The crew were doing the daily routine and informing the customers that were about to drop over the continental shelf when all of a sudden we were ON! Before we even reached the 1000m contour line we spotted an immense amount of white water, fins and the largest oil slick we have seen this season! Falcate fins dominated the area with no bulls in sight. The swirl of birds grew larger as the scrap pieces of meat floated up from the bubbles and turbulence of the orcas thrashing beneath the surface. We were MINUTES too late! The predation occurs just before our arrival, AGAIN just missing the sighing of what they had taken down. The number of orca in the area indicated the co-operation of multiple pods to take down whatever they had come across. Within minutes the pods started to part their separate ways back toward the hotspot.
As we trialled behind one pod we soon sighted another in the near distance. At least four pods were on patrol. A quick observation from the crew was that there were minimal sightings of the bulls today. Where were they….? Throughout the day there were only quick glances of large isosceles triangle fins in the distance. The bulls were definitely keeping their distance! This made us realise how lucky we had been over the past two days having bulls eyeball our gopros as they inspected out hull for all to see!
Another new individuals was sighted today! Hello razor! This cheeky female got the rest of the pod riled up with ten porpoising orca soon becoming breaches, peduncle slaps and tail slashes as they sped in front of the boat. The breaches set off a chain reaction as the pod beyond the bow soon communicated back with even larger breaches! We waited in anticipation for the pod beside us to leave us for dead. However, the orca were unpredictable yet again, diving to the depths instead. From then on the pods were on the hunt! As they cruised back toward the hotspot for the third time we decided to stay at a steady 7 knots. To our excitement the orca decided to use the boat to ride the wake and hitch a ride, coming up from behind the boat on either side, darting towards the bow before they rolled underneath and back again in the smoothest of motions ever so effortlessly! Just watch the Instagram stories we post daily to see the reactions of the customers AND crew, it is truly infectious! Seeing these amazing creatures switch from predator mode to bow riding dolphin mode is mind blowing for all of us, even after 5 years!!! It was another amazing day in Bremer Bay!