A pod of orcas were observed from our deck. They were swimming north in Nicholas Passage. Two of the whales surfaced fairly close to shore.
Approximately one hour later, and from our boat, we watched the pod move south from Annette Island to the mouth of Carroll Inlet (where we were). The whales moved close to shore and appeared to be swimming up Carroll Inlet. We left the area and headed north, and eventually ended up near the Blank Islands.
Approximately one hour later, the whales again appeared in Nicholas Passage. They were swimming north when we first saw them, but then turned and started swimming south.
While driving home the whales were observed again. They were swimming south. They were very close to shore near mountain point. It seemed as though they swam in a very large circle over the course of several hours. Tail slapping, porpoising, and breaching were all observed. It was an amazing sighting.
Two pods of resident orcas have been identified; the I33s and G2s. Individual whales have been identified as well. Many thanks to Northern Resident Orca Population for identifying these whales for me.
One humpback was observed swimming very close to shore near mountain point. No pics.
Observed one humpback from our deck. It was swimming south towards mountain point.
It looks like whale #241 is still in the area. We spotted him/her today near the Blank Islands. One humpback was also observed near Herring Cove, and another whale was seen close to the mouth of Annette Bay.
A pod of orcas were seen in Nicholas Passage. They were in the middle of the channel swimming north. They appeared to enter the east channel of the Tongass Narrows. The pictures are grainy due to distance.
The two males that were photographed (they were closest to shore) were positively identified as A71 and I45. A71 belongs to the A24s and I45 belongs to the I33s. So it appears that at least two pods of resident orcas were observed. I photographed the A24s and A71 back on February 22, 2016. Thanks to Northern Resident Orca Population for identifying these whales for me.
Several hours later, a humpback was seen near mountain point. It appeared to be crossing the channel from Ketchikan to Annette Island. It appeared to be swimming right towards a cruise ship that was passing through the area. With the tourist season in full swing, the amount of boats on the water has significantly increased. It is difficult to watch the whales coming so close to boats and ships.
One humpback was observed from the shore near mountain point. The whale crossed the channel, and was last seen swimming north near Annette Island. I was able to identify the whale as #241. (alaskahumpbacks.org)
Today was essentially a repeat of yesterday. Two humpbacks were seen out in Nicholas Passage from Rotary Beach. They eventually moved closer to Ketchikan, and were last seen swimming south towards Mountain Point.
Several hours later, spouting was observed near the mouth of Annette Bay.
Poor photo quality due to distance.
From Rotary beach two humpbacks were seen near the southern end of Gravina Island. They eventually entered the east channel of the Tongass Narrows and disappeared.
Approximately 20 minutes later, one humpback was seen swimming south past Rotary Beach.
Poor photo quality due to distance.
Solo humpback swimming out of George Inlet very close to shore, passing under 5-6 commercial and sport fisherman, then out by Cutter Rocks, then gone.
While fishing from the boat today, we were surprised by a humpback who surfaced between us and the shore near Mountain Point. The area was fairly congested with boats; however, the whale seemed unfazed as it navigated around the boats and past Mountain Point. It crossed the channel and was last seen swimming north near Annette Island.
Long distance shore viewing today so all of the photographs I took were essentially useless. Nevertheless, one humpback and a pod of orcas were observed. The humpback was first spotted near the southern tip of Pennock Island. It crossed the eastern channel of the Tongass Narrows, and was last seen slightly south of Rotary Beach. No pics.
Approximately two hours later, and from Rotary Beach, a pod of orcas were observed near the southern end of Gravina Island. They slowly made their way across Nichols Passage, moving towards Ketchikan but never getting very close to shore. They turned and started swimming south towards Mountain Point. Unfortunately a positive ID of the pod was not possible.