Wow, what can I say...… volunteering to help assist a stranded Orca calf between the age of 3 to 6 months old down in Plimmerton was what felt like a once in a life time experience.
His little body felt like rubber, as I'd arrived down at the site I was briefed then given an hour to get myself ready in my wetsuit to jump in the Orca pen......at 10 pm.
That water was cold, but myself and 3 others went to the side of the barriers to gently guide Toa away from the wall to prevent any bumps and bruises by placing a flat hand underneath his jaw/chin.
When a young calf sleeps, they rest on the flipper of their mother whilst she travels along with their pod.
It was pretty overwhelming to see it all unfold as the teams in charge were still getting the operational side of things together.
It was eye watering to see everyone pulling together to help support their efforts to help Toa in the race to return him to his pod.
The community bringing in kai for the volunteers, blankets, towels, outdoor heaters you name it the supplies were coming in regularly.
It was an unreal experience to learn how to look after a Orca calf whilst sitting back watching absorbing in all the information.
Unfortunately all their hard work came to an end when Toa went down hill quickly and passed over naturally.
Whilst upsetting reading about the updates that went global, the love shared and support from the communities and other organizations was honestly extremely heart warming and inspiring.