A Day in the Southern Ocean

Orca Pods in Bremer Canyon

Chasing Orcas in the Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean, a realm of untamed beauty and teeming marine life, welcomed us with a spirited display after days of placid weather. 

Riding the winds, the flesh-footed shearwaters danced effortlessly in the air currents, guiding our vessel, the Alison Maree, toward the legendary Bremer Canyon.

The marine hotspot promised an encounter with orcas, we eagerly joined the avian spectacle above, scanning the horizon for signs of the ocean’s apex predators.

As the brisk winds whipped around us, a multitude of seabirds, including various species of albatross, joined our journey.

Their presence a testament to the rich marine bounty below.

Elusive Orca Remain Hidden

Yet, despite the anticipation, the elusive orcas remained hidden, prompting us to navigate the ocean westward in search of other marine marvels.

Our patience was rewarded when a swirling flock of seabirds caught our attention in the distance, signalling activity beneath the ocean’s surface.

Amidst the chaos of feeding seabirds, we encountered a pod of approximately thirty pilot whales.

A maternal assembly comprising mothers, juveniles, and newborn calves.

Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales

Among them frolicked oceanic bottlenose dolphins, their sleek forms gliding effortlessly through the waves.

The telltale signs of feeding—small oil slicks—hinted at the underwater spectacle unfolding before us.

As the pilot whales concluded their feast and embarked on their westward journey, we redirected our course eastward.

Orca Blows and Ocean Shows

The momentary lull shattered with the exhilarating call of orca blows ahead.

Excitement rippled through our crew as we beheld the majestic sight of orcas slicing through the ocean’s swell.

Recognisable individuals emerged, each bearing their distinctive marks and names—a testament to the intimate knowledge of these magnificent creatures.

The encounter intensified as the orcas tightened their formation, showcasing their synchronised movements as they navigated the turbulent waters.

Mesmerising Ocean Journey

Identified by name, these orcas—El Notcho, Echo, Sara, and others—led us on a mesmerising journey, their powerful presence commanding reverence.

Approaching the hotspot, the orcas dispersed, diving into the depths in pursuit of sustenance.

We followed their lead, witnessing fleeting glimpses of their sleek forms surfacing before disappearing into the azure abyss.

Despite the transient nature of our encounter, the memory of their grace and power lingered, etched into the fabric of our maritime adventure.

Playful Common Dolphin

As we reluctantly turned homeward, our departure was accompanied by the playful antics of common dolphins.

A fitting finale to a day filled with marine majesty. With hearts full and spirits lifted, we sailed into the horizon.

View more photos of this expedition on Facebook

More information about Naturaliste Charters

Pilot Whales are seen in large numbers
By Naturaliste Charter Pilot Whales are seen in large numbers
Common Dolphin surfing the bow
By Naturaliste Charter Common Dolphin surfing the bow
Orca swimming in their pod
By Naturaliste Charter Orca swimming in their pod
Pelagic birds are a regular sight in Bremer Canyon
By Naturaliste Charter Pelagic birds are a regular sight in Bremer Canyon

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