We had an incredible moment today as we watched a Southern Right Whale in labor! She was heavily pregnant and hardly able to move smoothly and was continually hanging upside down with her flukes raised above the waters surface for prolonged periods of time in a behaviour known as tail sailing. There was once a sighting of a Grey Whale giving birth who was in exactly the same position with her head down and fluke up so when we sighted this behaviour from this very large female Southern Right we were ecstatic!
It was terribly hard to leave her, but it was more important her first few moments with her calf were in privacy and it is hard to say if the baby was going to be born in 10 minutes or 10 hours as the birth of a calf is incredibly rare to witness. The female seemed relaxed (and perhaps slightly uncomfortable!) and we are very excited to hopefully meet her again soon with her brand new baby. The day was filled with joy as we met a mother Southern Right Whale and her newborn calf frolicking in the sea with baby breaching, head lunges and gentle tail slaps. Amazing to watch this little whale at play with mum showing off her size to us and even rolling onto her back refusing her baby any more milk after his feed.