The Whales are Back!

It is one of the first signs of spring in Puget Sound…the return of the gray whales to our waterways.  Whidbey Island’s first gray whale sighting of 2011 is now on record on the 3rd of March, courtesy of the Orca Network based out of Greenbank, WA, here on Whidbey Island.  The first sighting of a gray whale, believed to be #53, was while it was feeding in Saratoga Passage between Camano Island and Whidbey Island.   Meanwhile, the Orca whales have been very active for several weeks around Whidbey Island, particularly around the south end of the island, but this was our first gray whale sighting.

"Ruffles" - Photo by John Boyd July 21, 2008

Unfortunately, we also received some bad news last week:  one of the oldest visitors to our waterways is missing this year.  Ruffles, the patriarch of the Orca “J” pod, seems to be missing this year, and is presumed to have passed away. 


You can follow along with the latest sightings of whales in Whidbey waters at the Orca Network sightings web page.

The Orca Network will also be hosting the annual “Welcome the Whales” celebration in Langley on April 23,2011.



About halhovey

A transplant from the east coast, I spent many years living in the deserts of Arizona and Nevada before finally finding a little piece of paradise on Whidbey Island that I call home. This is where I chose to raise my kids, set down roots, and eventually retire. In my blog I hope to share timely information and statitistics about our local real estate market, as well as a few of the people, places and homes around Whidbey Island that I find special, or interesting.
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2 Responses to The Whales are Back!

  1. Susan Long says:

    I used to live on Whidbey (Oak Harbor from 1976-1980) and have very fond memories of viewing orcas in Penn Cove. My husband and I are planning a trip to Whidbey in September. Will that be too late in the year for whale viewing?

    • halhovey says:

      I think the whales are starting to head back south by September. I suggest you follow the Orca Network website to keep track of sightings as you get closer to your visit: , it isn’t kept as current though as their Facebook postings . If you are on Facebook I recommend you “Like” them, so you can follow sightings in real time as they happen.

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