It was a 4 Pines Whale Watching kind of day today in the sunshine of a beautiful Saturday morning. Today one of our lovely guests took us back to the very beginning of our journey with the whales of Western Australia and todays story was inspired by the 4 Pines Brewery jumper she was wearing. The original and true founder of whale watching in the South West was a man by the name of Steve Mitchell and his wife Terri who began whale watch tours all the way back in 1993 creating a very successful business that they sold a few years ago. Shortly after selling their business, Steve and Terri introduced our family to the whales of Western Australia, you see Steve was a childhood friend of our Dad. Our families history is intertwined with the ocean and with pearl diving in Western Australia, along with eco tourism and whale watching on the east coast, we were very excited for the opportunity to provide world class whale watch experiences for our guests in our home state of WA. Back to that wonderful jumper and 4 Pines brand on the bow today, Steve and Terri have a close bond with 4 Pines Brewery as it was started by their children and has grown into a hugely successful and extremely enjoyable beer loved Australia wide.
The whales were curious and playful this morning with our first interaction with an initially shy juvenile who tail lobbed powerfully along the coast of Fremantle. Flexing his muscles and establishing that he was the boss, he then ventured over to us and had a good look. Travelling solo, this young whale will be looking for a friend to join with for the long migration south but for now was enjoying some exploring alongside Cottesloe Beach. Our next pod took us all by surprise as the local Bottlenose Dolphins, three male Humpback Whales and a male Australian Sea Lion all played together! A very social pod of marine mammals and having all three species playing together is a very unique sighting. The bachelor pod approached and we could see that one of the males was an Orca attack survivor, looking carefully along his back and towards the peduncle you will notice that his dorsal fin is missing and instead are scars in place of where it should be. Although carrying these scars, this was a healthy and happy Humpback who along with his mates decide to swim around and around us, coming ever so close with curiosity.
The growth of our Whale Watch Western Australia brand, similar to 4 Pines, has been astronomical in a very short period of time and we have much gratitude and love for Steve and Terri Mitchell, thank you for being the pioneers of whale watching in the south west and bringing the whales of WA to so many, we will all be forever grateful and love you both.