On a cold, lovely afternoon, Onyx ventures past Friday Harbor

Onyx (L87), born in 1992 to Olympia (L32), is a fascinating character in the orca world. Usually males stay with their mom all their life and, in case their mother passes away, associate with a close female relative of their pod. Not so with Onyx. After his mother died in 2005, he started travelling with K-pod year-round. Then in 2010 he switched families again and swims now with J-pod. He is the first Orca, documented in the last 40 years, who switched pods permanently, not just for a Summer.

Above picture was taken by Sara Hysong-Shimazu. Sara is a native of the Pacific Northwest and enjoys teaching and learning about the Salish Sea. Her free time usually finds her out on the water---her favorite place to be. She is a naturalist with Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching, an artist and writer. Check out her illustrations and photography.