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Unlocking the Secrets of Bremer Canyon’s Killer Whales

Searching for answers to the secrets of Bremer Canyon

Secrets of Bremer Canyon Orca: Discovering the Gentle Side

It’s no secret watching wild animals play and socialise for hours on end is always such a privilege.

Especially when they’re an apex predator, notorious for their ruthless predation tactics.

The behaviours that we witnessed today shed a much more tender light on the Bremer Canyon killer whales, opening the door to oceanic secrets.

A Playful Start

The day kicked off with Split Tip’s pod spread out in front of us, tail slapping and rolling around at the surface playing with each other.

Pectoral fins and flukes flopped around on the surface, as the killer whales shoved each other around and scooted along the surface, belly up.

Bindi and Sunny swam laps around the boat, attracting a Mexican wave of cheers as they darted along the sides and across the bow.

Unexpected Encounters

As we tracked west with the group, we noticed individuals from Sara’s pod began to appear in the mix.

Before long, they were joined by Hermes’ pod and another large bull, not recognised by our crew.

Little Chopper, with her missing dorsal fin – a secret the sea will never reveal, joined the pod on their search.

A Courting Display

The play wasn’t all innocent though, with a couple of the mature males flashing the whites of their bellies.

They rolled underneath some of the females, putting themselves on display in hopes of getting their attention.

The Spectacle of Breaching

As we watched this courting behaviour, the mood changed suddenly and orca began surging all around us.

Sara launched herself in the air in one of the most impressive breaches the crew have seen.

Orca can propel themselves through the water at speeds up to 60 kmph with large, paddle-like flippers and muscular tails.

Feeding Frenzy

The surge didn’t last long though. The orcas stopped abruptly and began duck diving and milling on the spot.

It was no secret to us as an oil slick forming around them, indicating that they were feeding below.

Training Grounds

The killer whales had worked their way up toward the shelf, into only 100m of water and had managed to find something to prey on in amongst all of the play.

This shallower ground happens to be perfect for fishing and may have potentially served as a training ground for the young calves, learning to fish for themselves.

Playful Interactions

Rather than sharing the meat though, her and Nemo seemed to be playing with it.

Flipping their tails out of the water and blowing bubbles, while Shadow clasped it in her teeth.

Maternal Care and Travel

As the orcas turned back toward the hotspot, they broke into another surge which soon slowed as they formed a tight traveling line of around 20 individuals.

This maternal group was made up of the females, juveniles, and calves from Hermes’ pod and another pod, rarely seen in the area.

A Grand Finale

As if the day hadn’t already been exciting enough, multiple pods of tightly grouped pilot whales came charging through the area in their hundreds.

It was time to head back to Bremer Harbour.

Bremer Canyon continues to unveil the intricate lives of its killer whales.

Showcasing not just their prowess as apex predators, but also their capacity for play, social bonding, and maternal care.

Observing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is an experience that leaves a lasting impression, reminding us of the delicate balance of life in our oceans.

View the DEPARTURE LOCATION for Bremer Bay

To see more photos from this tour please visit FACEBOOK BLOG 26.02.2024

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