Chuck Hilliard
One of Puget Sound's resident Orcas was easily seen from an Argosy Cruises tour boat on Saturday, Sept. 21. A group of the marine mammals was seen, spread out passing by Alki and then foraging the eastern side of the Sound near Blake Island.

Orcas cruised by Alki thrilling tourists September 21

According to the Orca Network whose members provide multiple sighting reports
"A mobile picnic of orcas traipsed down Puget Sound Saturday, spread out for miles but mainly mid-channel, in small groups, so difficult to census, probably foraging among the many pink salmon for the chum they are believed to prefer this time of year. NOAA researchers took fecal and scale samples and biopsies and will have some some data on what they were eating. From some reports there was a lot of breaching and spyhopping, and if, as some reports indicate, all three pods were represented, socializing was at least a part of what they were doing."

Here are the individual reports from their members:

September 21
I was on the 4:00pm ferry from Fauntleroy to Vashon and saw 3-4 Orca just to the North of the boat including a male milling mid-channel, generally heading south. I saw some rolls and gentle tail slaps. IT WAS AWESOME!
btw...Blackfish is showing tonight at the Vashon Theatre.
J Felicity Welt

September 21
4:27 - was just watching through a scope from alki point. they seemed to be hanging out between blake and vashon. spy hops, diving, splashing... lots of activity! a great afternoon for whale watching!
Shane Farnor

September 21
Katherine Rice called at 3:30 pm, from a boat docked at the Blake Island Marina. They first saw the orcas (several dozen of them) off Elliott Bay, near the Green Terminal & Myrtle Edwards Park. The orcas are mid-channel between Blake Island and Seattle, spread out and heading south, at 3:30 were just past Alki Pt. and West Seattle, heading south toward Fauntleroy.

September 21
3:03 pm - See them from W. seattle. Near Bainbridge south end heading south. 5 or 6.
Bob Bussman

September 21
2:56 - It is J and L pod - they are well south of Alki almost out of sight heading south.
2:44 - They are surfing the freighter wake!
1:54 - Off magnolia heading to Seattle with noaa.
1:45 - I picked one up south of Rockaway beach, south of discovery park. Looks like maybe there is a research boat with them now.
1:10 - From Fay Bainbridge for Rockaway beach they were south - line of sight they were in front of the cranes on the right - heading toward west Seattle. They appeared to be the trailers.
Connie Bickerton

September 21
2:33 - the endangered Southern Resident orcas are in Seattle, joining in on the NO COAL EXPORT protest! They seem to know when important things are happening.
Susan Berta

September 21
2:32 - Very few boats out there, look to have all cut engines. One looks to be a research zodiac - lots of people standing up in it.
2:21 - I see them from West Seattle, just north of Eagle Harbor - looks like the ferry is running at slow speed either to protect them or get a look!
Kim Sharpe Jones

September 21
2:30 - At Alki - dorsals spotted most of the way across the Sound out from Winslow. Probably heading south. Occasional breaches.
Trileigh Tucker

September 21
2:30 - Watching them from alki. Still heading south. Thanks for the updates everyone!!!
Sara Troyer

September 21
2:27 - Just outside eagle harbor to the center. Lots of whales.
Megan Hale Raber

September 21
1:50 - They are heading to Seattle, mid channel.
Alison Hatletveit

September 21
1:50 - Brad Hanson, from NOAA, says J pod and lots of L pod orcas are spread out east to west across Puget Sound right now, about even with south Bainbridge Island and Elliot Bay. Conditions are great (for now) and many IDs are being made.

September 21
12:45 - Connie, Amy Kruse and I also saw them off Shilshole. Must be two groups.
Susan Marie Andersson

September 21
12:13 - Small pod just off President Point, Kingston heading south. Quite a ways out so can only see real good with binoculars. At least one real large.
Chris Beamer Otterson

September 21
11:29 - I am on kingston side using binoculars very far off for me to see. They are spread out and definitely headed south. Behavior looks like residents lots of breaching
Kim Funchess

September 21
10:04 - The orcas are now straight off Edmonds beach about in the middle of the shipping channel!
Julia Wiese

Orca Network will be sponsoring two events on Whidbey Island to highlight the intimate ecological connection between orcas and salmon, especially Chinook salmon, on September 24 and September 26.

Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Salmon Confidential!
Produced by Salmon are Sacred

A $5 donation to Orca Network is appreciated.
Tracking salmon viruses can take you into dangerous waters.
Salmon Confidential is a controversial new film on the government cover up of what is killing BC's wild salmon.
At Unitarian Universalist Church, 20103 SR 525, Freeland, WA 98249
6:30 pm - Refreshments, 7 pm Movie, followed by Q&A Session with Dave Anderson - Orca Network board member, Fisherman and former WA State Representative.


Date: Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Join Jennifer Johnson of the Governor's Salmon Recovery Office to watch the film
"State of Salmon - Restoring a Washington Icon", and learn about the efforts taking place in Washington State to recover salmon species.

A $5 donation to Orca Network is appreciated.
Following the film we will have a Q&A session about salmon recovery in Washington, and view a short slideshow/video from the Center for Whale Research about the connection between our endangered Southern Resident orcas and the endangered Chinook salmon they depend upon for survival.
At Unitarian Universalist Church, 20103 SR 525 Freeland, WA 98249
6:30 pm - Refreshments, 7 pm - Program

Howard Garrett
Susan Berta
Orca Network

We encourage our readers to comment. No registration is required. We ask that you keep your comments free of profanity and keep them civil. They are moderated and objectionable comments will be removed.