yesterday we had some interaction with Orcas some 5-7 miles west
of Tarifa, Spain.
- in our opinion they were a female adult and a juvenile.
- The animals did not appear aggressive. They did not
undertake any activities directed against the hull. Some bumps
against the hull were rather unintentional. All their attention
was focused on the rudder.
- The adult seemed to introduce the juvenile to an exciting
game: "push the rudder"
- One catamaran two miles off was affected some 45 to 50 minutes
without interruption first. A motor vessel came to help and made
circles around the catamaran to attract or disturb the animals.
After this the animals visited our boat to continue their game.
The interaction lasted more or less the 45-50 minutes in total
too with two breaks of 10 minutes each.
- Lever arm of rudder sensor was twisted (we could fix it
correctly without any problems.)
- Rudder stuffing box leaking; it leaked surprisingly badly.
(Could be tightened on site).
- no damage at the rudder (we checked it today)
Remarks concerning our own behaviour
- The fact whether our echo sounder was active or not did not
seem to have any influence on the animals.
- Running the engine clearly attracted the animals.
- Whether the animals could perceive us or not did not seem
to have any influence on their behaviour.
- The strategy of shutting down all systems and the engine
and playing "dead" did not convince us.
- The strategy of an catamara close too us to quickly follow
the planned course under engine seems to be more successful. It
had by far the shortest Orca contact by the same animals, maybe
3-5 minutes. We don't know whether the crew was going under
autopilot or steering manually during the contact. From our own
experience, we can say that hand steering would have been
possible with proper caution. The rudder pressure exerted by the
Orcas was not extremely strong.
Mago del Sur - 54#40
La Línea, Spain