Why do Orca surge? There are a number of different reasons why Orca launch themselves powerfully above the waters surface as they propel in high speed towards a direction of interest. Orca surge to lift their bodies above the surface when moving at speed which enables them to breath clearly without the need of slowing down. The ability to move above the surface efficiently enables them to keep that pace up and also keep consistence oxygen flowing as their heart rate increases. Today we met El Notcho and his family as they were in a foraging mode but soon after meeting them it was all about to change as Cookie (the family matriarch) signalled time to go.
They turned quickly and began to surge back towards the Patch at speed as everyone in the family spaced out over a few hundred meters. Big boy El Notcho was bow riding only meters away as Cookie and Swirl raced below our feet excitedly. The surge continued for 25 kilometres until they had reached their destination and arrived back in the exact location we had sighted a Southern Bottlenose Whale earlier in the morning, thankfully for him he had already left the area. Orca will surge to approach areas they can find prey, socialise or have been called in by other pods or pod members from a great distance away. Today this family pod had made a huge effort to surge their way back to the prime feeding grounds and prepare for an evening of foraging ahead.