Blue Whales Rottnest Island

A spectacular morning greeted us as we made our way to the Perth Canyon to find the Blue Whales who visit the waters just off Rottnest Island. Our first encounter was a swirling cloud of Shearwaters and Albatross as they honed in on the Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins who appeared to be enjoying some breakfast. Spotting our approach they seemed to put their meals on hold as they raced over to investigate us and their happy, smiling faces were a special way to start the morning! Scanning the horizon as we ventured not far from Rottnest Island we were looking carefully for the largest creature on the planet, a Blue Whale. The call came from our port side (another great sighting by Mum who is now leading the tally board!) as the lofty exhalation of a Blue could be sighted not far away. Measuring in at around 18 meters and a very pretty looking individual with a smooth dorsal and perfectly placed mottled patterns. Seeming to be focused and on the foraging hunt we tracked along with this beautiful Blue as she easily covered over 2km every 8-12 minutes as she pushed towards the head of the Perth Canyon. Arriving in these shallow grounds we could easily sight the Rottnest Island lighthouse in the distance along with locals out in their dinghies enjoying the perfect conditions for a bit of fishing.

Our big Blue didn’t seem deterred by the Easter “traffic” as she continued to cruise through the area in search of her meal, although she did take a quick look at one of the small vessels as she ventured past much to their surprise! Getting to know the sound of our vessel and arriving in suitable hunting grounds, she would surface close to us as she replenished oxygen and was very relaxed in our company. Just after one of her sounding dives the horizon lit up with the little tuffs of white water which soon turned into a stampede as a super pod of 800-1,000 Striped Dolphins surged through the Perth Canyon. Leaping, breaching and having a wonderful time they spied us from a long distance away and a quick change of direction from a few juveniles had the entire pod charging towards the bow! Seeming as excited to see us as we were to see them, they completely surrounded our vessel and displayed some incredible surface behaviours. Our beautiful day was completed with one final goodbye from our pretty Blue as she surfaced and seemed to relax into the afternoon sunshine as she took one last exhalation before disappearing into the deep blue of the Perth Canyon and into the shadow of Rottnest Island.

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