Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Schedule of Events for Superpod Three

Superpod Three begins on World Orca Day, Monday July 14, 2014, and lasts for one week. Below is a schedule of events which will be updated as new information comes in. 

Not including the many local participants, naturalists, boat & business operators, Center for Whale Research staff, & more, approximately 35 - 50 additional human Superpod members will migrate to San Juan Island, WA, USA, to learn, present, share, Tweet, blog, plan, get inspired, cross-pollinate, & take stunning photos & videos to share with the world. 

These are the real Blackfish. And none of them have stage names like Shamu, Namu, or Baby Shamu

Two "Blackfish" jump for joy at their summer home in the San Juan Islands, WA, USA 

The event will be the most attended one, yet. There is good news regarding the whales, too. June Chinook (salmon) numbers are good, thus far. The "J's and L's" are already swimming in the waters around the island & when the "K's" arrive...  a true, complete Southern Resident Superpod will commence, with local customs & traditions, including an annual whale greeting ceremony, and more. If you've not seen a Superpod, check out "Voice of the Orcas" video here: 

Previous Superpod events have included film crews from Blackfish, the Non-Human Rights Project, The Humane Society, & journalists like Tim Zimmermann, & David Kirby, who have written extensively about the plight of killer whales in captivity. Many keys journalists, former trainers, documentarians, and more have gotten their first exposure to wild killer whales from San Juan Island, and also at the Superpod One & Two events, 2011 & 2012, respectively. 

Here's a screen shot of the island showing distribution of current rental properties & hotels. Click to expand the view. 

Notice Kanaka Bay & Tilikum in the ocean. The dots represent Superpod Three Dwellings 

Daily Excursions & Events 

Each day on Island, pod members will be out on the water, possibly on a whale watch boat, kayak or sail boat. Or maybe on land, at Lime Kiln State Park, watching as the Southern Residents swim by. Or lastly, spending time in beautiful Friday Harbor enjoying a craft beer with some grilled oysters at Friday's Crab House.  Usually, after whale watching the pod congregates at public and private spaces for presentations, food & spirits. Below, you'll find a current list of events that will be updated as more presenters check in and add details. 

Monday: Meet and Greet / Orientation in Friday Harbor at 2 pm.  Get off the WA State Ferry and meet some of the event organizers. 

Friday's Crab House from 2:00 - 4:00 PM (Upper deck)
Get Jerry's Famous Grilled Oysters with Capers Sauce

Friday's Crab House on the water in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA, USA 

Presentations will begin after 7 pm at the "VOTO-2" House on the West Side of the Island 

Learn about Taiji from a Cove Guardian, Rachel Carbary. Followed by "Dolphin Drive History 101" by Jordan Waltz (see below).  

Rachel has organized the global #EmptyTheTanks events, and will give a presentation on her experiences at the annual small cetacean slaughter & sale at Taiji, Japan.

Witnessing this was her inspiration for "Empty the Tanks." Rachel told VOTO,

This past November, when I was in Taiji for a second time, I watched dolphin trainers ride on a skiff with dolphin killers and dead dolphins on board. The slaughter exists because the captivity industry exists. Every time someone buys a ticket to SeaWorld or MarineLand or any park with cetaceans, you are encouraging the dolphin killers of Taiji to continue their bloody business. It doesn’t matter if SeaWorld doesn’t have dolphins from Taiji. Other parks in the world do, so if you go to any park that is using cetaceans for entertainment, you are encouraging new parks to be built in other parts of the world, like Dubai and those dolphins will be victims of Taiji’s annual slaughter and capture season. It’s simple supply and demand. Take away the demand and you eliminate the need for the supply.

Presentation Two: Dolphin drive history 101:  A presentation on when and how the drives the started and how they became entwined with the captivity industry, as well as how activists have tried to halt it over the years. Presentation duration will be 20-25 minutes. Jordan will present a printed out illustrated timeline where people can view it & provide feed back.

Jordan Waltz is A Midwest artist and independent researcher who has served as archivalist/researcher for Blackfish documentary.

 Tuesday:   Free public Blackfish Screening hosted by the The Whale Museum. Note: The location of screening is just two buildings down at The Grange, in Friday Harbor  

Come see the Whale Museum at Friday Harbor and meet the staff & up to 8 members of the Blackfish Cast 

5:30 Meet & Greet reception at The Whale Museum (light refreshments provided)
6:00 Move to the Grange (just two buildings up the street) for the film
6:10 Welcome audience & start film
6:15 Screening of “Blackfish”
7:40 Q & A conversation with the cast, immediately following film
8:45 approximate end time

 Voice of the Orcas hosted Media Day, with journalists in attendance. There will be interviews & film from the house & deck overlooking the Haro Strait. (See "Whale Party Central" on island map). We are hoping for some whale "fly bys" as the day unfolds.

That morning VOTO, along with Dr Naomi Rose, is tentatively scheduled to be on L.A. Talk Radio with Capt Paul Watson & the Barbi Twins at 11:00 a.m Pacific time. 

