By Seri McClendon
On January 8th 2017 we were surprised to spot a pod of Orcas from our boat off the coast of Channel Islands. As a native of Seattle, these mammals are dear to my northwest culture upbringing but not as common in California waters. In Native American cultures, Orca symbolizes family, romance, longevity, harmony, travel, community and protection. She is said to protect those who travel away from home, and lead them back when the time comes. Orcas live like wolves, mate for life and raise each child with care. They also travel in large groups of families, working together to protect all members of their pod. Orcas are, in fact, the largest member of the dolphin family. What an amazing thing to see these beautiful creatures in the wild. Ironically the last Orca performance show ended in San Diego’s SeaWorld on January 8th.