Today was beyond a textbook and for lack of a better word… EPIC!
We had orca the moment we hit the hotspot! The level of social behaviour today, both within and across pods stands FAR beyond ANY other we have EVER encountered! From 10am RIGHT through until 2 pm we had orca within an arm’s reach of the vessel! We casually cruised beside and behind juveniles from multiple pods as their passing parents darted and danced amongst them!
Orca use skin to skin touch to show their affection toward one another, both amongst family members and their fellow canyon dwellers! Youngsters from multiple pods brushed up against one another, flipping and flopping under and over each other at our bow for FOUR whole hours!!!!
The orcas surface activity and energy grew with every cheer and scream! The atmosphere in the canyon soon became infectious amongst everyone, human and orca alike! The comradery grew so much so that we began yelling out what we’d like to see next! The first call was for a spy-hop….! Moments later a juvenile barely three years of age launched its tiny head and pec fins above the surface! We couldn’t believe our eyes!!! Next, the screams for a DOUBLE SPY-HOP…surely not! We barely had time to blink before TWO calves launched into a hovering hug! HOW?!?! Next, the call went out for a BREACH!!!!! Now we were just getting cocky! You wouldn’t guess it….a calf hauled its ENTIRE BODY out of the water! A truly RARE sight!!! Now we were getting greedy, calls for both a FREE WILLY and a DOUBLE BREACH were called out into the cosmos!!! Now you’d be silly to think this would happen….a DOUBLE, UPSIDEDOWN FREE WILLY! Photos of ALL to confirm the chaos!!
Now eventually, with the sheer amount of energy being exerted by each and every orca, we thought we were bound for a kill of sorts! The activity continued well past 3 pm as the orca lead us SW passed the S-Bends. You’d never guess what happened next…neither did we, even whilst looking straight at it!
Today we had another canyon first!!!! We had a fleeting glimpse of light grey/orange head breaking the surface just ahead of the bow, A NEW ORCA CALF?!?! As the orca darted in toward us it seemed as if they were chasing it, and they were! However it wasn’t an orca at all, it was a juvenile sunfish! Once it broke the surface again (right beside the vessel) we uncovered that it now had no face! A huge chunk had been torn and ripped out of the sunfish. The sunfish flashed at the surface for an instant amidst the whitewash, as four orca thrashed to get the next bite. It only took one blink!!! You could’ve easily missed the entire event! An adolescent orca rose from depths and right alongside the vessel! The orca porpoised right out of the water, engulfing the ENTIRE sunfish in one quick snap of its jaws before disappearing beneath the boat again! Just like that, and thanks to one of our customers, ALL on film, we encountered during our Bremer Canyon Whale Watching Tour an Orca eating a sunfish for the FIRST time!!!