After two days off it was evident that the crew were ready to see our giant sea panda friends again! We were all left wondering what the orca had been up to over the last few days out in the giant swell, huge gusts and roaring seas! The wind was due to drop throughout the day, even by the time we reached the canyon! Our first encounter was a lone hammerhead shark whose dorsal sliced through the surface like butter as he meandered alongside the vessel for our customers to admire. We had another guest join us in the sub-basin today, Andrew “Twiggy” Forests $250,000,000 super yacht (Pangea Ocean Explorer) which is used for various oceanographic research endeavours. The scientists and crew on board were lucky to get a few orca sightings in while they were in the vicinity, before cruising off in style. We came across an unusual sight today, Maleko the apex (largest) orca in our catalogue at the moment was porpoising through the water at high speed today AND he was all alone! Almost as though he was being a decoy, luring the vessels away from the pod. It wasn’t long until we spotted five dorsal fins cruising down the swell heading straight towards the bow! Everyone lined up their cameras for an “orcasome” photo and the orca did NOT disappoint, all five fins in a line, both large and small! For the rest of the tour the ocean calmed down and so did our pod of orca! We were lucky to witness so many close passes by a mother and her young calf! The calves are orange in colouration when born due to the blubber around their body not yet being fully developed. This leaves the blood vessels and capillaries close to the surface, hence the orange tinge! At roughly 3 months of age the calves will start to be weaned off the mums milk, incorporating meat into their diet to provide them with the nutrients needed to bulk up and build musculature. Today’s calf was so inquisitive, regularly tempting the pod to edge closer to the vessel, providing endless entertainment for the customers! It’s not often that we have the combination of calm weather conditions and curious, cruising orca!
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