The very first encounter this morning was only moments after leaving the Augusta Boat Harbour and as we headed out into Flinders Bay we could see the exhalation of a young Humpback 200 meters ahead. Very curious towards us he had a quick look before continuing past the harbour and another two whales were relaxing not far away. These two seemed very pleased to meet us as well and raced over to surround our vessel, it wasn't long before they had us running from port to starboard as they swam from one side of our vessel to the other. They were that close we could count the barnacles on their rostrum and watch as they looked back at us in-between spinning upside down and showing off their tail flukes. One of these friendly whales is also a survivor as we noticed the distinctive scarring left behind from a previous rope entanglement, how wonderful to see him alive and thriving!
Our afternoon began similar again from this morning as Humpback Whales were sighted only moments after leaving the boat harbour and this time we had a mother and her yearling calf having a good look at us on their journey towards the reef line. Being a very large and mature female, her yearling calf was healthy and we can often see with the older females offspring that they tend to be slightly larger than some of the younger mother Humpbacks thanks to the enormous "milk bar" that they have 200 litres of to enjoy each day! A few more pods were resting in the area and also curious towards us as they approached for a closer look, but it was a competition pod near St Alouarn Island that sparked our interest and we moved towards them to see what was happening.
Upon our arrival a young female had captured the attention of four large male Humpbacks who were following her around very closely, being young this could well be her first breeding season. Swimming towards us and trying to slow the males down we could hear and feel the excitement amongst this pod and watched as one of the largest males claimed his spot alongside the female. Positioning himself close to her he was able to keep the other males a little further away as they made a move to move towards the reef. Rain showers created magnificent rainbows throughout today and beautiful lighting as the sunset over Flinders Bay.