Leaving the marina this morning we did not expect to be a part of a once in a lifetime tour. We noticed a pod about 200 meters away and as we stopped our vessel to determine what type of pod and where they were moving suddenly all whales turned directly towards our vessel and started moving straight towards us! Already very excited by the approaching pod we were completely blown away when little Leeuwi surfaced in front of our bow!
We met Leeuwi the baby Humpback and his mum all the way back on June 28th and have seen him six times since then. Today his mum had caught the attention of two young male Humpbacks who were trying to get close to her and possibly mate. These types of interactions are usually sighted in the calving grounds further north but because Leeuwi has been born so far south this amazing situation unfolded today in Flinders Bay which was truly a once in a lifetime experience!
The two new males chased the female and we could see them swimming side on and even underneath the female at times with the original escort male trying his best to protect the female and Leeuwi. We certainly felt today that the female was using our vessel to try and separate the males from herself and protect Leeuwi who was trying his best to keep close to mum. Thankfully the two younger males eventually left the female and Leeuwi, mum and the original male escort kept close together and enjoyed a bit of courtship behaviour as they moved to shallower water.
An incredible experience today that we were very fortunate to be a part of and we have absolutely fallen in love with our little Leeuwi who passed by our bow today only five meters away and we had the best view of him we have seen so far and he is still so tiny but a true little warrior❤
Date – 17.7.16
Species – Humpback
Lat – 34 . 21. 68 Long – 115 . 12 . 69
Notes – Male escort of Humpback mother/calf, unique hooked dorsal fin