The drop off the shelf brought much anticipation as all eyes were on the water, waiting for our black and white friends to drop by. Minutes after arriving in the hotspot Split Tip approached with a calf and another female as if to say Good Morning, just one quick run around the boat and back off in the direction they came from. It wasn’t long until they were back with multiple close passes alongside the boat allowing us to have a very intimate interaction. This playful pod were tricking customers and making them move from side to side, infectious laughter trailing of the boat as cheeky spy-hops and muggings lasted the better half of the day!
Pod of angry sausages (Long Finned Pilot Whales) came through in a tight formation, looked like they were on a mission, as they passed us another wave of them came through, completely opposite to their relaxed behaviour yesterday.
We then spent the next part of today with orcas criss-crossing past us, a few bulls such as Mako making an appearance, but the best was still yet to come!
Just as we thought we couldn’t squeeze any more out of the orcas our 10/10 day went into hyper drive. A single tail rose up from the family pod out in front and crashed down to the surface with an enormous thud and from there it went off like fireworks! This pod and multiple other pods in the vicinity, who we didn’t even know were there, went absolutely bananas!!
As if our day couldn’t get any better two males came racing in through the swell and then the almighty shout came from the stern “BREAAACHHH”. Speaking for myself I don’t remember much except walking out onto the back deck and witnessing Mako one of the largest bulls I have seen out here in the canyon launch himself sky high. Breaching only metres from our vessel, a wall of sound followed from our passengers as he looked to be flying in slow motion through the air. My legs went weak and as I spun around I realised the cheers, squeals and even tears from passengers matched my feeling of overwhelmed and exhilaration. Collectively the whole boat went into shock as Mako began tail slapping on our starboard side and behind him more breaches! Breach, splash, breach splash on and on. These animals, which can weigh up to 6 tonne, were launching themselves out of the deep blue with ease and catapulting back into the water leaving white water everywhere as if bombs were going off all around us, 10 maybe 15 breaches in total! What a spectacle and a memory we will all never forget, that’s for sure.
As the orca settled down we tried to collect ourselves but before we knew it they surged off… were we about to witness a predation?! How much MORE could we even handle?? The orca pushed something towards the shelf with their typical predation behaviour, alas they turned up empty and it was now time to say goodbye… with a smooth ride home and a quick stop at Glasse Island we pulled into the harbour with a beautiful blush and orange sunset sky backdrop to top off a “better than the best” day.