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More encounters with Orcas...

sarabande

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6 May 2005
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34,925
Maneaters of Kumaon. A book of times past. I am 1 year older than the book, which I still have after being given it at my first school.
 

Goldie

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29 Sep 2001
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1,761
Location
Nr Falmouth, Cornwall.
Further to post # 78, an update on our transit through ‘Orca Alley’.

We left the Portuguese coast on 3rd July with a plan to route via Rota (rather than going direct to the Straits of Gibraltar) and then staying inshore in shallow water (generally about 15m and within a mile of the coast) for the rest of the trip until past the Orcas’ ‘play area’. For us, it worked and we saw no Orcas but maybe we were just lucky.

On 5th of July whilst en route from the anchorage at Rota to one near Barbate, we heard 3 reports on the VHF from boats being “attacked by Orcas”. At least 2 of these were catamarans - are two rudders twice as much ‘fun’? One 16m cat eventually went to Barbate with damage to its rudders but I never heard the outcome for the other two boats. It seems that the ‘interactions’ as Tarifa Radio were calling it them, were all in an area 4 - 8nm WSW of Barbate and an estimated 6 Orcas involved.

Tarifa Radio were repeating the advice to shut down all systems (I guess particularly the sounder), turn off the engine, drop the sails, leave the wheel/tiller free and stay out of sight. One (Portuguese) cat skipper reported that that seemed to work and the Orcas lost interest reasonably quickly - maybe nearly an hour though.

Given that Orcas displaying similar behaviour were being reported off Faro only a few days earlier, I think that this behaviour is not confined to just the one pod now as I’d expect the ones off Faro to be heading N. Rather than back S. with the tuna migration being to the N.
 

TSB240

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17 Feb 2010
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2,784
Just heard from a friend with a lovely long keel ketch that he has suffered a prolonged attack by Orcas off Barbate near Gib and is awaiting rescue.
His steering has been disabled and the
40 foot boat has been spun round by the action of the Orcas.
Very scared.
 

geem

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Joined
27 Apr 2006
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3,630
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Anywhere without Covid19
Isn't it strange that people who don't live and sail in the affected regions are generally against action being taken against the rogue orcas and people whose boats, and lives possibly, are being threatened, generally are in favor of some sort of action being taken.
Just an observation.
I will be sailing through there shortly
 

25931

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22 Aug 2008
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3,874
Location
Portugal-Algarve
Just heard from a friend with a lovely long keel ketch that he has suffered a prolonged attack by Orcas off Barbate near Gib and is awaiting rescue.
His steering has been disabled and the
40 foot boat has been spun round by the action of the Orcas.
Very scared.
What exactly did the attack consist of ? Was there damage apart from the steering (rudder ?) Are they able to say if the damage was caused by just one ? What were they scared of ?
I am not doubting anything that was said but in all these cases very few details have been given and apart from biting rudders there has been nothing mentioned to indicate an attack.
 

RJJ

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Joined
14 Aug 2009
Messages
2,917
Just thinking out loud....

They have sensitive hearing, right? Wouldn't a loud, irritating but harmless noise at the right frequencies, maybe via your keel or saildrive, really make them want to leave the area? Even better if it could be triggered when they touch the yacht and try to develop a Pavlovian reaction.
 

Graham376

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15 Apr 2018
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5,501
Location
Boat on Mooring off Faro, Home near Abergele
Just thinking out loud....

They have sensitive hearing, right? Wouldn't a loud, irritating but harmless noise at the right frequencies, maybe via your keel or saildrive, really make them want to leave the area? Even better if it could be triggered when they touch the yacht and try to develop a Pavlovian reaction.
Des O'Connor CD may do the trick:)
 

Halcyon Yachts

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17 Feb 2010
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Location
UK
It happened to us again yesterday, just off the Spanish Coast near Barbate:


Pete
 

Mr Cassandra

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5 Nov 2001
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4,161
Location
Eastern Med ish
Fantastic vidio, they did not appear that aggressive,although very concerning for boat owners as it's obviously a dangerous situation to be in, in a small yacht.
 
