There was a pause, and the orcas disappeared from view.
Suddenly, the male appeared again, like a finned torpedo cutting through the water's surface, diving below the waves at the last moment and this time tipping the boat noticeably over to one side. There, waiting with mouths partly open, were the two females.
Lena, the boat's driver, had seen enough. She fired up the engine – which, for the first time that day, started instantly – and took off as the scientists rapidly hauled up their equipment. As they sped toward the safety of the ship, they looked anxiously astern, not seeing the orca that spy-hopped just off their bow.
It is always important to use caution when interpreting other species' behavior. However, it was hard not to figure that the orcas had viewed the boat's crew as oversized, survival-suit clad penguins, and the boat as a peculiarly-shaped ice floe.