With the wind blowing heavy over night, we knew the swell would be up!
Our vessel the Alison-Maree, is purpose built for the southern ocean where the swell can reach up to twelve metres during storms!! Today we experienced a two and a half metre swell. By midday the whole ocean had taken a deep breath and calmed with the swell dropping significantly. The sun was beaming down on us, allowing us to see the orca clearly.
The standard hotspot scenario was playing out. Birds swirling above and orca scanning the depths below.
Split Tip and her pod, who have been here everyday since the start of the season were once again on the hunt. No sign of prey on the surface either!! They sure are keeping us waiting for their big hunt.
Two, two year old orcas were having a field day around lunchtime. They were surfing the swell, pushing each other and porpoising out of the water. One calf appears to have mottled skin. Maybe a bacteria infection or sunburn, either way we have sent the images off to fellow orca experts for a closer look!
These two rambunctious calves weren’t stopping either! This type of play is important to build strength and fitness as well as social bonds with siblings.
Here at Naturaliste Charters we bring on interns each season to assist with data collection while out in the canyon. The first week of 2022 season was a blast and below are some words from our smiley faced and hard working Roz:
Hello (and goodbye) from Roz! After an unforgettable week, the time has come for my marine biologist internship to end. I am so grateful to have spent the past seven days onboard, getting to know these awesome orcas, lovely passengers and incredible crew on Alison Maree. Each day has been unique from the next, but always packed with excitement and adventure into the wild Bremer Canyon. We seemed to spot El Notcho, Cookie, Oreo and Split Tip most often, and am proud to say that today I could name them as I saw them! I really didn’t know a lot about Orcas at the start of the week, and now I am obsessed! Every day has been ‘the best day EVER!’ I have gained hands on experience collecting observational / methodical data, taking ID shots, matching them to the existing database; but more importantly experienced the dream job of being a Marine Biologist on an eco-tourism boat. I loved hearing Dundee’s stories, watching Kane’s 4WD videos, but. Mostly racking Pia and Rohnny’s brains about the life of a Marine Biologist. Thank you for having me, mentoring me and sharing this dynamic marine environment with me. I hope to be back again soon – now back to the real world and to start may final year of study!
Roz Kuliukas 🙂