The Augusta Winter Whale Watching Season officially began today as we welcomed the first day of winter for 2018. The day was filled with Humpback Whale trios with one in the morning and another sighted in the afternoon travelling through Flinders Bay. The first Humpback trio we met this morning had one individual who was uniquely marked with old scars and what appeared to be healed skin lesions. This very unique looking individual decided to roll completely upside down and swim belly up a few meters below the surface as we traced the luminescent glow.
During the afternoon we had yet another Humpback trio and it looked to be a mother and her yearling calf being followed closely by a young male. The beautiful underside fluke that the mother/calf pair showed as they tail dived was almost identical to each other and their very own fingerprint for future identification. The trio slowly started to pickup speed as another two pods could be sighted further ahead and they shuffled in alongside our vessel. One of the second pods further in front did not seem pleased with their arrival and a large Humpback launched into the air as 30+ tonnes landed after an amazing breach! It was quickly followed by another and a few peduncle slaps to send a strong message across to the approaching pod. They seemed to get the message and changed course slightly to avoid getting too close to this very talkative Humpback who was focused on keeping his travelling companion to himself.
Albatross soared and we sighted Indian Yellow-Nosed, Shy and Black Browed Albatross along with Antarctic Skua and Wilsons Storm Petrels also sighted. Due to Cape Leeuwin being located on the most south western point of the Australian coastline we have a wonderful opportunity to sight many pelagic seabird species much closer to the coast. A perfect first winters day for the beginning of the Augusta Winter Whale Watching Season.