The Humpbacks take centre stage in Augusta today as we started our morning with an enormous competition pod who started near the Southern Right Whale nursery grounds of Flinders Bay and travelled all the way to the other side which is a journey of approximately 11km at speed! Travelling across the bay meant many males joined the female as she led them on a chase which resulted in 18 whales competing, only four short of our largest competition pod of 22 sighted last season. The energy was incredible as they swiped, dived and head lunged towards each other as they tried to get closer to the female and just when the pod couldn’t get any busier the local Bottlenose Dolphins joined in with their little tail slaps and bow riding. A perfect morning was completed when we re-sighted the mother Southern Right Whale who had given birth to her newborn calf earlier in the morning and had travelled towards the Augusta Boat Harbour with another adult known as an “Aunty” in search of a suitable place to become her nursery grounds for her brand new baby.
The weather conditions were glassy for our afternoon experience as we made our way out of the Harbour and met two migrating Humpbacks who were travelling towards the reef line and… the mother Southern Right Whale and calf! They passed by quietly and did not seem to disturb the pair who were quietly resting in a more suitably peaceful part of Flinders Bay. We only stayed a short while and had a sure feeling that the Aunty whale was resting right next to mother and calf taking full advantage of her enormous lung capacity. The afternoon then exploded to life as we passed by one pod who were tail slapping before moving out of the area and another competition pod ahead began to show the Language of the Whales™ at its most spectacular.
Full bodied breaching, tail lobs, peduncle slaps and pectoral slapping filled our afternoon as we watched one after the other as these two pods communicated towards each other and the female flirted with the males accompanying her. The most enormous head lunges were sighted only meters away from us as one of the males who had been kicked out of the competition responded in frustration with incredible head lunging as he launched 30+ tonnes into the glassy conditions of another magnificent afternoon as the Humpbacks take centre stage in Augusta once again!