Cottesloe Beach Whales created quite the scene today as a competition pod of three males raced at full speed in pursuit of a female along busy Cottesloe Beach! A remarkable spectacle to observe as we sighted the beginning of the initial formation of this pod and with great intensity and speed they charged along at almost full speed (around 16-18 kilometres per hour) as the female played clever tactics to see which male was the fittest. Travelling in shallow water only 12 meters deep there was no room to dive so the female focused on speed moving quickly and changing direction frequently. A male Humpback cannot surface before the others when in such an intense competition pod in fear of loosing his place in line so must surface when everyone else does. This means that only the males with the largest and strongest lung capacity can keep up with the female, compete, change direction and think all at th same time! Isn’t it incredible to understand that these males have not eaten since late April/May this year yet still give their absolute all in competition when the opportunity arises.
The mothers and calves we had met earlier in the morning were enjoying some relax time and keeping a low profile as they could hear and sense the energy of these boisterous males well before we started the formation of the competition pod. The intensity a male brings to the environment when competing is not all that suitable for young calves who need to rest, feed and socialise. Being chased by the males will result in the calf not being able to feed or rest regularly and upsetting mums planned cycle putting extra strain on both of their migrations. Thankfully the young female Humpback Whale today seems to have no troubles in having the three mature adult males chasing after her and kept their focus entirely on her instead of the mother and calves resting close by. A very exciting morning to be out and also enjoy the company of a few of the local Bottlenose Dolphins as we watched Cottesloe Beach Whales enjoying a beautiful weekend in the Western Australian sunshine!