Down here in WA we put that down to the animals having a complex matriarchal and matrilineal social structure…to put it more simply, everyone has to listen to mum AND more importantly granny!! The orcas were OFF! Two pods surged us west for 5 miles before disappearing! We didn’t want to hang around long as we knew there were more pods back at the hotspot. It wasn’t long before we had another pod around the vessel. The close passes revealed TWO interesting findings. KIRRA IS PREGNANT and she’s about to POP! We also uncovered a fresh shark bite out of three stripes, showing that the dorsal fins can change significantly each season! We’d NEVER seen a notch or scar caused by a shark before!
It almost felt as though the day really started as we were about to leave! JUST as our skipper made the call to turn for home we sighted surging up ahead…
The most eventful 2:30 pm EVER!
The further we looked ahead the more birds and oil came into sight!
By now there were three distinct pods with their own bird swirls forming above them. Each one trailing with blood and oil dissipating as far as the eye could see. The smell began to waft toward as just as the orcas did! We had three killer whales riding our wake, porpoising their entire body out of the water so close that their exhales blew all over our customer’s faces!
Simultaneously we had orcas riding our bow, Nibbles and Digby’s pods were moving in fast at our 11 O’clock! The juveniles Blade, Shepp AND the newborn little Dun-DEE rode the swell repeatedly into the bow, upside down and side on, each time breaching out in front of us. The adults all took turns diving, keeping the animal they were in pursuit of beneath the surface. Each time they rose they were that little bit more excited, flipping upside down, tail-slapping and lunging their bodies through the trials of blood that’d stained the water green!
Maleko’s pod had split off, it seemed as if they’d taken the majority of the kill back to their own neck of the woods to properly enjoy. Potentially, a pod of beaked whales surfacing from a deep dive never got to take their last breath!!! The sheer quantity of blood, oil and guts that remained scattered across the surface suggested that there’d been more than one animal taken out of the gene pool on this event alone.
It wasn’t long before the orcas’ attention switched from beast mode to having a social soiree. The juveniles veins were still pumping with adrenaline, you could see they now had the energy to burn! The two pods took us for a run south, it wasn’t long before even the adults joined in! Every surface was more energetic than the last, we all waited in anticipation for a breach! Tail-slaps, baby breaches, porpoising, you name it, we saw it! Customers were spread around the whole vessel, each corner of the Alison Maree had orcas within metres, riding through the swell with equal parts ease and excitement. We didn’t want to go home! If we’d carried on we reckon the orcas Bremer Bay would’ve run us all the way to Antarctica!
By the time we turned for home everyone’s grins and cheers roared through the wheelhouse as we rejoiced at what we’d just encountered! What a great way to end an already epic day!