A hazey horizon this morning and smooth sailing conditions started what would turn out to be a magical day in the canyon! The hotspot sure was hot as on our arrival we were met with a large pod of Long Finned Pilot Whales. They were showing playful and mating behaviour, with spy hops galore, one large male even had his tackle out… Lots of teeny tiny babies still showing their foetal folds (chubby baby rolls) which suggests a very healthy and happy population!
The orca were soon sighted off on the horizon however it turns out that orca could actually be seen all day on the horizon as there was so many in the area! We were surrounded the entire time out in the canyon and as the orcas very slowly cruised out of the hotspot we realised that we were among at least four pods, Noosa’s, Mako’s, Split Tip’s and Cookie’s. There must have been something in the air as the bull El Notcho, typically with his mother Cookie, was following one of the females from Noosa’s pod very closely, potentially in hopes of finding himself a lady friend.
We spent the day amidst the various orcas as they travelled, some became playful and curious of our presence with spy hops all around, rolling and bumping into each other, close passes and bow riding. Every now and again an orca would breach multiple times and within minutes the gangs of Pilot Whales would surge through the area like the angry little sausages that they are but never spending too long in the orcas presence.
With smiles from ear to ear and having already been spoilt with orca we stood on the bow of the vessel as Split Tip swam past and rested at the surface, she then made a deep humming sound from her blow hole, as if to be blowing raspberries at us! She rolled off and away but her position was soon taken up by one of the calves in the pod. It came over and blew a raspberry at us too and then bolted off tail slapping all the way back to the pod!!
With the adults in line formation back out in front this calf from earlier and Lil Machi, another young calf, played alongside us spy hopping, back flopping and porpoising, maybe they were trying to practice their breaches until the adults came back around and scooped them up moving them along. By now it was time for us to say goodbye. We spent the next hour pinching ourselves, what. a. day.
From myself and Machi today was bitter sweet as it was our last day for the season, so from us it is goodbye and we hope you have enjoyed the photos and blogs from us this year! Brodee will be back for more amazing content to see out the end of the season so STAY POSTED!