The Humpback Whale kindy grounds were busy this morning as mothers and calves gathered to rest and socialise in the calm conditions. Our first pod sighted was of two mothers and calves playing and the calves were practicing some pectoral fin slapping which they had down pat perfectly. Yet another three mothers and calves were socialising further up ahead and as we observed their interaction it wasn’t long before two of the mums approached us and brought their calves towards our bow for a closer look. It was during this twisting and turning we had a perfect view of the lower belly from one of the calves and could easily sight the Humpback Whale hemispherical lobe which is a round lump on the belly of the females that the males do not have. A very exciting moment to sight the gender of this young calf and know that she will be a mum herself one day in the next 10 to 14 years.
One female did cause us slight concern as we watched her resting in a very unusual manner, literally standing in twelve meters of water. We could see her fluke was positioned towards the bottom as her rostrum gently poked out above the surface to reveal her big white belly glowing below. Completely stationary her calf bobbed right alongside her and we watched as she stood in this way for ten minutes. Righting herself so she could breath we could hear the exhalations and her entire body language and breathing sounded heavy. Concerned that she may have had some entanglement around her fluke causing her to rest her fluke on the bottom instead of the normal horizontal resting position. We decided to stay with her and watch for a while just to see if everything was alright and after a few more surfacing’s she finally stretched her peduncle out and we could see clearly along her backbone and fluke… it was all clear. A sigh of relief and this mum seemed to just be exhausted, the other pods in the area were not bothering her and seemed to appreciate her situation by giving her plenty of space. The thoughtfulness and sensitivity our Humpback Whale population shows towards each other and what is in their environment is always wonderful to observe and we had yet another mum and her calf enjoying a seaweed facial again today as they appeared to enjoy the pampering!