Only our second day into Augusta Season 2018 and we had a full bodied, barrel roll breach! It was spectacular as we watched two young male Humpbacks charging towards a second pod of two a few hundred metres ahead and peduncle slaps were also included in the wonderful surface activity and communication. During our morning experience we had not only one, but two young juveniles surround our vessel and come in for a very close look as we looked back at barnacles almost the size of our palms. The younger generation of Humpbacks (including yearlings and juveniles) are the first to make the northern migration and because their bodies are not fully developed just yet they can be a little bit on the skinnier side. They will generally not be required to travel as far north as the breeding age males and females which will require less blubber.
The juveniles seemed fascinated and would circle us, swim off a few hundred meters before returning back to our side again. One of the juveniles who was slightly lighter in colour showed some interesting behaviour today which looked very much like feeding behaviour as he swam in tight circles and released a few bubble veils. Baitfish jumped close by but we did not see him expand his throat pleats or take in a large mouthful of water, perhaps he was just practicing. The afternoon tour we had two separate pods of two Humpbacks moving towards each other and communicating with peduncle slaps and one of the most incredible barrel roll breach from one of the young males. The energy from all of the Humpback Whales we met today seemed to be of excitement as the Augusta Season 2018 really starts to get underway and we start to see the arrival of thousands of Humpbacks along the Western Australian coastline… let the good times “barrel” roll on!