|PWWA MEDIA WATCH - BBC Doc Features Southern Residents
BBC's Natural World: "Killer Whales, Beneath the Surface" / The World's Most-Renowned Natural History Unit Explores the Crisis Facing the Southern Resident Orcas of British Columbia and Washington State / "The Captures" and "Tucker the Pooper-Snooper Dog" / Featuring Dr. Sam Wasser and Archive Footage and Project Consultation from Michael Harris, Baby Wild Films
SURFACING WHALE STORIES...
FREE AND CLEAR! Once-entangled "Twin" Bigg's killer whale T77A finally found by PWWA crew on November 23rd, 2015 near D'Arcy Island, BC, unencumbered and apparently in good condition. Photo: Capt. James Mead Maya, Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, San Juan Island, WA.
THE "HUMPBACK COMEBACK" CONTINUES! / Dean Stoltzon, CHEK News / November 17, 2015
(above) The mystery humpback "Gnarly," one of 50 whales documented for the first time by researchers in the Salish Sea since last year, part of the "Humpback Comeback." Photo by Andrew Lees, Five Star Whale Watching, Victoria, BC.
Gallery: Humpback Whales Migrating Through Salish Sea this Fall / Jim Donaldson, Editor, Bellingham Herald / November 17, 2015
Amazing Photos of Migrating Whales in Salish Sea! / CHEK News / November 17, 2015
Humpbacks Making Whale of a Recovery on West Coast / Cheryl Chan, The Province / November 17, 2015
ANOTHER PWWA RESCUE! (below) Capt. Ian Roberts of SpringTide Whale Watching & Eco Tours in Victoria, BC throws a line to nine divers clinging to a capsized vessel in the frigid waters off Race Rocks on Sunday, November 16th, 2015. This is the second life-saving rescue involving a PWWA crew this year, and the sixth over the last three years. "We're not just watching whales and wildlife out there, we're watching out for everyone," said Michael Harris, Executive Director of PWWA.
Whale Watch Crew Rescues 9 People from Capsized Boat / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle) / November 17, 2015
Nine People Rescued From Overturned Dive Boat Near Race Rocks / Rob Germainon, CHEK News / November 16, 2015
Tragedy Averted off Race Rocks Thanks to Marine Radio / Tess van Straatenon, CHEK News / November 16, 2015
Urgent Search Underway for Popular Orca Possibly Entangled in Rope / Amy Judd, Global News / November 4, 2015
Search On for Whale Seen with Fishing Tackle Attached / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / November 4, 2015
Transient Whale May be Tangled in Rope and Float / San Juan Islander / November 4, 2015
If you see an orca with possible entanglement, immediately contact the British Columbia Marine Mammal Response Network at (800) 465-4336.
Tofino Shattered by Tragedy, but Rallies as a Community / Carla Wilson, Victoria Times Colonist / October 27, 2015
Serious Whale-Watching Accidents are Incredibly Rare: Industry Head / Canadian Press / October 27, 2015
Trouble and Tragedy Came Suddenly for Capsizing Leviathan II / Sunny Dhillon, Mark Hume, Ian Bailey and Tu Thanh Ha, Tofino, Vancouver and Toronto, The Globe and Mail / October 27, 2015
(above) GRANDMA HAS A BABY! Newborn calf J53 with its mother, 38-year-old grandmother J17, first seen in Haro Strait on Saturday, October 24th. This is the sixth calf born into the endangered Southern Resident Community since December 30th, 2014. Photo by Capt. Simon Pidcock, Ocean EcoVentures, Cowichan Bay, BC.
Experts Happy With "Brady Bunch" of Orcas / Sara Jean Green, Seattle Times / October 26, 2015
More Good News for B.C. Orca Fans as New Baby Observed: Calf is the sixth born recently to endangered southern resident community, which travels waters of B.C. and Washington coasts / Cheryl Chan, The Province / October 25, 2015
Conservationists Thrilled: 6th New Baby Born to B.C. Coast Orca Pods / Global News and The Associated Press / October 25, 2015
New Baby Orca Sighted in Haro Strait, off Saanich / Jeff Bell, Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun / October 25, 2015
INTERNATIONAL BREAKING NEWS / Conservationists are Thrilled: 6th New Baby Born to Puget Sound Orca Pod / The Associated Press and Canadian Press / October 25, 2015
Under Surveillance: Drones Used to Help Endangered Orcas / Allen Schauffler, Al Jazeera America / October 21, 2015
Puget Sound’s Killer Whales Looking Good / Lynda Mapes, Environmental Reporter, Seattle Times / October 21, 2015A friendly humpback approaches a whale watch boat in Haro Strait. Photo: Naturalist Clint "Showtime" Rivers, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria, BC.
Humpback Whales Resurging in Salish Sea / Kate Clark, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / October 15, 2015
Incredible Humpback Whale Encounter Near Victoria / CTV News / October 13, 2015
California Agency Votes to Ban SeaWorld Orca Breeding / California Coastal Commission OKd Expansion of Controversial Tanks but Also Banned SeaWorld from Breeding Captive Orcas / Azure Gilman, Al Jazeera America / October 8, 2015
ENVIRONMENT / DFO Urges Public to Keep a Safe Distance When Whale Watching / Global News / October 8, 2015
THE BABY BOOM CONTINUES! Meet L122, the newest member of the Southern Resident Community of orcas, spotted September 7th, 2015 near Sooke, BC by Capt. Mark Malleson of Prince of Whales Whale Watching, Victoria, BC, and Capt. Jim Maya and Naturalist Jeanne Hyde of Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, San Juan Island. The birth brings the endangered population to 82 members, with its 83rd, Lolita, in Miami Seaquarium. Photo: Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.
Drone Captures Photos of Newborn Endangered Baby Orca Swimming Alongside Mother in Puget Sound / Daily Mail UK and Associated Press / September 15, 2015
Save the Whales, Save Ourselves / Editorial Staffs, Victoria Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun / September 10, 2015
"The new orca calf that dominated the front page of Wednesday’s Times Colonist is much more than a cute tourist attraction; it’s a reminder of the interconnectedness of all living things. The state of the orca population is a direct reflection of the ocean’s health, and without healthy oceans, we human beings are in trouble. / Whale-watchers spotted the new calf swimming in Puget Sound with its mother. It is the fifth calf born this year to the southern resident killer whales that swim off the coast of B.C. and Washington..."
Whale Watching Captain Rescues Distressed Diver / Cali Bagby, Islands Sounder / September 10, 2015
WHALE WATCH CREW RESCUES DIVER / PWWA Crew Responds to Diver in Respiratory Distress off Orcas Island, Possibly Saving His Life / PWWA PRESS RELEASE / September 10, 2015
Baby Boom: A Fifth Orca Calf for Endangered Southern Resident Pod / Michael D. Reid, Victoria Times Colonist / September 9, 2015
Puget Sound Experiencing Orca Whale "Baby Boom" / CBS News / September 9, 2015
New Baby Orca Spotted With Mother / Siemny Kim, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle) / September 8, 2015
Timeline: Southern Resident Orcas Experience 2015 'Baby Boom’ / Jeff Lawrence, CTV News / September 8, 2015
Baby Boom Continues for Puget Sound Orcas / Seattle Times / September 7, 2015
Another New Orca Calf for L-Pod / Elizabeth Wiley, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / September 7, 2015
Fin Whale Makes Appearance in North Puget Sound / The Associated Press / September 6, 2015
Rarely-Seen Fin Whale Spotted in Nearby Waters / Adrian Chamberlain, Victoria Times Colonist / September 5, 2015
Onlookers Treated to Rare Fin Whale Sighting / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle) / September 5, 2015
Rare Fin Whale Spotted in Puget Sound, Experts Hope More Will Follow / Joanna Small, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle) / September 4, 2015
B.C. Orca Calves "Growing Like Weeds" in Waters off Vancouver Island / Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist / September 3, 2015
Four Baby Orcas Born This Year are Thriving off B.C. Coast, Says Whale-Watch Group / The Province / September 2, 2015
New Photos of Baby Orcas “Class of 2015″ / PWWA Crews Report Four Southern Resident Calves Still Doing Well / Dana Hutchingson, CHEK News / September 2, 2015
To Protect Puget Sound Killer Whales, Washington Law Enforcement Patrols Keep Boaters in Check / Manuel Valdez, Associated Press / September 2, 2015
Photo: Naturalist Barbara Bender, All Aboard Sailing. "We’re obviously very concerned about the lure and how it might affect J39’s feeding and behavior," Lynne Barre, protected resources branch chief in NOAA Fisheries’ Seattle office, said in a statement released to the media. "We appreciate the reports from whale watchers who first noticed this and we will work with our partners on the water to watch J39 carefully.”
NOAA Boosts Monitoring of J-Pod Orca Spotted with a Fishing Lure / Alison Grande, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle) / August 4, 2015
Orca Found With Salmon Lure Stuck Inside Mouth / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle) and Associated Press / August 4, 2015
Seven-month-old orca calf J50 "Leaps for Joy" in Haro Strait, July 4th, 2015. Photo: Naturalist Clint "Showtime" Rivers, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria, BC.
Official Orca Census: 81 Whales, Including 4 Babies / Phuong Le, Associated Press / July 23, 2015
Official July Census of Orcas: 81 Whales, Including Four Baby Orcas Born Since Winter / U.S. News & World Report / July 22, 2015
SCIENCE / Orca Baby Boom: Enough to Save the Endangered Whales? / Kelsey Warner, Christian Science Monitor / July 18, 2015
Baby Orcas Thriving in the Northwest / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / July 17, 2015
Whale-Watching Crews say Salish Sea’s Orca Calves are Doing Well / Jim Donaldson, Editor, Bellingham Herald / July 17, 2015
Orca "Preschool" in the Salish Sea is Good News for Endangered Whales / Amy Judd, Global News / July 17, 2015
New Photos Show Orca Pods, Baby "Leaping for Joy" / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle) / July 17, 2015
All Four Baby Orcas Doing Well, Especially J50 / San Juan Islander / July 17, 2015
Do You Know When You’re Too Close to Orcas? / Amy Clancy, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle) / June 15, 2015
New Allies in Killer Whale Recovery? Orcas Adopted by Obama Girls / Scott Rasmussen, Editor, Journal of the San Juans / June 9, 2015
Navy Halts Live-Fire Exercise to Avoid Harming Whales / Pacific Whale Watch Association Alerts Military of Incoming J-Pod Orcas With Three Calves / Katie Derosa, Victoria Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun / June 3, 2015
Four Baby Orca Calves Beating the Odds / Amy Clancy, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle) / June 5, 2015
Killer Whale Population Rebounding Off the Southern Coast of B.C. / Robin Levinson King, Toronto Star / June 3, 2015
Killer Whale Population: Four Calf Sightings Near Canada, Despite Recent Population Decline / Amanda Bernocco, Global News / June 3, 2015
Fourth Baby Orca Spotted off B.C.'s Coast / Cassandra Jeffery, Kamloops BC Now / June 2, 2015
Rare B.C. Humpback Encounter Leaves Whale Watchers in Awe / Photographer Captures "Once in a Lifetime" Moment With Photos and Video / Bal Brach, CBC News / May 13, 2015
Humpback Calf, Mom Show Off for Whale Watchers / Susan Wyatt, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / May 10, 2015
PHOTO GALLERY: Just in Time for Mother's Day: Baby Orca and Mother in the Sound / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / May 8, 2015
OPINION: How Whale Watch Boats Could Help During Oil Spill in Puget Sound / By Hobbes Buchanan and Michael Harris / Everett Herald, Vancouver Sun and Others / May 3, 2015
ANOTHER BABY IN J-POD! On March 30, 2015, Pacific Whale Watch Association crews spotted and documented the latest addition to the endangered Southern Resident orcas, J52. Capt. Mark Malleson of Prince of Whales reviewed photos taken from his boat and from naturalist Jeanne Hyde of Maya's Legacy Whale Watching to Ken Balcomb from the Center for Whale Research where it was confirmed. This is the fourth birth within the population in the last three months, bringing their numbers to 81 - with its 82nd member, Lolita, now at Miami Seaquarium. (Photo: Jeanne Hyde.)
