Spearfishing in Tairua and a Surprise Encounter with Orcas (video)

Oli’s 30th birthday scavenger hunt extravaganza ended with a spearfishing tour out of Tairua. At the end of a successful day of hunting for kingfish, we were gifted a close encounter with a pod of orcas.

Claire and I had gotten out of the water for a bit of a warm up break when we spotted the fin of a mako shark. Being a pelagic shark, meaning they live and hunt out in the vast desert of the ocean, they are known to a bit more feisty and bold so we circled back on the boys to get them out of the water.

Moments before this, we had been discussing orcas with our guide and I mentioned I’ve lived on the puget sound for most of my life and have never seen the resident orcas living there. A fact that was sorely rubbed in my face with all the covid sightings near shore while we were away. I divulged my deep desire to see a wild orca and that I would probably cry happy tears.

As Claire and I were scanning the water for any sign of the mako, we spotted what we thought was it’s dorsal fin just a bit of from the boat, but the dorsal fin just kept getting bigger and bigger until we realized it wasn’t a mako shark, but a massive orca.

As promised, I cried happy tears as they swam within mere feet of the boat. We guessed the mako was possibly running for its life and not actually hunting, either way it was an eventful and magical day. We had fresh kingfish ceviche, a couple celebratory beers, and headed in with happy hearts.