Low wind, small swell….no orca! That’s right, as tour operators we usually despise the large seas, however in Bremer we encourage the wind gods! Our orca thrive amongst the crashing waves and white wash as these conditions are deemed best for the killer whales when “orca-strating” a hunt! With near glass-off conditions we were left scanning the crystal blue waters for hours on end, only to come across two lone mola-mola (sunfish) who were utilising the calm conditions to sunbathe and snack on jellyfish. With baitfish and skipjacks shimmering across the surface as far as the eye could see we thought we might come across at least a hungry shark or a beaked whale feeding, yet as we edged closer…nothing! By now it was nearing 3pm, the customers were weary and beginning to lose all hope…then over the radio we heard the words of an angel….ORCA ORCA ORCA!!!! The customers (and crew) rose from their posts, rushing to the bow of the boat with mist from the blows FINALLY breaking the surface! Dorsal fins surrounded the boat, the only noise we could hear was the furious clicking of camera shutters and the orca calves vocalisations above the surface communicating and screeching at its mum!! In particular, four killer whales stole our attention! The playful manoeuvres and skin to skin contact between the group was on a level we had yet to ever witness! The behaviour resembled giant dolphins, using their heads to launch each other out of the water over and over, nudging closer and closer! The four animals included the mother, calf and two juveniles (one being a sprouting male). Endless tail slaps, close encounters, spy hops, breaches, flops and porpoising made up the next 40 minutes of interactions!! The whole boat stood, smiling and taking in the activity in awe! We were unable to identify any of the animals from the pod, suggesting we may have ANOTHER new (and VERY boisterous) calf amidst an entirely new family!!! Welcome to the canyon, persistence really does pay off out here!
What a SPECIAL show!
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