A big surprise today as we sighted our first Humpback calf for season 2019 during our afternoon experience in Flinders Bay, Augusta. The first inkling something was different about this pod was the extremely quiet behaviour and low profile they were keeping. At first we sighted just the one large adult when suddenly a tiny puff alongside her alerted us to a much smaller and dusky grey shape. A baby Humpback Whale surfaced right next to this female and we were very surprised to have our first Humpback calf sighting for season 2019! The little one was beautiful and looked rather healthy with a nice strong dorsal fin and darker skin pigmentation indicating this calf was at least a couple of weeks old. We did not spend long with this special pod, just enough time to capture a couple of ID photographs as we watched them gently swim off together. Hopefully this female will continue to take her calf further north and into warmer waters. Both looked very healthy and relaxed which was a great sign and we wish them well on the long journey ahead.
Before the baby Humpback was sighted in the afternoon, our morning tour was filled with special time spent with two incredibly curious adults who surrounded us. They swam around, underneath and hovered just off our bow as they investigated every inch of our vessel. Seeming satisfied with their investigative work they then settled down to rest quietly next to us and try to avoid the approach of the other pods close by. This worked for a short amount of time but eventually the interest of a young approaching adult meant they had to take action. Swimming underneath us and facing directly towards the approaching Humpback we watched the initial interaction unfold under our feat as the large male swept his pectoral towards the new whale. This quickly sent the younger whale on his way and left these two lovebirds to continue their morning together.
Our afternoon was also busy with the surface activity of breaching Humpbacks as they shuffled around the bay in search of a mate. A young female started off the conversation as her attention seeking breaching managed to get three responses as other pods all around breached, head lunged and tail slapped. After the displays the afternoon relaxed into sleep time as many of the pods took an opportunity to rest and shortly afterwards we had our first Humpback calf sighting for season 2019 and completed a memorable day in Augusta!