Bremer Bay never disappoints!
The winds died down just enough on Saturday the 5th of February for us to take off on the Alison Maree and head into the southern ocean. Our destination, the Bremer canyon, is about 70kms offshore from the sleepy town of Bremer Bay. The canyon is home to an explosion of wildlife. Birds, dolphins, sharks, Pilot whales, Blue whales and Sperm whales just to name a few, but the stars of the show are definitely the Killer Whales.
They are the reason people flock to this small sleepy town each year from January to April. The chance to experience a day with these awesome animals.
The swell was large and the Alison Maree rocked around as she steamed towards the "hotspot." Some unfortunate people began to feel the effects and were seasick. Luckily, the crew were onto it. Handing out sick bags and bringing out cups of water with expert sea-legs while the rest of us hung on for dear life.
As we neared the hotspot, we slowed down and the sea calmed a little. Everyone was on their feet, eagerly looking for the telltale blows of an orca or a slick black dorsal fin slicing through the waves. It didn't take long, soon we spotted two large males. Hookfin and Chalky. They were being a little coy, and it seemed like perhaps they were searching for something. Food? Another pod? But by lunchtime we had our answer, the males had joined another pod and were hunting something. They surged through the surf with amazing speed, this time joined with Shredder, Cookie, El Notcho and three calves.
The hunt came to an abrupt end under the water. The unlucky victim was likely a beaked whale, by the telltale large oil slick which rose to the surface. Birds circled excitedly in the hopes of getting some scraps, including a huge shy albatross. These birds have a 2-meter wingspan and can live for almost 60 years! Sadly, they are listed as endangered.
After the Orca had eaten, they became much more interested in us to our delight. The calves raced up and down, under and around the boat. Two even wrestled each other underwater, ending the performance with a cheeky tale bite!
We spent the rest of the afternoon surrounded by Orca until we begrudgingly had to head back to shore. We were all smiling, tired, windswept and a few of us a little soaked. (luckily the crew were prepared for this too with some towels for us to dry off with!)
Another amazing day out on the water thanks to Naturaliste Charters!