Friday, 2 October 2009

Orca off Sydney Heads

Orca or Killer Whale (artist unknown)
On a paddle yesterday out through Sydney Heads with Rob Mercer & Graham Dredge, I had one of the most amazing wildlife experiences of my life. It began when we noticed a huge amount of splashing & water disturbance on our way back across from North Head.
Rob & Graham before the cetaceans stampede
We saw a very big pod of dolphins about 300m across heading our way like freight trains, blasting through the water, breaching & diving, with the occasional very big splash that seemed to come from below. Rob was looking one way & Graham & I another as the mayhem got closer, and he said, rather loudly 'that's a very big fin for a dolphin....' We all scanned the water for further proof of 'something unusual' & saw a couple of very large, black pointy fins powering towards us obviously in pursuit of either the dolphins or whatever the dolphins were chasing. I caught a flash of black & white just as Graham said 'Killer Whale's eat great whites, don't they..?'
Graham Dredge picking his way through a North Head rock garden in the Rockpool GT
Sure enough, there were two, maybe three orca chasing down the dolphin pod at almighty speed. I can't say I've ever seen a dolphin looking sh-t scared, but I can go to my grave safe in the knowledge that I now have. A bit of research on the web last night indicates that Killer Whales will have a munch on 'Flipper', and the whale watch skippers that operate off Sydney have been reporting sightings of these majestic hunters. A little penguin that we'd seen on the way out was looking decidedly nervous as the cetaceans stampede bustled past. I wondered aloud if the little dude had seen Happy Feet. As always when something as fast as this strikes you dumb, none of us managed to squeeze off a photo. Maybe next time....
Memphis looking twitchy.....

2 comments:

  1. I cannot imagine seeing a pod of dolphins like this in real life. And killer whales at that too! Those pictures are going to be framed up and shown around instead of put away to self storage for real!

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  2. I cannot imagine seeing a pod of dolphins like this in real life. And killer whales at that too! Those pictures are going to be framed up and shown around instead of put away to self storage for real!

    ReplyDelete