The whales wanted to show their appreciation to the horses, fellow animals in the transportation business.
Whale Express will provide dock-to-dock service anywhere within the Islands, as well as have the option of daily scheduled trips between Orcas, Lopez, San Juan, and Shaw Islands. A Washington State Ferries spokesman declined to comment about this direct competition. The ferries will continue to corner the market on vehicle transport, at least until Whale Express starts their planned expansion with the Gray Whales in 2011.
In an unprecedented partnership between animals and humans, Whale Express has allocated the entire L Pod (the largest of the three pods) for exclusive transportation of Orkila campers. Whale Express President/CEO Ruffles (J-1) had this to say about the enticing endeavor:
"We are excited about this partnership between Whale Express and YMCA Camp Orkila. Not only will we provide transportation for campers arriving at Anacortes, we will make daily shuttle trips between Sucia and Satellite Islands for their overnight trips. Adding to Orkila's existing programming, hopefully this unique partnership will make Orkila even more awesome."As a show of support for Whale Express, Orkila's Marine Biology program will be providing daily refreshments for the orca whales when they pick-up and drop-off at Orkila's Dock. Think of it as a free lemonade stand. But instead of fresh squeezed lemon juice sweetened with sugar, imagine ground/blended salmon spiced with plankton. Yummy! Orkila has coined the term "salmonade" for this new concoction.
Even in this current economy, Ruffles doesn't seem too concerned with the financial situation of his new company. This is due largely to the immense compensation received as royalties from the film "Free Willy." Both Granny (J-2) the 98 year-old matriarch and Ruffles made appearances in this classic film.
Whale Express will begin service in May 2009. And in closing, this is all an elaborate way for us at Camp Orkila to say April Fool's Day :)