(Last in the series Superpod One – Where It All Began)
While some of us spend the morning catching up on e-mail etc., others need to head out early. Samantha Berg and Kevin Meddleton are going home to Alaska, where they have an acupuncture clinic.
Samantha is also a former SeaWorld trainer, who appeared on several TV news shows in the days following the death of Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld Orlando last year. She and Kevin suggest we all meet again – perhaps next time in Alaska. We also talk about setting up an email group so we can stay in touch and share information. The group needs a name. I suggest “Superpod” in honor of what we’ve seen and shared over the week. It’s agreed.
Lori and head over to the Center for Whale Research, where I download some of the photos that ID the many orcas that are in Ken’s records. Then we collect David Kirby from Candace’s house, where he’s been out on the shore getting a final view of the orcas, and we drive over to Friday Harbor on the other side of the island.
Lori, David, and I meet Jeff Ventre and his wife, Michelle, on the Victoria Clipper for the two-hour voyage back to Seattle. Jeff and Michelle are headed home to New Orleans, David to New York, Lori to Atlanta, and me to Southern Utah.
As I wait to board my flight, I’m gazing out of the window at the giant planes coming and going from the gates.
But in my mind’s eye, I’m still seeing orcas.
Afterword: In the years that followed, some of the group would meet up again on San Juan Island. And in July 2016, when hundreds of people from around the world gathered for three days of talks, movies and presentations at the local theater, Dr. Lori Marino announced the formation of an organization, the Whale Sanctuary Project, that was setting out to create a seaside sanctuary for captive whales.