Old Friends


Delight on the high seas!

Some days you go out on an expedition to the Bremer Canyon, and it just takes your breath away. Today was one of those days! No hunts or surging or even breaching but we didn’t need any of that! We were with orca from the moment we dropped off the continental shelf right up until we made our way back up it at the end of the day. We were accompanied by low winds but BIG swells. The gentle rolling meant our vessel Alison-Maree was in its element. This vessel was built for the southern ocean and on days like today, you can really tell. 

Smack bang in the middle of the hotspot we found El Notcho and Wonks! These two males were exploring the depths below, in a rather calm fashion. Within a mile was the rest of Wonks pod, Flapper, Lil Machi, Noosa and the BIG BOSS LADY Split Tip. Lil Machi is about 2 and a half years old now and is still VERY inquisitive of our vessel. Her curiosity appeared to encourage the older females over to the boat too. It wasn’t long before the boys took their turn in having a close pass with us. El Notcho has a way of commanding your attention when he passes by. As he exhales, he slinks slowly beneath the surface, fin “sharking” and then disappears.

Cuppa tea and more Orca

More orca joined in, such as Tarni, Adina, Madison and Shredder! These orca spent the majority of the afternoon fishing, giving us the occasional zoom past. 

We spent the majority of the day with orca all around us. No matter which side you looked, there was orca. Even sitting on the back deck with a cuppa, you could spy a cheeky orca swimming through our steady wake! 

At one point a shearwater flew by and it appeared to have fishing line around its leg with a sinker attached! We quickly took photos to get a better look and our brains instantly started devising a plan on how to remove the line and weight. On closer inspection, it was actually a blue bottle jellyfish stuck to the birds leg! No harm done and the blue bottle fell off soon after while the bird was flying. It was stuck to its leg like a piece of sticky spicy spaghetti… 

With at least three pods going about their business it was amazing to see when they would cross paths. Two pods passing by like cars would on the road. Knowing they all interact at some point, whether that’s for mating or for a play date with the calves. Like old friends catching up in the streets of Bremer Bay, the orca were just the same out in the Bremer Canyon. We just sat back, rode the big swell and took it all in. Enjoy the images captured by our photographer Machi Yoshida.



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