Fleeing Orcas

by firmm Team

On Tuesday morning we started for an Orca trip, finally, after the famous Levante wind had prevented this for several days. The sea was completely flat when we started, a perfect day and actually we should have seen the animals from far away - but the thing was that there were no animals, during a whole hour we did not see one single fin or blow. Then, finally, we encountered a group of approx. 10 Pilot whales relaxing, which we were observing for a while. Then we continued along the Moroccan coast towards the Mediterranean sea. Meanwhile the wind had picked up and some white crests had started to form on the surface. Then suddenly out of nowhere the big moment: The sword of an Orca-male emerged at the surface, it literally cut through the water and with it 6 more of these majestic animals surfaced, a wonderful picture as they unhurriedly were passing by.


As they always do, they dove down after some breaths and disappeared for some minutes to suddenly surface again on the other side of the boat. This always is an exciting moment for all the spectators on the boat, which was recognized by a loud "ahhhhhhhhhhhh".


Everybody was watching magnetized when suddenly a loud "pffffffffff" resounded just 3 meters away from the boat: The blow of a 22 m long fin whale! Each one on the boat was amazed by the sudden appearance of the second biggest animal on our planet.


But this was not the end yet: While the Fin whale continued his trip, surfacing every now and then, the Orcas suddenly took up speed and were literally galloping through the water, all 7 animals were partially flying through the air. It was looking extraordinary how they surfed with the waves. Seconds later we saw the reason for their sudden escape: ca. 20 meters behind them a group of 10 Pilot whales had surfaced, chasing the Orcas!


Never before had I seen Pilot whales swim so fast! I must admit, it looks quite paradox, the Pilot whales being smaller than the Orcas and young Pilot whales can even be in danger by the Orcas. This phenomenon had been observed several times before, why this is happening nobody can answer with certainty. But one thing is sure: It was an ingenious spectacle of nature and all the spectators on the boat were all beside themselves with joy.


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