FYI: July 2004

FYI — July 2004
By Brad Dunn
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Killer Whale of a Problem, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With... Tim Morgan, and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

Killer Whale of a Problem
Moby Dick liked to smash boats to pieces; Luna just likes to bat them around a bit. Moby Dick was a fictional hell-raiser; Luna is a real-life nuisance. When the 15-foot orca strayed from his pod three years ago and took up a new residence in Canada’s Nootka Sound, few expected the killer whale to be so outgoing. Now there are few locals whom Luna—or L-98, as he’s officially known—hasn’t bumped into, literally.

“Solitary killer whales tend to be drawn to boats,” explains Brian Gorman, spokesman for the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle. “But L-98 actually seems to enjoy pushing boats around. Many boaters find it thrilling at first. But after four or five hours of being knocked around by a whale, they’ve usually had enough.”

This summer, the United States and Canada will launch Plan A of their joint effort to return Luna to his pod: They will draw him out to the mouth of the Sound when the pod is expected to pass by. If that doesn’t work, they will physically transport him to the Pacific Ocean this fall.

Why the urgency? “The nuisance problem of L-98 can no longer be ignored,” Gorman says. For example, he reports that two fishermen were a few miles offshore last summer when their outboard died. As they rowed back toward shore, Luna paid them a visit. Every time they rowed forward, he playfully knocked them back. The whale kept them out on the water the entire day, apparently never growing bored of the game.

“He’s very lonely,” says Ryan Lejbak, spokesman for, a Web site devoted to returning the whale to his pod. “He’s not threatening, but down the road someone could get hurt.”

Lejbak, a self-described orca fanatic, believes Luna is ready to return to his pod and that Plan A will work. “His behavior has changed a lot in the last few months,” Lejbak said. “Even his affection for boats has diminished. Some say he’s like a rock star now, because suddenly he’s acting like he’s too good for everyone.”

Is Luna starting to miss his pod, or is he just laying low for a while? Boaters won’t know until midsummer if this prodigal whale is ready to go home.

Gallons of drinking water used every 24 hours on the Titanic.

July Calendar
1-5. Melbourne Boat Show in Melbourne, Australia. 03 9328 4855.
9-11 and 16-18. Dallas Summer Boat Show in Dallas, Texas. (469) 549-0673.
16-18. The Boat Show in Clinton, Connecticut. (860) 529-2123.
22-25. The Summer Boat Show in San Diego, California. (888) BOAT-INFO.
28-Aug. 1. The Summer Boat Show in Houston, Texas. (713) 526-6361.

Things We Like
What do you get if you mix a Cigarette race boat with an ordinary surfboard? Who knows, but it would have to look something like the Igniter 330 Jetboard from PowerSki International. We spotted this flashy waterborne rocket at the Miami International Boat Show, where its designers unveiled this souped-up version of their original. The new 330 cuts a lower, more streamlined profile, and its re-engineered hull bottom promises more stability. If you're looking to fill your lazarette with a thrilling, state-of-the-art watertoy, we may have found it for you: The Igniter can electrify your next cruise.

Next page > A Word With...Tim Morgan, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the June 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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