WOW what a day! Words don’t describe how magnificent and exhilarating our expedition was today.
We had a huge array of marine animals today. Lots of diversity amongst the seabirds too! It was one of those days where no matter where you looked there was something going on.
With three pods on the hotspot this morning, it was the usual suspects who were patrolling the depths. El Notcho, Split Tip …. In between fishing mode they were playful, erupting out of the choppy waves, head or tail first! Little did we know this explosive behaviour may have been a sign of what was to come!
And then they were off! You know the drill, they headed west along the 1000 metre contour line. There were orca as far as the eye could see in all directions. The three pods soon turned to five PLUS. Orca were porpoising left, right, centre, behind! We were following a large male up ahead and smaller juveniles were coming in to surf our wake and hitch a quick ride.
Birds were swirling and then the most mind-blowing encounter of the day occurred.
There was white wash and splashing up ahead where a couple large bulls had just been sighted…. did they have something? Were they hunting?! All of a sudden they were headed back our way and the splashing became more intense….. A large mass surfaced and bobbed in the waves for a split second. It was not black and white which means it wasn’t Orca! They did have something!!!! This light grey/brown mass rolled and then moved closer and closer. A large angled blow clouded the sky above and the back of the beast arched…. it.was.humungous. We instantly guessed a beaked whale but for this size? NO WAY, it was something much bigger than anticipated.
It moved closer again and the small triangle fin showed. A SPERM WHALE?! The orca were causing commotion with a BULL Sperm Whale. It wasn’t a small whale either… A full grown adult male.. and it was headed our way! Another big exhale from the beast and it took off along the surface as fast as it could with a sub-adult orca hot on its tail. No oil, no blood, the birds weren’t interested. Maybe a case of wrong time and place for this prehistoric creature. It bolted and the orca continued about their playful business as we were left picking our jaws up off the floor.
Two pods of angry sausages greeted us next way west of the hotspot.
We turned and left the orca and watched these curious creatures for a moment. They were in tight formation and were very busy – not time for vessel curiosity today. We followed them part way back to the hotspot before the orcas were running parrallel with us again.
Between orca viewing we sighted a New Zealand Fur Seal and a BIG Sunfish, both lazing about on the surface soaking up the sun rays and not bothered by the close presence of apex predators.
What a day. what more could we want? Oh, why not throw in a pod of feeding dolphins on our journey home! They were going BANANAS for a school of Nannygai fish up on the continental shelf. They rode our wake and showed off their fishing skills!
Overwhelmed and stoked on another epic day out with the Bremer Bay Killer Whales.