A quiet but enjoyable day with Orca foraging in the canyon system.
El Notcho, Cookie, Oreo and 3 other adult Killer Whales were spotted patrolling the depths as one pod and then parted forming two groups in an effort to cover more ground. They quietly and calmly searched the depths and we watched on in awe. El Notcho made our 55 tonne vessel seem insignificant as he cruised past, commanding the attention of every passenger aboard with each surface and blow!
Small slicks appeared occasionally on the horizon but nothing indicated that a predation was to unfold. We spent the afternoon hanging out with the pod and admiring the magnificent ease to which the albatross and flesh footed shearwaters glided above the swell.
Thanks to a hot tip from Dave Riggs, the live streaming from the RV Falkor gave us an insight into what lays below in the depths of the canyon that we patrol daily above the surface. Our imagination (with educated guesses) has conjured up a “bone yard” of predation kills on the hotspot and this was (almost) brought to life as a beaked whale skull was found by the ships ROV (remotely operated vehicle)!! We have been watching on in suspense and are hoping you all are tuning in to the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research activity here in the Bremer Canyons Killer Whale Watching.