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Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Southern Residents
Transients/Bigg's whales
Coastal orcas
Humpback whales
Minke whales
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Orca Network recommends:
Puget Sound Whales for Sale: The Fight to End Orca Hunting, by
Sandra Pollard
This important volume recounts the people whose determined efforts ultimately succeeded in ending the captures.

_______________

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!

_________________

 

  David Kirby  

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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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May 26, 2015

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.
Many lovely reports and photos of J pod including all healthy looking J babies who while flexing their brains and muscle keep their mothers busy teaching them the ways of their natural environment as well as navigating those humans they share these waters.  Included here are some amazing personal observations and images of such interesting and curious interactions.

Bigg's/Transients encounters keep on keeping on, many reports of them traveling, foraging and gathering in large groups in many places including Puget Sound and Admiralty Inlet. Beautiful videos along with all the fantastic encounter photos.

A few humpback reports and a nice Minke image.

So much activity with the Ts that this report comes a day late and will continue into the next. Hopefully we'll have more SRKW encounters to report.

Thanks again for all your contributions and support!

Orca Network 

Photo of the Day
May  22 
I took this image of J16 today, she was playing with her family,
Image was taken at the bottom of the Strait of Georgia
Photo by Steve Ellwood, May 22, 2015 
Southern Residents
May 23
... morning near Salmon Bank many members of Jpod were foraging and socializing and among them was Hy'shqa (J37) with little J51 swimming in her slipstream
(mama Eclipse (J41) was close behind). As soon as there was even a little bit of
room T'ilem I'nges was smooshing himself between the two and took his place in her slipstream as if to say "This is MY mom!

Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, May 23, 2015
(Taken w/400mm lens and cropped) 

May 23 
J51 with Suttles (J40) and Samish (J14)
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, May 23, 2015 

May 23 
J51 with mama Eclipse (J41), Samish (J14), and Suttles (J40)
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, May 23, 2015  

May 23 
Alki (J36), J52, and Echo (J42)
Photo by Sara Hysong-Shimazu, May 23, 2015   

May 23 
J Pod today at the north end of San Juan Island. Hy'Shqa and T'ilem I'nges
Photo by Connie Bickerton, May 23, 2015 

May 23 
J51, Alki J36, J52
Photo by Connie Bickerton, May 23, 2015 

May 23 
Today was an amazing day on the water. We saw all of J pod, including all the babies, I was able to finally get a picture of Granny, and much of J pod popped up right next to the boat. It's experiences like that you'll never forget, when you see these massive animals surfacing just feet away from you. It's then that you can truly appreciate their size and beauty. Hearing them breathe is the best sound on earth. Wild and free, as it should be.
Rachel Haight

May 23 
J pod off the north end of SJI slowly heading north. We left them about 7pm I believe.
Photo by Rachel Haight, May 23, 2015
 

May 23 
Photo by Rachel Haight, May 23, 2015

May 23 
J-Pod passed Lime Kiln heading north at 3:30!
Monika Wieland


May 23 
J27 Blackberry
Saturday on the water! My first good look at J-pod for 2015, magical, and very thankful.
Photo by Jill Hein, May 23, 2015
 

May 23 
How lucky to see the whales so close to shore! This is the west side of San Juan Island.
Photo by Jill Hein, May 23, 2015 

May 23 
From San Juan Island at approx. 15:50; Orcas swimming north. 
Picture taken 1.5 miles south of Lime Kiln Park
Photo by Michael Gallagher, May 23, 2015 

May 23 
I think this stand up paddleboarder got a liiiittttle bit more than
she bargained for this afternoon in Haro Strait.
Photo by Monikia Wieland, May 23, 2015 

May 23 
The J17s off the west side of San Juan Island-
photo taken from shore from the Land Bank property
Photo by Monika Wieland, May 23, 2015 

May 23 
I watched this wonderful interaction today from shore. A couple kayakers were trying their best to get out of the way but there was wind and current. J52 decided it really, really, really wanted to take a close look at the kayaks. Mom (J36) instantly cut the kiddo off, and even though the kiddo tried to wriggle over her again, mom blocked J52 again this time pushing the calf pretty much out of the water and away from the kayak. And off they went, lesson learned. Pretty funny to watch. It was very clear that she wanted the calf to have no part in these kayaks. (see photo below)
Traci Walter

