The 2019 Killer Whale season has officially commenced for the Naturaliste Charters team!
The endless hours of preparing, the weeks of build-up and the hype for the season had the whole crew in knots as we made our way out of the harbour today. As we ventured toward the canyon every minute felt like hours! Watching the sounder track deeper and deeper had everyone’s excitement rising! Moments later the vessel edged over the continental shelf, the sea floor plummeted to over 1000m in depth. The call went out and all eyes were on deck, scanning the vast blue waters for the apex predator…within minutes our crew screamed Orcas at 11 o'clock!
Five Orcas in a line, making their own wake, charging toward the boat almost to greet us. To the crews excitement it was the beautiful bull El Nocho and Cookie, our predominant pod to be sighted last season. The pod seemed to be merely sipping air at the surface right before they plunged beneath the boat. Just like that we had lost them in their tracks.
Orca are so unpredictable with their movements and manoeuvres, especially while on the hunt, yet they still came over to say hello to us. Minutes later the pod split into two, leaving the mother and calf near us while the rest charged off on the search.
A predation on our first tour!!! We are unsure what they were predating on but a swirl of birds, the thick oil and the pool of red suggested it was more than a fish. We had a pod on both our port and starboard side, some swooping towards the bow to check us out! The excitement and the remanence of the kill soon attracted the sharks. A Whaler Shark was following us in our wake just below the surface for over 5 minutes!! It was the perfect cherry on top of day 1! This truly was a textbook tour to kick of the 2019 season! With happy punters and “Killer“ whales the bar sure has been set pretty high!
We have also come across a rare sight! At first glance, the bulbous melon, long distinct beak, brown coloration and large dorsal fin had us suspecting beaked whales! To see beaked whales still intact and at the surface for multiple blows is a special moment in itself! After long debate and some help from the experts we came to the conclusion that they were indeed a rare sight...Southern Bottlenose Whales who have never before been documented in the Bremer Canyon.