Perth School Holiday Whale Watch kicked off this weekend with spectacular breaching, tail slapping and pec slapping lighting up the coastline off Perth. Our morning tour began with sunshine and a light breeze as we made our way to the sighting grounds when the call went out to our port side, the Humpbacks were in the building! Two relaxed and easy going adults were in cruise control as they shuffled through the resting grounds while travelling at a steady and consistent pace.
Curiously looking over their shoulder towards us, they seemed interested as to why we had found them so interesting. The energy changed though and tucked away just off the coast was powerful head lunging repeated a few times over, something had startled this pod. On our arrival we could observe that it was highly likely a shark had been causing some harassment for these two whales and the male Humpback took the chance to defend his female and show off. Peduncle slaps, tail slaps and inverted tail slapping continued as the male flexed his muscle and cleared the area around him of all possible predation. He then tried to go belly to belly with the female, a possible mating attempt perhaps but she wasn’t overly impressed as she wiggled away from him and swam over towards us as he tried to amuse her with further pec slapping.
The storm rumbled through and was so very distinctively different to the morning as the pitter patter of rain fell down around us. Journeying towards the sighting grounds we scanned in and amongst the rain and on the horizon we could see breaching erupting all around us. The rain cleared and we were completely stunned to sight over 60 Humpbacks Whales within a two kilometre radius of our vessel, they were going off! The Language of the Whales™ was dramatic and intense as all pods exploded with an enormous array of surface activity, plumes of white water closing in around us. One female in particular repeated enormous breaching and pec slapping for almost 90 minutes as she did all she could to call in the boys, it took a long time but eventually she had two big males swim over to introduce themselves to her. The rain cleared through and the wonderfully intense communication amongst the 30+ pods was marvellous to observe as even a young calf joined in with the conversation with the little one completely airborne at one point.
A truely spectacular day with both our morning and afternoon tour complete opposites weather wise, but the Language of the Whales and conversations ringing out the same and what a wonderful way to begin the Perth School Holiday Whale Watch extravaganza!