We are extremely lucky to be able to have Marine Biology Interns accompany us to the canyon. These interns are students studying some form of marine science at university in Australia. The internship provides a whole new experience for these students to see one aspect of the marine industry! Jade, our intern this week has been an absolute legend and here is her blog for today and a review from her week as our intern.
Another beautiful day out in the Bremer Canyon! The weather had held off to treat us to another low wind, low swell day! Perfect to see the orcas in their natural habitat. The Orca were just slowly cruising today, most likely having a rest day before more excitable behaviours for the weekend. Throughout the day we were greeted by the local males Maleko, Chalky and El Notcho, as well as Cookie and Oreo who were meandering through the water. A cheeky spy hop was also spotted between two calves playing right beside the boat, as one attempted to steal a fish caught from the others mouth!
Around lunchtime, just as the sun started to peek through the clouds for the first time of the day, a small fin emerged out the the water suddenly. The little fin not only belonging to a Sunfish! Very fitting for the weather conditions! We waved hello to the Sunfish as he waved back before slowly drifting away with the swell as we continued our search for more whales.
Just before heading in to conclude the end of the day, one last encounter with Nibbles and his few crew, who we hadn’t seen all day was the start to a perfect end of the day. A calf from the pod then rolled onto his back, with his white belly gleaming through the water and gave a little wave with his pectoral fin as a special treat! What a beautiful way to be sent on our way back home on our Friday afternoon!
New Beginnings in Bremer.
Wow! What an amazing week we’ve had in Bremer!
Coming from not even being aware that Orca were locals off the coast of the beautiful Bremer Bay, to witnessing the pods chase Sunfish out of the water is an experience that I will never forget.
My name is Jade Cantrall and I am the third intern for this years season at Naturaliste Charters and am absolutely frothing the time being spent here! This is my first time in Bremer Bay and first time seeing these wonderful and majestic creatures.
Growing up in Geraldton, I’ve always been surrounded by marine organisms from the local sea lions to crayfish underneath reef ledges, but never would I had thought I’d be lucky enough to have the opportunity to work on the boat for a week with an animal as amazing as this and a crew as welcoming as the Naturaliste crew is!
I am currently in my second year of a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Biology, studying over east in Townsville at James Cook University. It has been a wonderful experience moving over there last year and has been super lucky to have the opportunity to come back home and score work in Bremer for the week!
In my first three days on the boat, I have seen more than what I could’ve bargained for. On the first day, the swell and wind were larger than usual, which lead to become fortunate for the people in board as the Orca rode through the waves, much like dolphins would if the surf was up! Lots of socialising from the locals with El Notcho and Cookies pods coming around the boat and checking out the land bearers, coming up along the side of the boat which was amazing to see for a first timer!
On the second day, although dreary and drizzling, the weather had calmed down, with swell and the wind leading us to a lovely and flattened day out on the water! With a jam packed morning, we sighted lots of bird activity after reaching the continental shelf and decided to check out what all the commotion was about. Little would we know that the 2 Orca pods in the area had taken down an unknown source of meat for their brunch, leaving the birds with strains of meat scraps to fill their bellies, beating off the oncoming pod of Pilot Whales who were too late to try and get a piece of whatever was left.
Yesterday’s conditions was much the same as Wednesdays, leaving us with smooth sailing towards the shelf. With a slow and prolonged start to the morning, we were super lucky in the afternoon to have lots of social and hunting activity from El Notcho and Cookies pod. We were greeted with several tail slaps and half breaches from the mammals, followed by Cookie and Oreo chasing a poor sunfish out of the water and flicking it to one another! It was amazing to see!! The poor sunfish didn’t get granted mercy from the two unfortunately, but it was definitely an exciting moment shared by all. Coming back into land, we stopped off at Glassy Island to have a last look at the Sea Lions and Seals that rest there. Everybody on the boat were amazed to find not 1, but 6 Little Penguins that were hidden in a little crevasse of the rock, most likely staying put while they moult their old feathers on their back for fresh new beautiful feathers for the oncoming year!
Closing to the end of an incredible couple of days on the boat in Bremer, all I can say is WOW, how can somebody say no to a once in a lifetime opportunity quite like this!