Orca orca and more orca! Another day out in the canyon filled with our favourite, Orca. The pods have been very sociable the past week, working together to hunt. Individuals today were mixing together, especially Cookie who has been VERY social, appearing in two pods that aren’t her usual family group.
We couldn’t have asked for a better morning, the orca of Bremer Bay were clearly looking for food but on each surface they would pass by our vessel. A couple youngsters appeared to be playing “chicken” with our vessel as they pushed each other closer and closer to us. Mini-Dundee the very new calf this season never strayed to far from mum, they are getting bigger each day!
Razor and Blade
Razor and Blade made a surprise visit today! They have been sighted a couple of times already this season but a first for the crew on today. Blade was born in 2019 and was a mere 4-weeks old when his mum Razor took down a blue whale! (Only the second time recorded in the world..!) They both made sure to come and greet us today. First it was Razor. Approaching from our stern she glided past the side of our vessel. She tilted to the side so her eye could take all of us in! If you have ever had an orca eye-ball you, you know this feeling. It is surreal and gives you an extreme appreciation for them.
Blade came in shortly after. Very fast and very clumsily, he ran into another orca on the way towards our bow. Pushing this much larger whale out of the way on his approach to our bow. He slowed down only metres away and then slow-mo checked us out, just as his mother did only a few minutes before. Blade has had a soft spot for our crew from his beginnings as a strong newborn with funky scarring on his body. He is looking BIGGER and stronger than ever, an amazing sign to see that he is very healthy, still wearing his birth scars.
By midday we had our first interaction with the long-finned pilot whales. A pod of 50 or more, came charging towards our bow with one passengers shouting “OMG, I can see why you call them angry sausage!”. This pod was featuring a lot of tiny silver bullets (calves) still showing fetal folds, as sign of a newborn. We moved on looking for more orca and they appeared to be following us… We had our own army!!
The orca were busy today! Not going anywhere in particular just scanning the depths. The pods would come together and seperate, then form up again. We watched on, eager for them to surge. Like clockwork they surged west running with the swell! The energy and excitement on the boat instantly picked up as we know how the surges can often end… with a big meal for the killers. The further west they travelled the more anxious we became. A swift turn 180 degrees and they were off again in the direction we had just come from!! We punched into the swell just as the orcas did but it never resulted in a successful chase or kill.
It was now time to head in and halfway between the canyon and shore we spotted a couple dolphins porpoising out of the increasing swell! As we watched the dolphins a FLYING-FISH punched out of the surface and skimmed along with the wind catching its “wings” and catapulting it along further. Maybe it was evading the dolphins but it was thrilling to see a foot long fish not only flying but now going faster than our vessel?!