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More encounters with Orcas...

Halcyon Yachts

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17 Feb 2010
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1,544
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UK
Last Friday we had two yachts on delivery into the Mediterranean. One powerboat and one sailing yacht. A group of orcas approached the powerboat, gave her a few gentle bumps and then swam off to the sailing yacht a mile or so away. They swam around the yacht regularly banging into it. The crew followed the accepted advice, they turned off all the systems and drifted until the orcas got bored. At one point the crew spotted one of the orcas with what looked like a piece of rudder in its mouth!



The wheel was ripped out of the guys hands numerous times as the orcas banged the rudder. Luckily the strong skegged rudder on this Hallberg-Rassy held up enough so that they didn't lose steering altogether. About two hours later they were able to carry on to a safe harbour. The rudder has suffered severe damage as you can see and the yacht will be lifted to check for any other damage.

This incident occurred on the north-western side of the Gibraltar Straits.

I have no idea why these orcas are so angry. Maybe they are just playing? Or maybe it is something much more serious.

Pete
 

Yara

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Joined
26 Jan 2013
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53
Location
Sydney, Australia
I remember the spearfishing powerhead which was devised to kill sharks. Fitted with a 303 bullet, and fired on impact with the shark. Banned now, I think, but fired at a marauding orca might teach them to stay clear of yachts. Wouldn't do it unless you have a solid steel boat, as they might just get vengeful!
 

Frogmogman

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26 Aug 2012
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1,209
I think the person in a previous thread on the subject who suggested that the orcas are angry about being downgraded from being called killer whales to mere orcas nailed it.

They’re just trying to prove that they are still worthy of the title.
 

Nom de plume

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26 May 2011
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1,675
I think the person in a previous thread on the subject who suggested that the orcas are angry about being downgraded from being called killer whales to mere orcas nailed it.

They’re just trying to prove that they are still worthy of the title.
Just for you Frogmo.....

I'm surprised that nobody has suggested a causal link between these attacks and the undoubted loss of status.
Throughout history you are known as a 'Killer Whale' - you are expected to kill everything in your path, be mean, go GRRRR all day long. You get the leading part in all the movies, they build you stadiums all over the world where you are encouraged to drown the shrieking crowds with a flick of your tail. Kids around the world use huge inflatable imitations of you to scare each other witless.
And then some bright spark somewhere spoils it all.
You are no longer a killer, you are a cuddly 'Orca' (WTF??). You like to play, cuddle and even attempt communication. Movie moguls lose interest, royalties dry up. Time for action!
Nothing too serious to start, nudge a few boats, chew a few rudders, eat the odd female trainer, that sort of thing.
Forget the Orca wokeness, they obviously prefer the glamour of being 'Killer Whales' - give them what they want and for goodness sake don't mention hugs. Black and White lives matter too.
 

LBRodders

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3 Oct 2018
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1,864
Its a bit like an elephant playing with an egg.

They don't understand what a boat is or its value, to them its a bit of driftwood in their back yard. They cant google what it is, so a few nudges and a bite is how they determine what things are. They are intelligent and inquisitive predators.
 

Dipper

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30 May 2001
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Dorset
Its a bit like an elephant playing with an egg.

They don't understand what a boat is or its value, to them its a bit of driftwood in their back yard. They cant google what it is, so a few nudges and a bite is how they determine what things are. They are intelligent and inquisitive predators.
I agree. I suspect that if they really were 'attacking' the boat, they would be far more aggressive. Many years ago there was a resident pod of dolphins in Portland Harbour and every time I went out on my boat, one of them would swim upside down and bash the rudder.

I wonder if throwing them a large fender to play with would distract them from the boat although I don't think it would stay inflated for long and could be ingested with serious consequences.
 

Rappey

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13 Dec 2019
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3,268
They don't understand what a boat is or its value, to them its a bit of driftwood
Are you sure ?
"Through this sense orcas not only see the shape of the object, they can also see inside it. When orcas echolocate they get a mental picture: through sound they see underwater. Echolocation is used for navigation and for foraging. Furthermore, echolocation can be shared with other members. It can become a social activity. This is the kind of social intelligence of orcas that is beyond our ability to completely comprehend."
Full link https://www.orcanation.org/2019/10/10/the-social-intelligence-of-orcas/
 

capnsensible

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15 Mar 2007
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32,417
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Atlantic
I feel seen off. Came through there Saturday and didn't see one. Loadsa Dolphins later off Europa Point though. 😎
 

LBRodders

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3 Oct 2018
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1,864
Are you sure ?
No :LOL:

Just pretty sure an orca doesn't understand what boats are or what they are doing. Quite normal to go and have a nosey literally.

If an orca turned up on my drive, I would probably go give it a prod!
 

Buck Turgidson

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10 Apr 2012
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1,935
Location
Zürich
No :LOL:

Just pretty sure an orca doesn't understand what boats are or what they are doing. Quite normal to go and have a nosey literally.

If an orca turned up on my drive, I would probably go give it a prod!
These Orca have been at it for a couple of years. They know what they are doing.
 

Yara

Member
Joined
26 Jan 2013
Messages
53
Location
Sydney, Australia
Looks like they have learned to stay clear of propellers cos they can hurt. Maybe some kind of electric prodder might work as a non-lethal deterrent. They attack whales by biting on their fins. The rudder is the nearest thing to that, but whales cant bite back.
 
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