First day of the new month and a public holiday weekend meant we were ready for a big one!
Forecasted to be rough, we were expecting the orca whale watching tour to be EPIC, as they always are on bigger swell days. Except today the wild orca decided to play the “keep the tourists guessing” game! As soon as we think we know or understand the Orca they throw a spanner in the works to keep us on our toes. Maybe not ALL wild sea days contain wildly active Orca …?
A slow and steady trip out unfortunately claimed a few causalities to sea sickness but preparedness, patience and trusting the crew meant we were able to venture out and begin our Orca search.
Within thirty minutes of arriving our first Orca was sighted!! Except that was it… just the one! This large female took off quicker than she came in and was not seen again…!
With over a hundred Shearwaters, Albatrosses and Storm Petrels swirling above the hotspot we knew there must have been more Orca! With eager passengers we persisted and sighted the Orca again! This time a female – most likely the same as earlier – came zooming in from our bow, raced down the swell under our vessel and as before was not to be seen again…
Time flew as our skipper held the vessel steady in the turbulent seas and we scoured the raging sea for any small sign of Orca!
It wasn’t a small sign that gave their position away but in fact a very big one! A huge jet black almost perfectly unscarred dorsal arose from the surface and the pure MUSCLE body that followed belonged to Maleko! He was joined by Blackberry, another very large male, who we have rarely sighted this season. They passed along our Port side multiple times allowing our passengers to get an up close view of how beefy these dolphins are… there is certainly no lack of food for the Orca out here!
As we surfed down the 3 metre swell heading North a familiar orange object came porpoising from the surface -NEEEOOOOWWWWWW! It was Neo the young neonate and he was closely flanked by the rest of his family pod. They had no time for us today but still managed a quick scout past our vessel to say g’day!
An exciting but fierce day to say the least! We found respite on the journey home with a following sea, with some exhausted passengers only opening their eyes for cake and a cuppa!