The orcas have said goodbye!

by Katharina Heyer

Text and photos: Katharina Heyer

We saw the orcas for the first time this summer on June 30th, 2017! It was the whole family of Camorro, the male and father of this group of 9.

Camorro and family 

We were very pleased about the addition to the family, because Lucia, already known to us, had a baby of not more than 2 months, the little Estrella! Her white spots were still yellowish! The mother Lucia is easily recognizable, because she has an older injury behind the dorsal fin. She was protecting her young and we had trouble taking a picture of the cheeky little one.

Lucía and Estrella Lucía 

On the 20th of July we saw 12 orcas, there were two more males in the area, which we saw only a few times.

other male different male 

In total we had 47 sightings of orcas, which is much less than last year. They could be seen regularly until August 09th, but when a long period of Levante started, we wondered if we would see them again. Because of the strong Levante we had to sail three times in the Bay of Algeciras, where there were amazingly many common dolphins. Once there were well over 1500 dolphins! It almost seemed like an aquarium to me!

Common Dolphins young Common Dolphin 

The following windless days we drove back to the places where the fishermen are usually fishing red tuna. There were hardly any fishermen there and the orcas were not in the area. In the evening we heard that they were seen at the same time in the Bay of Algeciras, which is an absolute sensation. After a break of 20 days we saw them once again on the 29th of August. There were only a few fishing boats and the 9 orcas of Camorro's family swam very leisurely towards the Atlantic Ocean. They also came very close to the boat; all showed themselves and made huge unexpected jumps right next to us! It felt like they wanted to say goodbye!

cheerful orcas  start ...and landing waving 

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