Today we felt like we were on the high seas! Motoring out towards the canyon system, skies moody and grey, wind chop up and waves rolling. We mused these rough conditions may just deliver an epic day. And boy did it! A buzz of energy was in the air from the moment we crossed the shelf into deeper 800m waters of the canyon system. Orcas appeared in a flash, darting around our boat in an inquisitive pass, setting patrons into an excited buzz with early screams of excitement. We spent an hour cruising with a pair of orcas as they played around the boat and darted through the waves. Good vibes were brewing, and skipper Dundee made the call to head back towards the hotspot… Just in case there was something even bigger to see.
True to form the hotspot was on. Huge swirls of flesh-footed shearwaters were dancing in the wind above the chop, others formed big rafts at the surface, heads down into the water searching for scraps… All we had to do was follow the birds! When they emerged, the orcas were energetic and social 5 or 6 animals moving along together, and as they dived, our winged associates shadowed them from above. Again, and again were greeted by orcas buzzing with energy. Two large pods were nearby, one off in the distance with tall black fins and bold power superimposed on a backdrop of dark skies, the other moving off in front of our bow, then ducking back within out wake. Tensions were rising as more Bremer Bay Canyon mysteries were being revealed. Two male and female Orca broke away from their pods, then began to interact right near the boat – as they flirtatiously rolled and turned together. We may have even seen the twinkling of a new orca calf in her mother’s eye.
Throughout the day the energy was high, patrons and crew shouting Orca positions at every cardinal point. Split Tip was an absolute jem, she lounged on her back off the bow of the boat, posing for the perfect spaceship shots. Digby the huge male with his towering dorsal fin stayed close to the boat, surfacing with a spray close enough to give our Marine Biologist Pia a kiss from the sea. We saw baby Morpheus play, a double tail wave, a spy hop which was newly termed a half breach by an optimistic patron, many passes under the boat and orcas in waves as flashes of sunlight shone through.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, three big bronze whaler sharks skirted behind our boat, following us in the waves, silver and blue fish jumping in attempted escape. To top it all off, common dolphins in our wake on the journey home. Truly, a cracker of a day.