Humpback Whale Tail Sailing

It was all about the tail today and this afternoon we had the opportunity to witness Humpback Whale tail sailing behaviour. The morning began with a high paced competition pod with over six Humpbacks charging together and creating a lot of movement as they went with flukes held high. Further Humpbacks joined and it wasn’t long before we notice a separation with one female appearing to go left while the other continued right, a few pec slaps beneath the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse was a beautiful sight. Dolphins and magnificent Albatross glided across Flinders Bay as the many Humpbacks around relaxed into the Monday morning. Energy levels changed again and we were accompanied by two males travelling quickly together in search of a female friend. The afternoon sightings began with two very friendly and enormous adults who spent some time swimming around us and approaching nearby pods seeming to seek interaction.

Soon the younger individuals around us would tail lob here and there to warn these two adults not to approach their space. Sending out a message with a gentle peduncle slap it wasn’t long before they had a response and another two very friendly adult Humpbacks approached. Looking to our port side in surprise we watched as a slinky tail fluke hovered towards the surface and the Humpback Whale tail sailing demonstration began. This very large adult repeatedly lifted her fluke carefully above the surface before holding that position for a short time. This is a perfect manoeuvre when you are in the tropical Kimberly Region and need to cool down, a tail fluke above the surface will capture the sea breeze and regulate your body temperature to the correct level. Soon these same whales were swimming underneath and around us in a very curious interaction and the nearby pods began to communicate with repetitive inverted fluke slapping, peduncle slaps and pec slaps in a busy afternoon of curious approaches, tail sailing and fun!

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