Captain’s Blog

4 Resident J-Pod Orcas You’d Invite Over For Dinner

June 7, 2016

There’s a really important difference in two types of orca whales you’ll find cruising the waters off the coast of British Columbia this summer.

Transient Orcas. First, you don’t find transient orcas, transient orcas find you. If they’re hunting you for dinner, that is. Transient orcas generally live in smaller groups, but the key distinction is that these types of orcas hunt mammals. Seals, sea lions, dolphins, and yeah, other whales on occasion. Transient orcas use stealthy hunting tactics to search for prey over an area of several hundred miles.

So, unless you’re incorporating some type of bizarre on-site hunting ritual as part of your dinner party, chances are zero transient orcas will show up.

Resident Orcas. On the other hand, resident orcas would be a lot more likely to enjoy the fare you’re serving. Sometimes referred to as the fish-eaters, residents chow down on chinook salmon, a nutritious and delicious snack. Also, resident orcas, like every wild killer whale, prefers their dinner to be alive and well prior to consumption instead of tossed into the water by a well-intentioned human.

Just to clarify, Orca Spirit does not endorse inviting any orca whales to your home. But if you go ahead and do it anyway, here are 6 residents J-Pod orcas whose quirky personalities would make for great entertainment.

Granny

Like her name suggests, Granny is an old orca whale. How old? Only the oldest orca whale in the world. Granny was born in 1911, which means she’s seen the rise and fall of the soviet union and two world wars. She’d probably bring cookies from an old family recipe. Granny was even around when the first iPhone burst on the scene. Seriously though, sharing the ocean with Granny is a privilege we’re thrilled to have here at Orca Spirit. Most orcas live between 60 and 80 years, so watching Granny patrol Victoria’s coastal waters at the ripe age of 104 is a beautiful, special experience.

Blackberry

One of J-Pod’s most famous orca whales, Blackberry is known for his curiosity whenever one of our ships ventures near. He’s easy to recognize because of his tall dorsal fin and signature swirling saddle patch. Blackberry and his sister Tsuchi are often spotted with their younger brother Mako and would probably all love a good home-cooked meal. Actually, they really probably wouldn’t.

Slick

Slick is a 44 year mother of 5 who loves visiting over a bounty of pacific salmon hors d’ouvres. If you ever wanted to learn more about the nature of orca matrilines, Slick would be the perfect guest to teach you all you need to know. Unfortunately, one of Slick’s calves, Keef, didn’t return with the residents of J-Pod in the summer of 2011. Slick’s other children are Mike, Alki, Echo, and the not-yet-named J-48.

Se-Yi-Chn & The Kids

Since Se-Yi-Chn’s birth in 2009, five more calves have been born to the resident orcas of J-Pod: Star, Notch, J-48, and J-49. And they all behave like you’d expect a tight-knit group of young pals to behave: mischievously.

So, on second thought, maybe they wouldn’t be the best house guests – I guess we’re better off just observing these fascinating young animals in the wild, right?

Right.

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