Hungry orca on the loose!
Alison Maree was greeted today as soon as we started to steam out to The Canyon by common dolphins surfing alongside us!! Upon arriving at the Hotspot, a female orca made an absolute bee line towards us, rushing underneath the vessel like a jet, the rest of the pod spreading out in a 360-degree arc!! It was as if the pod was holding the door open to familiar friends, inviting us to enter their home.
Foraging and feeding was the name of the game today. We witnessed their natural behaviour as they energetically dove for their prey, utilising their impressive echolocation abilities to map their underwater surroundings. Amongst the keen fishers and foragers today was Shredder and her calf, Noosa, Tarni, Adina, Wonks, Split Tip, Flapper and Little Machi! The whole day we were amongst their presence as they elegantly surfaced nearby for breath, sneaking up silently and neighbouring the vessel.
Surging was observed as well as the power of the pod, putting the figure of their top speed (55 km/h!!) into perspective! Today’s waves provided the perfect arena as the surfing also began; the orca’s counter shaded white bellies becoming obviously exposed through the swell. The pass of the day was witnessed on the starboard side, with three members of the pod surfacing in unison, directing their energy towards passengers as they rushed forward!!