At first they were “being lovely and playing around”, Ms Morris told CBC radio, adding that she was happy to interact with the animals as she had had positive prior experiences from sailing among them.
But the encounter soon turned ugly. “They started surrounding us in a circle, coming for the rudder and the keel,” Ms Morris said.
The blows caused the vessel to spin violently in a circle, smashing the rudder and leaving the yacht adrift in a busy shipping lane.
The attack lasted an hour and the crew was eventually rescued after finally convincing the coastguard that they had been attacked by orcas. Cetacean experts say attacks by orcas are extremely rare, and such a spate of rammings is unheard of.
No one can be sure what causes the incidents, or even if the same pod is behind the attacks in Galicia and southern Spain, although this is a possibility given that orcas are known to migrate to the Strait of Gibraltar area in summer to hunt bluefin tuna, which are also sought eagerly by Cádiz fishermen.
One theory is that some orcas may be seeking revenge for attacks from fishermen, who have complained that the animals have learned to steal tuna from the weighted lines they use to catch the prized fish.
Why wouldn’t a carnivore try to open up floating packets of meat?