PHOTO GALLERY / Fourth Baby Orca Born to the World's Most Endangered Killer Whales / Emily J. Gertz, TakePart / April 1, 2015
Newborn Orca Buoys Hope for Endangered Species / Amy Smart, Victoria Times Colonist / March 31, 2015
Orca Baby Boom Hits Puget Sound / Phuong Le, Associated Press / March 31, 2015
Fourth Baby Orca Born This Season / CNN / March 31, 2015
Another Baby Orca Born to J-Pod / CBC News / March 31, 2015
Endangered B.C. Orca Group Welcomes Yet Another New Baby / The Province / March 31, 2015
Baby No. 4 Born to J Pod Orcas / Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / March 30, 2015
Six-week-old orca J51 with 24-year-old J27 off Pender Island, BC. (Photo: Naturalist Valerie Shore, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria.)
New Southern Resident Orcas Doing Well / CHEK News / March 29, 2015
New Baby Orcas Healthy, "Leaping for Joy" / KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / March 28, 2015GRAY WHALE WATCHING SEASON OPENS! Northern Puget Sound has its "regulars" back, massive gray whales taking three-month pitstops every spring off of Everett and Whidbey Island from the greatest migration in the animal kingdom. Whale watchers have a 100% chance of seeing these amazing creatures. Book now with Island Adventures, Mystic Sea Charters, Victoria Clipper or Puget Sound Express Seattle/Edmonds.
50 Feet of Gray, Now Showing in Puget Sound / Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times / March 13, 2015
Mexico Death Shocks B.C. Whale-Watching Operators / Glenda Luymes, The Province / March 12, 2015
A Deadly Whale Encounter in Mexico Hits Home in BC / Scott Cunningham, CTV News / March 12, 2015NEW BABY IN L-POD! (below) Exclusive NOAA Video of L121 and family off Westport, WA on February 24, 2015.
BABY BOOM! (below) Newborn Southern Resident orca L121 with mother L94. This is the third calf reported in the population since 12/30/14. Photo: NOAA Fisheries.
Baby Boom in Southern Resident Killer Whale Population / Global News / February 27, 2015
NEW ORCA IN L-POD! / KIRO 7 Eyewitness News (CBS Seattle) / February 26, 2015
Third Orca Calf Born Within Two Months off Vancouver Island / CBC News / February 26, 2015
ANOTHER NEW BABY! Newborn J51 with mum J19 in Haro Strait, off San Juan Island, WA (photo: Dave Ellifrit, Center for Whale Research.
Second Orca Born to J-Pod / Michael Harris Says J51 Breathes Hope Into Endangered Whale Population. / JoAnn Roe, CBC Radio "The Early Edition" / February 13, 2015CTV 2/12 and 2/13/15.
Another Baby Orca Spotted in Endangered Killer Whale Pod off B.C. Coast / The Province / February 13, 2015“This is about the best Valentine’s Day present you can imagine,” said Michael Harris, executive director of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, which represents 32 tour operators in Washington and B.C.
Newborn Killer Whale Spotted off Vancouver Island / CTV News / February 13, 2015
Another Baby Orca Born! It’s the Second in the Past 2 Months / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle) / February 12, 2015
SeaWorld Testifies Against Measure Banning Whale Capitivity in State / Long before the 2013 anti-whale-captivity movie “Blackfish” and Thursday’s hearing on a proposed bill to ban whale captivity, Washington has been home to opposition of using wild whales for display and entertainment in aquariums. / Walker Orenstein, Seattle Times / February 5, 2015
Brian Goodremont from San Juan Safaris and the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) is against whale captivity and has been in the whale-watching businesses for 15 years. The industry is thriving, and Michael Harris, director of the PWWA estimated his association of businesses (18 in Washington) has seen 15 percent growth in the last two years.
“I grew up with the wildlife ethics through my family that the best place to view wildlife is in their natural environment with no or very little impact on their natural functions or life cycle,” Goodremont said. “From a professional standpoint I think it’s most interesting to view those animals in their natural environment.”
“We just think that it’s a tsunami of public perception against the idea of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity in the care of humans,” Harris said. “You can’t keep an animal that travels 100 miles a day in the care of humans because that’s not caring for them.”
The Toxic Threat to One of the World’s Rarest Killer Whales / A Canadian city has green-lighted a hazardous-waste recycling plant — right next to salmon spawning grounds that feed Southern Resident orcas. / PWWA joins coalition of groups on both sides of the border in raising concerns about project sited along the Fraser River location, the world’s No. 1 producer of Chinook, the preferred diet of the critically endangered whales. By David Kirby, TakePart.com / January 26, 2015(below) Banged-Out Baby... Center for Whale Research photo of newborn J50 with bite and rake marks. Scientists and experts speculate that orcas within J-Pod assisted in the birth of J50, pulling it out of its mother.
Orca Baby Not Traveling With Mother, Scientists Believe / After the celebrated sighting of a baby orca in the Salish Sea earlier this week, questions have emerged about the baby’s birth and the identity of its mother. / Paige Cornwell, Seattle Times / January 3, 2015
Orca Midwife? Scientists Say It May Have Happened / The birth of a new Southern Resident Killer Whale raised a lot of hopes this week, but it's also raised some questions. / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / January 2, 2015
NEW YEAR'S BABY IN J-POD! Godspeed, little blackfish. We need you. Photo by Naturalist Valerie Shore, Eagle Wing Tours, Victoria, BC.
Orca Midwife? Scientists Say It May Have Happened / The birth of a new Southern Resident Killer Whale raised a lot of hopes this week, but it's also raised some questions / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / January 1, 2014SOUTHERN RESIDENTS / A New Year’s Baby for Endangered Southern Resident Orcas / Amy Judd, Global News / December 31, 2014
The Old Year Ends With Newborn J-Pod Orca / Richard Watts, Victoria Times Colonist and Vancouver Sun / December 30, 2014
Lions Club’s Christmas Ship Visits Island Children / JoAnn Roe, Bellingham Herald / December 15, 2014NO FISH, NO BLACKFISH... In response to the loss of J32 and her baby on December 4, 2014, the Pacific Whale Watch Association took part in a restoration of some of the Cedar River watershed near Seattle, WA, a work day hosted and organized by the non-profit organization, Whale Scout, together with King County Parks. Also participating were members of the Friends of the Cedar River Watershed and Orca Conservancy. PWWA and many there decided that the best way to mourn the loss of yet another of our endangered Southern Resident orcas was to do something positive like this, to fix some of the damage we've done to these salmon habitats. No fish, no blackfish. We encourage everyone who wants to contribute to orca recovery to do the same. No matter where you live, you can help. Contact Whale Scout or PWWA and we'll help you find a project in your backyard.
Dead Orca was Pregnant With Full-Term Fetus / A necropsy on the endangered orca found dead off Vancouver Island showed it was pregnant with a full-term fetus, and that some of her teeth had been removed, Canadian officials say. / Phuong Le, Associated Press / December 8, 2014
Necropsy on Killer Whale J-32 Reveals Orca had Full-Term Fetus / Cause of Death Still Undetermined, DFO Spokeswoman Says / CBC News / December 6, 2014
Dead Orca Found Off B.C. Coast Is 'Tragic' Loss / Huffington Post and Associated Press / December 5, 2014
Orcas are Showing Up in the Puget Sound in Unprecedented Numbers / United Press International (UPI) / December 1, 2014
Exotic Orca Whales Wandering Inland Waters of Pacific Northwest in Unprecedented Numbers / Delhi Daily News (India) / November 30, 2014
Skipper Spots Rarely Seen Coastal Orcas West of Port Angeles / Peninsula Daily News / November 28, 2014
Coastal Transient Orcas Make Their Way to Salish Sea / Jenna Iacurci, Nature World News / November 28, 2014
California Killer Whales Showing Up in Puget Sound; Reason is a Mystery / The Associated Press / November 27, 2014
"Exotic" Orcas Visit Inland Waters in Unprecedented Numbers / Sandi Doughton, Science Reporter, The Seattle Times / November 26, 2014
PWWA's Eagle Wing Tours of Victoria, BC Wins Transat AT Sustainable Tourism Award at 2014 Canadian Tourism Awards / Tourism Industry Association of Canada / November 26, 2014
Record Numbers of 'Exotic' Orcas Visit Pacific Northwest / The Olympian (Olympia, WA) / November 22, 2014
Whale-Watch Boats Report Unprecedented Sightings of Outer-Coast Transient Killer Whales / California Orcas Drawn to Salish Sea by Thriving Seal Population, Fisheries Scientist Says / Larry Pynn, The Vancouver Sun / November 21, 2014
Sightings of "Exotic" Transient Orcas on the Rise in Puget Sound / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle) / November 14, 2014
7-Week-Old Baby Orca Missing, Presumed Dead / Linda Shaw, The Seattle Times / October 21, 2014
'We Might Have Averted Catastrophe Here': (Neah Bay-Stationed) Tug Boat Arrives to Help Adrift Russian Container Ship off B.C. Coast (also see PWWA "Our Boats") / The Canadian Press / October 18, 2014
Tug Towing Disabled Russian Container Ship to Port / ABC News and Associated Press / October 18, 2014
"While many measures are in place to reduce the probability of major oil spills, the effects of such spills are potentially catastrophic to the Southern Resident (orca) population, either through direct mortality or from harmful physiological effects, as shown by the significant declines in two groups of Alaskan killer whales that likely resulted from the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989."
Recovery Plan for Southern Resident Killer Whales (Orcinus orca) Prepared by National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Regional Office
PUD Abandons Tidal Energy Project - Siting of Project Opposed by PWWA, Washington Tribes and Conservation Groups / Kari Bray, The Everett Herald / September 30, 2014
A Whole Lotta Lags... A group of 150 Pacific white-sided dolphins, or "lags," visit the Salish Sea. Photos by Capt. James Mead Maya and Naturalist Jeanne Hyde of Maya's Westside Whale Charters, Snug Harbor, WA.