May 23 
Mom J36
blocked J52 again, this time pushing the calf pretty much
out of the water and away from the kayak. (see full description above)
Photo by Traci Walter, May 23, 2015 

May 23 
Mike, J26 checked out a few kayakers after coming around a corner.
Photo by Traci Walter, May 23, 2015
(taken from shore) 

May 23 
 
Video of J Pod including several breaches!
Note: the vessels in the video are much farther from the whales than it looks, telling distance on water is very difficult especially shooting with a long lens.
Video by Traci Walter, May 23, 2015  

May 23 
J34 Doublestuff (foreground) with his younger brother J38 Cookie.
Photo by James Gresham, May 23, 2015 

May 23 
Polaris breaching in front of Cattle Point Lighthouse on San Juan Island this morning.
Photo by James Gresham, May 23, 2015

May 23 
104 yr old matriarch, J2 Granny signaling JPod to group up and head north this morning. Immediately after this they did exactly that.
Photo by James Gresham, May 23, 2015

***********************

May 22 
Calls heard on lime kiln 1044pm, some faint with others very clear...about every 2-3 min.
Kristy Todd

May 22 
10:02 pm - enjoying these as I wind down for the evening.
Debbie Stewart

May 22 
9:52pm -  hearing whales on Lime Kiln hydro now
9:10 pm -  Heard some echolocation clicks and a few whistles on the orcasound hydrophone from about 8:20 and now it seems to have gone quiet.
Whitney Neugebauer, Whale Scout

May 22 
Good morning! I spent yesterday (May 22) evening at the lighthouse on San Juan Island watching J pod meander by while fighting the flood tide...I'm pretty sure this is what paradise looks like; orcas, calm waters, and a candy-colored sky.
Katie Jones

May 22 
This is J16 Slick
Photo by Katie Jones, May 23, 2015  

May 22 
8:15 pm 4+ orca off of Otter Bay on Pender Island heading north.
Jeffrey Sevold

May 22 
Orcas this morning at around 7:30am at Tilly Point on Pender Island and same area again tonight at around 5:45pm. J pod?
Madison Duffin

**********************

May 21 
Here's more from my encounter with J Pod last night (May 21)  between Matia and Sucia Island. These whales were in a resting pattern (the equivalent to sleeping for humans), where they essentially turn half of their brain off, alternating "sleeping" hemispheres in their brains a number of times during a resting period. When orcas rest, their behavior is also more predictable. They will go down for a 3-5 minuet dive, then surface for 5-6 breaths.
J Pod circled around and stayed between the two Islands for about two hours hours last night, barely moving from that location. I don't get to observe the entire pod (minus the independent J16's) resting together very often! I'd take this over breaching whales any day.
Watching "resting" resident orcas is like meditation for me. The way their exhalation comes up in synchronicity like smoke stacks, with their breaths equally as in sync, "koof, koof, koof", sends me to an incredibly peaceful place. I'm so grateful that I was there to whiteness this!
Heather MacIntyre

May 23 
J Pod tonight in a resting line with little J51 in the foreground right behind J2 Granny, the oldest Southern Resident Orca at an estimated 104 years old this year.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, May 21, 2015 

May 23 
L87 and his faithful companion, J2 Granny.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, May 21, 2015 

May 23 
J34 Doublestuf and J27 Blackberry in the foreground
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, May 21, 2015
 
Transients/Bigg's Whales
May 26
We saw them. Male was quite a distance behind the others. It seems like they were past Pt. Wilson by 4:30 or so. Victoria Clipper went by northbound and didn't slow down, so they must not have seen them.
Jill Hein

May 26
3:10 pm - north of Lagoon point heading north at a good pace. East side of midchannel
2:55 pm -  watching northbound Transients from Fort Flagler. Mid-channel - appear to be in southbound shipping lane. Approaching Lagoon Point from my vantage.
Connie Bickerton

