(From Orca Network):
Orca Network and the Langley Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the eighth annual Welcome the Whales Day in Langley to honor and celebrate the arrival of resident gray whales to Whidbey Island. New this year we offer “Welcome the Whales” flags for sale for your home, garden or business, featuring an illustration by Freeland artist Mary Jo Oxrieder of our favorite whale “Patch.” Buy and hang your flag (or wear it in the parade) to help us Welcome the Whales to Whidbey!
Take part in hands-on educational displays, costume-making, and kid’s activities at the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall (3rd and Anthes St.), beginning at 10 am. Staging for the “critter parade” begins at 1 pm in the CMA Church parking lot at Cascade and 6th St. The parade begins at 1:30, down the hill on Cascade and First Streets, ending at the Langley Waterfront Park a celebration on the beach with a blessing by Windwalker Taibi, and watching for Gray whales in Saratoga Passage.
From 3 – 5 pm presentations will be held back at the Methodist church, where Orca Network will give an update on our local Gray whales and share photos and stories about the “friendly” Grays of San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja.
We are pleased to welcome Michael Bennett, Small Planet Adventures owner, as a guest speaker this year. Over the past 20 years Michael has piloted boats for many National Geographic magazine and film expeditions. An ardent diver and skilled Captain, Michael teamed with world-renowned photographer Flip Nicklin in Patagonia, Panama, Brazil, Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Canada and Costa Rica to document whales, dolphins and other exotics. Prior to launching Small Planet, Michael was an Expedition Cruise Ship Captain, steering vessels through nearly every corner of the globe. He then went on to launch one of the first successful luxury yacht cruising companies. A fervent advocate for whales, Michael is past president of the Whale Watch Operators Association, and has helped develop the guidelines for responsible whale watching presently in use today. He was also one of the captains who drove Springer the orphaned Orca from the US back to her home in Canada. His enthusiasm and respect for the wonderful places and experiences on our planet is infectious, and he is happiest when he is sharing them.
Michael’s new book, “Devil Dolphins of Silver Lagoon and Other Stories” is a fun romp through his adventurous life. From the sailing whales of Patagonia to the neurotic attack dolphins of Brazil, a behind-the-scenes view of the making of many of Flip Nicklin’s National Geographic Magazine stories of the last few decades (and other assorted craziness). If you appreciate the beautiful photos of whales and dolphins that appear in your books and calenders, then you’ll appreciate these engaging, often hilarious, tales of what went into the making of some of them. Michael’s book will be available for sale and he will be signing copies throughout the afternoon.
Welcome the Whales Day wraps up Whidbey Island’s “Earth & Ocean Week”, which began April 16th with the Bayview Earth Day celebration and the Earth and Ocean Art show at the Bayview Cash Store hub, which runs through this weeked.
For more information, go to: www.orcanetwork.org/news/events.html and www.visitlangley.com or contact Orca Network at 360-678-3451 or email@example.com; or the Langley Chamber of Commerce at 360-221-6765.
Susan Berta & Howard Garrett
(From Orca Network):