Sightings Of Spectacular Dolphin Superpods Boom In Vancouver Island / The Huffington Post / September 29, 2014
Superpods of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins Leap in Waters of Strait of Georgia / The Province (Vancouver, BC) / September 29, 2014
White-Sided Dolphins Make Rare Appearance Near Victoria, B.C - Dolphins Normally Seen Much Further North Return in Numbers Not Seen in a Decade / Mike Clarke, CBC News / September 28, 2014
Large Dolphin Pod Surfaces Off Victoria Breakwater / CHEK News / September 28, 2014
Rare White-Sided Dolphins Spotted Near Victoria, San Juans / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim and Ashley Stewart, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) and NorthWest Cable News (WA, OR, AK, ID and MT) / September 26, 2014
Salish Sea Sees Return of Pacific White-Sided Dolphins / Lynsi Burton, Seattle Post-Intelligencer / September 26, 2014NEW PWWA VIDEO! Pacific white-sided dolphins off Victoria, BC on September 23-24, 2014. Video by Naturalist Jeanne Hyde of Maya's Westside Whale Charters and Naturalist Dylan Iverson of Eagle Wing Tours.
Huge Pods of White-Sided Dolphins Seen in the San Juans / San Juan Islander / September 26, 2014
Orca Calf Born in Puget Sound Cause for Joy / Emery Dennel, China Topix / September 8, 2014
First Orca Calf Born Since 2012 / Busta Sebetseba, News Tonight Africa / September 8, 2014
Newborn Calf Spotted Among Endangered Orcas For The First Time In Years / Stephen Messenger, The Dodo / September 8, 2014
Updated Photos: Eyewitness Describes Birth of Orca in Puget Sound Waters / Jake Ellison, Seattle Post-Intelligencer / September 7, 2014
Orca Calf Born to Puget Sound Resident Pod / USA TODAY and Susan Wyatt, KING-TV (NBC Seattle) / September 7, 2014
Puget Sound Orca Pod Welcomes Newborn Calf / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle) / September 7, 2014
Puget Sound L-Pod Welcomes Newborn Calf / KIRO 7 News (CBS Seattle) / September 7, 2014
Puget Sound's Endangered Killer Whales Continue Decline / Associated Press / August 31, 2014
Two Deaths Reduce Orca Population to Lowest Level in 30 Years / Christopher Dunagan, The Kitsap Sun / August 31, 2014
Transient Orca Sightings Hit All-Time High in Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca / Jake Ellison, Seattle Post-Intelligencer / August 28, 2014
Whale Watchers See Huge Surge in Transient Orcas, but Southern Resident Population Not Doing So Well / Frank Luba, The Vancouver Province / August 28, 2014
Transient Orca Sightings in Salish Sea Setting All-Time Record / Amy Smart, Victoria Times Colonist / August 28, 2014
PWWA Releases New Data on Record Transient Orca Sightings in the Sound and Straits / San Juan Islander / August 28, 2014
FISH, BLACKFISH: Pacific Whale Watch Association Crews Report “Best Year” for Resident Killer Whale Watching in the Sound and Straits in Decades – But Scientists Warn that Orcas are Still in Trouble / San Juan Islander / August 13, 2014
KIRO RADIO ON-DEMAND: "One the Water: NOAA's 10-Year Report Edition" / PWWA's Michael Harris joins NOAA's Lynne Barre and Mike Ford and Ken Balcomb from The Center for Whale Research to discuss the impacts of boats on the whale populations. / Hosted by Bob McLaughlin, KIRO Radio / July 6, 2014
Wandering Whales Force Pause in Explosives Exercise / The Canadian Forces suspended an exercise involving explosives on Bentinck Island on Thursday after a whale-watching crew notified them that orcas were arriving in the area. / Sandra McCulloch, Victoria Times Colonist / July 3, 2014
KIRO RADIO ON-DEMAND: PWWA's Michael Harris Discusses What Whale Watch Boats are Doing to Help Orcas / Libby Denkmann, KIRO Radio / June 27, 2014
Ailing Kayaker Pulled from Water off Oak Bay, Saving His Life / Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist / June 25, 2014
Whale Watch Boat Rescues Hypothermic Kayaker: A Pacific Whale Watch Association Crew was Involved in Another Dramatic Rescue in the Waters off Vancouver Island Monday, June 23 / San Juan Islander / June 25, 2014
Environment Northwest: NOAA Report on Puget Sound Orcas Angers Tour Boats / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / June 25, 2014
MAYDAY: Whale Watching Boat Rescues Two People From Burning Ship / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle) / June 13, 2014
Whale Tour Rescues Boaters / Gulf Islands Driftwood / June 11, 2014
Springer the Orphaned Orca Seen off B.C. Coast With her Own Calf / "They appear to be healthy and robust... normal in every way,” Lance Barrett-Lennard from Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Research Program, wrote in an e-mail from the field. “Great stuff.” / The Globe and Mail / June 11, 2014
CENTENARIAN CETACEA. 103-year-old Southern Resident orca J2, or "Granny," left, with L87, or "Onyx," in the foreground in the southern Strait of Georgia on May 9. Photograph by Capt. Simon Pidcock. Ocean EcoVentures of Cowichan Bay, BC.
Her Heart Still Goes On: Killer Whale Called "Granny" Born the Year Before the TITANIC Sank is the Oldest in in the World, Aged 103 / Victoria Woollaston, The Daily Mail (UK) / May 14, 2014
Whale Watchers Spot World’s Oldest Orca in Gulf Island / Bruce Totolos, The French Tribune / May 14, 2014
Orca "Granny," World's Oldest, Spotted In B.C. Waters / The Huffington Post / May 13, 2014
Oldest Known Orca Seen off Saturna Island / Sarah Petrescu, Victoria Times Colonist / May 12, 2014
World's Oldest Orca, 103-Year-Old "Granny," Spotted off B.C. Coast / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / May 12, 2014
Rare photo of minke whale calf (left) surfacing in Salish Sea. Photo by Island Adventures Whale Watching Captain/Naturalist Brooke McKinley.
Rare Sighting: Minke Whale Mother Spotted with Newborn near San Juan Island / Travis Mayfield, Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle) / May 6, 2014
Environment Northwest: Earth Day Concert Benefits Whale Research / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / April 22, 2014(below) "Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" Press Conference with Ann and Nancy Wilson, Graham Nash, Arielle, Country Joe McDonald, and PWWA President and Baby Wild Films Principal Creative Michael Harris. April 22nd, 2014 / Raw Footage
"Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News at 5pm (NBC Seattle) / April 22, 2014
"Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" / KING 5 News at 6:30pm (NBC Seattle) / April 22, 2014
"Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" / KING 5 News at 10pm (NBC Seattle) / April 22, 2014
"Kiss the Sky! The Orca Freedom Concert" / KING 5 News at 11pm (NBC Seattle) / April 22, 2014
Captain/Naturalist Michael Colahan of Island Adventures Whale Watching and Picture Pangea captured this great image of the "resident" male gray whale researchers dub #53, or "Little Patch," the first of about a dozen grays that come to the waters off Everett, WA every year to feed on ghost shrimp. It's an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet and Little Patch knows a good thing when he sees it - he's been spotted here 23 years in a row.
Sighting of "Little Patch" Signals Return of Gray Whales Near Everett / Seattle Times / Mar 4, 2014
"Resident" Gray Whales Return to Puget Sound / Manuel Valdez, Associated Press / Mar 4, 2014
Joan Jett Joins Heart to Headline Seattle Concert in Support of Orca Research and Advocacy / Co-Sponsored by Pacific Whale Watch Association / ABC News Radio / Feb 28, 2014
On the Street: Tour Fee to Aid Wildlife Study (Eagle Wing Tours) / Andrew Duffy, Victoria Times Colonist / Feb 28, 2014
Heart, Joan Jett headline Earth Day concert at EMP / Craig Sailor, Staff Writer, Tacoma News Tribune / Feb 25, 2014
US Navy Not to Blame in Death of Southern Resident Orca L112 - NOAA Report Says Washington Orca Killed by Blow to Head, Source Unknown / Associated Press / Feb 25, 2014
Navy Looks To Renew Permits For Bombing And Sonar Exercises In The Northwest / Ashley Ahearn, KUOW (National Public Radio, Seattle / Feb 21, 2014
Orcas Won’t Be On Display At The Sochi Olympics After All / Megan Paolone, BuzzFeed / Feb 6, 2014
Sochi Olympics Set to Feature Killer Whales / Lori Cuthbert, Discovery News / Feb 6, 2014
Heart to Raise Money for Orcas at Earth Day Event / Amanda Just, Ecorazzi / Jan 29, 2014
Sochi Winter Olympics Captures Wild Orcas / Marisa Corley, The Guardian (UK) / Jan 27, 2014
Recently Captured Orcas to be Displayed at Sochi Olympics? Pacific Whale Watch Association, OrcaLab Join Global Protest / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / Jan 24, 2014
Feds Want Endangered Status for Captive Orca Lolita — It’s Not Clear How or if Protection Under the Endangered Species Act Will Affect the Decades-Long Campaign to Have the Former Member of L-Pod, Captured in Penn Cove in 1970, Returned to Washington Waters / Craig Welch, Seattle Times / Jan 24, 2014Live-Fire Exercise Around Endangered Orcas / Stacy Ross, CHEK News / Jan 22, 2014
Whale Watch Capt Upset by NAS Whidbey Live Ammunition Training Near Endangered Orcas / Sharon Kivisto, Editor, San Juan Islander / Jan 22, 2014
Satellite Tag on Puget Sound Orca (L87) Yielding Exciting Winter Migration Data, Researchers Say / The Associated Press / Jan 6, 2014
This isn't SeaWorld - This is Their World: Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands Picked as Part pf CNN's "50 States, 50 Spots for 2014" List / Katia Hetter, CNN Travel / Jan 2, 2014
Surprise Surge in Orcas and Humpback Whales in Island Waters / Jeff Bell, Victoria Times Colonist, Vancouver Sun and The Province / Dec 20, 2013
NORTH FOR THE WINTER! Scientists Uncover More Clues in a Whale of a Mystery / Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail / Dec 18, 2013
Willie Nelson, Rock Group Heart Cancel SeaWorld Concerts / Associated Press / Dec 12, 2013
Heart Cancels SeaWorld Show / Huffington Post and Heartlinker / Dec 12, 2013
NO FISH, NO BLACKFISH: Salmon Recovery Necessary to Aid Endangered Resident Orcas / Drew Schmidt and Michael Harris, Pacific Whale Watch Association, for The Bellingham Herald / Dec 5, 2013
Seals Looking for Love in B.C. Waters May End Up Lunch for Transient Killer Whales: Study / Dene Moore, The Canadian Press / Dec 3, 2013
Humpback Whales Making Close Approaches to Boats in B.C. / Pierrot Durand, The French Tribune / Nov 29, 2013
Rise in Humpback "Mugging" in British Columbia, Canada / Justin Sorkin, Science News Australia / Nov 29, 2013Spectacular Video from Jeanne Hyde Aboard The Peregrine: Capt. Jim Maya on CBC Radio
"On the Island" /
Nov 27, 2013
An "Epic" Humpback Encounter
"Hugging" Better Way to Describe Humpback Whale Encounters in Salish Sea / Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun / Nov 28, 2013
Curious Humpback Whale Gets Incredibly Close to Boat Near Vancouver Island, Becomes a YouTube Star / Nadine Kalinauskas, Yahoo! News / Nov 28, 2013
Humpback Whale Delights Whale Watchers With Up-Close-and-Personal Encounter / Amy Judd, Global News / Nov 27, 2013
Humpback Whale Encounter In Haro Strait Simply Extraordinary
Humpback "Muggings" Being Reported on B.C. Coast: Whale-Watching Vessels are Receiving Unusually Close Encounters by Curious Juveniles in the Salish Sea / Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun / Nov 27, 2013
An "Epic" Humpback Encounter in the Northwest / Jake Ellison, Seattle Post-Intelligencer / Nov 25, 2013Environment Northwest: Tidal Energy Sparks Concern Over Impact on Marine Life / Environmental Specialist Gary Chittim, KING 5 News (NBC Seattle) / Nov 18, 2013 / Transcript
Watch Whales' Journey to their Winter Homes / Mike Benbow, Special to The Everett Herald / Nov 9, 2013
Rare Sighting of 1,000 Dolphins Off the Gulf Islands / Paula Baker, Global News / Nov 3, 2013
Second Sighting of Endangered North Pacific Right Whale in B.C. Waters in 62 Years: Researchers "Astonished" After Whale Spotted Off the Entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait Near Victoria / Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun / Oct 31, 2013
J8 - Southern Resident Matriarch - Passes Away
"J8 was truly like a grandmother to all of us," said Michael Harris, Executive Director of PWWA. "She lived a long and eventful life, and I'm sure passed peacefully with generations of family around her. We'll miss her a lot."
