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Orcas visit Penn Cove

Penn Cove had some unexpected visitors Friday afternoon when a pod of orca whales swam in and stayed for a couple of hours.

Rich Walti counted four adults and two calves from his home above Penn Cove. “It looks like they’re teaching the babies how to fish or something,” he said. It’s the second time he’s seen orcas in Penn Cove since moving to his house a year ago.

Mary Ellen Tibbets and family were boating back to Oak Harbor after having lunch in Coupeville when they spotted the whales. She counted five, “a baby and four big ones.” She left after her kids started getting upset at the whales attacking a seal unlucky enough to be in the area. “They were surfacing and whacking him with their tail, so I left with the kids,” she said.

Joe Walck works at the Island County Historical Museum in downtown Coupeville. When he heard about the whales. He quickly launched his kayak and caught up with them. He stopped his kayak the recommended 100 yards away, but the curious whales swam close.. “They were circling around, orcas don’t know what 100 yards is,” he said. “One baby went under my kayak.”

Walck too saw the unlucky seal being circled by the orcas, also known as killer whales. But it didn’t bother him. “As long as they weren’t playing with me,” he said.

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