August 24, 2004
Orcas spotted. We found a family of at least fifteen Orcas. At first they spread out around the ship, and then some herded together. The hydrophone and buoys finally picked up some sounds. I was finally able to use the big digital camera and take some great pictures. I hope one of my pictures, either the humpback or Orca, would make the photo book. The shot one needs to take of an Orca is the left side of the Orca's saddle, not its fluke.
It is believed a closed saddle is a resident Orca. They don't eat mammals and an open saddle is transient Orcas. They do eat mammals such as porpoises, otters and seals. Some of the Orcas have huge flukes. Mike (the Orca specialist) told me that they're the bulls. In this family of Orcas there were also many females and 2 cute calves. Later that evening we also sighted two fin whales.
The Orcas are just amazing to watch and when they're sighted everyone seems to come out and watch them. Some of the Orcas were porpoising obviously after some prey and one of the Orcas took our ship on a 10-knot race. Even the ships crew was impressed by its speed.
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