Today moody skies and rough seas set the scene – and boy did we love it!
Storm clouds surrounded us for the morning, and painted a picturesque backdrop for our mighty jet black orca friends, who true to form revelled in the rough weather. Our noble Skipper Jamie kept a keen eye on the radar, and skill-fully kept us free from the worst of the storming. We were lucky to see horizontal lightning across the dark skies, hear loud claps of thunder and the feel occasional drenching from the loaded clouds above – but this did not deter us.
On first arriving to the hotspot, we quickly came across several large swirls of birds. Albatross were squabbling and scores of flesh-footed shear waters were amongst a huge mammal smelling oil slick. Obviously a hunt had occurred here only hours ago! Split-tip was on the scene immediately with a nice cameo just 10m off the stern of the boat. This matriarch commands respect in these waters! Some large chunks of flesh were being paraded around the vessel – as sharing of the prize was occurring deep in the water below. Noosa, Flapper, lil Machi were all amongst it too. They made some nice passes moving together underwater, and surfacing a little while away – as the birds above acted as beacons for where the orcas were heading.
Across the morning there was a buzz of excitement in the air, with animals close by and off in the distance. We came across 4 different pods, which at times moved together and then separated off. The big male Fue used to be a rare occurrence out here at the hotspot, but he seems to be making visiting a bit of a habit this year and was an early visitor, staying with us for a while with his huge dorsal fin looking bold against the dark seas. He was there with sprouting male Irwin and the rest of their pod. Another pod also on the scene was that of Three-Stripes’ with this collection of 8 orcas steadily moving together. It seemed they were in a resting/sleeping mode as we saw the pod take a large breath, then dive together, surfacing again 5 mins later like clockwork. This repeated behaviour was controlled and looked so calm in a world of orcas which can so often look rough ready and chaotic. Some cute and playful behaviour my new calf Lil Jamie was a real favourite for our intrepid adventuring patrons, who spent hours out on the bow of the boat just loving being in amongst the stormy seas. Juvenille blue-fin tuna were often up out of the water in a flurry, as we wondered if there was some calf training going on below us.
As it was time to say goodbye and head back for the coast, the skies cleared and the sun started to shining through. A brief visit from a few bottlenose dolphins who were doing some fishing on the shelf as we passed by, and Australian sea-lion mother and pup sunning themselves on Glassy Island wrapped up a beautiful day. And as we cruised back into the marina with satisfied smiles, the sun shone in beautiful contrast to a stormy morning. What a great day out at the Bremer Canyon! And of course happiest birthday to our A1 decky Ando!!