Killer Whale Watching was spectacular today as we met with two wise matriarchs and their family pods who spent the entire day socialising with us before an afternoon of feeding and surface activity. The Queen of the canyon Split Tip greeted us shortly after arriving in The Patch and we smiled to see her happily travelling with pod members Flapper, Stormy, Adina and Wonks. It wasn’t long before a tall dorsal fin was sighted moving towards us up ahead and we could see El Notcho and his family approaching. Queen swam towards Cookie and as these two matriarchs converged we could see both pods begin to mingle, it was going to be a very social day! It was beautiful to watch as throughout the rest of our morning all pod members enjoyed each others company with plenty of spy hops, play fighting and close interactions with us as we were welcomed into the pod.
Queen was especially interactive as she swam right up to us time and time again, a very special Orca who seems to be a favourite even amongst other Orca in the population, especially younger calves like Oreo who did not leave her side all day. Chalky boy was always on the outskirts throughout the day, a few hundred meters away from everyone else but watching from afar. El Notcho was asserting his dominance towards Wonks as there was a little bit of chasing observed, Queen came over and a short time later the two boys were happily swimming alongside each other as El Notcho rolled over to show off his bigger size to Wonks. We noted that the Skipjack Tuna began to bubble all around us, launching skywards and shortly afterwards the energy changed.
All Orca launched into surging as white water went flying and the Orca were on the hunt. Just after the surge a thick oil slick appeared and we could see some of the females carrying squid in their mouths as Oreo surprised everyone with a small Sunfish which she was throwing around like a frisbee. At this time we noticed a big shadow moving towards us before surfacing right on our bow, Chalky had closed in the distance now that food was around! He stayed with us as the family moved forwards and began to tail slap, pec slap and tail lob over and over as the call went out to the others. It was incredible to watch as once again we were surrounded by Orca and both families joined in with the surface activity. After a full day with the Orca it was time to wish them well on their afternoon ahead and allow for their foraging to continue as we celebrated with champagne on the way home on another Killer Whale Watching day.