2m Swell from the SW and an equally vast sea from the east, provided washing machine-like yet perfect orca conditions today! After yesterday’s lull in activity the crew were eager with the anticipation rising as we approached the hotspot! Within only MOMENTS the call went out, orca off the bow, dorsal fins darting in every direction!!! The group split into two, half moving to our port and the other to our starboard! WHICH WAY TO FOLLOW??? El Notchos pod started to surge , leading us right into the weather! We trailed closely behind, picking up speed to keep on their trail! It wasn’t long before the orca dived and we lost all sight. We waited intently scanning the white-capped waves and wish-wash that was the ocean’s surface; moments felt like hours until we sighted HUGE white plumes of erupting water nearly a mile ahead of us!
The orca were OFF and on a mission, the anticipation was increasing with every metre we travelled! The customers all screaming and pointing at the many porpoising orca that appeared from the depths at EVERY angle!!! As we looked to the stern orca were surging out of the wake, riding the swell with their dorsal fins breaking the surface, “sharking” toward us, lunging down the port side, glowing as they darted toward the bow just below the surface! More cheers rose from the top deck, BREACHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! We came to a halt as the breaching orca set off a chain reaction, all sorts of energetic manoeuvres began to explode at the surface!!! With closer inspection the orca were being encroached on by, what today were, VERY angry little sausages!! Pilot whales and their calves moved at pace in a tight-knit formation toward the pods of orca, again setting off the orca into more breaches and tail slaps!!!
The pilot whales moved through the area very quickly before vanishing into the deep and disappearing within the space of minutes! By now we had observed many of our catalogued individuals with a significant number of bulls in the area! Maleko, Mako, Urkel, Nibbles and Notcho made appearances, just to name a few!! Tail slaps, free willy’s, inverted breaches and spy hops made up the majority of the coming minutes, with three ENORMOUS eruptions breaking the horizon as we watched in awe! It didn’t end here!! It wasn’t long before the group started to surge again, this time into the following sea! Many of the orca dropped back just to ride our wake once again, diving beneath the vessel changing sides as we all ran from side to side to keep up! We were keeping at 11-15 knot pace as the orca cruised alongside us with ease for over 16 mile in total!!!! We were also greeted by a female and her very young and TINY calf, still orange with foetal folds and a flopped dorsal fin, suggesting we have another NEW CALF in the canyon! With this much activity and two days of no signs of a predation, who knows what tomorrow will bring!