May 26
Was hoping to see them nearer Bush Point but was so happy to see them at all....Transients, about 4 of them. One lone male way ahead of group.
Marilyn Armbruster

May 26
Transients northbound, Admiralty Inlet
Photo by Marilyn Armbruster, May 26, 2015

May 26
12:45 pm -  watched the Ts for 45 min. From Norweigan Pt. making their way slowly north. Lots of activity. Now they are off Mutiny Bay.
Susan Marie Andersson

May 26
12:30 pm - Spent the day with T036's, T087, T036B's and T124's on the Edmonds Puget Sound Express tour. Caught up to these T's in Admiralty Inlet, South side of Whidbey Island.
They were headed north west when we left them approx. 12:30. They active! Cartwheels, breaches, tail lobs, spyhops, lunges and babies!
Janine Harles

May 26


May 26
Photo by Janine Harles, May 26, 2015

May 26
11:35am - We caught up with another group that was s little further north. They've all come together and lots of surface activity going on!! Breaching, spyhopping, tail lobs, etc. slowly trending north closer to Whidbey side.
10:32 am - We are sitting out off Possession Point with a small group that just made a kill. One large male and 3-4 females.
Renee Beitzel, Naturalist

May 26
Transient breaches in Admiralty Inlet
Photo by Renee Beitzel, May 26, 2015

May 26
This morning east of Double Bluff, Whidbey Island
Photo by Stu Davidson, May 26, 2015
(More photos HERE )

May 26
Photo by Stu Davidson, May 26, 2015

May 26
8:51am -  4-5 surfaced about 100-150' offshore north end of Edmonds Marina Beach.
Ariel Yseth

May 26
8:47 am - Mid channel heading south
8:33 am - moving south slowly further south of Kingston ferry
8:25 am - I see 4 just North of Kingston ferry heading south slowly...now they are circling.
Janine Harles

May 26
7:51 am - orca whales off President Point  heading north toward Kingston slowly.
Joanne Graves

May 26
5:00 am - John Miller of WA State Ferries left a message that 4 orcas were seen at 0500 in the Seattle/Eagle Harbor ferry lane, due north of Alki.

*************

May 25
Great day today spent with many different groups of Transient (marine-mammal hunting) orcas. We were on the water for about seven hours and loved every minuet of it!
The first group of Transients we saw were the T018's/T019's, T124A's, and T051 who seemed to have switched groups overnight (he was traveling with the T075B's and T036A's yesterday). These whales were traveling west close to Sooke, BC. On our way home Captain James Maya found the other Transients that had been seen earlier today near Kelp Reef!
Thankfully Captain Jim stayed with the orcas until we got on scene! On our second trip, we got the treat of being the only boat with the orcas for about an hour as we observed T077A (one of the "twins") and T124C in the beautiful evening light. It was totally serene ...
Oh, and did I mention I got to see my first SEA OTTER EVER?!!! Yeah ... that happened!
Heather MacIntyre

May 25
T124C in the foreground with T077A in the back with the double notches.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, May 25, 2015

May 25
T018 and T019's
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, May 25, 2015

May 25
Made the long trip to Race Rock to see the Ts heading west, and then found some on the way home! Great day.
James Mead Maya

May 25
Photo by James Mead Maya, May 25, 2015

May 25
Photo by James Mead Maya, May 25, 2015

May 25
8:50 pm - I can still hear them but no visual. Happy Memorial Day orcas!
8:30 pm -3 -4 orcas headed slowly south off of Dilworth -Vashon
Aimee Demarest

May 25
5:45-5:50 pm - From Bremerton Ferry, I spotted orcas spread across the eastern half of Elliot bay in/near Bainbridge Ferry lanes. There were at least 3 small groups of 4-6 orcas per group heading due west towards Eagle Harbor. Robust tail slaps, strong blows and a synchronized surfacing of 4 large orca. Smaller one in lead group. Awesome! Only a few other people looked up from their cell phones when I yelled "ORCAS!!!
Donna Green Van Renselaar

