Are Killer Whales Dolphins? Yes, the largest dolphin in the world is the Killer Whale (Orca) and today we met magnificent male B-Slice who spent his day surfing with us through the Southern Ocean. Moments after arriving in The Patch we had Orca right in front of the bow as Cheryl and her family surfaced. Relaxed, curious and social behaviour was sighted as the family milled about and never ventured too far away. Blows further up ahead were sighted and we could see B-Slice and pod members swimming directly towards us as the family regrouped and began to organise themselves for their morning ahead. Speed increased and the family moved consistently to the west as they used the swell to surf and conserve some of their own energy required to make the trip. Orca calf and youngest member of the family Millie raced alongside mum, she is always excited to be involved in every aspect of family pod life and continues to grow in confidence daily.
Channelling his inner dolphin, B-Slice approached us like a torpedo and raced underneath our bow before pivoting back around. The next hour resulted in incredible moments with this special boy as he surfed alongside us and enjoyed some wake and bow riding. Thoroughly enjoying our time, it seemed that B-Slice was loving the interaction as well and we could see him approach and tilt his body sideways so he was better able to look through the water and back up towards everyone looking at him. The enormous size of this growing male is hard to fathom when he is this close to us and the strength within him is incredible. B-Slice was fundamental in the final moments of the Minke Whale Hunt back on the 9th February as he continues to hone in his hunting skills. Never leaving our side for more than five minutes, B-Slice certainly enjoyed a bit of surf time while the rest of his family continued up ahead. Eventually everyone did regroup once again and began the slower journey back up towards The Patch. A large Sunfish popped up close to our bow and the Orca didn’t show much interest with focus on returning back to preferred feeding grounds their priority.