The 2023 orca-watching season saw a consistent and brilliant strength of numbers and even a new addition to one of the pods, according to Gemma Sharp of Whale Watch Western Australia. “We saw a very consistent season this year, wonderful sightings throughout the whole season as well,” Ms Sharp said. “All the families were looking fantastically healthy and the food appeared to be very consistent this year, which is always good to see.” All familiar pods were out in show this season, with no one unaccounted for. The newest addition to one of the pods included Willow, roughly two months old and looking healthy and happy. “Whenever these calves are born, it really is reflecting the health of the whole population, which is great when they are having calves on a consistent basis,” Ms Sharp said. One of Ms Sharp’s stand-out moment this season was a hunt for a blue whale in early April. “We were with a pod we know well, Cheryl and her family, and they were in search mode,” she said. “All of a sudden it just broke loose and mayhem unfolded because they had found a blue wheal that was swimming through the area, the whole family took off after this whale.” “They were travelling at around 30 or 40km/h, just absolutely flying for just over forty minutes.” “It was just the one family following the wake so as hard as they tried they just couldn’t keep up.” “It was the luckiest blue whale on the planet that day because it did get away and it swam straight towards the shelf towards the coastline, back to shallow water.” The blue whale hunt by the orca family was the first documented instance in the area.