Responsible whale watching takes patience and a full understanding of The Language of the Whales™ to understand how we must act when in the company of our whales. Mothers and calves especially are very sensitive to aggressive, erratic and frantic movements of a vessel and this can change the entire energy of the whales within the resting grounds. To ensure a responsible whale watching experience it is important to respect the rules that are in place when approaching whales and for the duration of time that you are with them. The below diagram is an example of the correct approach ensuring a safe interaction for the whales, mothers and calves require a minimum distance of 300 meters and speed of five knots creating no wake. When these rules are also incorporated with matching the energy levels of the pod we can enjoy a curious and natural encounter with the magnificent whales of WA.
Our first mother and calf pod we met were skimming the surface and the calf even opened his mouth wide so we could catch a glimpse of his baleen, a very special sight indeed! Watching the movement of this pod they appeared to be being followed and it wasn’t until a few minutes later we could see who was causing the chase… a young Humpback who would have been no more than 2-3 years of age. Cheekily he was swimming along with mother and calf looking to socialise but the female politely and in her own way managed to distract him enough by swimming underneath and beside us that she had a window of opportunity to make a break and no longer have him following them. Now just the two of them remained and the female appeared to take that time to feed her hungry calf and came to a complete stop right underneath our bow. We could see in the 11 meter shallow water her shadow and that of the calf nuzzled underneath her having a delicious drink of milk. Leaving them to continue their breakfast we joined up with a few other of the mothers and calves resting in the area and we were so pleased to re-sight the pod we had met on Wednesday. The gorgeous calf was still Mr. Confident and as soon as he spied us came swimming over with mum following after him, he is a lucky calf to have such a patient mum and we guess that comes with experience and a more mature age!