Summer came and went and just like that it was AUTUMN! We could definitely feel a shift in the weather this morning with an overcast and cold feel to the air. We even brought beanies out for the occasion. High winds and moderate swell, just how the orca like it!
There was plenty happening in the hotspot this morning it was just a matter of deciding where to look! Sea birds were scanning the seas from above while orca searched the depths below. Multiple pods were “fishing” in their own family groups, occasionally overlapping with each other. We hung out with El Notcho, Cookie, Oreo, Swirl and Akama for the majority of our day! Incredibly lucky to have orca all around us ALL DAY! Bonito were busting up in some areas, and we lost count when looking at the Black Browed Albatrosses. These gorgeous birds are a sight to behold, with their black eyeliner and strawberry pink lipstick on! Our photographer Keith Lightbody, an avid bird watcher, was joyful watching these seabirds fly effortlessly above.
They didn’t move much at all, never over 2 nautical mile! They were popping and dropping and with each surface the sub-adults would sneak in past us for a closer look! We just idled up and down the swell lines anticipating their next movements. They took small breaks from fishing with resting or socialising behaviour. At one point an orca spy hopped and was soon after rammed by another family member! They toussled and rolled for a moment before surging and surfing the waves. This surfing becomes even more fun when the orcas flip upside down and run parallel with our vessel!
Swirl was parading a new set of orca tooth marks down her eye patch which makes for an interesting wound! Most likely from rough-play but we will be monitoring it to see how it heals over the next few weeks.
These old faithfuls continue to keep us in equal amounts suspense and awe time and time again.