Killer whales are the undisputed masters of the marine universe. They're powerful and ferocious, but also graceful and, at times, playful. The accompanying footage shows a pod of up to 20 killer whales, or orcas, riding and leaping in wakes created by a speeding dive boat off La Paz, Mexico.
The footage was captured by Rich and Laura Howard, who were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary on a dive trip outside of La Paz, in the Sea of Cortez.
They were understandably excited because this was an extremely close encounter involving apex predators that rarely ride in the wakes of boats.However, it has happened before in the Sea of Cortez. Last June and October, to the north of La Paz off Loreto, boaters aboard the same 70-foot yacht enjoyed similar encounters and captured some extraordinary images.
In those images, as in the Howards’ video footage, the orcas definitely look to be playing and enjoying themselves.