Southern Ocean Killer Whales

Southern Ocean Killer Whales displayed their prowess today as they sliced through the swell and moved with ease before the Pilot Whales arrived late and in a hurry! A steady summer easterly breeze ruffled the waters surface as we made our way out to the sighting grounds and scanned carefully with very few seabirds about and the limited ones gliding were all spread and in search mode. The energy was west bound so we searched and felt that the Killer Whales must be one step ahead this morning as we scanned carefully but no clear signs of activity were observed so we pushed back up towards The Patch on a contour the pods have been working recently. A powerful flash of black and white launched just to our port side as El Notcho was moving east and at a rate of knots as he was followed by the rest of his family pod. It was an exhilarating run back up to The Patch with Killer Whales either side of us and high energy as they moved quickly while lifting their bodies above the swell. Noosa appeared along with some of the other females of the family pod as they were also joining El Notcho on the journey back towards the hunting grounds.

The focus displayed followed by stealthy dives indicated they could well be tracking prey as a third family pod joined for the day as Biggs arrived with his towering dorsal fin on show. It felt as though the Killer Whales were slightly on guard and we figured there was something causing them to be extra cautious today as we soon found out exactly what that was as we departed The Patch. Launching completely airborne and straight at us was a beautiful pod of approximately 150 Pilot Whales surging and porpoising through the swell towards the last known area the southern ocean Killer Whales had been foraging in prior to us wishing them ell for their afternoon ahead. It was clear to see that the Killer Whales had suspicion they were not alone and tried to maintain a low profile to prevent the Pilot Whales from discovering them but at the speeds they were hurtling towards the south at it wasn’t going to be long until they needed to regroup. Prey was thin on the ground today so for both Killer Whales and Pilot Whales it was going to be a steady afternoon of foraging to secure a good dinner.

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