Killing Killer Whales

I’ve seen a lot of amazing things while working on the ships, but this morning was by far one of the best wildlife sightings I’ve seen yet. One of our naturalists spotted a pod of killer whales just before breakfast and we slowly made our way over towards them. I was in the middle of my stretch class when I saw a huge black dorsal fin right off the starboard side, so I abruptly dismissed everyone and we all hurried to the bow to get a better look at the orca. Humpbacks are common and we see them every trip, but killer whales are so elusive that weeks may go by before seeing another pod.

There were four killer whales in the pod we were following and it wasn’t long before we saw them turn their attention to a small Dall’s porpoise they had separated away from its pod. For an hour and a half we watched the orca chase, nudge, hit, bite, and play with the Dall’s porpoise before they finally (and mercifully) ended the hunt. It sounds gruesome, especially coming from a vegetarian, but it was incredible. So incredible, even, that I didn’t want to run down to get my camera in fear that I would miss something. Killer whales are incredibly smart and just watching them hunt gave me goosebumps.

I haven’t written since I got back on board, but everything is going well. It sort of feels like I never left. Only a week and a half left, then I’m back home to do some more mountain biking and head up to Portland to visit Will.

Time to go… we have humpbacks off our bow.


One Response

  1. Sounds amazing, Becky. Kind of like watching the hunting in Africa…gruesome yet enthralling!

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