Today is the warmest day we have had since April and what a beauty it was☀ Humpback whales everywhere we looked and everyone was jumping for joy… including the whales! A male escort who was protecting a mother and calf had a lot of competition today with pod after pod approaching him and challenging his place. To deter these younger males he had to put a lot of effort in with many bubble veils, peduncle slaps and then he did something really smart. Pushing the female and her calf close to us he used our vessel as a block, positioning himself in between mother/calf and the fast approaching males. Only a few meters from our bow and with the other males closing in he went for it and sent a powerful message to the other males by breaching high into the sky and we had front row seats for the most spectacular moment you could imagine!
Only meters away he came crashing down as gravity took over and he continued to push the mother and calf towards and around our vessel using us as a block and combining this with his bubble veils to try and hide the female and her calf from the other males. He was successful and retained his spot as escort with both his strong size and older age helping this more experienced male win today. The younger male were not too disappointed though and soon were attracted to the tail slapping that could be seen off in the distance.
Possibly one of the most beautiful flukes we have seen this season “Freckles” as he was nicknamed gave us a fantastic visual of his fingerprint today. Another pod of two Humpbacks were only 200 meters away and they were also tail slapping and we watched a perfect example of The Language of the Whales™. Raising his fluke high above the surface and slapping down hard, we could hear the thud as Freckles continued to tail slap and even added a bit of a unique hammer or karate chop style as he swiped his fluke to the side. Every fluke is unique to each individual whale, just like our fingerprints, and we certainly won’t be forgetting Freckles anytime soon!
Date – 12.10.16
Species – Humpback
Lat – Undisclosed Long – Undisclosed
Notes – Tail slapping towards another pod of two Humpbacks 200 meters away