With partly good luck, a trained eye or 10 onboard, a positive attitude and a looooot of good vibes sent out into the cosmos we’re always in for a good day! We also have a little saying here at Nat Charters that “ when one of the crew are on their first day back from their week off then we’re in for a cracker day” and the ancient proverb surely held up today!
Instantaneous action! We had pods at our 11, 1 and 3 o’clock as soon as we hit the hotspot. We we’re still too far away to discern the individuals but they were headed our way and fast. One of the pods shortly changed direction with three juveniles beginning to surge at our stern. We all looked amongst one another….It couldn’t be! The calves often play and porpoise out of the water giving us false hope of a predation BUT this time we weren’t disappointed!!! The three pods picked up speed and fleeted toward the west with TWO other pods still gaining on us from the east. It felt like only seconds later the pods had already taken us over 7 miles! Customers were calling from the stern “they’re coming”!!! We had two bulls, FUE and IRWIN, one either side of the wakes whitewash and juuuust insight as they sharked beneath the surface, teasing us as to when they’d erupt out of the water toward us! At this point, every person on board had their phones up getting the most epic footage! The new pod which we’ve uncovered is IRWIN’s gang who we haven’t seen much since 2015/16 were back, this time also with Fue’s pod and bonkers an orca we also rarely encounter!
The water went still ahead of us, the orcas had dropped. We were all discussing what we thought they were attempting to predate on. “Beaked whales, squid, a BLUE WHALE, A juvenile sperm whale”!?! The list went on, whatever it was it HAD to be big, really big to call in 6 pods from the outskirts of the canyon! Our eyes were all scanning from any discrepancies at the surface. After a prolonged dive the anticipation was rising as the orcas did. The pods almost seemed disheartened as they came up short!
It didn’t take long for the calves to get distracted by our hull and come for some entertainment, we couldn’t decide whether they were amusing us or vice versa! Cheers and “whaling” all around!
The afternoon was full of socialising and seemingly recent courtship behaviour from the presence of rake marks and other scratches amongst friends. We were also greeted by a few local favourites, NIBBLES, Digby, Split tip, Little Dun-DEE, Dot, Razor, Blade and her little friend Shepp! It’s always pleasing to have some familiar faces playing around the hull with the regular close passes as the cherry on top on an incredible day in the canyon! We were completely stationary in the sunshine whilst the juveniles spy-hopped and splashed doing donuts around us! As we lent over the side waiting for the next pass you couldn’t help but stare into the vibrant deep blue depths! Our last pass was evident of hundreds of colonised salps, barrel-shaped, planktic tunicates! Fun fact – salps are taxonomically closer related to humans than jellyfish!!! (due to their presence of a backbone)!!!