Love is in the air! <3
Okay, okay, it’s us and we ARE IN LOVE with the orca of Bremer Bay. These apex predators have our hearts and we aren’t afraid to admit that!
As we dropped off the continental shelf where the water drops from 80m to 800m in dramatic fashion we sighted our first few blows. The skies were filled with Flesh-Footed Shearwaters but there were no signs of predation occurring! The blows belonged to El Notcho’s pod and they were in fishing mode. This means they were not spending much time on the surface! However, when they did come up to breathe they were making sure to swing by for a close-up, creating a once in a lifetime orca experience.
We were with them for the majority of the morning until WHOOOOSH! A large male orca surged out of the swell lines heading east. It wasn’t long before three, four and five orca surged to catch up. It was Nibbles and Digby plus the rest of their family pods. These pods contain a large amount of very curious youngsters and they sure put on an orca experience spectacle for us. With orca on our bow, we had a mother and calf porpoising in our wake and riding the surf.
These orcas were socialising and practicing their playful surface activities. Such as spy hopping and back flops. One large female was observed doing the strangest behaviour! She was riding the wave but instead of being underwater her head was stuck out! This created a wave on her rostrum (front of the mouth) which she kept up for what felt like the longest time! This wave was huge as if to give her a bubble spa bath on her chin!
The calf, Blade, was here among a comrade of other under 5 year olds. They all melted our hearts with their behaviour which is getting more precise and stronger each time we see them. They aren’t as floppy or clumsy as they once used to be! More like apex predators now.
We spent the rest of the afternoon with this pod, they moved back to the hotspot and we rested and fished with them to round out our day. Just as we were leaving we noticed a fin! It was a small Hammerhead Shark! The orca were not fazed by its presence and it seems to be soaking up the last of the day’s sun rays, by lazily swimming along the surface.