The vessel Emily Taylor arrived in Flinders Bay on the 2nd of May 1830 and as we looked out across the mist covered bay this morning we wondered of the thoughts that these first settlers had when they came ashore to what we now know as the beautiful Augusta. Certainly, we don't think they would have realised during those early days what would become of Augusta with the latest addition a brand new boat harbour that would have been a perfect place for the Emily Taylor and hundreds upon hundreds of whales continuing to visit this lovely part of the world.
Our morning began once the mist and cleared with competition pods racing through the bay, peaceful Humpbacks resting in the shallows along with Stacka and his mum who seemed to be enjoying the perfectly calm conditions. A pod of two Humpbacks enjoyed a social interaction with the local Bottlenose Dolphins and all approached to investigate our bow. The tall blows on the horizon could be seen as yet another completion pod charged through the bay and alongside our vessel as we watched 14 Humpbacks race through glassy conditions as another pod breached ahead of them to deter their approach. A last pod on our journey back to the boat harbour ever so slowly swan around our vessel as they peacefully investigated us only meters away.
The afternoon conditions were just as beautiful as the energy in Augusta increased and competition pods could be sighted right throughout the bay. The first comp pod raced towards our vessel as the female tried to keep the males being her and circled around our bow. The males moved so close to the vessel we could feel the energy of this powerful pod of eight whales as they exhaled between 300-600 kilometres per hour. The energy then shifted as we joined a second pod with one of the male launching his entire body into the sky as we watched the most enormous head lunge. The female followed with breaching and pec slapping to encourage the following males as we watched in awe as fully grown, 40 tonne Humpbacks launched themselves into the sky. The journey home was complete with a final competition pod and it can still be hard to fathom how these whale achieve so much without feeding during their epic migration and Augusta is just the beginning of their journey!