Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Orcas in the mist

Today we went out both in the morning and afternoon on our catamaran "Cetus": The weather was very foggy so the vigias (onshore lookouts) had a lot of trouble trying to spot marine mammals. Despite the poor visibility the sea was very calm, so we decided to go out anyway and try our luck. In both the morning and afternoon we were incredibly lucky to encounter orcas (killer whales) and common dolphins. In the morning the common dolphins were seen in small groups, so we watched them for a while and then left our swimming boat to enjoy a great swim with them. Underwater the swimmers were able to see more than 20 common dolphins around them. The highlight throughout the day was definitely the orcas, which turned out to be the same family that we also saw here on previous days this month (as well as last month and in January). We are getting to know this group very well, particularly an adult male that we refer to as "Mr. Ray" because the first time we encountered him in January we saw him with a ray. The group was dispersed, at first we saw 6 individuals, including at least 2 males and 2 calves. During both tours we got to witness some amazing behaviours, including breaching (jumping out of the water) and lobtailing (tailslapping on the water), in the morning, and one of the males with a turtle in his mouth in the afternoon. See our video from the past days of sighting below, or on youtube by clicking HERE.

During the day the Futurismo crew also enjoyed watching a variety of seabirds including the Cory's shearwater, manx shearwater, pomarine skua, Northern gannet, common tern and yellow-legged gull.

Orca breaching (snapshot from video)

Lobtailing (tail slapping)

The male lobtailing

Male orca holding a turtle in his mouth

Orca still holding the turtle as he swims past our catamaran

Our zodiac boat watching one of the big males of the pod

Our zodiac boat with common dolphins

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