onyx
Onyx and Granny © Sara Hysong-Shimazu

 

July 27, 2016 – Marauder IV steamed out of Victoria harbour this afternoon with Captain Ian at the wheel and made a beeline over beautiful flat water to Haro Strait. A mile offshore of Eagle Point on San Juan Island, we encountered a huge male killer whale that turned out to be Onyx (L87). Despite his L Pod designation, Onyx has been travelling with J Pod full-time since 2013. His mother passed away and instead of attaching himself to a related female in L Pod, Onyx made the unorthodox move to join another pod entirely. He chose the mother of all mothers: Granny (J2), the matriarch of J Pod and the oldest killer whale (that we know of) in the world. At 105 years of age, Granny is now helping to raise her great-great-great grandcalves. After watching Onyx for a few minutes, we turned around and found a pair of humpback whales heading slowly toward San Juan Island. We fell behind to watch the humpbacks for a little while before catching up to more of J Pod. We glided slowly alongside Slick (J16), her second daughter Echo (J42) and her youngest daughter Scarlet (J50), who is only two years old! We turned homeward and made it back to Victoria under the blazing sun in time for a nice hot summer evening.

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