Today we were escorted past short beach by a pod of energetic common dolphins on our voyage out to the Canyon. As we reached the hotspot we sighted orca almost instantly! However the orca were in high hunt mode all day today! El Notchos pod displayed unconcern with the vessel as they searched the canyon for a cetacean feast!
We kept searching for other pods across different areas of the canyon outside of the known “hotspot”, where we encountered Chalkies pod, whom also displayed disinterest as they were also heavily on the hunt!
The two pods in the vicinity kept their distance with a male from one pod and a female from the other making tracks for each other. At first glance the male that had split off from his pod was identified as a “sprouter”, the term used when a sub-adult males falcate (curved) fin starts to straighten out and get MUCH taller. This development occurs when the male is reaching sexual maturity (around 15 years of age). The male quickly darted over to a female from another pod where the two proceeded to approach the vessel at high speed. To our astonishment the male was indeed a “sprouter” and I do not mean his dorsal fin! It wasn’t only our eyes bulging when we encountered the semen-ly stimulated young whale whom was quite clearly endowed with ample prehensile genitalia! The males ventral view was definitive of a large pink engorgement reaching up to 1.8m, coincidently the same size as a mature males erect dorsal fin)! The pair continued to manoeuvre in a playful embrace as they proceeded to fornicate throughout the open ocean! We can only hope it ended in an ORCASM!
The deep blue sub-basin was kind to us on our journey today! We came across an array of other deep sea species in between our orca encounters! Firstly a poor dead blue penguin bobbed past the vessel! Secondly we came across the remains of red arrow squid and closely after a large piece of GIANT squid being dismantled by a swirl of birds AND two beautiful iridescent blue sharks!! As we ventured back towards home we were lucky enough to be greeted by the largest sun fish of the season with its dorsal fin standing high out of the water! The cherry on top of the what had already been an incredibly diverse tour was the dolphins that road our wake back toward Glasse Island!