Killer Whales (orca) on Pulau Weh

This morning we planned to go diving at Pantae Peunteueng. Unfortunately, given I was a little bit sick when I woke up this morning, I was having difficulty equalizing my right ear. I ended up having to abort the dive and come to the surface. Given it was my last full day in Pulau Weh, I was really disappointed I couldn’t dive because Peunteueng is one of my favorite dive sites.

Shortly after being back on the boat, I heard one of the boatmen say “lumba lumba” or dolphin in Bahasa Indonesia. After closer inspection, I saw it was not a dolphin, but 2 orca (killer) whales. Two of them were feeding near the surface 200m from the dive site.

The orcas were very curious and even circled the boat. As much as I wanted to jump in to get some underwater footage of the orcas, I knew it wouldn’t be wise to go in because they were hunting. We followed the whales around for several minutes. The whales eventually started to go further out to sea.

This was likely beneficial to the divers that were still in the water because the two whales were hunting very close to the dive site amongst the large schools of fish. If they stayed around the site, the divers’ safety might have been jeopardized. After retrieving the remaining divers after they finished their dives, we headed out to the ocean sea in an attempt to catch up with the whales one more time.

At first we couldn’t find them, but then all the sudden over the horizon, we saw one of the whales blowing air from its blowhole. We spent the next 30 minutes following around the whales as they continued to hunt fish. You could see huge chunks of fish floating in the water that was leftover from the feeding. It was absolutely incredible! One of the whales even swam underneath the boat at one point.

The looks on the faces of the people on the boat is something that I will never forget. Everyone was filled with so much happiness enjoy as we were witnessing a rare show that nature put on for us…