Friday, July 3, 2009

Early July 2009 - Onyx Visits with a Relative

By the date of this encounter, Onyx had been 'living with' K Pod permanently for a couple years.

This is just one encounter of him visiting with his L Pod family.

At Lime Kiln Pt. State Park, 9:30 in the morning, just about all the whales had passed by going up island.
But then I saw four whales approaching.

Distinctly two pairs.  One tall fin and one short fin in each pair.
I could see a slight 'hook' to the right at the tip of the dorsal fin of one of the males. That was Mystery L-85.
Then the other male surfaced.  It was Onyx. He has a very distinct dorsal fin.

It is believed that Mystery is Onyx's cousin. Mystery was born a year before Onyx.  (Center for Whale Research Orca Survey)

So who were the females?

As they got closer I saw Georgia K-11 with her open saddle patch.
The other was Alexis L-12, who is a relative to both Onyx and Mystery. 

The two boys moved up ahead of Georgia and Alexis. Mystery surfaced, turning in toward the shore.

Then he surfaced right along the rocks with kelp draped on him.

Onyx surfaced up ahead, past us.

As the two boys - Mystery on the right - rounded the lighthouse, Georgia and Alexis were a hundred yards or so behind them.
Mystery Up. Still in the kelp.
Both boys fin tips.

Onyx up.

It was as if the two boys were having some visiting time together.
By the next sighting Ks and Onyx were not with any other L Pod whales.

Many people have witnessed Onyx visiting with his L Pod family members, and each time he goes back to his adoptive mom, at first in K Pod and now it in J Pod.