Orokawa Bay, Bay of Islands: New Zealand


Out in the bay trawling the line for a meal of fish to feed the hungry hoards, out of the blue a massive disturbance in the water ahead caught my eye.

Two black fins, three, then four gracefully pierced the surface as their bodies rounded, then disappeared into the depths below.

Putting a little more speed Bob continued forward and we took to playing a guessing game.

‘Dolphins?’ from Bob.

‘No, too large,’ from I, ‘Orcas.’

‘No,’ says Bob, ‘you won’t see them in here. It’s too shallow.’

‘Of course you can’, says I.

‘Seals?’ from Bob.

‘No, the wrong shape.’ says I. ‘Orcas.’

‘No!’ says Bob.

Close enough at last.

Yes, a tick for yours truly.  They were orcas!!

We couldn’t believe it! Even hours later, the experience seemed surreal.

Moving to the left  so as to give them plenty of room, Bob pointed the dinghy into a channel that ran between large rocks.

Next thing we knew, the giants were gliding beneath us: so close, one could have reached out and touched them.


Returning to Australis 1, we picked up Anne and Cliff and the camera. Time for some photos if possible: there was no time for changing to the zoom, so they were not the best shots, but they give you an idea.

What an unbelievable experience and another bucket list item unexpectedly ticked.

We never realised how many types of oraca there are. We believe they were a rare variety


Links to Interesting Reads

Types of Orcas

Type D Orca

About the Killer Whale

Why Are There So Many Types of Orca?