Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sightings Galore!!

My scouts came through! They traveled via boat from town to Ugak Bay yesterday (4/22) and reported the following during their journey:
3 humpbacks - Sacramento
2 grays - N. of Narrow Cape
4 grays - Narrow Cape
3 grays - S. of Narrow Cape
2 grays - Fossil Beach
3 grays - Mouth of Ugak Bay
1 humpback - Wild Creek Beach (near the head of Ugak Bay)

Now that's what I call a whale report!

Monday, April 20, 2009


I received a report of a handful of whales out near Williams Reef. While the boaters were not able to identify the species, Williams Reef is right in the middle of the gray whale migration highway. Tomorrow I sending a couple of scouts to Ugak Bay and am hopeful they will provide me with a good gray whale "head" count from their journey.

I received a call Sunday morning that those pesky killer whales were coming around the corner at Spruce Cape. I did not hear from anyone else the rest of the day, so I'm not sure if they actually made it all the way into the harbor or not. Did anyone hear otherwise? I also heard from a second source that the big male (a.k.a Bentley or Sasha) was among the group last week. That is great news!
It sounds like the weather will be great for the next couple of days, so I'm sure the Kodiak Killers won't be making an appearance anytime soon. Just kidding...maybe we'll get lucky and have a great whale watching day this week!

WhaleFest is in full swing. Take advantage of all of the great activities!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Latest whale sightings

Well, as some of you may have heard, we've had a couple of visits from the Kodiak Killers over the past few days.
I received several reports on both Monday and Wednesday that there were 5 or 6 cruising through the channel. I even had one report that "Bentley" was among them.
Unfortunately, circumstances prevented me from launching our skiff to take confirming photographs. Hopefully this is the start of several visits in the coming days or weeks.
For those of you who are keen on getting a good look at the Kodiak Killers during their next visit, you will be happy to know that I have finally figured out their pattern.
You can be sure to see the Kodiak Killers when:
1. Either Kate or myself are out of town (even better if we are both gone as was the case earlier this week)
2. Winds are greater than 20 knots

No gray whale sightings to report, although with this weather they would blend in with their habitat quite well.

Keep looking!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Whale sightings for 4/12/2009

The NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson left port on April 10th for the Gulf of Alaska Line-Transect Survey. The survey started out on a good note with sightings of 5 gray whales about 3 miles off Long Island. 

This marks the biggest group sighted so far. Does it mean we will soon see the big push? Let's hope!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Whale sightings for 4/8/2009

It was pretty quiet on the old whale sighting hotline yesterday. I did receive a report of two whales spotted on Tuesday off of Spruce Island. Species couldn't be confirmed, but the term "heart-shaped" blow was used in the description. Sounds like a couple of grays to me!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Whale sightings for April 7th

Whale sightings for 4/7/2009

Kate Wynne and I flew an aerial survey yesterday afternoon. The survey covered the area between Long Island and Dangerous Cape, including offshore of Ugak Island. We saw a total of 23 gray whales, which was less than we expected but more than we had seen during the previous survey in March. As many of you might know, gray whales are often seen offshore of Narrow Cape year round so it's difficult to separate migrating whales from these year-round residents. However, I can tell you that we only saw mud plumes (which indicate feeding) associated with 3 of the sightings.
We will fly this survey again in early May.

No other sightings to report.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Whale sightings as of April 6th

Whale sightings as of 4/6/2009

We had a report of killer whales in Monashka Bay on April 5th at about 8:00.
Dr. Jeremy Larsen reported seeing one large male very near to shore and 5 or 6 others across the bay.
Not sure if these were the Kodiak Killers or not, but if so, maybe this means a channel visit soon!

I also had a report of several spouts seen off Pasagshak Beach. These are likely gray whales and could be either migrants or part of our "resident" population.

Kate Wynne and I were scheduled to fly an aerial survey yesterday afternoon but had to postpone due to weather. Once we are able to take to the air, I will report on what we see!

Keep those sightings coming....

Monday, April 6, 2009

Latest Sightings

We have some of our first gray whale sightings of the year! 

Sunday, April 5th:  
One whale was seen breaching about 4 miles north of Buoy 4.  The whale was too far away to confirm what species it was. 

Two gray whales seen at Buoy 4 traveling towards Long Is. 

Keep the reports coming, the gray whales seem to have arrived and sightings should increase over the next couple of weeks. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gray Whales at Narrow Cape!

Two separate reports of whales seen at Narrow Cape over the March 14-15 weekend!
Due to high winds and white caps, exact numbers were difficult to determine but both humpbacks and gray whales were seen. Thanks to Linda Kozak and Kathy Hough for reporting these sightings!
Side note: The gray seen were most likely Kodiak's resident grays who have chosen to live here year round and not the migrating grays. This is, of course, a guess! :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Killer Whales!!

Killer whales (one adult female, one juvenile and one calf) were seen off the city dock started at about 10:30. The whales never came close enough to see which pod they were, but it did not appear to be the usual "Kodiak Killers."

Just a reminder that is you spot the killer whales coming through the channel please call Kate Wynne (48601517) or Bree Witteveen (485-1514).