Introducing an Orca named Rafa as we met a young male Orca today who has not been seen for a few years and has grown so much since being first documented back in 2016. It was a lovely day with a light easterly breeze as we made our way out towards the sighting grounds and within moments of arriving dorsal fins broke the surface just ahead and we found ourselves surrounded by an oil slick and happy Orca. It was Cheryl and her family pod as they moved out towards the east and seemed to have just finished a meal of squid as the distinctive fishy scent once again wafted through The Patch. Travelling with B-Slice it was great to see him looking refreshed and ready for the day ahead as he travelled alongside us with his family pod now covering ground.
It didn’t take long before they approached the rest of their family who were also gathered around another large oil slick. Joining up with Giovanni and the rest of the family we drifted back towards the west as the family settled into relax mode. Moving in towards us and settling into a slow and steady pace we watched on as the family pod rested and travelled closely together. Taking the opportunity to catnap throughout the day ensures plenty of rest time for the Orca as they shutdown one half of the brain at a time to “sleep” in their own unique way. Eventually we found ourselves back at The Patch and after spending a couple of hours travelling with this lovely family pod we wished them well for their afternoon ahead as we joined with another family. Queen was coming straight for us as she surrounded us along with Noosa for afternoon greetings as the rest of her family settled in for their afternoon ahead.
It was very interesting to observe two young males socialising together and we could confirm that Nani was one of the youngsters, but who was his handsome friend? Nani had been socialising with Wonks earlier on but was now interacting with a young male we had not seen in a very long time. The growth rate of these young males is phenomenal and we were amazed to see how much this lovely Orca has grown. Introducing Rafa, a very handsome and easy going male who decided today was the perfect time to hangout with Nani and get up to some mischief. Members of Rafa’s family pod were not observed today so he may have been visiting on his own which is normal behaviour from these maturing males. No doubt the rest of Rafa’s family were not far away and we will be sure to keep a close eye out for them and Rafa in the days ahead.