We provide the skipper and if desired our own chef, both of whom will ensure that you enjoy a safe, comfortable and eventful sail with fine food on exciting seas. If we are lucky and meet the right orca families it can be possible to swim amongst these fantastic animals with dry-suit and snorkel.
The presence of the orcas in Vestfjorden is dependent on the migration of the herring schools. Since about 1985 the Norwegian spring-spawning herring have come into the fjords around the middle of October. They often have come far in to the fjords around Narvik chased by ca 600-700 orca close behind, and this has been a fantastic highlight in Northern Norway’s dark season. There is nowhere else in the world where so many herring gather annually, and the herring provide us with both food and entertainment. As a consequence of the plentiful herring the orca are not dangerous for humans, and we can therefore relatively safely approach these fantastic animals.
The season lasts normally from early November to late January.
The best way to experience this natural wonder is at close quarters from a boat or in their natural element: in the water with a dry suit and a snorkel!. For many years the herring and orca were absent from the fjords, until they came back in 1985. The more pessimistic in the fishery industry fear that the herrings’ wandering will change again in the coming years, and then there is a risk that we again will lose the pleasure of the company of the herring and orca in our neighbourhood.
In Norwegian the orca or killer whale is called “spekkhogger” (fat-eater) or “staurhval” (pole-whale, after the dorsal fin). It belongs to the dolphin family and is a toothed-whale. A male orca can live to about 60 years, while the female can live to 80 years. They can swim as fast as 30 km/h. With its enormous size: 8 metres long and 8 tonne in weight it is an amazing experience to see how gracefully the whales dance around the herring schools or curious snorkelling guests.
The orca in our area have developed special hunting techniques where five to six whales cooperate to herd the herring together. One of the whales then goes in and strikes with the tail fin, knocking the herring unconscious. Then it is open for their favourite meal, where they eat herring after herring… This “carousel-technique” is a fantastic show for guests who are lucky enough to experience it.
In February the herring depart for southern waters around the Norwegian west coast where they spawn. With so easy access to its favourite meal the orca naturally follow after the departing herring.