With clear sunny skies and a calm deep blue ocean ahead of us we had a feeling today was going to be great! On arrival to the hotspot it was very quiet, not many pelagic birds about and the ocean seemed to be eerily still, we passed through without a single splash of white water but even this could not damper our enthusiastic mood.
We thought we would try our luck and venture west to what we suspect may be another hotspot for the Bremer Sub-Basin area! With passengers relaxing on the bow and back deck soaking up the beautiful conditions time seemed to pass very slowly. However just before lunch at noon a distinctive white splash appeared far, far away on the horizon! So we boosted in the hopes of catching up to the unidentified animal causing this disturbance. Moments later another white splash, too far away from the first to be the same individual. You can imagine the crew’s excitement levels by now steadily increasing and this energy was being passed onto to the passengers too.
What was moments before a ‘glass-off’ ocean, the horizon was now dotted with white splashes. As we approached closer and closer the big black dorsal fins of the Bremer Canyon Orca were emerging among the commotion, where to look?! There was orca everywhere! Multiple large bulls were surging together and to our surprise they were being followed closely by Pilot Whales! These cute little black and white orca wanna-be’s were on a mission of their own and didn’t hang around for too long, popping up again an hour or so later before quickly scooting away once more.
We were now in the presence of up to fifty orca including a large bull Jandamarra, Slater and Alki. Many of these orca have not been catalogued yet and days like today when the orca are so relaxed and in such large numbers, is great for data collection. We spent the whole afternoon with these gentle orca as they moved further south deeper into the canyon systems. The orca at times became frisky and were also putting on a show by surfing the swell and shooting past us and even under our vessel! Very spectacular to see such a large number of orca moving and interacting as one unit.