Intense Orca interaction onboard todays tour as from the moment we arrived in The Patch we were greeted by playful Orca before a squid hunt unfolded with intense surging to the food source. It was a wonderful way to start the morning as some of the calves from Queens family pod were busy feasting on a kill that had been made earlier. The squid was shared amongst the pod members and afterwards it was all about playtime as they surrounded us and began to practice their hunting techniques. Twisting, rolling and lifting each other above the sea it was remarkable to watch as they played and socialised together with much excitement and joy.
The next generation of Queens family pod is certainly looking healthy and building strong family bonds as each play session increases coordination, strength and agility. Playing for over two hours we noticed the elders of the family call in the calves just as the little ones moved past our stern we could see their flukes accelerate as they sped off at pace. The rest of the family pod had regrouped and launched into an incredible surge as they took off and propelled themselves through the swell. It was spectacular to observe as they flew clear of the ocean below and covered ground, the hunt was on. Just ahead Cookie and her family pod had slowed and Queens pod members charged towards them before pulling up quickly as they dived and a slick formed shortly afterwards. It appeared a squid had been captured as the family pods spread out again with Queens family carrying the food and feasting as the seabirds gathered.
Samurai and the other calves once again returned for social time as they came so very close and welcomed us into their playtime. Samurai is so cheeky and decided to swim right up to our GoPro for a closer inspection as our Marine Scientist Katy enjoyed an eye to eye experience with this gorgeous calf. You can hear on the sound recording Samurai having a good old chat with us as well, how adorable! Spending all morning with these youngsters it was now time to join one of the other family pods as we caught up with Cheryl and big boy B-Slice who swam right alongside us for the rest of the afternoon. A most wonderful and intense Orca interaction today as we were welcomed into the world of these intelligent apex predators.