Wednesday evening, Howard Garrett of Orca Network (ON), will give a presentation on Lolita. 

Later, John Jett PhD will give a PowerPoint presentation called, "Survival Estimate for Captive Killer Whales" 

Lastly, Colleen Weiler,  Whale & Dolphin Conservation first ‘Rekos Orca Fellow, will do a presentation on the recent "Russian orca collections.

This deck, overlooking the Haro Strait, will be a big part of media day (and possibly some drone launches)


Superpod3 Group Whale Watch Trip on the Western Prince II with naturalist Traci Walter (@TeelDubya) and others. The excursion departs at 10:00 am from Friday Harbor and we will meet by the Western Prince offices next to the ferry landing between 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. 

Presentation that evening by Dr. Naomi Rose on the topic of current legistlative & regulatory issues regarding killer whale / cetacean captivity. 

THURS: PRESENTATION ONE: "Pinkfish for Blackfish: The role of salmon recovery in sustaining the Southern Residents"

Dr Chris Caudill is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at the University of Idaho. His broad interests are in the ecology and evolution of animal movement and the conservation of aquatic resources. He holds a MS from the University of New Hampshire (1995) and Ph.D. from Cornell University (2002). He conducted postdoctoral research at Georgia Tech before joining the Fish Ecology Research Lab at the University of Idaho in 2003 for a second post-doc. He has directed the FERL program since 2008, largely focusing on the migration ecology of adult salmon, Pacific lamprey, and American shad in the Columbia, Snake, and Willamette rivers.

PRESENTATION TWO:  Humpbacks of the Silver Bank by Jeff Friedman


War of the Whales Day. Meet Ken Balcomb, legendary killer whale scientist, Principle Investigator of the Center for Whale Research (CFWR), and primary character in the just-released non-fiction book, War of the Whales. Ken & his research staff will be hosting a social event at the CFWR.

Friday's event will occur at the Center for Whale Research, on the West side of San Juan Island. See map above. 


Book Signing 2-4 pm at The Whale Museum

Sandra Pollard's, Puget Sound Whales for Sale

Sunday / Departure

If you've never seen a wild killer whale, join us this year, or plan to come to Superpod 4. For what it's worth, the co$t of our Western Prince II boat trip is about $30 USD less than a single day ticket at SeaWorld of Florida


  1. This looks like a fun week! I'm trying to find lodging, but I'm not sure which side of the island I should be closer to.
    1. Where are the majority of attendees staying? In Friday Harbor or on the West side of the island?
    2. Is there a central location where most of the events will take place?
    3. Regarding the whale watching trip on Thursday... do we need to make a reservation in advance? Or has the trip already been reserved & we just show up & pay at the time of the trip?
    4. Aside from lodging & food, are there any other costs associated with the event?

    Any extra info you can provide will be very helpful! Hope to see you all there!

  2. Steph, I added a screen shot of the rental properties map. It shows the distribution of lodging on SJI for SP3 (dots). Many of these will house 6 or more pod members. Some folks will be in town.

  3. Awesome, thanks! And what about the whale watching excursion? Are reservations needed beforehand?

  4. Steph, the whale watch Thurs morning is sold out but I can add you to the list in case something opens up. We also might have spots open up on other whale watching trips during the week. I believe Western Prince has a trip Thursday afternoon that has availability if you contact them.

    1. Jeff, how long in advance would I have to sign up for the Whale Watching trips next year to ensure a spot?

  5. What time and location is Rachel's presentation on Monday? Do I need to register for events? I'm coming!!! Christine

  6. Hi, I am trying to find out more information for this. Most of all, which day would be the most beneficial to go. My son is 12 and wants to be a Marine Biologist and study the Orcas. We did go to Ways of the Whale this year, plus he has Blackfish memorized. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

  7. This is Doreen Dupont. Please put me on the wait list for the Thursday whale watching trip. Are there any other outfitters that take people out? Is there a Friday trip too with openings?

  8. The World ORCA Day presentation is about dolphin drive hunts? Too bad you aren't using the opportunity to have local experts talk about the capture history of the southern residents and the threats facing them today.

    1. I'll plug you in Monday night if your ready. If not, Sandra Pollard is having a gathering & book signing later in the week for, "Puget Sound Whales for Sale." How's that?

  9. Replies
    1. Usually begins the second weekend after July 4th holiday

    2. Can you now confirm that it will begin on 7/13/2015?

  10. Just found out about this and want to come tomorrow from PDX!! Any info about accommodations for one? Thanks!!!

  11. There are hotels, B&B's, & camp sites on San Juan Island.

  12. Is there a place to register? What time, and where are the talks on Thursday night? And what time is the Friday event at CFWR? Thanks!!

  13. Also trying to find out when event starts on Friday.

  14. Amazing, much appreciated! Also shouldn't we think about the whale viewing journey? Are reservations required already?

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