As the sun rises an announcement plays over the ship’s tannoy, advising guests that two Orca are feeding off the starboard bow.
They are feeding on a green sea turtle, which they will play with before they eat in order to disorientate it. At one point one of the Orca dives down into the water before coming up between the bows of the catamaran and swimming off again. For over half an hour the gigantic marine mammals breach, spy hop and tail slap just metres from the boat.
Orca (also known as killer whales) are actually from the dolphin family and are the largest (and possibly one of the oldest) species of oceanic dolphin. They are found in all of the world’s oceans, traveling in hunting rides and often feeding on sea lions, fish, stingrays, octopuses, squid and even reptiles such as this green sea turtle. They spend their days foraging, traveling, resting and socialising. The total population of Orca is thought to be around 100,000, although this is a very rough number, as their population spreads from the Antarctic to the tropical Pacific, the waters of Japan and the cooler north-east Pacific near Norway, to name a few.
The Orca is an apex predator (a predator that, as adults, are not normally preyed upon in the wild). They are sometimes called ‘wolves of the sea’ because they hunt in packs, like wolves and they can eat up to two hundred and twenty seven kilograms of food per day.