Luxel Corporation is located on San Juan Island off the northwest coast of Washington State. The island is only accessible from the mainland by ferry or airplane. All of our employees live here full-time and enjoy the unique aspects that go along with “island life.”
The San Juan Islands are a popular tourist destination, in part because of our local pods of killer whales, or orcas. The Southern Resident Community of killer whales, made up of J-, K-, and L-Pods, was listed as endangered in 2005. During the summer months, the Southern Residents spend most of their time in the waters around the San Juan Islands, where researchers can identify every of the 80 or so whales by their unique markings. Due to long-term studies, we also know the family histories of every animal, since the whales stay with their mother in their mother’s pod for life.
Luxelemployee Monika Wieland snapped this photograph of 42 year-old mom J16 Slick with newborn calf J50 in February 2015.
A couple of Luxel employees love to watch, photograph, and provide public education about the orcas. While we went through a two year stretch where no new babies were born into the population, in the last three months the orcas have experienced a much needed “baby boom” with four new calves seen in the last three months. This has created an excited buzz in the local whale community, and in the Luxel office!