Where are you..?
The orca were no where to be seen on arrival to the hotspot so we were trying our best to notice ANY signs of them in the area. A small raft of shearwaters on the waters surface got our attention. Within minutes TWO orca burst right out of the bird raft and straight to our vessel! They were trying to say “we’re over here!”. It was our first glimpse of the sea pandas and one that our passengers sure won’t forget. These two sub-adults jetted past over and over, I think they enjoyed the cheering passengers!
These orca started to move west with the growing swell. Going with the weather makes the ride MUCH smoother, fortunately for us we had a BIG BULL surge right in front of us! We surged along with at least 2 pods of orca for over an hour! These orca weren’t just in front of us, they were now in our wake and on both sides of our vessel. Porpoising out seemingly within arms reach, we sure we’re spoilt for interactions this morning.
We also have the inkling that when the orcas are surging it means they are on the hunt! But it seemed this surge was more of an exercise than a chance at a feed. The orca must have had enough of this game and spun 180 degrees. This meant punching DIRECTLY back into the weather. A two metre swell with at least another metre of sea on top meant our purpose southern ocean built vessel was lapping it up. These sort of southern ocean conditions can be daunting, especially for the novice sailor. But when there are orca riding alongside you, it can very easily take your mind off the forgoing weather.
To make it even more special we were riding along side little Neo! Nani was keeping a close flipper on the little calf, but he couldn’t stop the almost 1 year-old from having a hoot! It was as if Neo was trying to make us laugh. He would come right out of the water with his head and was showing off his new little teeth – soon to be shredders of the canyon prey. He would then come out backwards and do a flop onto the surface, then try a free willy (whole body out) and then burst out of the swell like a rocket! This is why he was originally given the nickname because every time he comes out he is so fast it almost makes the sound “neeeooooooooooow” like a race car.
Our afternoon was filled with the usual eye-fulls of fishing orca. One minute on the surface to every three minutes down in the depths. Before we knew it, it was time to head for the hills, literally. We set our sights on land and cruised back into port with the swell on our stern. Another sun has set on Bremer Bay, on we cannot wait to see what the rest of January has in store for us.