Fight Rages Over Wild Orca Decline: Too Many Boats, or Not Enough Salmon? / David Kirby, Author of "Death at SeaWorld," for TakePart.com
Two Dozen Things We Love About This Place: A Whale of a Time at Sea / Amy Smart, Victoria Times Colonist / Aug 21, 2013
Helping the Humpback's Comeback / Whale tourism added an estimated $2 billion to the global economy last year, a number that is expected to increase by 10% each year. / Rebecca Bluitt, CNN / Aug 13, 2013
Disease Killing Pacific Herring Threatens Salmon, Scientist Warns / Mark Hume, The Globe and Mail / Aug 13, 2013BC an Orca Oasis - Victoria Waters Hot Spot for Whale Watching / Mark Stachiew, Postmedia News / Aug 12, 2013
Year-Old Orca Baby Alive and Doing Quite Well / Chris Dunagan, Kitsap Sun / July 25, 2013
Feds Earmark Money to Protect Orcas / John White, Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle) / July 18, 2013
Rescues / Capsized Kayakers Rescued by Whale-Watch Boat / Norris Palmer, San Juan Islander / June 13, 2013
Humpback Whales Flocking to Puget Sound, Straits / Seattle Post-Intelligencer / June 12, 2013
Humpback Whales are Big Hits in Juan de Fuca Strait Right Now / Judith Lavoie, Vancouver Sun / June 12. 2013
Whale-Watchers Report Huge Spike in Local Humpback Sightings / KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle) / June 12, 2013
Humpbacks Returning to Puget Sound in Big Numbers / Q13 FOX News (FOX Seattle) / June 11, 2013
Prince of Whales Boat Ocean Magic Comes to the Rescue of Family Aboard Burning Boat / Dan Fumano, The Province / June 8, 2013
The Pacific Whale Watch Association
Each one of our member operators provides a unique experience.
All members of the PWWA have a great respect and admiration for the Pacific Northwest and its magnificent wildlife, regarding them as family. Many of our captains and naturalists are marine scientists and educators, and we consider our boats to be classrooms on the water. We're also committed to direct conservation, using our extraordinary access to these sensitive populations of marine mammals to help protect them for generations to come.
All Aboard Sailing - Friday Harbor, WA
TRANSIENT ORCA HUNT!
In this extremely rare footage captured on June 17, 2013, whale watchers aboard a Prince of Whales boat out of Victoria, BC chance upon a pod of transient killer whales as these master predators plan and execute a brilliant hunt of what appears to be a large seal or Steller sea lion. The orcas used a technique that most researchers we know say they've never seen - "bubble feeding," where a group of whales cooperatively send a burst of bubbles toward the surface, stunning the prey above and then snatching them up. Humpbacks of course do this. Resident orcas use the technique to catch salmon or herring. These transients appeared to be using it to catch a large pinniped. We weren't able to get to the stern fast enough to document this, but two passengers described witnessing a circular upswell looking "like a big jacuzzi." A minute or two later, we saw a bloody carcass float up off our starboard side, the orcas spending the next several minutes feeding on the carcass, pushing large pieces to the youngest member of the group. It was an amazing experience for everyone on board, expertly articulated by Prince of Whales First Mate and marine scientist Mika Ogilvie. And even with a westerly heading our way and a little bit of chop in the middle of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Captain Jeff Smith managed to operate Ocean Magic adeptly, safely and with exceptional care around the wildlife, keeping the boat well outside of 100 meters, shut down most of the time, bow turned windward. And with the exception of some oohs and ahs aboard the board, we were quiet eavesdroppers. The whales gave us just one discerning look - the spyhop you see in the video - but then went about their spectacular business.
Vignettes photographed and edited by PWWA Executive Director
and Baby Wild Films Principal Creative Michael Harris.
Victoria / Vancouver Island, BC
San Juan Island, WA
Member Owner: David Howitt / Address: 3685 Spring Street #2020, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 / (360) 298-1918
The Peniel is a beautifully maintained pilot house sloop built in Seattle in 1956 of Yellow Cedar on Oak. Auxiliary power is an 85 HP Diesel giving us a cruising speed of 7.5 knots. Luxuries include barbecue supper. Owner/operator Captain David Howit has a lifetime history with whales and boats -- first sailing from Cornwall, England, running the engines of the whale conservation ships of the Sea Shepherd Society, and then many years with North Vancouver Island’s OrcaLab setting hydrophones and cameras recording and live streaming the Northern Resident orcas. Davd has been a Captain for Soundwatch Boater Education Program, as well as Relief Captain with Maya's Legacy Whale Watching, also on San Juan Island. Partner Naturalist Captain Barbara Bender really knows her whales with a background as staff with the Center for Whale Research. Check out the history of tours in photographs on the All Aboard Sailing Facebook page and read the reviews - we’re different and we’re proud of it.
Member Owner: Michael Jablinski / Address: 9590 300 Admiral Way, Suite 102 Edmonds, WA 98020 / (425) 743-9590, (877) 943- / (425) 743-9590 / Toll-Free (877) 943-9590
All Season Charters has been operating fishing charters since 1975, but in the last couple of years has been offering gray whale tours out of the beautiful Port of Edmonds Marina. All Season Services are available year round, seven days a week. For fishing reservations, view All Seasons Charters' fishing season schedule first. Reservations should be made as early as possible, especially for weekends and holidays. A deposit may be required to confirm your reservation. All Seasons Charters also caters to private parties and custom trips. Why not get a group together and reserve the whole boat for a day on the Puget Sound? The Annie A can accomodate 25 people. Catering is available.
Member Owners: Megan and Erik Schorr / Address: Anacortes Kayak Tours, 2201 Skyline Way, Suite 203, Anacortes, WA 98221 / Toll-Free: (800) 992-1801
Anacortes Kayak Tours offers several choices of sea kayaking adventures. With both families, and seasoned travelers in mind, we have created a variety of sea kayak tours to match your needs, budget, and available time. Whether you are looking for a kayaking day trip, a family kayak tour, or a longer multi day sea kayaking expedition, Anacortes is a great place to start. No kayaking experience necessary! Join us on a sea kayaking trip and enjoy an incredible day as we search for porpoise, seals, eagles, orcas, and much more! AKT has trips that depart from both sides of the San Juan Island ferry route. There are a variety of choices that depart from convenient Anacortes/Fidalgo Island, as well as Friday Harbor/San Juan Island, where all of our kayak tours depart from the San Juan County Park on the scenic west side of San Juan Island, summer home to our famous Southern Resident orcas. Although all of our tours enjoy whale encounters throughout the summer months, these trips have a statistical advantage over any other launch site (including any other place on San Juan Island).
Member Owner: Capt. Harold Benischek / Address: 1234 Wharf Street / Victoria, BC V8W 2Y9 Canada / Local: (250) 590 5030
The Victoria coast is abundant with whales, if you know where to look. Knowing where to look is a specialty of BC Whale Tours. Come enjoy a spectacular whale watching extravaganza from Captain Harold Benischek’s intimate 12-passenger vessel. Our luxury zodiac-style yacht is fast and long range, which guarantees orca sightings. Captain Harold is a certified marine naturalist and a seasoned mariner with over 30,000 hours accredited to him and a vast knowledge of the local waters, marine life, and coastal history. His animated spirit and passion towards the local marine wildlife, along with his many travel adventures, will ensure an enriched whale watching experience. BC Whale Tours has some of the most interesting skippers in the industry. You might go out with Captain Jim Zakreski, an internationally acclaimed marine biologist and expert in orca behavior and conservation who, when he’s not driving boats around the local waters of Vancouver Island, explores one of the most extreme places on Earth – Antarctica. In the wheelhouse may be Captain Mike Hann, a marine wildlife naturalist, eco-adventure guide and dive instructor who also “heads south” in the off-season, playing an integral role in research expeditions photographing and tagging whales in the waters of Antarctica. Also driving our boats is Victoria born and raised Captain Gordon Blunt, a commercial diver and expert sailor and sea cadet instructor, and Captain Rod King, a certified marine mammal naturalist, founding member of the West Coast Anti-Whaling Society and former Vice President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. Our Sales and Operations Manager is Captain Tom Mitchell, an internationally qualified and experienced marine biologist who has worked throughout Australia and Vancouver Island with various research and environmental conservation groups. Most recently, Tom has been working on the Great Barrier Reef via Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, educating and inspiring visitors about the beauty and complexity of the reef systems. As a Dive Master, he has great first-hand experience and knowledge of marine ecosystems through his countless interactions with the marine wildlife in their natural environment. His passion for the conservation of the marine world is both engaging and contagious as he inspires all of those on board. At BC Whale Tours, your enjoyment and safety is both paramount to us. Our boat design ensures a safe ride, so you can have peace of mind while enjoying the marvels of sea.
