Orca, Pilot and Beaked whales in Bremer Bay


I was up early and ready hours before we set sail. Nervous and eager for my first official day on the water photographing for Naturaliste Charters.

As we set out to the hotspot I crossed my fingers and toes. Would we see Orca? The "hotspot" as the crew refers to it, is actually the Bremer Canyon system. The canyon is located about 70kms offshore and is a biodiversity hotspot. an abundance of nutrients and food makes this area a hive of activity for a number of marine and bird wildlife.

I didn't have to wait long for my answer. As soon as we arrived, two black fins cruised through the water to greet us. Noosa and Split Tip, along with more of the pod.

The whales were foraging for food, diving down before coming up for air every five minutes or so and giving us a glimpse of their beautiful and powerful bodies. Clearly, they were busy looking for food and weren't fussed by our presence.

After observing the Killer Whales for some time, we moved on and soon came across a long-nosed fur seal chilling in the water. Out in the canyon, seals don't seem to be on the menu for the Bremer Killer Whales. So despite a pod of orcas being close by, he was very chilled out and enjoying his time in the sun.

As the afternoon wore on, we saw more blows in the distance. This time they belonged to a pod of pilot whales. They rushed towards us like a stampede and soon we were surrounded by about 100 pilot whales. Males, females and calves swam all around us and made for a breathtaking sight.

Soon the sun was dipping low in the sky and it was time for us to head in. We started the journey back home. But the Bremer Canyon wasn't done with us yet! Skipper Dundee shouted out in excitement as he spotted a family of Beaked whales, including a young calf and we all rushed towards the side of the boat to take them in.

These whales spend a lot of their time below, so to see four at the surface, including a calf was a pretty special sight, and a perfect way to end my first day on the water!