Hey guys! My name is Sarah and I was another marine intern on for this week. After an Orca-less day yesterday, all of the crew and passengers were itching for an encounter, and boy did today deliver!
A 3.5m swell and overcast weather meant as soon as we arrived at the hotspot, we were more than likely going to have our work cut out for us! Blows were spotted almost immediately and 15 minutes later, we were treated to not one, not two, but three different pods surrounding the vessel – these were Nibbles’, El Nocho’s and Digby’s pods. It was quite the social soirée! From there it only got more exciting, with each pod becoming more and more active and playful – there were breaches, surges and splashes coming from all directions! The surface activity equated to the entire seasons worth so far, and all in one action packed hour! We were absolutely spoilt for choice on where to look! It was as if the pods were having a BREACH OFF, each group launching three members of the pods out at once, that’s right, two TRIPLE breaches!!!
After such an exhilarating morning, we were eager to see what the afternoon held. The Orca’s began to calm down and resume their usual cruising behaviour, when our eagle-eyed skipper noticed a lot of white wash coming towards us from about 1km away. Sure enough, it was a massive pod of Long-finned Pilot Whales wanting to join in on the action. There are very few experiences that match the intense feeling of standing on a boat in 1000m deep water, no land in sight and you’re just waiting and watching as around 50 pilot whales surge straight towards you! Simply put – it’s over-whale-ming!
We ended the trip with El Nocho’s pod, Blade, Oreo, Spock, Swirl, Little Dundee and Razor all cruising around the boat, with El Nocho showing off his sheer size (and beauty) coming in for a closer look right at the end.
This week has been simply unforgettable, and spending the last day of my internship with Orca encounters from start to finish was enough to make me blubber!