Salt & Snot Facial
After what felt like a long slow commute to the hotspot we arrived in the presence of orca.
As they unpredictably surfaced in a wide spread array, we were only able to get glimpses of their and blows. This makes for a tricky interaction, all while the skipper Dundee is watching every single wave that passes under our vessel and trying to keep it steady.
The sea conditions today were up there with our passenger weather limits. With a vessel that can easily handle high winds and high swell, we have to find a comfortable middle ground between passengers and the orca experience.
Today paid off. Although we had a slow start, by lunchtime the orca grouped up. Split Tip’s pod who had our attention all day formed into a maternal pod. The bulls left the site and disappeared while the calves came out to play. Kirra and her little calf Basil, along with Noosa, Three Stripes and the interesting eye patch of WA125 who still needs a nickname… were here!
Once the orca they spent a lot more time on the surface being active. The calves were riding the swell while the adults patrolled back and forth in the hotspot.
One of the perks of venturing out in rougher conditions is that the orca need to lift their heads and blowholes higher to clear the surface. This means they bring not only their entire eye patches out but also part of their white chin. When they do we can get a much better idea of their true size.
With zoomies galore, the three under three years were charging through the swell and up next to us, blowing snot over our passengers!!
Between a sea salt facial and an orca snot facial we were holding onto the vessels rails and watching on as mother nature gave us an incredible day’s worth of orca interactions.