Queen of the Canyon and the master of The Patch as one of our most treasured matriarchs of the Bremer Bay Orca population came marching back into the feeding grounds with her family. Our first interaction was just after we departed the Bremer Bay Boat Harbour as the local Bottlenose Dolphins came over for morning greetings. Arriving in The Patch and looking carefully it was a warm greeting as Queen swam straight to us, cruising alongside before moving up to the bow. It has been a few days since we have last sighted her family pod and it is wonderful to see the welcome from Queen and her pod members. Stevie came racing over belly up for a quick “hug” before making her way back over to the family. They were on the move back up to The Patch and were keen to cover ground efficiently as Alki and her family pod moved up with Queen as both families were relaxed and focused on their journey.
Arriving in the foraging grounds it was time to focus on lunch as the family settled into hunt mode but were interrupted by surging Pilot Whales screaming into the area at pace! The Pilot Whales spread upon arrival as Queen kept a steady pace and calmly guided her family pod away from the excitable Pilot Whales. They followed the Orca for a short time but as Queen started to pull away the Pilot Whales regrouped and decided they would also get into foraging mode. Queen could now relax back into looking for lunch and directing her family and after some decent foraging dives a large, oily slick began to form. It was a successful kill and the pungent squid scent wafted across the area which attracted the Albatross and Shearwaters. Success for the family after a busy morning and no surprises Queen was able to secure a meal within a short time of arriving back at The Patch, that is why she is known as the Queen of the canyon.