Pilots, Orcas and Soaring Albatross


The colours of today were completely different to yesterday – gentle seas and gentle orcas!

Mitch our sensational decky quickly spotted a pod in the distance on arrival out to the hotspot, which materialised then disappeared right before our eyes. Ouch! After that things went quiet… Anticipation was building across the morning, as we watched and waited. No sign of birds or orca blows, the wind slack and the seas a gentle stir compared to the last couple of days. We explored the hotspot at Bremer Canyon and with no avail, we moved across to Hood Canyon to see what the oceans further south would bring. The cruising was beautiful and the amazing patrons were cheery and optimistic. We kept on, heading back to our old fav the hotspot. 

With excited shouts we finally spotted some fins! But their behaviour looked different to those beasts we’ve come to know and love. This possy turned out to be a cruising pod of long finned pilot whales – and gosh were we happy to see them. A we little calf just over a meter long was amongst the pack, with the largest male following behind. This awe inspiring sight was greatly appreciated.  

Then finally we were on! 

The same pod of orcas we have seen across the last couple of days were there, in and out of the waves, dangling the carrot of a big orca show, then diving to the depths leaving us wanting for more. Throughout the afternoon we had some lovely passes, and spent our time eyes peeled, staring out to by then a beautiful and glassy ocean. The wind had slackened right off. The orcas were in and out, and seemed to be foraging – though were doing so very casually. They were spread out wide, with the whole pod heading in the same direction – performing a coordinated search pattern in the scout for some juicy prey below (or so we hypothesised). 

We had a visit from a little shearwater, which was a little special for us, and the albatross were breathtaking. As the waves rolled by, the albatross caught the updraft created, dancing across the water with the ease of a flying kite. The cruise back home was so nice, the water like glass reflecting the clouds above, and the sun lighting up the granite rocks of the coastline ahead. Around us were what seemed like 1000’s of bait fish in large schools, with the surface of the water shimmering with their presence.

It really was a ripper of a day – thanks to all those who joined us.