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Orca encounter offshore Stavanger, Norway!

As most of you know, we are quite used to seeing orcas, but this is the first time we get to see them summer time. Also quite special to find them outside my hometown of Stavanger!

On Saturday last week we ventured offshore in the calm weather to look for basking shark and pilot whales. When I saw seagulls on the horizon, I had hopes for something big pushing prey to the surface. And sure enough, there was something big out there..

We followed the 11 strong pod at distance for about 4 hours far out at sea, at speed of 6 knots / 11 km/h. I was hoping we could witness a hunt of either mackerel, porpoise or seals but no action of such sort was observed. A beautiful day and a beautiful observation regardless.

Surely there is much more marine life out there, and it´s good to see the results of a recovering Norwegian orca population.

As for the Barba boat and captain we are currently enjoying some rest and recovery time in Stavanger. For the past 12 months we have been about 6 months out sailing, so it´s much in need.

The time is spent repairing and optimizing the boat, and practicing the skillsets that soon enough will be put to use. As a part of this we have been sailing quite a bit in the Stavanger region lately, looking for whales, swimming with seals, diving and more. The next summer plan is to do some shark diving a little south of here.. Will keep you posted.

Hope you all are well!

Best regards, Andreas

Top side photos from the encounter:

If you see a flock of excited sea-gulls it´s a god indicator of some larger sea creatures pushing prey towards the surface.

We did not get in the water with this pod. By the time we found them they were transiting, and also I did not have the right feeling with getting in with them.. I would think food is less abundant and that the behavior is somewhat different from what we are used to up north. Also the visibility was not the best, and the drone was the best observation tool.

Id photo of two of the individuals in the pod. With these photos we will be identify the pod next time either we or someone else come across the same pod. The calf has rather distinct rake marks, I would guess that it is from being told off by older members of its pod. This calf could be around for another 50 years or more, so who knows when we will meet again..

Track from the encounter, which started where we do a sharp turn from the planned route (straight lines).

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