Witness the Bremer Orca hunt as today over 80 known Orca completed a successful hunt of an adult male Cuvier’s Beaked Whale during a phenomenal day with the Orca of Bremer Bay. It was set to be a cool day as thunderstorms rumbled towards the mainland but the journey to the Orca sighting grounds was clear. Arriving at The Patch we scanned carefully and came across Alki and a few members of her pod as they seemed focused and we waited carefully for that next surfacing. The ocean erupted as to our port side they surged, launching forwards with incredible momentum as The Patch came to life with dozens of Orca hitting top speeds as they raced towards the calls. Queen and her family had found something and their commotion had captured the attention of all others as they flew as fast as they could towards the surrounded prey.
Noosa was right in the mix alongside Queen and Three Stripes as they had control of the adult male Cuvier’s Beaked Whale and were keeping him calm at the surface. He tried to outmanoeuvre them but was completely surrounded as the Orca strategically targeted arteries to increase blood loss. It was clear to see after another impacting bite the entire pod peeled back and allowed the Cuvier’s to swim ahead of them and we could observe the heavy blood loss trail as he moved forward. The families began to breach and tail slap to cause him to continue moving and maintaining a high heart rate. The tactic worked well as we could see him losing energy and become weaker in his movements as he appeared to lose consciousness as the family closed in for the final stage of the hunt. It ended at that point and the family pods involved erupted in celebrations as they lit up the Southern Ocean with incredible surface activity.
During this time we were approached by an old friend we had been missing, it was Cookie! She was back in The Patch and so very excited to see us with an enormous spy hop alongside the Steep Point before she spent the next 15 minutes swimming from one side of the bow to the other looking at everyone onboard. It felt like a warm hug and will be an interaction we will always remember with this special matriarch, a reunion 11 months in the making. The joy amongst the Orca was wonderful to see after many long days of searching they were due for a big hunt and today was the day. Social interactions followed as with so many Orca in one spot it was a great time for them to all catchup and feast at the same time. A truely remarkable day to witness the Bremer Orca hunt as we reflected on the way back to the Bremer Bay Boat Harbour the incredible spectacle that had just unfolded creating memories we will never forget.