The first Bremer Bay Sperm Whale sighting for Season 2020 happened onboard today! A long and anticipated wait as we normally have 2-3 sightings during the start of the season, but this year we had to wait a bit longer. Departing on another beautiful morning, we met within five minutes a pod of Common Dolphins foraging on Pilchards very close to shore as they enjoyed some fresh breakfast. It was a perfect morning so our guests were able to enjoy some morning sunshine out on the bow as we cruised out to the Patch and just as we arrived a tall dorsal fin bobbed up in front of us. Completely still and not moving, we made a gentle approach and quickly realised we had a 5ft Hammerhead Shark basking in the sunshine! He was lovely and came over to have a curious look before shyly turning away, he isn’t the biggest predator in these canyons.
We began our search for the Orca and were accompanied by many schools of jumping Jackfish Tuna who were chasing even smaller fish as they tried to capture their meal. Our first sighting of a muffled blow to our port side was exciting, but at a distance this Sperm Whale dived soon after and we continued on but carefully kept an eye open for his return. Then he was back, the first Bremer Bay Sperm Whale sighting for the season was unfolding and as we approached he was completely relaxed as the exchange of oxygen took some time. He was breathing regular and just sat a few meters away from our bow, he decided to have a quick restroom break (whale poo collecting complete as well today!) and then lifted his magnificent fluke in a powerful dive which took him back down to the depths of the canyon. The worlds largest brain and largest tooth predator was our company for a while and we were very excited to meet this special individual and first for 2020.
Returning back to the Patch, El Notcho and his family pod had also began to move back through their regular feeding grounds and it was hunting time. A large Sunfish also popped up right on our bow and stole the show for a few minutes before our attention then returned back to the Orca! Cookie was leading the hunt and keeping consistent surface time along with 5-8 minute dives down to the depths with big round outs. It proved successful as a small amount of food was being carried in Spock and Cookies mouth, something only small but enough to encourage them to continue on with the hunt as the afternoon sunshine and sleepy Australian Sea Lions completed a very interesting and species filled day out in the Bremer Canyon.