Member Owner: Tom Averna / Address: PO Box 303, Deer Harbor, WA 98243 United States / Toll Free: (800) 544-5758 Local: (360) 376-5989 Fax: (360) 376-5815
Deer Harbor Charters celebrates its third decade of whale watching and marine wildlife tours in the San Juan Islands. We are exclusively the only whale and wildlife tour company leaving from Rosario and Deer Harbor Marina on Orcas Island. The U.S.C.G. certified Squito is the first whale watch boat in the San Juan Islands, with comfortable inside seating as well as outside viewing decks that make it a great all-weather boat. The Pelagic is a 36′ vessel that is licensed for 20 passengers. Pelagic was built in Maine in 2000 and is a lobster boat design, used by commercial operators for over 75 years! Stable, fast and roomy, Pelagic is equipped with a modern, cleaner burning diesel meeting the latest EPA standards. Bring the family and join us for a cruise through the San Juan Islands. Our skilled and experienced naturalists give lessons on marine wildlife and local history. Each trip has on board a trained professional naturalist who maintains an educational, informative dialogue regarding the natural history, distribution and habits of the whales and other wildlife. We’ll cruise through protected waters in search of orcas and minke whales, along the way also looking for bald eagles, seals and porpoises. Bird watchers will delight in the numerous types of seabirds we will encounter. Well-known local captain and naturalist Tom Averna established and operated Deer Harbor Charters in 1988, making it one of the longest operating whale watching businesses in the San Juan Islands. Tom has a background in marine science and has been a professional captain for 35 years. He also was the first elected President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
Member Owner: Brett Soberg / Address: Fisherman's Wharf (near Pier #2) 12 Erie St. Victoria, BC V8V 4X5 Canada / Local: (250) 384-8008
We are Wild 4 Whales! The truth is, not all whale watching tours are created equal.Eagle Wing Tours is Victoria, BC's 1st multiple award winning whale watching tour company. Guaranteed Whales & guaranteed adventure with the most thrilling, environmentally responsible, sustainable, professional, comfortable, and safe marine adventure tour company on Vancouver Island. Don't take our word for it, we have been rated as the #1 whale watching tour company in Victoria on Trip Advisor since 2007. As passionate stewards of a world renown marine environment we are motivated to provide our guests with more than just, "a look at the whales". Eagle Wing Tours was Canada’s first 100% carbon neutral whale watching tour company and the only one to support 1% For the Planet. You will be treated to attentive service by dedicated professionals who have spent their lives learning the intricacies of the local ecosystem. This locally owned and family operated marine adventure eco-tourism company offers the only sustainable, premium experience for travellers demanding more. We realize that most of our guests have traveled great distances at high cost to experience what we have the privilege of doing daily. We respect, and ultimately are grateful for this and so with every departure we go above and beyond - maximizing guest satisfaction, overall comfort, and delivering the "WOW" factor!- at the center of the world's highest concentration of Killer whales,orca, (Blackfish) and other whale (cetacean) species in the Salish Sea, such as: Humpback whales, Gray whales, and Minke whale. Eagle Wing's mission is to work with purpose and passion on behalf of all wildlife in the Salish Sea, encouraging our guests to become more involved in the education and conservation of a sustainable, healthy, and more balanced marine eco-system... Inspiring the conservation of our marine environment, with a thrill! PASSION - EXPLORE - INSPIRE
Member Owner: Andrew Lees / 645 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1A6 Canada / Local: (250) 388-7223
In 1985, Five Star Charters Ltd. was one of the three founding companies of whale watching out of Victoria, B.C. Five Star Charters Ltd. played an integral part in making Victoria, BC a world-famous destination for travelers wishing to see killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the wild. We operate two high-speed Expedition Catamarans. These are purpose-built for whale watching and, therefore, are great viewing platforms. Up to 40 passengers on each vessel have seating available in the comfort of a covered cabin, while still having the option to enjoy the upper and outer viewing decks at any time. We call ourselves "Victoria's Catamaran Whale Watching Company" as many people are drawn to the open layout and stability of our vessels. Our high-speed Expedition Catamarans are fast enough to maximize range and the percentage chance of sightings and to offer an exhilarating ride; both have lots of outdoor seating and the option of "wind-in-your-face adventure." These vessels also provide (a) A viewing area on the bow so that passengers can look down into the water at porpoise and sea lions; (b) The ability for passengers to move around the vessel for more comfort, better visibility and optimum photography; (c) An "at the rail of the boat" viewing position is available for each and every passenger on board; (d) Upper decks for better viewing angles, especially as viewing regulations have changed; (e) Easily accessible washrooms; and (f) The option of Indoor Seating (still with great visibility through large picture windows). We love what we do and it shows. Our experienced and well-trained staff will ensure your voyage is fun, educational and comfortable. Plus, Five Star often features legendary orca tracker Ron Bates as an on-board naturalist. Join us for Salish Sea adventures and lifelong memories! We're also proud members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and participants in the "1% for the Planet" carbon-neutral project, an alliance of businesses that believe in providing financial support to environmental initiatives. These measures deepen our commitment to supporting conservation of wild places. 1% of our annual gross revenue is donated to local environmental causes to help save the whales!
Member Owners: Shane and Jennifer Aggergaard / Address: Gift Shop and Office, 1801 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221 United States / Local: (360) 293-2428
There's nothing quite like being aboard the Island Explorer 3. At 101 feet long with an upper viewing deck and the largest bow pulpit in the industry, the Island Explorer 3 has more than enough space for everyone to have a front row spot at the rail. Both the upper and lower deck are fully walkaround, which allows effortless movement around the boat and great viewing. Because of our very high success rate, Island Adventures was one of the first and only companies to guarantee whale sightings on every tour - but it’s our team of highly qualified crew that will make your trip unforgettable! We boast over 100 years of combined experience in the islands, over 6,000 wildlife tours conducted, and have led excursions for over 220,000 satisfied customers. The San Juan Islands provide one of the best whale watching opportunities anywhere in the world, offering calm waters and a huge variety of wildlife which includes our three pods of resident orcas. Go gray whale watching out of Everett, WA! Island Adventures also runs a popular gray whale watch every spring from the Everett Marina, just a half-hour north of Seattle, with a nearly 100% success rate finding whales.
Island Adventures also operates now out of Port Angeles! It's the best place on the U.S. side to catch up with humpback whales. As an active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association since 1996, Island Adventures is also a leader in responsible wildlife viewing, helping to create guidelines still used today to protect our local orcas. The company was founded and is locally owned and operated by Shane Aggergaard, who has served three terms as PWWA's President and two terms as its Vice President. Island Adventures Whale Watching is longtime supporters of The Center for Whale Research, donating a portion of all ticket sales to salmon enhancement and whale research.
Member Owner: Capt. Terry Buzzard / Address: 2621 South Harbor Loop, Bellingham, WA 98225 United States / Toll Free: (877) 734-8866 Local: (360) 734-8866 Fax: (360) 734-8867
Island Mariner and USCG-licensed captain/owner Terry Buzzard are celebrating 51 safe years in business. Capt. Terry is a true pioneer in the ecotourism industry, beginning whale watching in the San Juan Islands in 1980 and one of only four remaining founding members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association – and he still loves what he does! Take time to view the San Juan Islands up close as you cruise from Bellingham Bay to see whales and other marine life. You can relax and enjoy your nature cruise aboard the Island Caper, a comfortable 110' boat with modern amenities allowing you to sit and visit at a table for eating snacks, or stand up and walk around, inside or outside, while onboard. With 386 feet of outside railing space, you'll never feel crowded. You will see the breathtaking island scenery, hear local folk lore and learn interesting facts from an onboard naturalist, who can also answer questions about the wild life you may encounter such as orcas, minke whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, bald eagles and a variety of sea birds. Island Mariner offers free binocular usage, free coffee and tea, free parking, and no fuel surcharge. We make our large library of resource books available to you throughout your cruise. Our excellent and reasonably priced lunch counter offers many selections, meaning you don't have to worry about bringing food with you. (But you can if you want.) Join us for a memorable boat cruise and find out why the San Juan Islands scenery and orcas are considered to be Pacific Northwest treasures. Plus, no whale watch boat has "Rusty," Chief Navigator. Rusty is a five-year-old Airedale terrier and he loves everybody. If he is onboard, he will be in the pilot house. Stop by and see him. He loves to make new friends!
Member Owners: Carolee and Jim Maya. Spencer and Rachel Domico, and Joelle and Jeff Friedman / Address: PO Box 1456, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 United States / Local: (360) 378-3744
Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching provides personalized eco-adventures from the best location to experience orca whales in the wild. Recreational, engaging and informative, we offer memorable experiences with a passionate crew, the most innovative boats, departing from the heat of it all, the west side of San Juan Island.
In 1986, Carolee and Jim Maya decided to take their summer vacation in the Great Northwest. They were dumbstruck by the natural beauty, the warmth of the people, the mountains, and the sea. Oh that sea! Jim had been in boats all his life, but had never seen such amazing waters. That very first ferry boat ride set in motion a dream. That dream was to live close to these waters, where they began watching Orcas that summer. A passion was born. Lifelong teachers, Jim and Carolee made the move to San Juan Island, and in 1997 started Maya’s Westside Whale Watching Charters. Their first boat, the Annie May, started them on a journey that today has become Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching. Spencer & Rachel Domico / Nearly ten years ago, life long naturalist, Captain Spencer Domico returned to his childhood playground of San Juan Island where he began filling in for Capt. Jim and offering tours on his own boat, the Island Dream. Jim introduced Rachel to Spencer a couple years later (ask them about that story some time!). They are now married and are Jim and Carolee’s island children. Combining Spencer’s love of the outdoors with Rachel’s passion for art, they strive to inspire others by sharing the beauty around us. They have operated Legacy Charters along side the Maya’s at Snug Harbor, and now the two companies have merged, not only their businesses, but their passion for the Orcas and the other wildlife that live with them on and in the Salish Sea. Joelle & Jeff Friedman /In 2014, whale and oceans advocate, Jeff Friedman began talking with Captains Jim and Spencer about his dream of working in the field. His clear and evident love of whales and educating others, brought him to join the Maya’s-Legacy vision. Jeff and his wife, Joelle, have found their forever home on San Juan Island and are looking forward to many more years among friends, the trees, mountains and whales.
Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching carries on the tradition of responsible whale watching and wildlife viewing, personalized private charters and photography tours. Behind every great captain, there is a great crew. We have a couple of exceptional naturalists and part-time relief captains that compliment our tours. In the event your tour has one of our part-time captains, we assure you they have lots of experience running our tours, are very knowledgeable, and well connected with our spotting network. Our naturalists have extensive knowledge of the Salish Sea, and especially orca whales. Heather MacIntyre and Jeanne Hyde most frequently join us, and are both industry-known for their insight. Jeanne is a volunteer, and has been joining Captain Jim on tours for many years. Additionally, she has donated lots of time, sharing her wealth of knowledge with visitors at Lime Kiln State Park. Check out her blog, a Whale of a Purpose. Heather MacIntyre is a wildlife biologist, whose passion for marine mammals brought her to the Island. Her sincere enthusiasm parallels her knowledge, and her commitment to the oceans and their inhabitants is admirable. In addition to her time spent on the water, Heather pursues her interests in training horses and photographing wildlife. To follow Heather and her photography work, find her on FaceBook.
No matter who is on board, we’ll always take good care of you!.
Member Owner: Monte Hughes / Address: Cap Sante Marina, Dock A, 819 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes, WA 98221 United States / Toll Free: (800) 308-9387 Local: (800) 308-9387
Join us for a whale of an adventure! Mysterious in mist or sparkling in sunshine, the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands are always changing and always beautiful. Come aboard the classic 100-foot Mystic Sea for our guaranteed whale watch and wildlife cruise and enjoy a fun and relaxing day on the water. Learn about the history, lore, and hidden nooks of this unique area from our friendly and knowledgeable crew, and make memories for a lifetime! We explore 80-100 miles on our cruises and have a spectacular array of wildlife that migrate into these calm waters at various times and stages throughout the year; everything from bald eagles and puffins, to Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall's porpoise and Stellar sea lions. We have several different types of whales in addition to the 82 Southern Resident orcas, including minkes, humpbacks, gray whales, and transient orcas... the true "killer whale"! Choose your destination... whether it's winding your way up the Guemes Channel or through the pristine beauty and serenity of the San Juan Island paradise or cruising to the awesome splendor of Deception Pass with its rock-hewn cliffs and rushing, swirling, eddies. We'll depart from historic Anacortes, Washington with its quaint shops, delightful lodging, and unique ambiance. A cruise you'll remember for a lifetime... whale watching, lighthouse cruises, birdwatching, and more. As we value quality over quantity, we limit the number of people on our daily cruises to 60 instead of filling the boat to maximum capacity (77 people); this allows for more space so everyone can be comfortable while cruising through the San Juan Islands. The resident orcas of J-, K- and L-Pods can move up to 100 miles in a day, so some days they are only 20 minutes away from Anacortes, and other days they can be three hours away - near Victoria or Point Roberts. If we need to go the extra mile or take the extra hour to get you whales, we will. We don’t make claims to be number one – we just find you whales and make sure you have fun doing it!
