Today was on par with yesterday! It’s so fulfilling getting to hang out and observe the oceans apex predators and their intrinsic behaviour, from the hunt right through to the playful socialising across pods. Today we got to witness it ALL! As soon as we hit the hotspot we were lucky enough to have three pods in the vicinity, however, there were no males in sight! The composition of the groups was quite peculiar, we had groups of 3-5 animals, mature females in one group, juveniles in the other. It was another social hour! It seemed as though Split-tip was babysitting a few youngsters too, she’s such a good grandma! With the huntress (split-tip) in the canyon, we were BOUND for a KILL today!
After a morning of close encounters and epic underwater footage, the pods started to re-group into their family units. They must’ve been hungry because they were back in HUNT mode, 5-minute downtimes and intermittent passes by the vessel as they surfaced. It’d been a while with no luck…until sharky aerials (Blair) spotted a bird swirl out ahead. We left the pod we were with and charged full steam ahead over to the ever-growing oil slick! Some of the customers at the stern screamed, ORCA! The pod we’d left had got the call, they were porpoising and surging down the swell alongside us and out toward the pursuit! We felt like we were part of the pod!
As we edged closer 15+ fins broke the surface in unison! Of COURSE, split-tip was right amidst the action! Birds were already squawking and squabbling over chunks of flesh! Urkel the large bull kept on the outside as Noosa, Razor and Split-tip led the hunt. Each long dive left us in suspense! Oil slicks dotted the surface, eventually joining into one! We were in the middle of the mayhem! The action was over as quick as it started and the pods split back off into their own groups once again!
By now 2-3 more pods had sniffed out the slicks and were cruising the outskirts. For the majority of the afternoon, we came up along more and more slicks as we followed surging orca around the hotspot! Never quite making it before the takedown. The unknown is what keeps us so intrigued out here! We’d LOVE to see what happens below the surface.
With this many orca in the area, we couldn’t leave without witnessing some afternoon playtime fun! We didn’t have to wait long at all before the previously distracted orca took interest in the boat once again! Juveniles from all pods were at our bow, pushing each other out of the water, spy-hopping to eyeball us and twirling from one side of the vessel to the other! The adults even cruised in to send us off for the day!
If you thought I was done…so did I…by this moment of the day. On our journey home we sighted HUNDREDS of tiny dorsals charging toward us! A large pod of bottlenose dolphins AND their tiny calves decided to escort us home! 2-3 dolphins porpoising completely out of the wake ALL at ONCE…on EVERY wave! Nobody knew where to look OR where to point their lenses! Check out a few of our shots! This was the cherry on top of another EPIC day for our Killer Whale (Orca) Watching Adventure!