Thar’ She Blows

18.03.2021

Just happy to be here! 

Hey blog readers, Pia here ready to deliver you with a recount of today’s Killer Whale Expedition. Another magnificent weather day out in the Bremer Canyon and if you know me – when the Sun is shining I’m happy!! 😀

We played along with the absence of orcas this morning, not too fazed as we knew that it wouldn’t be too long before a pair of eagle eyes spotted a whale blow from the boat. Blair lived up to his title of Sharky Aerials by spotting a 2 metre Hammerhead lazily lolling at the surface, lapping up the sunshine. It cruised undeterred, maybe still full from feasting on the carcass of the Blue Whale. 

INCOMING! With the calm seas, our line of sight extended a long way out towards the horizon and we could see a wall of small animals porpoising out towards us. This wall extended over 300 metres wide. Hard to miss in a calm sea. Over 200 Striped Dolphins appeared fast and very curious! They came bounding over, seeking out our vessel to ride in the slipstreams from the bow and wake. They were porpoising out and backflipping among other acrobatics! Distinctly recognised from the dark grey stripe running from their beak, towards the eye and down their flank. They have white to light pink bellies (very cute) and are only small, reaching up to 2.5 meters long. 

We stayed with them for over thirty minutes and when we continued on our orca search, 10 of the 200 or so came with us! They were enjoying the free ride!! They continued porpoising from our bow wave and were clearly enjoying how effortless it was. 

Although the dolphins momentarily distracted us, orca were on our mind.

“Thar she blows!”

The distinctive exhale of an orca makes my heart skip a beat! You would think after three seasons in the canyon I would get used to this sight, but the first orca exhale of the day still takes my breath away. 

It was Split Tip. She was accompanied by Noosa and Bindi and the rest of their pods. Their relaxed nature meant for prime orca viewing! As one pod surfaced, cameras would lift and the shutter buttons, click. But with one pod on our port, there was another on our starboard! In fact orca all around at times! Little Machi and another youngster were being chaperoned by the adult female Three Stripes! Her dorsal wound from a month ago has completely healed! She now has a half-moon shaped missing from the top of her dorsal fin! 

We flowed along the coastline of Bremer towards home. The rugged, twisted and cracked beauty of the cliffs is astonishing to see and not one we see often enough! The landscape draws us in with the stories that could be told by its scars. Thousands of years worth of unrelenting southern ocean at its face results in unique blow holes and fallen rocks! 

 

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