Member Owner: Simon Pidock / Address: 1721 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay, BC V9L 2M1 Canada / Local: (250) 748-3800
Are you ready for awe-inspiring whale watching memories from Vancouver Island? Ocean EcoVentures' quality whale watching excursions depart daily from the seaside village of Cowichan Bay. Our whale watching tours focus on the Southern Resident orcas, transient orcas, humpback whales, gray whales and minke whales. You will also encounter sea lions, bald eagles, harbor seals, Dall's and harbor porpoises as well as a myriad of marine birds on your whale watching eco tour. A small, owner-operated family business, Ocean EcoVentures is committed to providing you with an intimate and informative whale watching tour. Small tour groups ensure personalized service, while your Transport Canada-certified captain provides a safe and knowledgeable tour of the scenic Canadian Gulf Islands and U.S. San Juan Islands. Whales are our passion! We love sharing Vancouver Island's marine ecosystem and all that inhabits it. We are dedicated to responsible and ethical whale watching and wildlife viewing. We consider our vessel a floating classroom. Our captains/naturalists have a vast amount of knowledge of Vancouver Island's and the Gulf Islands' local natural history. As well as the most up-to-date science regarding our local orcas, humpback whales, gray whales and the rest of marine ecosystem. The more we learn about our local ecosystem, the harder we’ll work to protect it.
Member Owner: John Douglas / Address: Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel (marina level), 146 Kingston St., Victoria, BC V8V 1V4 Canada / Local: (250) 383-8411
Orca Spirit offers you Victoria’s original and authentic whale watching experience. You’ll tour the waters around Vancouver Island - which boast some of the most spectacular marine wildlife on the planet - with a certified marine naturalist. You can have the opportunity to view orcas, humpbacks, gray and minke whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, and bald eagles in their natural environment, and perhaps even listen to whale vocalizations as many of our boats are outfitted with hydrophones. We’ll also introduce you to our region’s extraordinary species of birds, including cormorants, rhinoceros auklets, common murre, pigeon guillemot, tufted puffins, great blue herons, and black oyster catchers. We at Orca Spirit Adventures Ltd. know just how lucky we are, and we take the responsibility that goes with our chosen careers very seriously: To provide responsible and ethical wildlife viewing; to promote and support conservation and stewardship of the marine environment; to educate as well as entertain. Everyday we are grateful to be living in such a wonderful city, near so many amazing marine mammals and with incredible ocean vistas, mountains, islands and forests. You won’t find a group of people who appreciate and respect Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife more than the crew at Orca Sprit Adventures, which is why we are a proud proponent of the Pacific Whale Watch Association guidelines for responsible whale watching. And a portion of all whale watching adventure proceeds goes to support local marine research initiatives. We’re also a Climate-Friendly company, proud to provide carbon neutral whale watching trips and harbour cruises! We thrive not only on maintaining but improving the environmental standards on which we operate, by being a leader in the eco-tourism industry. We as an organization, now have a unique opportunity to protect this valuable resource- that is the nutrient-rich Pacific Ocean- by investing in a conservation economy through the purchase of carbon offsets. We have selected to support the Great Bear Rainforest initiative, which is focusing on protecting an area that is so crucial to the purity of our inland waterways, that filter into our coastal marine environment.
Member Owners: Capt. Dan and Denise Wilk / Address: PO Box 353, Orcas, WA 98280 United States / Local: (360) 376-6566
Orcas Island Eclipse Charters is one of the longest-serving and most beloved whale watch businesses in the region. It’s also one of the most convenient in the San Juans – leave the car behind, walk onto the Washington State ferry and get off at Orcas Island. It's then just a few hundred feet down the pier to the beautiful 56' Orcas Express, with a spacious, bright and airy interior and 46 comfortable contour Norwegian-made seats with an additional four jump seats for a total of 50. Inside our heated cabin, there are seats at tables for 36. The other 14 seats are open. The outside has 60 feet of open deck to walk around. With ever-changing cycles of nature, each tour is unique. You will discover the excitement of meeting whales, eagles and more in their natural habitat. An unpredictable wilderness, full of surprises, is waiting just for you. You will never forget it! And no one conducts a wildlife viewing tour quite like Capt. Dan Wilk. A USCG-licensed Master Captain, Dan was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and shares a fascinating running narrative about the unique history of the islands and all-things-wild, turning every trip into an experience of a lifetime. Dan and his wife Denise Wilk have run whale watching tours since 1991 and are founding members of the Pacific Whale Watch Association and still some of its most active, completely dedicated to providing spectacular viewing opportunities for passengers while protecting sensitive wildlife, particularly our Endangered resident orcas. Dan and Denise also have a great passion for lighthouse preservation, and run tours of these historic beacons of San Juan Islands. If you're a lighthouse aficionado, this is your boat!
Member Owner: Beau Brandeau / Address: 54 Hunt Rd., Eastsound, WA 98245 United States / Local: (360) 376-3711
Outer Island Expeditions offers high quality, unforgettable marine experiences in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We offer tours starting from Orcas Island and Anacortes. Our focus is on a personal experience. Aboard our boats you’ll be able to converse with the captain, have a say in the itinerary and your interaction with wildlife viewing will be up close and personal. Outer Island Expeditions boat tours are able to incorporate many activities into one trip – whale watching, wildlife viewing, charter fishing, crabbing, kayaking, lighthouse tours, island tours and gourmet meals served on an island park. We’ll put together a day for you that you’ll never forget. Outer Island Expeditions is based on the North Shore of Orcas Island, in Brandt’s Landing Marina, near Smuggler’s Villa Resort, however we can pick up you from all the San Juan Island regions which includes Lopez Island, Shaw Island, San Juan Island, Blakely Island, Lummi Island, Anacortes, Bellingham and most anywhere else you might be in the San Juan Islands.
Member Owner: Alan McGillivray / Address: 812 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1T3 Canada / Toll-Free: (888) 383-4884 Local: (250) 383-4884 / Lobby of the Westin Bayshore Hotel, 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver, BC Canada V6G 2V4 / Toll-Free: (888) 383-4884
Victoria -- Get ready for the Adventure of a Lifetime! Whether you are a first time whale watcher or a seasoned veteran, we guarantee that you will have a blast! Our fleet of open-air, purpose built, zodiac-style vessels is Victoria’s largest. Equipped with bright yellow inflatable collars, this stable design cushions your ride and guarantees maximum buoyancy even if the sea conditions are rough. With aerodynamic aluminum hulls and reliable twin two-hundred horsepower Mercury engines, our vessels are able to cover over one hundred miles in one trip. This maximizes the distance you can travel on your tour and the amount of time you are ultimately able to spend viewing whales and other marine wildlife. Your tour will last a minimum of three hours and will include various stops at different points of interest within the protected waters of Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. While on scene with whales and other marine wildlife, the vessel will be positioned parallel to the animals allowing for excellent photo opportunities. All the while, you will be fully entertained and educated by the industry’s best and brightest marine adventure guides.
Member Owners: Pete and Sherri Hanke / Managing Director, Puget Sound Express Seattle-Edmonds: Michael Harris / Mailing Address: 227 Jackson Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368 United States / Local: (360) 385-5288
Puget Sound Express has been running wildlife viewing tours from beautiful Port Townsend for over three decades. Come aboard the Red Head and Glacier Spirit, two of the most comfortable and spacious whale watch boats in the industry. Puget Sound Express has three generations of knowledge and caring at the ready. In 1981, the company started with owner Pete Hanke’s dad, Pete Sr., providing week-long sailing adventures in the Pacific Northwest aboard the 80ft schooner, Alcyone. Over the years, they moved from sailboats to powerboats, but always made sure the orca watching experience and the vessels were first rate. To that end, they still continue to operate what they feel is the best whale watching company in the Pacific Northwest. Besides Pete and Sherri, there are now the children, who are actually getting so much time under their belts that they probably do it better than the parents. Sarah takes care of reservations and helps market the Seattle/Edmonds tour, and Christopher, now with his engineering degree, is helps us keep the boats in running order and is in his sixth summer behind the wheel of the boats. Even the grandparents play active roles ashore and on the water.
Owner Member: Yvonne Poirier / Address: Salt Spring Adventure Co. / Salt Spring Marina, #7-126 Upper Ganges Road / Mailing Address: P.O. Box 276 Ganges, Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2V9 / Toll Free: (877) 443-4552 Local: (250) 537.2764
Welcome aboard, Salt Spring Adventure Co., our newest member of Pacific Whale Watch Association! Your destination? WILDLIFE! Since the locations of many animals are determined by the tides, weather, time of day, breeding cycles and food supply, Salt Spring Adventure Co. does not confine our journeys to one particular route. The speed and maneuverability of their specially-built vessel, and the daily observations of the crew, make a tour with Salt Spring Adventure Co. the best way to experience the nature and splendor of Gulf Islands. Every journey truly is unique. Salt Spring Adventure Co. operates between March and October, based on weather and on whale/marine wildlife and bird sighting information. Sightings of whales vary day to day and generally sightings are greater between April and October. Salt Spring Adventure Co. does not guarantee seeing whales, but they are always out there and they find them about 80% of the time! Salt Spring Adventure Co. belongs to a whale spotter network and will provide passengers with the most up to date information prior to departure.
The Gulf Islands are a wild place, full of amazing wildlife, and inspiring landscapes. It is also a region that's facing growing conservation concerns. Salt Spring Adventure Co. is committed to observing federal guidelines with respect to marine mammal and whale viewing. Learn first-hand about endangered species and ecosystems. Wildlife sightings can include orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, gray whales, fin whales, harbour seals, porpoise, sea lions and bald eagles! Departures are from the Salt Spring Marina with pick-ups (on request) available on Galiano Island, Mayne Island (Miners Bay) and North Pender Island (Port Washington), at no extra cost.
Owner Member: Drew Schmidt / Address: San Juan Cruises / Bellingham Cruise Terminal, 355 Harris Avenue #104, Bellingham, WA, 98225 United States / Toll Free: (800) 443-4552 Local: (360) 738-8099 Fax: (360) 738-7685
Welcome aboard San Juan Cruises! Experience the beautiful San Juan Islands as you never have before. Enjoy the sights and sounds of its incredible marine wildlife on our Whale Watching Adventure cruise. Each day we look for orcas, bald eagles, seals, porpoises, sea lions, minke whales and more, as the captain tells you about the history, wildlife and geology of the area. Around noon we serve our delicious, complimentary Northwest salmon and BBQ chicken lunch, with a variety of side dishes and dessert. Yes, the delicious, freshly prepared wild salmon that our passengers have raved about for years is back! Next is our shore visit in Friday Harbor, with two hours to wander around this vibrant seaside town, filled with interesting shops, artist galleries, pubs, and the largest whale museum in the Northwest. Afterward we'll cruise back to Bellingham, while soaking in the early evening sun. No other cruise in the Northwest offers so much! San Juan Cruises is a locally owned and operated Bellingham, WA-based company that operates three beautiful, comfortable passenger vessels: the Victoria Star, Viking Star and Island Commuter. We started back in 1987 as Gray Line Cruises, operating from the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, WA, and moved to Bellingham shortly after the Alaska Ferry Terminal opened in 1989. Since that time we have offered sightseeing tours to the San Juan Islands and Victoria, BC during the summer months, as well as private charters. San Juan Cruises is also a longtime active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, committed to responsible, sustainable wildlife viewing in the region.
