One day full of Orcas

by Brigitte Achatz

Photos: Antonio Reyes, firmm

The orcas accompanied us a little further through autumn. On October 17th, on the first trip of the day, when we were just about to start looking for pilot whales, we saw them not long after we had left the port of Tarifa. The crew had just positioned themselves on the roof to begin to search, when we already spotted the Orca group. Excitement spread on the boat and the number of animals was eagerly counted and we made sure which animals known to us were there. Camorro, the male was very clearly recognizable, who with his impressive dorsal fin "cut" the water surface every time he appeared. Then the “Matriarchin”, whom we hadn't seen for two years, the venerable mother and grandmother. Even Lucia was there. This made us breathe a sigh of relief as we hadn't seen her the whole summer.

At her side swam her calf with the name Estrella. Also little Jara and the newborn Tina, which we had seen for the first time six days before when she was only a few days old. In total there were 14 animals. We had enough time to observe them extensively. On the way back we saw two Fin whales.

Lucía with Estrella Camorro in the foreground Tailslapping Breaching

All in all, it was a very successful Orca day. On all four trips we could see them and were able to accompany them a bit to the east. On the third trip we were at first with the pilot whales, which had positioned themselves on the Moroccan side in their food territory. We already thought we wouldn't see the orcas anymore, but on the Spanish side, when we were already on our way back, we met them again. This made it easier for us to catch up with them on the fourth tour and so we were allowed again to show our guests the killer whales. When it was time for us to return home, the group continued their way towards the Mediterranean. Now we can hope for numerous encounters next year.      

Fin whale pair

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