The action never ceased in the canyon today with personal Orca interactions all day. We reached the canyon around 10:15 sighting 6 Orcas straight away with a large aggregation of birds swirling above them. We pulled up just near them, watching them surface rolling and tail thrashing while hearing the shearwaters squabble. Unable to spot the oil slick initially we wondered what had attracted so many sea birds to them before realising they were sharing meat from a previous kill. Orcas share food with each other to maintain and sustain the overall health of the pod. By ensuring all members are healthy they can continue to hunt efficiently and produce healthy offspring. Through observing the pod sharing food recognised Split Tip, Bindi and her calf Shadow.
Post predation shark sightings are a common occurrence in the presence of an oil slick, we kept our eyes peeled not just on the Orcas but also in the water. Although unlucky to spot any sharks during the interaction we later watched through some of the GoPro cam footage to find them looming in the background.
After sharing their food, the Orca’s became quite playful, swimming up to the boat and diving beneath the bow. Our expeditioners were thrilled, cheering and clapping and calling the Orca. They seemed to be just as interested in us rolling side on and slowly passing the port side to get a good look at both the passengers on the bow and stern. We raced from one side of the boat to the other clicking our way at the cameras like Orca-razzi making our friends famous.
Well into the afternoon the Orca continued to explore the outskirts of our vessel and our passengers, rolling and even spy hoping! Spy hopping is an inquisitive behaviour that involves the Orca raising their heads right out of the water before submerging back down. They continued to exhibit these curious and playful behaviours entertaining our exhibitioners all day.
That is until tomorrow