Best whale watching in Australia right here in Flinders Bay, Augusta. One of very few places in the world you have the opportunity to sight two different whale species in their mating/courtship displays within meters of each other which is exactly what we had the privilege of sighting this afternoon! Our morning began peacefully as a gentle rainy haze blanketed the bay and we joined with two enormous adult Humpbacks. Interestingly and with much excitement we noticed that a large adult Southern Right Whale was just behind them and with such a close presence of the Right Whale these two Humpbacks decided to swim underneath us to evade detection.
Seeming curious as they continued towards the reef line, they came over a few times to do a 360 check of our vessel. Wishing them well we moved towards a few more Humpback pods with some breaching a few hundred meters ahead, upon approaching we met a protective male escort fluke slapping to keep the juvenile Humpback following them away. As the sun started to shine, the last wonderful surprise for our morning was our fourth Humpback calf sightings for Season 2019! Tiny and completely adorable we captured some id images of both mother and calf to confirm they were different from the previous cow/calves sighted so far this season.
Our afternoon was incredibly interesting as we approached an area that contained a few pods. Three enormous Southern Right Whales surfaced a few meters ahead and we were very excited to witness our first courtship pod for the season. Even more incredible was the Humpback Whale competition pod starting up only 30 meters ahead! We were witnessing the two very different styles of the mating/courtship pods of these two unique baleen whale species unfold.
The Southern Rights seemed to focus a little bit more on the Humpbacks as they started to charge towards us all and we held our breath to see what would happen next. The competing Humpbacks pushed towards and then underneath our bow as they used our stationary vessel as a large distraction amongst the competitive males. A big move like this seemed to settle them down and eventually two of the competing males diverted and began to move away leaving one very happy, but tired winner.
A remarkable and rare sight to watch unfold and something we were very fortunate to witness. The Humpback’s displayed the intense, high energy and competitive displays necessary for them to display to the female and for her to choose a suitable mate. Meanwhile, the Southern Right Whales performed their gentle and patient courtship ritual and the energy was dramatically different. Staying with us the three Southern Right Whales welcomed us to their pod and in and amongst the courtship behaviour, they would venture over to us and curiously gaze up at everyone looking back at them as we enjoyed some of the best whale watching in Australia.
To complete an incredible day we also sighted our first Southern Right Whale calf for Season 2019 and named the gorgeous calf after one very special and equally adorable guest onboard today… everyone meet Adelaide the Southern Right Whale calf and her name inspiration♥️