Whale Watching Rottnest Island 2020 as we found the whales out the back off Rottnest Island on the Humpback Highway and it was a beautiful morning for a long cruise. Our first interaction was with the wonderful Bottlenose Dolphins who often frequent the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour when foraging and this morning they greeted us on our departure. The whole family had arrived and were busily beginning to hunt for breakfast after their hello and goodbyes. A distant blow up ahead signalled the first pod for this morning and it was an enormous exhalation, this was one big whale. Approaching, we could note that there were two pods approaching each other with one pod appearing to be a bachelor pod of three males and the second a quieter escort pod. The escort pod was trying to keep a low profile as the bachelors approached, a cheeky tail slap was a warning but the response from the big males was unexpected for the escort pod, a huge tail lob! Following that little bit of the Language of the Whales™ we noticed the escort pod decide that surface activity was not going to be the best way to deter the approach of these exuberant males.
All five whales briefly joined as they then began to swim straight towards us, the escort pod were using our vessel as a distraction by swimming underneath us. It seemed to work momentarily as the bachelors began to focus their attention on us instead, the escort pod made a break for it before the bachelors caught up to them again. The zigzag continued for a little while and one whale in particular was gracefully lifting a beautiful fluke regularly so we were able to get the perfect photo ID and named this special whale Estelle, inspired by a birthday celebration onboard. A tiny, juvenile Dusky Shark floated past the starboard side while munching away on leftover cuttlefish, oblivious to the enormous whales swimming past. The bachelor pod were given the slip one last time as the escort pod swam underneath us and quickly gained a nice reactionary distance from the boys who decided they would hang out with us instead as we enjoyed a morning whale watching off Rottnest Island with the wonderful wildlife on a beautiful day.