Secrets of a Sound Footprint

The secrets of the sound footprint is a vital part of the Language of the Whales™ we love to teach to our guests onboard and today we had a perfect example. Three young Whales had begun to play with pec slapping and gentle belly rolls as they moved towards us. A gentle approach and then waiting stationary allowed for them to hear the sound of our vessel and become familiar with us and it wasn’t long before they decided to come in for a closer look. Surfacing just off our bow we could see them slow  and visually take in our vessel now that they had built a trust with us. Deliberately enjoying their social time close to a shipping channel it enabled the nearby rumble of large tankers to mask any noise that was being created by their gentle pec slaps and social behaviour.

To our right we sighted yet another three, tall blows and as we made a gentle approach towards them we could see that one was a very large female, most likely being accompanied by two slightly younger males. They were moving at a steady pace towards the waiting grounds of our visiting tankers and it is thanks to the noise that these ships create while sitting still (generators, anchor chain) creating a noisy sound footprint that our whales can once again disappear into. These three adults were on the move though, a steady pace and heading towards an area off Rottnest Island where they will begin heading south. The large female approached closer and closer towards us until it felt like we were all swimming together in one large pod as we wish them the very safest of travels back to krill filled Antarctica.

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