Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA – August 2011 marks the 41st anniversary of Lolita’s capture from her family, the Southern Resident orcas, in Penn Cove off Whidbey Island, WA.
To commemorate this anniversary, Orca Network is holding our annual event on the waters and shore of Penn Cove to remember all the orcas who died during the captures or in captivity, and to honor Lolita, or Tokitae, the sole survivor of those taken from the Southern Resident orcas.
We are excited to announce special guest Jenny Cunningham, producer at PBS’ KCTS 9 TV, Seattle, who produced “Saving Lolita” for KCTS Connects in 2008. Jenny will be onboard the Cutty Sark for the ceremony at the orca capture site on Penn Cove, and after the on-the-water ceremony will show “Saving Lolita” at the Coupeville Wharf, and talk about how the captures will be a part of her next project about orcas for KCTS.
The commemoration will take place in two parts.
First, on Sunday afternoon August 7th from noon – 2 pm, join us on Penn Cove for a ceremonial cruise around the perimeter of the capture site. Captain John Stone of Aeolian Adventures has generously offered his 52 foot classic ketch, Cutty Sark, for this two hour cruise with special guests (very limited space available – tickets $30/person), and Captain Billy Wind has offered his sailboat Stella Blue as well for those without boats who want to participate in the on-the-water portion of the event, for a $15 fee. Or you may bring your sail or motor boat, kayak, or rowboat and join our fleet by launching from Capt. Coupe Park in Coupeville, to join our vessels at the Coupeville Wharf for a group departure at noon. We’ll travel to the capture site in Penn Cove for a wreath ceremony to remember the orcas killed in the capture, and those who have died in captivity. We’ll provide flowers and cedar sprigs to toss into the water, or you may bring your own flower or other eco-friendly offering to toss in the water during the ceremony. The vessels will circle Penn Cove and the capture site, and time/weather permitting, will take a short tour of Penn Cove before returning to the Coupeville Wharf at approximately 2 pm.
Following the on-the-water events, we will gather at the Coupeville Wharf from 2 – 4 pm to watch Jenny Cunningham’s “Saving Lolita”, and for a few short presentations and stories about the captures, the orcas, Lolita, and the future of her family, the Southern Resident orcas, and updates on other captive orca news. The event is free to the public, though contributions to support Orca Network’s educational programs are appreciated. Hoodsport Orca Wine may be purchased in the Wharf breezeway, and participants may purchase snacks or lunch/dinner at Kim’s Cafe and Local Grown, conveniently located on the Wharf.
Contact Orca Network at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website www.orcanetwork.org for more information and updates, or to reserve your space on one of the sailing vessels.
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett
Orca Network – Connecting whales and people in the Pacific Northwest
Orca Network is dedicated to raising awareness about the whales of the Pacific Northwest,
and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.
Projects include the Whale Sighting Network and Education Programs, the Free Lolita Campaign,
and the Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network.