boardwalk of Nisqually Wildlife refuge for about 30 mins.
Around 140pm I watched orcas on the south side of Ketron from Nisqually Wildlife Refuge Boardwalk. I was very far away but they were just milling about no clear direction of travel. I watched for about 30 minutes before I had to leave.
Photo by Tracy Morris

January 14
12:45pm-1:40pm - Went out today while at work at Nisqually Reach Nature Center. I spotted the dorsal fins of the Orcas from inside the center and immediately told everyone around me. Daniel Hull went and got his boat and then we were off. Got some great pics of the pod today it's on our facebook now, there will be more from others that are of better quality. One large male for sure was sighted along with couple of females and at least one young calf possibly? Continued to see orcas in the distance until ~3:00pm.

January 14
Orca north of Nisqually Reach.
Photo by Betsea Antonio


January 13
5:00 UPDATE - the Orcas (at least 6) in Budd Inlet went as far south as Priest Point park. They stayed near the center of the channel and frolicked and made a kill. They then headed north - breaching, cartwheeling, head standing and then would take long dives. They just headed north past Boston Harbor and are currently heading through Dana Passage along the eastern shore.
3:00 - South Sound Orcas (approx 5) - came south through Dana Passage and very close along the eastern shore of Budd Inlet - passing Boston Harbor Marina and Burfoot Park. Some surfacing series in Gull Harbor and now continuing south.
Kim Merriman

January 13
About 1:30. We saw 4 orcas, north side of Johnson Point, heading west towards Olympia. About 150' offshore.
Photo by Tina Davi

January 13
We have a rare report of a group of possibly unknown transient orca visiting the Salish Sea. We received a report via Ian Roberts of a group of seven orca off of Secretary Island near Sooke BC. They were last sighted heading SW. We were sent numerous photographs not matching any IDs known. This group may belong to a rarely sighted outer coast transient group. We will release more photographs once we do a bit more digging into the IDs of these animals.
Photo by Ian Roberts
Posted by Josh McInnes

January 13
1:40 PM - The 4 T068's came back to Tofino yesterday. They went down Tofino inlet.
It looks like there was T068B with her calf (B1 or B2 ?),also T068C & T068C1. No males. My question is, did one of the calfs die? In the ID book it says there is a B1 & B2 but I only see one calf beside T068B. Do you know which one it is? It's always right beside it's mother T068B. Cruising, feeding & Spy Hopping. T068C seems to enjoy Spy Hopping!
Photo by Wayne Barnes

January 13
2:00 PM - 3 orcas sighted off Grapeview, in upper Case Inlet, traveling, appeared be to calf, female and male.
Steve Dykstra

January 13
7:55 AM - Pod of 5 Orca whales sighted going through Hammersley Inlet towards Shelton. Traveling - moving quickly.
Barbara Andrews


January 12
We encountered T11 & T11a this afternoon just west of Otter Point heading west. They were harassing an adult harbour seal for almost 2 hours whilst we were on scene.
BC Whale Tours

January 12
7:30 AM - A pod of 4 maybe 5 orcas entered Totten Inlet. They were porposing as they went into the inlet. One hour later they were seen exiting Totten inlet and near the point of Steamboat Island. Feeding. They were visible for about 4 minutes going into the inlet and the same coming out of the inlet an hour later.
Stephen Hicks


January 10
While prawning near Flora Island at the southern end of Hornby Island, 12.30 pm, I had the pleasure of watching a group of transients, 6 or 7  in number, including one juvenile, moving in on the 250 or so Stellers and California sealions that were either on shore or swimming in close proximity to the western side of Flora Island.  From a distance of approx 250 meters offshore, the whales were spyhopping and slowly swimming back and forth.  They then moved in underwater and rushed the sealions in the water in shallow water next to the Island. Pandemonium!   But I didnt see a kill. Shortly afterward, 4 or so animals headed south-but two remained behind. Preparing for another rush perhaps? I was back in the area today, and there was no sign of the orcas.
Hope this helps
Bryan Allen


January 3
Orca encounter in Carr Inlet
Orca encounter in Carr Inlet.
Video by Paul Burgess
January 20
3:15 PM - Small single whale in Hood Canal today, spotted near Scenic Beach park in Seabeck headed south. Not an Orca but possibly a Grey or Humpback? Traveling fast with three or four breaths, fluke, dive and some breaching. Small boat in pursuit at a respectful distance.
Kathy Cole
Gray whale
January 21
4:51 - Just north of West Seattle, unknown whale spouting under USCG protection seen from Seattle Bainbridge ferry. Direction of travel "Did not seem to be moving very fast, was pointing North very close to shore "
Jeared Thomas Lazor

January 21
Per a friend on the 4:35 boat from Bainbridge: a gray whale breached off the bow of the boat.
Connie Bickerton


January 19
I am assuming this is the same animal we saw at Point Wilson about 2pm. It looked fairly small, but seemed to be traveling well. It hung out in the current around Point Wilson for 30+ min too, so maybe it just likes current?
Chrissy McLean

January 19
1:30 - Erica at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center called to report a gray whale passing the Center about 100 yards offshore, heading north toward Pt. Wilson.

January 19
Greg Graves called to report seeing a gray whale between 9:45 and 11 am, in Portage Canal, which is a narrow waterway, about 100 yards wide, between Port Townsend Bay and Oak Bay at the south end of Marrowstone Island. The whale was almost stationary for over an hour despite a strong current. No direction of travel was known.
Pacific White Sided dolphins
January 16
Pacific White Sided dolphin spotted 30 yards off beach of west end of Anderson Island. Just south of Amsterdam Bay. First seen around 5pm, stuck around area until around 6pm. There were loud blows and water sprays that I've also never seen. It was popping up in random places so it was hard to even capture video. It was not alone. There was a larger one but it was in deeper water. I spotted a sea lion in the exact area of this video a few mins prior to filming it.
Ryan Johannes


January 13
4:32 - I know it's not an orca but there is a dolphin and a seal playing in front of Anthony's and the Vashon ferry now.
Ronda Walters
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.