May 25
Returning from Blake Island around 5:30 today we observed a pod working approx 1/2 to 1 mile north of Alki point. They were working as a team circling around in about a 1/2 mile radius. Tail slaps and a couple of nice breaches. Cool for sure.
Lori Hunt

May 25
5:30 pm - Single Orca sighted in Elliot Bay headed East.
Ian Smith

May 25
4:30 pm - Orcas spotted by Jefferson Point headed south, 2 adults one baby
Gary Peterson

May 25
4:30 pm -  Michelle Goll and I followed them south past Richmond Beach, they are just west of mid channel, split into 2 groups, one group should be visible from Carkeek by now.
Janine Harles

May 25
3:35 pm -  I'm at Kayu Kayu Park (Richmond Beach, Shoreline) and they're spread from north of the ferry (Kingston) to quite a ways south from there past the yellow mid channel buoy and the point south from there... They're moving south quickly.
3:07 see several at Kingston ferry now
Michelle Goll

May 25
3:23 pm -  they are hauling south past Kingston. Still on Kitsap side.
Sara Troyer

May 25
3:05 pm - North of Kingston a mile or so... Now seeing another group still heading south a little ahead of the single coming into north Kingston ...group of about 4 crossing the Kingston Edmonds ferry crossing route
2:49 pm - single male orca heading south on Kitsap side by Elgon.. Very active breaching, jumping flipping , tail flops. Etc
2:37pm - single orca (male) heading south in shipping lane between Point No Point and Kingston
Stu Davidson

May 25
3:36 pm - We are seeing them from Kingston. On Edmonds side
2:23 pm - I have them at Eglon closer to Whidbey
Elyse Margaret

May 25
2:53 pm -  from Edmonds Water street, see single orca more on Kitsap side approaching cell tower north of the Kingston ferry.
Michelle Goll

May 25
2:47 pm -  1/4 mile south of Eglon boat launch two southbound moving fast - almost snuck by me
Rebecca French Gerke

May 25
2:00 pm - We saw at least seven or eight Orcas off Point No Point Beach in Hansville around 2 p.m. on Memorial Day. One came within 40 feet of shore and surfaced at least twice (see photo). They were visible off in the deeper water for at least a half hour.
Steven Gardner

May 25
Male Bigg's/Transient came within 40 feet of shore and surfaced at least twice.
Photo by Steven Gardner, May 25, 2015

May 25
We were on a 30' sailboat coming down from Mystery Bay on Monday, and saw a pod of at least 5 close to the mark just north of Point No Point. Then the pod moved and stayed very close to the Point No Point light house and fed there for some time. We saw either the same pod or another one about 6 or 7 times on the way back to Elliott Bay! They seemed to be paralleling our path! Have never experienced so many orca sightings in one day! Incredible!!!!
Marty Wilhelm

May 25
3:00 pm - Lone Orca taken from Eglon. Around 3pm ish..(I think) I hope some one can identify and let me know who I caught on camera! It was a great day. Saw a total of 3 different groups and the lone guy today.
1:45 pm - At Point No Point Saw 3 total one group. And the baby included! And another who has some scarring on the side. Hope this one can be identified. ( "I see T124 and T124E in there but that's the best I can do", Dave Ellifrit-Center for Whale Research)
Becky Newell Woodsworth

May 25
Point No Point, Hanseville
Photo by Becky Woodsworth, May 25, 2015, 1:45pm
 
May 25
Point No Point, Hanseville
Photo by Becky Woodsworth, May 25, 2015, 1:45pm

May 25
1:35pm - There's a pod of whales hanging out at Point No Point (Hanseville, Kitsap peninsula) Another pod went by about a half an hour ago and a big male (guessing) came right up by the shore!
Debbie Ike Mangano

May 25
1:20 PM - Orcas at Point No Point. We were on the Southeast shore of Point no Point and sat down. When we looked up we saw a huge dorsal fin right in front of us! The Orca swam off and we thought it odd it wasn't in a pod. Then we walked back around by the lighthouse and the pod was out there meandering. We tried to take a video but our phones could not zoom in. It was a Beautiful sight and I will never forget how big that dorsal fin looked!
Betsy Tarpley

