Wow, wow, wow! Humpbacks, a familiar Southern Right Whale and 100 breaches were sighted today in another brilliant winter whale watching experience. Our morning began with Humpback Whales all around as a large movement of over fifty whales moved past the outskirts of Flinders Bay and with so many whales around it wasn’t long before energy levels increased. Three big males surfaced close by and as one launched into a breach we looked ahead and sighted a competition pod starting to form. Humpbacks charged left, right and sideways as an enormous male breached just off our bow and his slinky body gracefully stretched out across the horizon. He continued to swim with us and follow the comp pod just up ahead and a few full bodied breaches were thrown in to keep the other whales interested. Eventually they joined and we smiled as everywhere we looked whales and tall exhalations could be sighted. Our morning completed with a young adult breaching close to the reef line with the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse creating a very pretty backdrop to complement the spectacular surface activity we were watching.
Our afternoon began with a very big surprise… our friendly Southern Right Whale sighted earlier in the month was back again and he curiously bobbed his head up to say hello! We were so excited to see him again and spent some time catching up on everything that had happened since we last met. Swimming right up to our bow and gracefully lifting his fluke we would then wait a few minutes before he bobbed back up on the other side of our bow, again gently approaching us before lifting his fluke once more. We could have stayed all afternoon with this special whale, but wished him a relaxing evening ahead and made our way out to find some Humpbacks. It wasn’t long before a young female started to breach and she was breaching right towards us and almost landed on the bow! She was trying to get the attention of any young males close by and it took over one hour before she finally received a response.
A pod slightly further out responded with some breaching of their own before another young Humpback raced to join her before the others got any ideas. She still didn’t stop breaching though and even began to pec slap, at least now she had a male following and all of that incredible effort was worthwhile. Tallying up the breaching from this morning and the incredible marathon, one hour breachathon from this female we sighted just over 100 breaches today. A very special day of course to see so much surface activity and also sight two species in one day with the much loved appearance of our friendly Southern Right Whale. Flinders Bay is an incredible place with incredible winter whale watching opportunities right here in Augusta!