Orca in the Pauatahanui Inlet

Saturday morning was quite a buzz on the street’s social networks. A pod of orca had been spotted entering the inlet and many of the neighbours were pretty active sharing the news.

We obliged by taking the dog for a walk in the rain to the point of the peninsular where we met a dozen or so locals with a few other dogs. At this time, New Zealand is in level 4 lockdown and it was good to see everyone keeping their distance and a good number of people choosing to wear a mask.

It was exciting to see several orca cruising the flats near the point hunting for eagle rays. No-one could recall ever having seen orca in the harbour before which is fairly impressive given that some there had lived on the street for 40+ years.

That afternoon, once the rain had cleared, I launched the drone hoping to catch a glimpse of the orca. I was a little cautious about getting too close to the wildlife and I’d like to think I kept a respectful distance.

It was a privilege and a joy to capture the footage. That evening I spend a number of hours editing and colour correcting (in my rush to get out there flying the drone was on the wrong settings).

A few people have seen the footage and all the feedback I have received has been positive. Subsequent to the shoot, I did read advice from a scientist not to fly drones near the orca. I’ve not been back out there since and I do feel I got too close for comfort. A lesson to remind me for the next time.

Enjoy the footage.