top of page

L43 Jelly Roll L95 Nigel

L43 Jelly Roll 1972 - 2006 & L95 Nigel 1996 -2016. Sketch and story by Bonnie Gretz


While attending "Whale School" in the San Juan Islands with a professor from Orange Coast College in California, Dennis Kelly, I had a lovely encounter with L43 Jelly Roll (named after Jelly Roll Morton for some reason!), and her young calf, L95 Nigel (born in 1996). We found L pod in Haro Strait and were slowly cruising with them, when Jelly Roll surfaced right behind our boat, practically on the swim step! She went under the boat, and surfaced again within 5' of us, with the calf right next to her. Then she disappeared, and left him bobbing around on the surface. He checked us out, but patiently waited for mom to reappear. He then took off, and we could see her underneath him. The encounter lasted about 10 minutes, and I felt privileged to have "baby sat" little Nigel for Jelly Roll! I did see him again as he grew into a beautiful young male, and was devastated when I learned of his death in March of 2016. The drawing is from my whale journal, which I have kept from the beginning of my adventures with wild orcas and other cetaceans, from 1994....and happily still adding wonderful encounters to the third volume!


bottom of page