The Humpbacks enjoyed Summer in July as we sighted numerous competition pods throughout both our morning and afternoon experience in the glorious weather. Our first pod of the morning was of four Humpbacks who were socialising and playing in seaweed as we noticed one of the individuals covered in old injuries. A completely missing dorsal fin and tail fluke with rounded edges all showed signs of rake marks left behind from a previous Orca attack, this beautiful whale was a survivor! Another incredible interaction this morning as an Australian Sea-Lion was leading a pod of 10+ Bottlenose Dolphins and two enormous Humpback Whales directly towards us and we watched in great amusement as this super pod of three different species swam directly towards our bow to check everyone out. A powerful caption pod of 14 individuals raced through the bay and our perfect morning was completed with a quick hello to Stacka and mum, the Southern Right Calf who was born in the early hours of yesterday morning.
The afternoon weather was just as perfect with calm sea and sunny sky leading us towards our first competition pod of seven who were charging close to the abalone farm. The males were deliberately using the floats as obstacles to push each other towards and soon the female was racing towards us for assistance! She was slightly smaller than some of the other females we have sighted over the last few days and seemed to struggle slightly with keeping the males behind her as the primary escort was pushed aside and the remaining males desperately tried to move up the competition line. They raced towards, around and underneath us as other males joined and eventually we did have a winner who came escorted the female away.
The tail lob of a cheeky young Humpback could be seen as he communicated towards a pod of three adults sitting right next to our bow observing everyone above. We let them continue their journey as we joined up with this lovely young whale who tail lobbed and bubble veiled alongside us as he communicated his dominance and seemed to enjoy socialising with us as he swam towards our bow and waited for us to tail slap back. The peaceful afternoon was a perfect nursery ground for Stacka and as we sighted mother and calf the baby Southern Right breached high above the surface to have a cheeky look at us… how quickly they Learn the Language of the Whales™!