Apart from the large pod of common dolphins that rode our wake out as we nudged over the continental shelf, it was very quiet this morning!! We searched high and low at all the usual hidey holes with not a trace of life! The air was balmy and overcast, the wind was dropping, even the white caps subsided, almost as though it was the calm before the storm! 12 pm was approaching, still with no sign of orca, then out of nowhere…you guessed it…ORCA!!! It’s almost as though they were playing an April fool trick on us because they were now EVERYWHERE!!! The orca appeared from all angles, surging out of the calm seas, porpoising right past us and off in front!
Pulses of orca were charging past us for miles as we rode the following sea. Orca began to ride in toward us, tumbling in on their pectoral side beneath the boat before popping out the other side! We had Nibbles the recently sprouted bull riding our wake, making multiple close passes by the bow as he “sharked” his dorsal fin just above the surface! The orca took us 20 miles from the hotspot over the hour, backing off their speed and consistently moving at 12nm to cruise alongside us! At one stage we could see something in the distance bobbing at the surface! As we edged closer we all burst into laughter; a NZ fur seal was basking with its flippers poking out as though it was waving at the orca that closely passed it and us!! What a brave little kiwi! As we turned for home, the females bought their calves RIGHT IN toward the vessel, with Razors newborn even porpoising its TINY body out of the water to keep up! Check out the photos and how orange it still is!! We passed the area where the blue whale was taken down over a week ago! There was STILL copious amounts of oil seeping from the carcass 70m deep with over 100 little Wilson’s storm petrels sipping the residue off the surface as we were homeward bound!!