Whales off Perth on a beautiful sunny day in Western Australia as we found ourselves surrounded by excited Humpback Whales and the first southbound mother and calf were also sighted this morning! Calm seas, gentle winds and turquoise hues escorted us towards the sighting grounds when a barely visible blow was sighted just ahead. Observing this pod carefully we noticed a very small shadow swimming alongside the larger adult and then the little one surfaced, our first Humpback calf sighting for the southbound migration Season 2020. A gorgeous and very healthy calf was happily swimming alongside mum as the two were keeping an extremely low profile, around seven other pods were only a few hundred meters away and mother Humpback was trying to tiptoe out of the area. We wished them both well for their journey ahead and could quickly see the reason why they were keeping a low profile, the adult pods further ahead were in an extremely sociable mood. All of the three seperate pods were beelining each other and travelling at speed.
Approaching the area we instantly had three whales swim towards our bow and converge with a pod of two to our starboard side. Two hundred meters away another two pods were communicating some defensive tail slapping towards the others and trying to establish an area of reactionary distance around themselves. The five adults close to us were swimming around like big puppies, so very exuberant and excited to socialise as one male charged in towards another who dramatically rolled in front of the bow to evade the contact. One adult in particular had a freshly damaged dorsal, most likely from another 30-40 thousand kilogram male landing on his back in a wrestling manoeuvre while involved in a competition pod this season. The dorsal had been pushed away from the peduncle of this whale and thankfully it will heal well, but certainly must have been painful at the time of impact! All five whales continued to swim around and around us with beautiful pivots and dance like manoeuvres, lifting flukes gracefully while powerful exhalations roared all around us providing an amphitheatre like experience with the whales off Perth this morning.