After yesterday’s large weather system and 5-6m swells, it was suggestive that the swell would still be steadily pumping today! As we ventured toward the canyon we were pleasantly surprised; the swell was dropping, however, still providing a substantial 3m crest jacking up from the SSW. Large swell usually correlates to happy and energetic orca! However, today was quite the opposite! It almost seemed as though yesterday’s weather had worn the orca out completely!From the get-go, the orca were docile and diving deep, reducing their surface times as they patrolled the area east of the hotspot. A large pod of mothers, calves and juveniles were among today’s dominant group, with the large bull patrolling the outskirts, seemingly looking for female company. The research team communicated that the mothers were Bindi and Tarni, both of which accompanied by their healthy calves, one and two years old respectively. It is so rewarding to observe the juveniles thriving in their natural environment, cruising alongside their parents as they attempt to keep up! Their mother’s milk nourishes the calves until weaning them onto meat between 1-2 years of age! Today the mothers made regular close passes with their calves on the inside of us, showing clear signs of trust toward the vessel! The orca’s behaviour was relaxed throughout the day, consistent with the energy of the progressively calming ocean. With a lull in the orca activity we travelled back toward the hotspot only to sight a bushy 45 degree angle blow, yes you guessed it, a sperm whale! As we approached the animal we were soon greeted to yet another sperm whale ascending from the depths, both just as docile as the orca!!! When sighting the orca again they began to switch into the full resting mode, synchronising their breathing and surfacing together in a line formation (providing the perfect photo opportunities for our punters!). There were no signs of a successful hunt today, but the orca were present and plentiful, providing yet another excellent day for us out in the Bremer sub-basin! It will be interesting to see the orcas energy and behaviour tomorrow after a nice long and much-needed rest!
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