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25931

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22 Aug 2008
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Portugal-Algarve
Fantastic vidio, they did not appear that aggressive,although very concerning for boat owners as it's obviously a dangerous situation to be in, in a small yacht.
My hearing is deficient and the sound on my tablet isn't good.How many orcas were there ? Did more than one attack ?
 

TSB240

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17 Feb 2010
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What exactly did the attack consist of ? Was there damage apart from the steering (rudder ?) Are they able to say if the damage was caused by just one ? What were they scared of ?
I am not doubting anything that was said but in all these cases very few details have been given and apart from biting rudders there has been nothing mentioned to indicate an attack.
Well he considered it as an attack. It was a large pod of orcas. He posted a short video later which showed at least 5 different orcas. Part of the recent advice is to actually not interact with them and to keep out of their sight.
He is a solo sailor and spent a considerable time below on his own in fear of his life whilst they bumped his hull keel and rudder.
Yes he was bl@@dy scared as you would probably have been if you were on your own.
Having a few 6 ton mammals spinning your 40 foot long keel ketch around is an attack although you seem to lthink they are just playing?

He has now been towed in and is waiting to be towed to a repair facility. The damage can then be assessed.
I think you are deluded if you think these are not deliberate and orchestrated attacks.

Why? Who knows . Maybe yachts could look like whales which have been seen to be attacked by large pods of Orcas.
The shortage of food is a possible motive.

I can only sympathise with my friend as I felt bl@@dy scared when Wally decided to try and board us when we were recently in Porthcressa. Weight for weight he was probably half our boat displacement.

He doesn't have the killer reputation though.
He didn't try ramming or biting our rudder off.
He was just looking at us as convenient iceberg to pull himself up on to have a sleep. He was on his own, stank of fish. So we'll fed.

He wasn't part of a well coordinated group of hungry and very intelligent mammals who are known to work in concert to attack considerably larger prey than themselves.
 

25931

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22 Aug 2008
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Portugal-Algarve
Your reply gives the impression that I am doubting what has been said but if you read more carefully you will see that I am only seeking information which is sadly lacking in most reports. They all mention several orcas but no one says if they all attacked or if it was only one. I only asked what he was afraid of because it appears that no one has suffered the slightest
injury. One or two have mentioned the boat being "bumped" but we often bump the pontoon so what is meant by "bumped" was it a concerted effort ? You say " a few six ton mammals spinning the boat around" but I have not seen anyone else saying that. I'm not looking for an argument, only facts.
 

Graham376

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15 Apr 2018
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Boat on Mooring off Faro, Home near Abergele
I only asked what he was afraid of because it appears that no one has suffered the slightest injury.
Personally, I think fear is quite a normal reaction, it's what helps us survive. So far, no-one has been injured but what will happen if a boat is badly damaged enough to sink? Will they also attack (or play with) the dinghy and/or life raft? I'd rather not end up in the water with them.
 

25931

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22 Aug 2008
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3,874
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Portugal-Algarve
Personally, I think fear is quite a normal reaction, it's what helps us survive. So far, no-one has been injured but what will happen if a boat is badly damaged enough to sink? Will they also attack (or play with) the dinghy and/or life raft? I'd rather not end up in the water with them.
How will the boat be so badly damaged that it sinks ? I keep asking such questions but only see "what if ?"
A damaged rudder has not yet been stated to have caused a leak nor has bumping. Perhaps a concerted attack by several five tonners could cause serious damage but how unless causing a wooden boats planking to spring ?
 

Daydream believer

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6 Oct 2012
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Southminster, essex
Perhaps the answer is, instead of the Norwegians killing Minke whales, they go south & catch a few Orcas instead. They can do it in the name of " scientific study" to keep the WWF happy. Sounds as if there is no shortage of Orcas & if they have , as suggested earlier, a shortage of food, then a cull is not actually such a bad move. It would take the pressure off the Minke.
Just the logistical problem to deal with.
Do not Orcas kill other species of whales? Hence the term " killer whale": So killing Orcas will effectively take the pressure off them. Is that correct?
 
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