Member Owners: Capt. Pete and Erin Ancich / Address: #2 Spring Street Landing/PO Box 2508, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 United States / Toll Free: (800) 80-WHALE Local: (360) 378-6636
Join Captain Pete Ancich and his naturalist wife Erin aboard the Odyssey and experience the thrill of seeing orcas, harbor seals, California and Steller sea lions, Dall's and harbor porpoise, gray and minke whales, bald eagles, cormorants, great blue herons and so much more on one of our whale watching trips. Just steps away from the ferry landing in Friday Harbor you will embark upon the Odyssey. Built in 1941, this converted U.S. Navy search and rescue vessel welcomes you aboard to experience her class and comfort as you cruise the San Juans. For over 20 years, we have been offering whale watching/wildlife cruises in the San Juan Islands. Our goal is to give our guests an enjoyable and exciting tour, while always practicing the highest level of respect for wildlife and boating safety. We want to set an example for other boaters on the water ensuring the continuation of wildlife viewing for years to come. Our captains and naturalists, who live year 'round on San Juan Island, are among the best in the business. Not only are they experts about the wildlife and natural history of the San Juan Islands, but they are entertaining and fun. They get excited every time they see wildlife. This enthusiasm is one of the main ingredients that keeps people coming back year after year to San Juan Excursions for whale watching/wildlife tours.
Member Owner: Brian Goodremont / Address: PO Box 325, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 United States / Toll-Free: (866) 810-1483 Local: (360) 378-1962
The waterways surrounding the San Juan Islands are considered the best place in the world to observe orcas (killer whales) in the wild, and one of the best locations in the islands to access those waters is San Juan Outfitter’s exclusive marine adventure center at historic Roche Harbor. This location allows us to access all the major waterways the whales travel, and we often view whales within the Haro Strait, just a few miles from Roche Harbor. During the peak season, we see whales on 90% of our tours, in addition to a variety of marine wildlife. Our small, family-owned and locally-operated business has over 12 years of experience conducting whale watch tours in the San Juans. We specialize in providing high-quality whale watching, kayaking, and adventure tours for groups, families, and independent travelers. San Juan Outfitters is located at both Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, allowing guests safe and easy access to the water, whether you are sea kayaking or whale watching. Experienced paddlers, novices, and families alike will enjoy our sea kayaking tours, with a wide variety of tours and services available. Whale watch guests will appreciate the small group feel of our 42’ MV Sea Hawk, with both your captain and naturalist answering your questions one-on-one. Owner/operator Brian Goodremont has worked on San Juan Island in eco-tourism for 15 years as a kayak guide and boat captain, and currently serves as US President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association.
Member Owner: Capt. Hobbes Buchanan / Address: Spring Street Landing, Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 United States / Local: (360) 298-0012
Experience an orca and wildlife learning adventure of a lifetime. This is the best place to view orcas in the wild, right here in the San Juan Islands! Put your whale watching experience in the hands of a professional. Learn about these magnificent mammals and what you can do to help ensure their survival by being a steward of the Salish Sea and our oceans. Join Captain Hobbes Buchanan aboard Natsilane, a 30’ Albin fast-express cruiser, with inside and outside seating, a heated cabin, restroom, and warm courtesy jackets if needed. Orcas are what we’re looking for, and we do see them about 90% of the time May-September, and about 70% of the time in April and October. Currently 82 orca whales make up the Southern Residents, and live in three families or “pods” - the J-, K- and L-Pods. We also see harbor seals, Stellar sea lions, harbor porpoises, Dall’s porpoises, bald eagles and many wonderful sea birds. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to see minke whales, gray whales and even humpback whales! “Natsilane” offers you the comfort of a warm cabin or an exhilarating wind-in-your-hair way to experience the ecosystems and wildlife of the spectacular San Juan Islands!
Member Owner: Brian Goodremont / 2 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 United States / Local: (360) 378-1323
San Juan Safaris is one of the most venerable, beloved whale watch operations in the region. Founded by ecotourism pioneer Bill Wright in 1995 and now owned by Brian Goodremont, US President of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, the company set the standard for responsible, non-impactful wildlife viewing, helping to establish whale watch guidelines that are still being practiced today - all while providing a truly unique, personalized experience for passengers. Our whale watching boat is the beautiful 55-foot Sea Lion, with only 40 or fewer guests aboard, there is plenty of room at the rails or in the windowed cabin for everyone to view whales and wildlife. Knowledgeable marine naturalists will inform and amuse you. Our crew loves their work and it shows. Guests tell us that the staff is attentive, warm and friendly. Spring, summer and fall find magnificent orca whales plying the waters of Haro Strait off San Juan Island, Washington. These whales are focused on finding the Pacific runs of salmon that traditionally move through these waters, mid-April to the first part of October. Enjoy San Juan Island! It's known for orca whale watching, of course, but also sea kayaking, hiking, biking, mopeding, history, a vineyard, museums, a lavender farm, an alpaca farm, a farmers market and many fine restaurants. Consider spending at least a couple of days. San Juan Island has over 50 lodging facilities. You may also wish to visit Lopez Island and Orcas Island as a day trip from San Juan Island. We can assist you with lodging selections. No matter what you do, we guarantee that you will take home life-long memories!
Member Owners: Mike and Steve Childs / Address: 2537 Beacon Avenue, Sidney, BC V8L 1Y3 Canada / Local: (250) 656-7599
Sidney Whale Watching (formerly SeaQuest and Emerald Sea) is a family-run, First Nations-owned company that has been serving Sidney for over 15 years. We love what we do and we’re positive that you will have a great experience with us. We’re located in the Cannery Building at the foot of Beacon Avenue, offering three-to-three-and-a-half-hour tours departing right from Sidney's waterfront! With Sidney's moderate climate, protected harbor, calm seas, and beautiful Gulf Islands right off shore, it's no wonder why this is one of the best places in the world to depart for a whale watching adventure. Breaching, spy hopping, bow riding, tail slapping - if these terms aren't familiar to you, it probably means you haven't been on a whale watching tour. What are you waiting for? Our coastline is home to the Southern Resident J-, K- and L-Pods of killer whales, currently numbering 82 altogether. Whale sightings on the tours are guaranteed during the summer months and often occur within the first 20 minutes of leaving shore. As well as orcas, there are often sightings of minke, humpback and gray whales. Nearby islands are home to seal colonies and porpoise feeding grounds and sea lions can be seen basking on sun-warmed rocks. Don't be surprised to find a bald eagle soaring above either! Friendly and knowledgeable local guides provide a truly interactive and educational adventure.
Member Owner: Capt. Ken Rea / Address: Spring Street Landing, Slip 8 / P.O. Box 2569 / Friday Harbor, WA 98250 / United States / (360) 281-4888
Walk off the Washington State Ferry in Friday Harbor and two minutes later you are onboard Spirit of Orca. Take a 3-4-hour trip into the heart of San Juan Islands orca territory. You'll have the opportunity to see the resident orcas, also known as killer whales, minke whales, harbor porpoises, California sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles and much, much, more.
The Spirit of Orca is a beautiful and seaworthy 26’ boat with a powerful yet very economical diesel engine that will take you safely and quickly to where the whales are. The boat is capable of running 30 knots (35mph) but normal cruising speed is around 20+ knots (24 mph). There have been extra high handrails added for your safety during the whale watching experience. We encourage you to use the restroom before your tour but there is a marine head (toilet) in the forepeak (forward cabin) in case you need it before we get back to the dock.
Member Owners: Dan and Joanne Kukat / Address: 1119 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1T7 Canada / Toll Free: (800) 470-3474 Local: (250) 384-4444 Fax: (250) 658-0779
SpringTide Charters was established in 1986 and began operations in Victoria in 1994, initially as a professional Sport Fishing Company. Dan Kukat and his 42′ Uniflite Sportfisher - the SpringTide - quickly became known as a top guiding service, with an excellently outfitted vessel and consistently great “catches.” Many wonderful times were had by avid sportsmen, corporate clients, derby organizers and families wishing to have a tremendous experience together! Whale watching became a very popular activity in the early ‘90s. Dan, with his passion and commitment to wildlife and the environment, jumped in with both feet to author wildlife viewing guidelines now used in many countries and organizations. During this time, our custom-designed vessels were built and the SpringTide fleet grew to its current 152-passenger capacity. Now, Dan’s wife Joanne and family are actively involved in all aspects of the company’s operations. Like many Pacific Whale Watch Association operators, SpringTide is also a leader in salmon restoration projects throughout the region, addressing the most urgent problem facing our Southern Resident orcas. No fish, no blackfish.
Member Owner: Capt. Bruce Livingston / Address: #301-6451 Princess Lane, Richmond, BC V7E 6R7 Canada / Local: (604) 377-5964
At Steveston EcoTours, you choose the cruise! We offer unique marine travel experiences to your choice of destinations, from our home port of Steveston, B.C. Steveston is located at the mouth of the Fraser River, in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. This Historic Fishing Village is Home Port of Canada's largest fishing fleet - over 350 fishing vessels of all gear types and sizes - yet is close to all Richmond hotels and the Vancouver International Airport. Rapid transit connects Richmond to Vancouver. Historic sites are everywhere in Steveston, including London Heritage Farm, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, and Britannia Shipyards, a National Historic Site of Canada and our place of departure aboard the Archie V. Britannia Shipyards also transforms on occasion to "Storybrooke Shipyards" for the hit TV series, Once Upon A Time. Fans will recognize many buildings and locations when visiting. Join us as we explore the islands and channels of the Fraser River Estuary, rich in bird and marine life. We've developed a network of special destinations in the Gulf Islands. This ecosystem is truly unique in Canada supporting thousands of species of marine life. Travel by boat is the best way to explore the marine routes through its countless islands and passages. Quiet trails on the islands invite discovery of rare inland ecosystems. On your Steveston EcoTour, you will visit the habitat of many marine mammals including orcas, humpback, gray and minke whales, California and Stellar sea lions, harbour seals, Dall's and harbour porpoises and Pacific white-sided dolphins, depending on the season and the tour. Upon arrival we respectfully observe these animals, in their natural environment. Steveston EcoTours is Whale Wise. We follow the Whale Watching Protocol of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) when in Canadian waters, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) when in US waters. Steveston EcoTours also supports the whale and wildlife guidelines of the Pacific Whale Watch Association. We're also proud members of the B.C. Waterfowl Society, the Georgia Strait Alliance, the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society, the Steveston Historical Society, Valdes Island Conservancy, BC Nature - Federation of BC Naturalists, London Heritage Farm Society, Bird Studies Canada, and Tourism Richmond. Our EcoTour boat has comfortable, safe seating in a heated cabin. Its design gets us into bays and passages the big boats can't reach! You go safely ashore for beach explorations. We are fully insured, and we have the latest marine safety equipment and marine first aid training. Let us share with you our 35 years in the Gulf Islands, and a lifetime on the Coast. We'll take you to special places you'll never forget, that others never see! We know and love this area, and we are delighted to share its wonders with you!