May 25
1:00 pm - Just saw them going south past Point No Point.
Judy Anderson Roupe

May 25
Noon - they are nearing yellow channel marker
11:55 am -  About 6 transients near Foulweather Bluff and closer to Kitsap side moving fairly quickly south. I'm on Whidbey side at Shore Meadows/ Mutiny Bay
Marilyn Armbruster

May 25
11:45 pm - Large solitary (?) male orca sighted heading south toward Point No Point by crew of S/V Aurora just north of Foulweather Bluff.  We are volunteer docents at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.
Jack and Carol McCreary

May 25
11:45 - 8-12, maybe more, in two groups heading steadily south off Foulweather Bluff coming up on Skunk Bay.
HG/SB

May 25
10:42 am -Transients on a kill mid channel in Admiralty Inlet. Moving south at Bush Point....There are more really spread out. Not sure who they are but definitely transients
We only saw one male, the rest were females (at least 5-6) with a juvenile in the mix. They were not traveling with the male at all. He was alone, on the perimeter. There was also either a lone female or possible pre-sprouter male closer to Marrowstone. As I mentioned previously, they were really spread out today.
Renee Beitzel

**********************
May 24
Humpbacks in the morning and T36A,T36A1, T36A2, T36A3 (the older new baby) T75B and her new baby T75B2, and T75C and the male T51, in the afternoon and evening. I love to watch them as a family. Haro Strait.
James Mead Maya

May 24
Bigg's/Transients in Haro Strait.
Photo by James Mead Maya, May 24, 2015

May 24
Photo by James Mead Maya, May 24, 2015

May 24
Photo by James Mead Maya, May 24, 2015

May 24
Photo by James Mead Maya, May 24, 2015

May 24
5:00 pm - 7 Transients passed Lime Kiln heading north. Quite a ways offshore. One adult male and one calf in the group.
Monika Wieland

May 24
2:00 pm - We spotted 6 or 7 whales at Salmon Bank, south of San Juan Island, at N48 23.435' W123 02.258'. They appeared to be transients slowly moving northeast....We believe we counted 5 adults and one calf.
Patrick Heys

May 24
Transients at Salmon Bank near Cattle Point, San Juan Island
Photo by Patrick Heys, May 24, 2015
(See more photos HERE)


**********************

May 24
This was the T77 group, inbound just east of Albert Head near Victoria at about 7:30 pm, May 24. We were the only boat on scene. As indicated in the file names, one shows T77 and T77C, the other shows the sprouter male, T77B, and sibling T77D. The transient invasion continues!
Cheers, Val Shore, Naturalist
Eagle Wing Tours

May 24
Sprouter male, T77B, and sibling T77D.
Photo by Val Shore, May 24, 2015

May 24
T77 and T77C
Photo by Val Shore, May 24, 2015

********************

May 23
12:18 pm - Just saw a group of whales off the Hood Canal bridge? Any details?
They appeared to us on the left side of the bridge as we were driving over to Sequim from Tacoma. We were driving so didn't get to stop and observe as we would have liked to, but it was clear there were several dorsal fins popping up. (Unconfirmed but sighting of earlier reports and timing makes this possible-ALB)
Amber Wilson

May 23
7:14 am - 3 Orca Whales heading south in Possession Sound.
Jonathan Keag

May 23
6:58 - Small pod headed south between Clinton and Mukilteo, 2 males & 3 females.
John Crawford

***********************

May 22
6:04 pm - A pod of orcas in Colvos pass at the north end of Vashon!
Kristin Amrine

May 22
5:15 pm  - I saw two orcas traveling north at about the halfway point in Colvos Passage.
Tara Morgan

May 22
3:15 pm - Moderate size pod of Orca heading North in North end of Saanich Inlet, BC on west shore. Playing and travelling. Breaching. Young and juvenile seen as well as adult.
Very young whale looked playful and active.
Martin Model

