We had a huge surprise this afternoon as we met our very first Humpback calf for season 2016. After watching the pod of two adult whales for a while at a distance they surfaced a bit closer to us and we could see the tiny baby swimming next to his mom’s pectoral fin and trying his best to get that blowhole above the swell for a big breathe. We were certainly not expecting to see such a young calf so early on in the season and so far south of where he needs to be.
The little ones dorsal fin was still lying on its side and from his incredibly small size and coordination he looked to be only a few hours old. We only managed to capture a quick photo before gently moving away from this pod as not to disturb them. Being so young and with many other Humpbacks sighted close by we decided that the best thing for mom, baby and their male escort was to allow them to continue moving through the bay without us causing any disturbance or extra concern in a very vulnerable time for the baby.
It is very unusual for a Humpback calf to be born in this area and during these early months of our season. Sometimes a female who is having her very first calf can have a few problems and not be as well timed as the older females with more experience are. We will definitely be keeping a very close eye open tomorrow for any signs of this pod.
Our afternoon tour also had some amazing peduncle slap and tail slaps with a bachelor pod of three big male Humpbacks who approached our vessel at speed with incredible energy!
Date – 28.6.16
Species – Humpback
Lat – 34 . 23. 23 Long – 115 . 14 . 70
Notes – Mother of calf