Member Owners: Rick Thompson, Bobby Morimoto and Lloyd Nakade / Address: 12551 No. 1 Road Building 43, Richmond, BC V7E 1T7 Canada / Local: (604) 272-7200
Just south of Vancouver in the quaint historic fishing village of Steveston you’ll find a gateway to some of the best whale watching Vancouver has to offer! Have you ever dreamed of seeing some of the world’s largest creatures in their natural habitat? Or wondered how to get a "seal’s eye view" of the beautiful BC coast? If you’re looking for a way to spend the day on a Vancouver whale watching tour cruising the coast looking for whales, porpoises and other marine mammals and seabirds in one of the most beautiful places in the world, then you’ve come to the right place! Whether visiting the West Coast from out of town, or if you’re a local, a Vancouver whale watching tour is a great way to gain an educational, informative experience you’ll never forget! Depart from Steveston Village, three miles south of Vancouver International Airport, aboard our covered and heated scenic cruising vessels. Upper and lower unrestricted viewing decks on all vessels. Coffee service and washroom facilities on board all vessels. Relax and enjoy our three-to-five-hour tours, along the lower reaches of the Fraser River, Gulf of Georgia and the beautiful Gulf and San Juan Islands. All tours are professionally narrated by our marine biology naturalists. We boast the most scenic and pristine areas that the B.C. coastline has to offer! With the majestic orcas, humpback whales, gray whales, minke whales, Dall’s porposies, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Stellar sea lions, California sea lions, harbour seals, as well as bald eagles, falcons, puffins, pelicans and a large variety of other aquatic marine birdlife, this is truly a "Once in a Lifetime Experience." Shuttle service and lunches are available on request.
Member Owner: Cedric Towers / Address: 210-12240 Second Avenue, Richmond, BC V7E 3L8 Canada / Local: (604) 274-9565
Cedric Towers of Vancouver Whale Watch is a true pioneer of whale watching in the region, starting the first company conducting regular tours from the Vancouver area 14 years ago. Located in the beautiful, historic fishing village of Steveston just 40 minutes south of downtown, Vancouver Whale Watch provides passengers with the adventure of a lifetime through excellent customer service, first class vessels, the highest possible safety standards and added value from an on-the-water education of the west coast ecosystem. We emphasize science and conservation while maintaining a fun and professional atmosphere. Join our professional naturalists for a three-to-five-hour tour, starting in Steveston and traveling through the spectacular Gulf and San Juan Islands. While we journey to find the orcas (killer whales), you’ll have the opportunity to see a diverse marine ecosystem, including bow-riding Dall’s porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles and seals. Choose between the thrill of an open zodiac or ride in comfort and style in one of our larger semi-enclosed zodiac-style vessels. Our boats are equipped with onboard washrooms and Coast Guard Standard safety equipment. Transportation and lunch available upon request. We can accommodate groups of any size. Vancouver Whale Watch is also a longtime active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, with Cedric currently serving as its Secretary. We’re committed to the guidelines for responsible whale watching that PWWA has helped put in place in both U.S. and Canada, and a portion of our proceeds go to support local marine research programs.
Member: Darrell Bryan, Clipper Navigation, Inc. / Jason Mihok, Staff Captain / Address: 2701 Alaskan Way, Pier 69, Seattle, WA 98121-1199 United States / Reservations: (800) 888-2535 Fax: (206) 443-2583
Conveniently departing from downtown Seattle, your San Juan Islands Whale Watching & Sealife Search Day Trip begins with a scenic Victoria Clipper cruise through the Puget Sound and scenic Deception Pass to an area world-renowned for its resident pods of orcas. With the guidance of a trained onboard naturalist, you will be taken on a Whale and Sealife Search where in addition to whales you will be on the lookout for migratory birds, bald eagles, the playful Dall's porpoises, seals, otters and other area wildlife. Also included is a stopover in the charming seaside village of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. If you're in Seattle and want to head north to Victoria to see wildlife, why not leave your car behind and get there in comfort, style and with time to spare? Take one of our high-speed passenger-only Victoria Clipper ferries for a fast trip with a host of great amenities. When you travel with us, you'll enjoy a three-hour cruise through Puget Sound and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca on your way to Victoria's Inner Harbour. Once there, hop onto any of a number of great whale watch boats in Vic, including our partner operator, Prince of Whales. Since, Clipper Navigation, Inc. has provided transportation, tours and accommodation packages for over seven million customers.
Member Owner: Captain Ivan Reiff / Address: 1 Spring Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 United States / Local: (800) 757-6722
Join us on a whale watching tour from Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, just 90 miles north of Seattle, Washington. Breathe the fresh island air, take in the scenery, and experience the magnificence of seeing orcas, minke whales, bald eagles, porpoises, seals, sea birds and sea lions in their natural environment. Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours provides quality whale watching and wildlife tours with a personal touch. Skilled local naturalists make our trips fun, informative and interactive, and our owner/captain is dedicated to making your whale watching and wildlife trip an experience of a lifetime. We'll take you deep into the territory of the Southern Resident orca, the most magnificent of Washington’s and BC’s wildlife. There is nothing quite as spectacular as the sight of a pod of orcas along the protected coastlines of the San Juan Islands. A whale watching trip from Friday Harbor is the perfect choice for any vacation in the Pacific Northwest, and being near the Seattle, Washington area makes it a great day trip as well. Captain Ivan Reiff is the proud owner and operator of Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours. He holds a USCG Master 100 Ton License and is a full-time captain on the Western Explorer and Western Prince II. As an active member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, Western Prince is dedicated to research, education and responsible wildlife and whale watching. We pledge at least 4% of our profits for conservation, and we feel strongly that education is a key part of our trips. We hope you will come away with memories to last a lifetime and a newfound appreciation for the natural world.
Member Owner: Roger Obayashi / Address: Granville Island / 1806 Mast Tower Rd., Vancouver, BC V6H 4B6 Canada / Local: (604) 699-2011whalesvancouver.com
Whale watch from Granville Island! Departing from downtown Vancouver’s historic and eclectic shopping district, Wild Whales will soon take you deep into “the North American Serengeti,” allowing you to observe the diverse wildlife of the Pacific Coast in their natural habitat. It is an unforgettable trip of a lifetime! Board one of our three vessels at Granville Island and keep your cameras ready as you travel down False Creek and into English Bay, where the views of Vancouver, the Coast Mountains and Stanley Park are unparalleled. From English Bay, we pass the Fraser River estuary into the Strait of Georgia. Every trip, every day is different as we explore the Canadian Gulf Islands, the U.S. San Juan Islands and beyond in search of our resident killer whale pods and all of the other wildlife along the way. Sightings guaranteed! Our trips vary greatly in length, from three-to-seven hours. We are often asked why we have such variation in our schedule. The answer, the wildlife we are looking for is unpredictable. Killer whales are always moving and searching for food, we cannot say where they will be from one day to the next. However, we want to give all of our guests the opportunity to experience these amazing mammals. We will therefore travel those extra miles on days when the killer whales are further away from Vancouver. Over the past 10 years, we’ve maintained a focus on customer service, ensuring we go the extra mile to find whales for our guests. Our staff has always been professional individuals who are passionate about the marine environment and its conservation. We have selected jet boats as they are ideal for whale watching in this area. They are able to travel quickly, allowing us to cover a large range, but more importantly, they are whale friendly!
Unusual Recent Sightings from PWWA Boats:
Northern Resident orcas off of Race Rocks, Sooke, BC on 11/8/13. (left) Northern Resident G2 and Pacific white-sided dolphin off of East Sooke Park. Photo by Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales;
(right) photo by Sandi Murdock, aboard Maya's Westside Whale Charters.
November 8, 2013: I came across the G2 and G27 matrilines foraging east of Race Rocks on the morning of November 8th. There was a group of Pacific White-Sided dolphins accompanying them. I last saw them off of Sooke west bound passing through a group of humpback whales.
- Capt. Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales Whale Watching
(see also SIGHTINGS)
November 18, 2013
Anchor Dennis Bounds: A groundbreaking plan to generate underwater power in Puget Sound is now generating concern for marine life.
Anchor Lori Matsukawa: Tidal energy is dubbed the clean power of the future, but as KING 5 environmental specialist Gary Chittim reports, not everyone is on board.
Gary Chittim in Bellingham shipyard: The newest addition to the Puget Sound whale watching fleet is being custom-fitted for the job.
Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: We're going to place the whole upper deck here, you're seeing the start of it now…
Gary Chittim: The Island Explorer 4 is being customize above and below deck.
Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: C'mon down..
Gary Chittim: The engine room is being beefed-up, and toned down. Mechanics will refit this boat to use less fuel, produce more speed, and produce less sound.
Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: Low-noise propellers, larger exhausts…
Gary Chittim: Whale watch boats have to be quieter, to protect their star attraction -- endangered Southern Resident orcas could be harmed by too much noise. So the fleet spends millions to be as silent as possible.
Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: We're working on making it quieter. But to put this amount of noise into the water, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before that happens.
Gary Chittim: This is what he's worried about -- underwater generators that the Snohomish County PUD wants to put in Admiralty Inlet in Puget Sound. They're big, powerful, and loud.
Craig Collar, Snohomish PUD: The median broadband sound put in by the turbines is about 145 decibels.
(sound-up, Seahawks game)
Gary Chittim: That's louder than the short-lived record crowd noise of 136.6 decibels generated by the 12th Man this year…
Gary Chittim: But PUD officials say that's nothing compared to Admiralty Inlet's other noisemakers.
Craig Collar, Snohomish PUD: The sound of the Port Townsend ferry that crosses Admiralty Inlet very near to where the turbines will be is about 175 decibels, and a big, large tanker or cargo vessel going through Admiralty Inlet is about 180 decibels or more.
Gary Chittim: The PUD says researchers have extensively studied the underwater site and found it's a great place for turbines that can produce a lot of power, but not enough sound to harm sealife. They say tidal power could be the least harmful, most effective energy producer since hydroelectric dams. Some environmental groups are thrilled with the idea of replacing carbon-producing power plants with "deep green" tidal power. But whale watching groups, local tribes and others say Admiralty Inlet is a critical passage for sensitive sea creatures entering and exiting Puget Sound.
Gary Chittim, on beach: They're not saying that they're totally against the idea of tidal power. What they're asking is, is this place where all of these salmon and orca travel the best place to find out if it's safe or not?
(sound-up, welder working on Island Explorer 4)
Shane Aggergaard, Island Adventures Whale Watching: Those whales are back and forth right in front of the proposed zone that they're looking to put these power generation tidal turbines.
Craig Collar, Snohomish PUD: Admiralty Inlet at the point where we're going to install the turbines is over three miles across. The size of a turbine motor is 20 feet.
Gary Chittim: If all goes well, the generators could be installed by 2015. But this project will be producing a lot more noise topside before the turbines begin spinning underneath. In Everett, Gary Chittim, KING 5 News.