Communicate, Congregate, Copulate

On our arrival the hotspot was riddled with birds and pilot whales in the 100s, stretching as far as the eye could see! The angry little sausages came extremely close to the vessel, even with their TINY little calves! Some of the juveniles even putting on quite a show, tail slapping and backwards breaching, making for a very impressive start to the expedition! As we ventured south of the hotspot we sighted large amounts of white water appearing at both our 10 & 1 O’clock! MORE pilot whales were between us and the surging, which we soon discovered was the work of our orca! Their speed did not subside, taking us south west, through and beyond the S-Bends, for the third day in a row now. There were orca pulsing past us, punching through our wake and riding the swell just below the surface for over 30 minutes! Both the customers and crew were kept on high alert, attempting to capture the orcas surge as they broke through the surface at speed for only a split second before launching their 7+ tonne bodies back into the water! The orca made a quick U-turn back taking us on a voyage back through the S-Bends and right smack bang into the hotspot. On our arrival back to the hotspot we were greeted by the remnants of small oil slicks, indicating the orca may have just fed on something smaller than their favourite meal (beaked whale). We soon sighted a large swirl of bird in the distance, made up of fleshy-footed shearwaters, Wilsons storm petrels and multiple species of Albatross! As we encroached on the swirl we sighted bubbles below the surface, the orca were sharing around pieces of flesh just below the surface, all keeping within close proximity of one another. It was mentioned on the bow that the orca become a lot more docile and friendly after a feed, commonly interacting closely with the vessel. Today was no exception, as the orca edged closer we soon sighted a large pink engouement as one of our bulls Nibbles turned to show us his ventral side! Not one, but TWO separate pairs of orca began to increase their skin to skin contact, fornicating freely whilst the others continued to frolick at the surface! The playful encounter consisted of spy hopping, pec slapping and rollie pollies! They sure were happy after their feed! As we turned for home, picking up speed the many orca proceeded to ride down our wake, making for the perfect end to a very eventful day in the canyon! 

















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