The Perth Canyon is host to many of the worlds most incredible cetaceans and on our journey today we met the largest toothed predator on the planet… the Sperm Whale! A tall and muffled blow had everyone looking very closely, this certainly didn’t appear to be the seven meter high exhalation of a Blue Whale. Excitedly we watched as the wrinkly cobalt grey skin of a fifteen meter long diver of the depths surfaced. A large male, he seemed very relaxed and took some time to replenish his oxygen levels in preparation for his next sounding dive which could see him hunting at depths of over one kilometre for an hour or more. Sperm Whales are known to feed in the Perth Canyon but sightings of them are not overly frequent which made today’s interaction extremely special. Every journey to the Perth Canyon enables us the opportunity to observe this remarkable place and better understand the individuals who rely on this marine park for their food and survival. Sperm Whales were hunted into the late seventies and the population estimates and their movement along our coastline needs further research and investigation. Sightings of a magnificent male Sperm Whale today in the Perth Canyon assist in understanding their preferred feeding grounds and we hope to see this whale again in the near future.
The day was busy with plenty of feeding opportunities as Shearwaters and Petrels dived on jumping Tuna who were busy chasing after smaller baitfish. The food chain begins with tiny creatures like krill and continues to move up to the top, including enormous Sperm Whales and Blue Whales. Charging towards the area we had found the Tuna in were approximately one hundred stunning Striped Dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). Half a dozen individuals were first sighted moving towards our bow when suddenly the ocean around us seemed to erupt as more and more individuals surfaced to check us out! Simply stunning, the Striped Dolphins are renowned for their larger pod sizes and enthusiastic displays of surface activity and today was a perfect example of this unique species of oceanic dolphin. Porpoising, breaching and even tail walking where a dolphin will lift its entire body out of the water and “walk” backwards on their fluke. Incredibly friendly, we enjoyed their company and impressive surface activity as the pod regrouped and prepared to march towards the feeding grounds. A day to enjoy surprise sightings and unfortunately we were not able to meet our Blues today but look forward to welcoming our guests back onboard for their free return trip. Our guarantee always in place to ensure our guests sight the whale of their dedicated tour, even when other species steal the show!