Killer Whale Watching unfolded today in the Bremer Canyon as the oceans apex predator successfully hunted a Beaked Whale. Our morning began with scraps of squid left on the surface with hungry Shearwaters picking up the leftovers, the Orca had very recently hunted in this area. Searching for a little while it wasn’t long before a large cloud of birds began moving on the horizon above and as we approached the Orca surfaced. Charging over excitedly to say hello, an oil slick on the surface and food being carried in their mouths indicated another successful hunt.
Journeying with B-Slice and his pod back towards the Patch we watched as the energy suddenly changed. Fluke slapping was sighted amongst the pod members who began to congregate together quickly as they worked together as a team and we could soon see why. A Gray’s Beaked Whale had surfaced in the area and the Orca took full advantage of this opportunity as the entire family pod surrounded the Beaked Whale. The mood amongst the pod was calm and controlled as even the calves joined the hunt. It did not take long before the Orca had successfully drowned the Beaked Whale by preventing him to resurface after his last dive.
This would be one of the most effective and quickest ways to end the hunt which in many ways is much kinder to the Beaked Whale than a prolonged hunt. The Orca then spent the next 90 minutes sharing their meal amongst the family as B-Slice carefully carried a large section of skin that he would sometimes release to the surface. A day in the Bremer Canyon very few on this planet have witnessed, a successful Killer Whale watching hunt that unfolded only meters from our bow.