An all Critters page! No trains, boats or planes. First, some sea lions lying on the rocks barking at each other. Below is just one of the several groups we saw.


But then, we had the wild animal show that exceeded all our expectations. We may not have scored big on the land mammal front, but this display more than made up for it. We were hugely entertained by a large pod of Orcas giving us about an hour-long, impromptu show. Don’t ever let the Sea World folks convince you that they teach these intelligent animals all those tricks, this group did every move imaginable with no instruction from any human creatures.

The first four pictures below show four different jump and splash moves by various Orcas (which, by the way, are largest of the Dolphin family, they are not Whales). You can tell in the fourth picture that the big, crowd-drenching splash isn’t something that Sea World teaches them, either.

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The pictures above are obviously telephoto but the ones below give a more realistic idea of how close we were. And many encounters were even closer, including one Orca that went directly under our bow. Then there were the three small Orcas that that were surfacing and diving in unison off our port side and seemed to enjoy splashing each other. So many truly phenomenal displays.

With an iPhone5S I was satisfied with most of my pictures, but the Orcas were everywhere at once and not always close. The sequence below is an ‘iPhone burst’ series showing how an Orca can jump and twist in mid-air and, if they choose, make a huge splash upon re-entry.

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Astounding animals, truly incredible!

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