AUSTRALIA'S MOST EXPERIENCED CETACEAN EXPLORERS

Secret Orca Business

Secret Orca business unfolded today as we moved to the west and found Queen, Noosa and their families hunting squid in secret Orca business mode! It was a cozy morning with overcast skies and a very calm sea as we cruised towards The Patch but were stopped in our tracks by an all mighty splash. A flash of blue and grey erupted from the ocean and started to breach towards us, quickly we realised that a shark was coming straight for us in a hurry. It was frantically chasing prey and as it breached across the bow three more times the final moments of the hunt resulted in success as two meters next to the bow we could see the Mako upside down. White belly pointing towards us and toothy grin skywards, the powerful side to side shake of the jaw indicated that his meal was being enjoyed. A dramatic start to the morning and as we dropped over the shelf our eyes scanned for the movement of Orca on this peaceful and beautiful day to be in the Bremer Canyons.

Westward a large oil slick remained on the surface, indicating that the Orca had been in the area and successfully found squid as the unique scent still wafted on the waters surface. The gentle exhale and slinky dorsal fin of Queen (aka Split Tip) slid through the water ahead as we found ourselves amongst secret Orca business. Sharing perhaps Orca family secrets on where to find squid, Noosa was also travelling with Queen as the entire family was spread over a vast area and travelling back towards The Patch. Relaxed and at ease with the conditions they were travelling in, we were welcomed into the pod as young male Wonks cruised right alongside us for a little while, last seasons scars have healed well for this young male.

The calves were travelling with their mums in the creche as the little ones happily followed along with the family, a big adventure for these youngsters as they learn the ancient pathways of travel through their hunting grounds. Arriving back in The Patch beautiful male Chalky arrived on scene and began to flirt with a female travelling close to Noosa, some courtship behaviour was sighted as he swam belly up and underneath the female. Queen sent out the call and all pod members moved back out towards deeper water as Chalky continued his flirtatious moves with the ladies. A further family pod was also sighted on our way back towards the coast with Blade and his family members cruising through the area. The sun was now shining bright as we reflected on a beautiful day with the Orca in such a special part of the world for wildlife viewing as the Bremer Bay coastline escorted us back towards the harbour.

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