August is underway and the Humpback Whale migration mode has set in for the last of the northern migration. Over 40,000 Humpback Whales have almost completed the journey north and as we head further into August we will begin to sight the last of the heavily pregnant females and their male escorts. A moody morning greeted us and as the dark clouds created dramatic scenes on the horizon, Flinders Bay remained perfect in the middle as we joined with the escort pods. Ranging from young adults to mature individuals, the happy couples journeyed through the bay and as some settled in to rest, a few were slipping into the Humpback Whale migration mode. Travelling at a steady 4-8km per hour and focused movement means that these whales will travel a vast distance in a relatively short amount of time.
Gannets dived around us as the Albatross glided by all in search of a good breakfast as the Humpbacks continued on their path through the bay. Two large adults gently swam alongside us as they decided to find a suitable resting place in Flinders Bay. Both in fantastic health and looking curious, they gently swam underneath our bow to check us out and we watched as their dark shadows moved underneath our feet. The focus for these whales is very much on getting north as quickly as possible, within the next few weeks we will start to see the steady transition from northern to southern migration as the yearlings, newly pregnant females and juveniles lead the way back towards the summer feeding grounds in Antarctica from spring onwards.