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Old 01-08-2017, 11:22 PM   #1
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Puget Sound question - whale watching

Being new to the area I was wondering if anyone knew what VHF channel the whale watching boats use? They obviously talk to each other and we would like to listen in and maybe share info with them.

When we were in St Thomas all the commercial tourists boats shared info so the customers got a good experience, I assume others do the same.

Thanks
Bill
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:36 PM   #2
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if you know the names of the boats you can glean some info on the VTS channels, most operators use cell phones to be more discreet.. and to lessen the recreational boats on the whales.
Sorry to be of little help.
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:47 PM   #3
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I kinda figured they were using cell phones since I could not find them on scan. I guess I need to find some of the Captains and buy some beer.
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:55 AM   #4
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Puget Sound question - whale watching

The Orca Network has a Facebook page with many followers that post recent sightings. I use this when whale watching and can usually find them. They get reports for all the various types of whales in Puget Sound.

https://www.facebook.com/OrcaNetwork/
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:11 AM   #5
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Same deal down here. The local captains must talk on their cells. Its a good thing, because there are a lot of boats that would encroach in the summer. We saw a couple 2 weeks ago, including some broachers, and tail slapping.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:26 AM   #6
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We should leave the whales alone.
I think to a significant degree we are loving them to death.
Best to consider them a navigational hazzard .. they are.
And to not patronize the whale watching business.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:45 AM   #7
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Spot on Eric. But, too many tourist dollars to be chased for this business to die away. A few years ago we were in Hawaii and went on an interesting whale watching trip. The boat we were on went to their favorite spot and turned their engines off and waited. No whales anywhere. After about 15 minutes the whales were cavorting all around us showing off the new borns. Or as the cruise captain said, allowing the mothers to point out to their young what to avoid when the boats are moving.

Sure enough, when we fired up the engines the humpbacks departed. In BC and AK the best whale watching for us is to motor along and watch carefully, sooner or later some great sea life looks appear. The porpoise stampede near Robson Bight is a classic. Hundreds of those guys chasing us, truly amazing as they fight for position along the hull's pressure waves.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:47 AM   #8
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They're pretty easy to find with AIS. Go on Marine Traffic and look for a cluster of very slow moving passenger vessels. Some names to look for are Glacier Spirit, Red Head, and Island Explorer.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:27 AM   #9
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Thanks all.
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwestman View Post
Being new to the area I was wondering if anyone knew what VHF channel the whale watching boats use? They obviously talk to each other and we would like to listen in and maybe share info with them.

When we were in St Thomas all the commercial tourists boats shared info so the customers got a good experience, I assume others do the same.

Thanks
Bill
If you are new to the area and not already aware of the legal limitations on whale watching or just encountering wales best you look it up. Big fines.
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Old 03-05-2017, 04:56 PM   #11
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Whale boats just showed up last week, first trip was 3/5. Heard of one grey spotted out of Everett. Give it a few more weeks and just look for cluster of boats around hat island. Pretty easy to find the whales. Make sure to stay far off, No reason to get close, especially with greys (most of what you will see). As you just see glimpses but you can be in them for hours.
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Old 03-06-2017, 11:54 AM   #12
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I heard the Japanese have some good tours.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:34 PM   #13
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Wwestman...... As a generalization for seeing Orcas in the San Juans, Haro Strait along the west side of San Juan Island has quite a bit of whale movement, as does Boundary Pass, from Turn Point to the East Point lighthouse on Saturna Island. Neither are sure things, of course. As mentioned above, be sure to check the regs and don't get too close to them. They are followed and hounded by the commercial whale watching boats all summer. It can't be good for them.
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Old 03-07-2017, 03:54 PM   #14
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We were coming home from Port Townsend to Edmonds and just as we passed the Point No Point lighthouse a big grey surfaced fifteen feet off my port side. I could have tossed him a sandwich if I'd had one. Beautiful moment.
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