These sorts of clips are mandatory here at Whaleoil
These sorts of clips are mandatory here at Whaleoil
Orca whales are awesome…especially when they carve up useless gray whales.
Nature‚Äôs truth and tragedy unfolded in a dramatic scene on Monterey Bay last week when a pack of 20 orcas attacked a mother gray whale and its calf.
The fight lasted more than two hours, witnessed and photographed by field scout Bart Selby, and dozens aboard whale watching boats that cruised at top speeds to the periphery of the scene and cut their engines.
Selby, a kayaker, wildlife expert and photographer, heard about the whales and headed straight to Monterey. In 2011, Selby paddled a kayak solo 25 miles from Santa Cruz to Monterey, and two weeks ago, reported sighting a mother gray whale and its calf lounging on the inshore waters at Whaler‚Äôs Cove at Pigeon Point near Pescadero.
Selby boarded the Point Sur Clipper with Monterey‚Äôs champion whale specialist, Nancy Black, and they quickly found the orcas, more than 20 in all, on the hunt.
Orcas find gray whales
At mid-afternoon, the orcas found a mother gray whale with a calf.
‚ÄúThey came in waves, like attacking swarms of hockey players,‚ÄĚ Selby said. ‚ÄúWhen one group got tired, then the entire line would rotate out and orbit the center ring while a new swarm of orcas pressed the attack.‚ÄĚ
Just as a pack of coyotes will try to separate a fawn from its protective mother, the orcas tried to pry the calf away from its mother as well. ¬† Read more »
This is pretty cool
While guiding a LOTR tour around Wellington (NZ), we came across a pod of about 6-8 Orcas (aka Killer Whales), making their way out of the Wellington Harbour, moving from Scorching Bay back through Karaka Bay. We stood on the Karaka Bay jetty, and let the gentle giants pass right below us. Magic!
One of the things that opposition politicians like to make a meal of is the fact that young Kiwis go overseas for study, adventure, career. I guess they would prefer the old East German or North Korean scenario that you can’t leave and that anyone who did was a defector.
Often they do it the hard way too. A Kiwi kid studying overseas can’t access student loans, etc, back in NZ. If it is for sport they have to make it on their own – away from any taxpayer funded national body. The really weird thing is they grow, develop, get new skills and often contribute overseas. Many of them also come back later on and bring their value with them.
Here is an example.
22 year old Kiwi born and bred triathlete and Florida Chemical Engineering college student Michael Poole is an ORCA athlete who has taken the big step of being open about his epilepsy by working with the Epilepsy Foundation USA¬†which serves over 2 million Americans. This includes being invited to address one of their key events in Washington DC. He has just returned to the USA after some summer training and racing in NZ and Australia. He is heading towards a huge US race programme. He is keen to make a big contribution to this organisation as he does it through encouraging activity and understanding.
I am starting to make a list of items that are needed for the lair…you know cool stuff like ¬†a Polar Bear, Grizzly Bear rug, a Lion, a Cougar, Moose, Elk, that kind of thing.
Toys are also on the list of things for the lair.
Is it a plane? Well, it steers like one. Is it a boat? Legally, yes. Is it a submarine? Kind of … and then it leaps out of the water and breaches just like a whale.
The Seabreacher could be described as a fast-planing raceboat, or alternately as a fully sealed jet-ski-engined sea missile that can plunge two people under the water at 60km/h and then hurl them into the sky.¬† Read more »
The Herald finally reports on something useful
Morgan Tait reports
Aucklander Mike Coughlan was filming a diving trip off Matai Bay on the Karikari Peninsula before Christmas with a friend, and as he resurfaced found himself up close and personal with an 8m orca and her 1.5m calf.
“I was coming back to the boat after diving for crays and was behind the boat when the mother and calf came towards me,” he told the¬†Herald.
The whale dwarfed the 5.6m speedboat he was diving from, he said.
“I think they were curious. I didn’t really have time to be scared or intimidated, they were just suddenly there.”
Mr Coughlan quickly jumped back on to the boat.
“The mother and calf came right up, about half a metre, to the boat …
I had my GoPro [camera] on a stick so I dropped it into the water and filmed them coming over.”
Video, thanks to Mr Coughlan, over the break ¬† Read more »
Kristin Edge at The Norther Advocate reported¬†on orcas, which means an immediate obligatory post for Whaleoil:
It seems locals and tourists aren’t the only ones enjoying Northland’s fabulous coastline at this time of year.
A pod of 23 orcas delighted boaties and devoted researcher Dr Ingrid Visser when they cruised into the waters at the Poor Knight Islands last week. ¬† Read more »
Apparently I eat babies…am evil personified…and should be ignored.
But you can’t ignore Killer Whales…you can only seek to understand them.
Fortunately The Atlantic earlier last year compiled a list of 7 reasons why Killer Whales are Evil geniuses.
Over at Wired Science, a photographer caught a stunning sequence of a killer whale in Monterey Bay¬†flipping a dolphin out of the water¬†and then eating it. Apparently, they do this regularly! “I have seen this with several different species of dolphins from various places around the world, so I think that killer whales probably do this regularly but not commonly,” a NOAA ecologist told Nadia Drake. “With slower swimming species, like seals and sea lions, killer whales prefer to use their tails to swat them out of the water.”¬†Just go look at¬†the ridiculous photographs.
Yikes. So that’s reason number one:¬†they kill dolphins, and who doesn’t love dolphins?
Perhaps, though, we should more firmly establish that they are evil.*¬†They kill baby things.¬†So many baby things and in so many innovative ways!Baby seals.¬†Baby sea lions. Even¬†baby sperm whales! ¬† Read more »