What a special cruise we had yesterday morning as we witnessed a very unique behaviour that is rarely ever seen… especially at this time of our season! Tail Sailing is when a whale will hang upside down and their enormous tail fluke will be above the oceans surface. This type of behaviour is usually sighted further north when a whale is trying to keep cool or a mother might be feeding her calf.
So you can imagine our great surprise to see this big white tail fluke hovering above the surface when we first sighted this pod. Once we spent some time with them we could see that this was a mother with her yearling calf who very soon will be leaving mom to begin his very own journey, but for now he is still enjoying the protection from mom! Calves spend a lot of their time practicing different behaviours and this very unique Humpback behaviour takes a lot of practise to get right and he kept repeating his tail sailing for over 90 minutes.
Both mother and yearling then came right up to our bow only a few meters away to check us out and mum made sure she was the first to approach…like all mothers they are super protective of their babies! Such a special experience with these two beautiful Humpbacks and spending time with them and then having them come over to say hello definitely made us feel like “sailing away” with them.
Our afternoon tour also had much excitement as two big bull Humpbacks approached and joined another pod with much surface activity sighted. Two of these Humpbacks spy hoped while facing one another and they almost looked like they were dancing together with pectoral fins outstretched! A very special day of whale watching with many special moments.
Date – 22.6.16
Species – Humpback
Lat – 34 . 20. 62 Long – 115 . 12 . 64
Notes – Juvenile with mother, practising behaviour for over 90 minutes