I was born in 1990 and have one offspring: Midnight (L-110) who is as black as midnight! My 2 siblings: Muncher (L-91)and Mystic (L-115) and we love to be all together.
My name is Susan Rogers, and my “sister whale” is Moonlight who is a beloved family member of the L- 83 Pod in the Salish Seas. Like Moonlight, I have lived most of my life in and around the Salish Seas, travelling, exploring and learning the science and mythical richness of the seascapes. As a child and now as an “elder”, witnessing a pod of whales with their graceful movements, transformative breath cycles and unique voices and dialects is a powerful reminder that I have a role in protecting and securing Moonlight’s future.
As a kayaker, orcas have accompanied me on many coastal trips, and their intricately connected family structure is expressed in how they protect and teach their young, and how their matriarchs play a leadership role for the pod. Just like me, moonlight is a sister, a daughter and aunt. The Salish Sea is Moonlight’s home and her ancestors have travelled these seas for thousands of years, long before we arrived at these shores. To support their survival, we all need to reflect on where we stand in ongoing battles between politics, economics , environmental and cultural values. These are all lofty terms, but habitat degradation, industrial pollution and marine traffic noises are palatable threats to Moonlight and her family. I was drawn to the Orca Sounding pod, not only to learn about the remaining orcas, but to celebrate their mystery and magnificence in a spirit of community, where individual voices can collectively join forces, and thru the power of creative expression can challenge boundaries of “status quo” thinking, and where imagination can rise up, and where life in all forms are equally respected and protected . I’m weary of humancentric thinking, and the idea of exploring an orca centric world put a smile on my face! Knowing the intelligence of orcas, I’m sure they are partners in this venture!
My prayer for Moonlight and her family is to be free, safe and healthy, and to support her right to live her life and all the complex rituals that sustain her species. To contemplate the Salish Seas without the spirit of orcas would be unthinkable , and I hope that my small voice will turn into a cacophony of voices that ecolocate and awaken us from our slumber.