Upon arriving to the hotspot we observed three pods hunting together, and that’s only what we could see! They were fairly spread with the usual oil slicks appearing suggesting they were having a feed. It seemed to be relatively relaxed when all of a sudden a double breach stirred up the ocean and the orca were off surging west! Nibbles became very excited and veered off to the south with a female friend. We, of course followed… allowing an appropriate distance between us and the shacked up pair to get IT ON!
The juvenile orca stayed to the North ‘playing’ in the turbulent seas, cartwheeling, pushing and shoving each other around, racing past the vessel and then managing a back flop. They appeared to then be having a competition on who could tail slap the loudest until Nibbles, having done the deed, came over and showed them who was boss. He tailed slapped, threw his peduncle out of the water and cartwheeled too. Nibbles, who is coming of age – observed by his dorsal fin becoming erect and other activities as suggested above – couldn’t help himself but join in with the two youngsters.
As these orca kept us entertained, the females were off hunting with more oil slicks were appearing on the surface. We are now becoming almost as desperate as the opportunistic birds are, waiting for a small scrap to rise up to the surface so we can get a positive identification on the food. If only we could speak to the whales and learn about what foods they love! Stay tune for our daily Killer Whale Expeditions update.