Kiwi surfer ahares session with Orcas at North Island spot
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 January, 2009 : - - Craig Hunter, who has been surfing off New Zealand's North Island for almost 50 years, said he spotted an adult male orca and two young calves lurking just beyond the breaking waves. But rather than catch the first wave to the shore, he shared his waves for 45 minutes.
"There was no way I was going in because the waves were too good," Hunter said, adding that this was not the first time he had surfed with an orca. He said he was too old to be bothered by the possibility of being attacked. "My outlook is they are big enough and quick enough. If they thought I was a seal, I'd be long gone.
"It's pretty awesome. It's a pretty special sort of feeling. I was out there on my own for quite a while and the big fella was just cruising. It was really neat." There are estimated to be fewer than 200 orca living in New Zealand waters.
They are most commonly spotted off the Bay of Plenty, East Coast and Hawke's Bay coasts in June, and again from October to December. The orca, regular visitors to the Taranaki coast, paid little attention to the surfers as they watched in awe as they swam up and down the beach. There have been no known cases of orca attacking humans.
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