January 7, 2017 - We finally made it out. On Jan. 5 and 6th, we were land locked due to gail force winds. A storm was blowing through and there was no way we were going out. We actually tried to get out on the 5th, but we were forced to turn around and return to port. It killed us to not be able to get out there and find orcas, but nature is nature and she is going to kick you around and make you earn your time out there.
We were sitting around at breakfast trying to figure out what to do with our day. We wanted to go dog sledding, but they were booked, so that was out. While we were hanging around I got a call from Marten that there were orcas and humpbacks in the Fjord and we had a short window to get out there and try to swim with them. The catch was, we had to go like now. I ran and gathered the group and within minutes, our gear was grabbed and we were hauling ass to the dive shop to throw on our dry suits.
We dressed fast and headed out to sea. The pressure to see orcas was high. This was our fourth day out here and we still had not seen any orcas, so I was stressing. Even though weather is to blame, I still hate not seeing the animals we were here to see. So the second we saw that first dorsal fin crack the surface, I breathed a little bit. BUT, just a little. We still need to accomplish our goal and get in the water with them.
The orcas were hunting. They were pretty spread out and we followed them around for a while. Things were starting to happen. They began swimming closer together and the birds were starting to gather. Which was a great sign that the baitball was forming and there might be a feeding.
Sadly in the distance we could see clouds and wind heading our way. We tried to stay out as long as possible with the orcas, but the winds made us leave. As soon as we started heading back in, the storm caught us. We had snow and hail hitting us, along with 40 knot winds as we sped back to port. We knew we had a short window to try and make this happen and we tried. So close, yet so far… Damn arctic storms.
We still have two days left…come on mother nature, give us a little break.