**********************

May 21
4:15-4:55 pm - We were headed over to fish for ling cod and this pod of orca surrounded us between Bainbridge and Seattle. Do you know which family group it was? The big male had 2 big notches out of its dorsal fin....they were playing with a sea lion for a good 30. At one point the sea lion tried to hide next to my 19' boat. Made me very nervous with the orcas coming in and out under my boat trying to get the sea lion...there also was an orca about 4-6' long with them. They kept circling around like they were waiting for it. Did those transients recently have a calf?
Video taken around 4:55PM between Yeomalt Pt on Bainbridge and West Point on the Seattle side in the middle of the shipping channel. here was a separate group of 4 that were right off Yeomalt that we saw earlier that were moving quickly heading north and hugging the shoreline. That was around 4:15.
Scott Orness
(Video ID comments per Melisa Pinnow: Chainsaw T063 is that male with the two notches. The T037, T065, & T090 matrilines were probably there too and if you saw another male, he was probably was T087)

May 21
Bigg's/Transients Puget Sound
Video by Scott Orness, May 21, 2015

May 21
6:30 pm - Well, the day started with with Chainsaw and ended with another sighting of 3 orca heading SE in Squaxin passage toward Hunter Pt and the inlet of orca sausages in Henderson Inlet. Harbor seal pupping is close at hand and there is not one orca sausage around Steamboat Is /Carlyon Beach Marina right now.
Lourdes Flores-Skydancer

May 21
1:30 pm - South Sound Sighting. Observed group of 4, possibly 5, including 1 male, traveling W through Balch Passage, adults feeding; young playing.
Rob Hamilton

May 21
11:15 am - Group of approximately six Orcas, presumed transients, were spotted heading North in South Puget Sound. A big male was one of the six.
Walker Duval

May 21
10:00 am - Four, possibly five orcas cavorted this morning in Eld Inlet, headed north.
Dennis Johnson

May 21
Drone footage of some of the "super pod" of transients who visited Frye Cove, Olympia at 9:00a.m. May 21, 2015. T63 and T87 were here at the same time. Thanks to Chris Hamilton for the great capture on film. What grace.

May 21
Bigg's/Transients Frye Cove, Olympia
Video by Chris Hamilton, May 21, 2015



May 21
7:15 am - T63 (Chainsaw) & family in South Puget Sound. A calm foggy day was greeted with Chainsaw and family cruizing by Hope Is here in the south Puget Sound @ 07:15am. Traveling southeast toward Hunter Point. Fantastic!!
Lou & Raven Skydancer

**********************

May 20
6:30 pm - 7:15 pm - At least 8 orcas seen off north tip of Steamboat Island. They then moved into Totten Inlet. One was likely Chainsaw.
Eric Gardner

*********************

May 19
We spent Sunday with the T101's near Deception Pass and watched as the whales tried to push against an 8 knot flood tide to get out of the pass for over a half and hour! It was an amazing display of power and strength. They eventually made it through a smaller section of the pass and cruised north in Rosario Strait.
Katie Jones

May 19
T101s near Deception Pass
Photo by Katie Jones, May 19, 2015

Coastal orcas
May 24
Dan Wambach called with a sighting from May 24 at 6 AM, four miles off Tillamook OR. He estimated there were 6 to 8 pairs of orcas, not traveling but breaching and coming up in all directions. No photos were taken.
Humpbacks
May 25
Split Fin and friend, Bellingham Channel
Photo by Connie Bickerton, May 25, 2015

May 25
Humpback fluke, Bellingham Channel
Photo by Connie Bickerton, May 25, 2015

May 25
1:05 pm -Humpback whale south bound between Vashon , Fauntleroy mid channel...seen from WSF ferry Cathlamet...
- Wayne McFarland WSF

May 25
Maia from WA State Ferries called to report either a humpback (or gray) whale near the Fauntleroy ferry dock, south of Alki/W. Seattle around 1 pm. If anyone sees it or gets photos confirming the species please let us know- thanks!

***********************

May 24
Humpbacks in the morning...
Photo by James Mead Maya, May 24, 2015
Minkes
May 25 
Minke at Hein Bank.
Photo by Connie Bickerton, May 25, 2015

*********************

May 23 
10:45am - Minke near Protection Island
Dave Davenport 
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