We set of today heading out to the canyon with hungry eyes in search of our apex predator that appeared to be MIA yesterday. Lucky for us today we managed to locate them just off the shelf as soon as we had arrived in the canyon. The loose pod of 6 consisted of one large familiar male, Blackberry whom we have seen in previous years, another younger familiar male and 4 other new animals. With 5 birds circling overhead and only seeing the tip of their dorsal fin surface every now and again we were curious to know what was going on below the surface.
We followed the pod through the canyon as they tracked eastwards gliding along the 500m contour line surfacing intermediately. Being the first time, we had followed them east we were interested in how far they would travel before returning to the hotspot. Shadowing the tracks of the Orcas we distracted ourselves momentarily by the close passing albatross flying overhead. Both the Shy and Indian yellow nosed weaved in front of us before almost skimming the top of a passenger's head. The Indian yellow nosed, commonly seen on our voyages is a migratory sea bird. They nest on Amsterdam Island around September to lay their eggs before travelling to south coastal waters of Western Australia around March.
Towards the afternoon the Orca's energy levels picked up as they began surfacing frequently, occasionally porpoising out of the water. While still following behind we started to get ID shots of the unidentified animals as they surfaced, examining their eye patches and saddle patches. New animals are always interesting here in the Bremer canyon as they continue to add to our existing knowledge of their population. At current there are over 100 catalogued individuals with possibly many more.
We concluded the voyage after having followed the new pod out a total of 30 miles!!! A new record for our tours. Heading back into shore we passed through the Doubtful islands, a first for some of our new crew and a scenic one at that.
Can't say the traffic was too bad either! ;)