May 16, 2016
Papamoa residents on Parton Rd have had a visit of the marine kind, with two orca swimming just offshore.
John Howlett was setting his kontiki about 1.30pm today when he noticed two orca travelling west towards Mount Maunganui, along the coast.
One of the orca swimming at Sandhurst. Photos: Supplied.
“Yeah I was just out setting the kontiki and just as I was putting it out. Low-and-behold a couple of orcas popped up.
“I’ve lost sight of them now but they were heading west and they’re only probably 150m to 200m off the beach. The last time I saw them it was around about the Papamoa Surf Club. It was the closest I’ve ever seen them in.”
The avid fisherman believes the pair may have been chasing kahawai.
“Prior to them (orca) turning up, there was a heap of kahawai on the surface. You constantly in the waves in that in kind of work ups all the time. So they were probably chasing kahawai or bait fish.”
John says the orca had the same idea as himself.
“It’s the perfect day and people are catching fish so why not get out and set the kontiki.”
He says he often saw orca when he set his kontiki.
“You normally see them probably, you know at least 500 to a [kilometre] out on a regular basis. But not this close in.”
If you have any snaps of our two mammal visitors then send them through to us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org