“Seeing dolphins as you leave the harbour is a sure sign of a great day” is a saying I have stuck by since working in the tourism industry! Today supported that as Bottlenose dolphins guided us out to sea… BON VOYAGE!
A quick journey out meant we had inshore bottlenose dolphins and orca all before 10am! How lucky are we!!
“Welcome to the Canyon” the orca appeared to gesture as the sea floor dropped away to 800 metres deep.
Cookie and her calf Oreo spied us before we spotted them! They appeared busy but still polite enough to greet our passengers with a close pass! The pod with El Notcho and Swirl were searching the depths and making space for more meals by defecating multiple times. These ‘faecal dumps’ we’re a green cloud which hung on the surface as the orca calmly swam over to us time and time again.
We decided to leave them to go about their business and went on the hunt for more ACTION! We certainly found it. Down south-west of the hotspot were the angry sausages!!! However they weren’t angry at all, just playful! This pod of almost 100 Long-Finned Pilot Whales were a maternal pod with mothers and young calves, many of whom were still displaying foetal folds. One Pilot came in close to the boat and was showing off this best upside-down double-flipper back stroke. The more it showed off the more we cheered, and this seemed to only encourage the cheeky sausage to try the manoeuvre even bigger and better.
Keeping a watchful eye over this pod of Pilot Whales was an uncommon Campbell Albatross! This species only breeds on a small New Zealand island group in the South Pacific. It had found refuge in the Bremer canyon today, looking for any opportunity to feed.
After an hour or so long interaction we moved on pushing back towards the hotspot when a 45 degree angled blow was sighted ahead! Angled blows can only mean one of two things… Either a really, really windy day or a SPERM WHALE! With the wind dropping significantly by this afternoon we knew it had to be the latter of the two options.
This solitary toothed whale logged at the surface ‘rebreathing’ after a dive down into the deep dark depths below. The dinosaur-like creature ignored us as we slowly snuck up to it trying to get a closer look. The medium-sized and wrinkle covered whale, most likely to have been a solitary male, was migrating through the area. This rounded out our trifecta of cetaceans in the canyon today!
We ventured once more back into Cookie and her pod’s main hangout and found them for the second time today. With milling about still on the agenda, we sat in the area and watched on in awe of the wild orca.
The clouds began to roll in as the wind dropped right back to a whisper. The stillness in the air and on the water was juxtaposition to the stormy clouds above. The sun’s afternoon rays beamed through these clouds and painted them a deep orange. As we cruised back towards home we watched rain squalls move in behind us creating an epic rainbow for almost the entire journey home!
Just a few days to our Augusta Whale Watching. Make sure you are tuned in to be updated!