Howzat Warnie! A spectacular day with Orca calf Warnie and his family pod who surfed the swell and showed why the Orca are one of the most incredible species to meet in the wild. A morning that began with action as the Shearwaters and Albatross squabbled over a fresh scrap of squid on the oceans surface. Just ahead of them were another hundred of their feathered friends who were fervently following the Orca as they spread out and began to move. Warnie and his family pod were in travel mode after a delicious breakfast of fresh calamari shared amongst the family provided energy for the trip ahead of them. It was surf time as the entire family joined in on the fun and began to bow and wake ride with us approaching at speed. Bellies up as they would swivel underneath our bow before appearing right alongside us and swimming directly underneath our feet, true dolphins at heart and with the moves to match!
It was then that the breaching began as over and over again each pod member launched into breaching, fluke slapping and peduncle slaps. The conversation spread amongst the pod as Irwin launched into an enormous full body breach right alongside us and through the swell. A flash of brown moved past our bow as a Mobula Ray bolted in hopes pf escaping the Orca but it was the Sunsfish that got the short end of the stick as the Orca located him and grabbed his dorsal to flip him upside down. How embarrassing for the Sunfish, bottoms up! Defiantly using his dorsal to attempt slapping the Orca he made a run for it as we watched him surge away from the area. The fun didn’t stop as the calves in the family grouped up together and practiced their breaching skills as little Warnie joined in to our delight. He is still so young and practicing this important surface language with the family is a fantastic way to build strength and coordination. The family also decided today was the day for our first proper introduction as three members calmly moved towards the bow and brought Warnie with them for his first big hello, what a special moment to share with our Pod Members onboard. One of many more wonderful interactions ahead with this family pod as we enjoyed the privilege of spending time with wild, free Orca in their powerful home of the Southern Ocean.