With a small breath of wind and the sun beaming down our backs, the conditions out in the Southern Canyon were ‘premo’!
The only part missing to today was Orca…. we searched high and low – literally! Searching along the 1000 metre contour and out to the sub canyons – Henry and Knob which easily get to 2000m deep in some parts!
A large New Zealand Fur Seal interrupted our search efforts. Amused by his playful ‘lolling’ about on the surface but his small grunts at our intrusion on his day meant we kept looking for the main attraction, Killer Whales.
We must take a moment to thank all our passengers for once again being so understanding that they are wild animals and that they do what they want WHEN they want!
The sun had moved west overhead and we were beginning to lose faith. However as long as we are out still searching we must stay positive! The call came down that Orca had been sighted ahead and our patience paid off!!!! Atleast four pods were in line formation moving slowly east between 6 and 8 knots. Each pod contained 4 or so individual Orca and they appeared to be busy travelling.
The first Orca we closely encountered was Lil Machi! He came bursting over and under our vessel to give the passengers their first up close and personal glimpse!
Next was the newborn calf Neo and his family. Nani, the large adult male and the rest of the pod cruised on past showing almost no interest in us. Neo is still learning where his blow hole is, porpoising so high out of the water each breath while Mum barely breaks the surface. We moved further down the line to greet the next pod. These orca were sub-adults and could tell we were keen for orca action! They buzzed around the vessel momentarily and were soon back on their designated travel path.
These pods plus even more observed 200m and 400m further to the south were amazing to witness patrolling the Canyon systems as one cohesive line. We spent the next few hours soaking it all in before heading back while the sun set on another spectacular day out!
Interested in knowing attending more whale watching tours? Check out what Augusta whale watching can bring to you.