Southern Ocean Orca surrounded us today as three family pods foraged and impressive males Chalky, Hookfin and Blade showed off their impressive size. It was a peaceful start to the morning as over one hundred Shearwaters, Albatross and Storm Petrels flocked the area and followed the Orca’s every move. It was Blade and his family pod cruising The Patch and interestingly they were joined by Chalky and Hookfin which had us wondering if perhaps the boys were showing some interest in one of the females within Blade’s pod. Matriarchs will often be the match makers when it comes to breeding opportunities within populations and introduce their offspring to other pods. Male Orca in particular are responsible for the gene pool of their family continuing and it is important for the mother of the male Orca to ensure her sons have as many breeding opportunities as possible throughout their lifetime once they have matured.
Chalky and Hookfin are both starting to come into their prime so are certainly some of the most popular boys in town at the moment! It was lovely to see the teamwork amongst family pod members as they spent the day foraging and seemed to find some small success with squid slicks showing throughout the day. Queen, Noosa and Wonks arrived in the early afternoon and seemed to lead us directly towards an enormous Sunfish, the largest one yet for the season and he was huge. The larger the Sunfish grow the more relaxed and confident they tend to be in our interactions and this lovely fellow hardly moved as he curiously investigated our bow. Thankfully for this Sunfish he is not part of the Orca diet here in Bremer Bay so was allowed to happily swim onwards with his day ahead munching on Blue Bottles.