Orcas Returning to Puget Sound

On Labor Day, we were pleased to see the J-Pod orcas back in Puget Sound – right off of Whidbey Island. Puget Sound waters were the historic feeding grounds for some of the resident pods. However, once orcas were routinely captured in the 1970s for aquariums, they stopped coming to Puget Sound. Only recently have they begun to test the … Read More

Transient Orcas Teach Young to Hunt

On a recent trip, our guests were able to witness something special. A group of transient orcas–these are whales that are not part of the resident J, K, and L pods–were spotted off of Point Partridge teaching young members of the pod to hunt sea lions. I recorded a podcast describing how this teaching occurs: Podcast: Transients Teach Young Orca … Read More

Whale Watch Report for 8/3: L-Pod Tries to Save Porpoise

An interesting day with the L-12 sub-pod off of Whidbey Naval Air Station. A small, newborn harbor porpoise in distress came into the orcas’ territory, and two females spent the morning trying to help the struggling newborn breathe by cradling the porpoise and trying to get it to stay above the water. Here is a photo we took as this … Read More

Where Puget Sound Meets the Strait

Today on the water, the fog is burning off, giving way to sunshine as we head towards Bellingham to visit the orcas. As we passed through Admiralty Inlet and Whidbey Island (see photo, right), I recorded the talk I gave to our passengers on the Olympus about the intricacies of navigating the complex currents that link Puget Sound and the … Read More

Whale Watching Report for 7/22/09: K-Pod

Weather continues to be fantastic. We had a great day spending some time with two whales on the west side of San Juan Island; Cappuccino and his mother Raggedy. These orca whales are both members of K-Pod, and they were traveling northbound up Haro Strait, right in front of the Center for Whale Research. A beautiful day.

Whale Watching Report for 7/15/09: Superpod

Captain Pete Hanke discusses another sighting of an orca superpod in Puget Sound. This time, enhanced by the magic and mist of fog. Listen to Pete’s Audio Report (114 KB)