Killer Whales Live Up to Their Name

The Bremer Bay Killer Whales lived up to their name today after another successful Beaked Whale hunt unfolded in The Patch only 30 kilometres from Bremer Bay. A beautiful morning escorted us towards the hunting grounds and halfway we were greeted by friendly and enthusiastic Common Dolphins porpoising their way towards us. It was a great start to our morning and as we slowed on arrival in The Patch the call went out from the stern, Orca were in town. The large, faint residue of an oil slick and dozens of Storm Petrels indicated that a kill had been made earlier on in the morning and we watched on as Cookie and her family cruised past. El Notcho was in stealth mode as he joined the rest of his family pod in ever so quietly looking for that next meal opportunity.

Queen, Noosa and Alki along with their families arrived in The Patch and everyone went to work, except for a few moments when cheeky Madison raced over to say hello to everyone on the bow! The hunt was on and we watched in amazement as instantly all the families which equalled to over 40 Orca accelerated and began to surge towards us with momentum. Then the first of the fluke slaps began which created a chain reaction as we were surrounded by surface active Orca breaching, tail lobbing and fluke slapping. Stormy launched into full bodied breaches right alongside us as the females ahead breached over and over again, white water flying all around. We could then observe everyone converge together and begin to herd the Beaked Whale before the Orca all moved as one to just below the surface where we could observe bubble veils forming a circle that completely surrounded and disorientated the Beaked Whale.

The hunt completed quickly from there as the birds began to dive, an enormous oil slick appeared and the Orca celebrated with further surface activity. The meal was then shared amongst the family pods as each group gathered their meal and moved off to share amongst pod members. We could see the older females carrying food and encouraging their calves to tear mouthfuls for themselves. The birds were also carrying small amounts of flesh which they would dive for just below the surface before they sunk to the depths below. The Killer Whales lived up to their name today and it as a truly incredible opportunity to witness such a powerful and coordinated hunt, to have Joined The Pod with the apex predators of our ocean on a hunt of a lifetime for our guests.

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