Captain’s Noon Reports – Gallant Lady – 2023-06-20

NGL N 24.35.525 W 110.37.86, clear sky, temp 36C, wind N5-10. water temp 26-27C, visibility 10-15meters.

Today was a special day and there was not much possibility to leave the flybridge: 11 hours with a pod of orcas!! We found them early in the morning, at 0600am. Aurelio our chief engineer was starting his day when he told on the radio, he had seen a distant big splash. As we turned the boat around and approached, we saw the unmistakable dorsal fins of the orcas! A pod of 6, no mature male but 4 big females and 2 juveniles.

We woke up the guests that were still asleep and got everybody in the rhib. As they approached, the orcas slowed down and as the guests slid in the water, the orcas came straight up at them with curiosity and interest for the visitors! Close-up swim, the calf rubbing alongside the mother, the orca pod investigating the human pod. Eyes to eyes, with tears of joy in some guests’ eyes!

The bigger female, that actually looked impregnated, was holding a piece of flesh in her mouth, and dragging it around. It was most likely from a dolphin. This is common practice for the orcas around here, to show off and swim for a while with a piece of their prey.

We followed these orcas for the whole day, they were very cooperative, swimming slowly and our rhib drivers did an amazing job at having our guests take turns in the water without harassing the orcas. At some point, we spotted a megapod (over a thousand) of common dolphins that were leaping just a couple of nm away from the orcas. We knew what was coming. there would be blood. We waited at the perimeter of the pod of dolphins, which was forming a tight circle when suddenly the circle opened from its center, dolphins at full speed swimming in a circle, forming a ring in the middle of which we could see the orca! They sped up and broke the circle in several directions, trying to escape.

But it was too late for 1 of them: in the center, where the orca was, we could see the water greener from the blood of the kill (blood looks green in water). This was the best show, so many of our guests said it was like witnessing a NatGeo show live!

After the orcas shared their meal, they started swimming calmly again and the guests went back in the water and again approached the orcas, and the big female had again a piece of flesh in her mouth. We left the orcas around 1700, with each and every guest fulfilled with the experience and memories for a lifetime. Yesterday afternoon after the mobula snorkel, we encountered a pod of spotted and common dolphins hunting sardines. We were successful with several guests seeing the dolphins underwater, even the sardines! Then we headed to Punta Perico for our check-up dive. The guests enjoyed it, despite the thermocline at 10 meters. They saw turtles, and loads of reef fish and everybody was comfortable in their gear.

By Noon Reports

Daily dive and conditions reports from our captains onboard the Nautilus Liveaboard vessels.

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