Whale Watching in Fremantle during spring is the perfect time to witness the southern Humpback Whale migration as today we had a beautiful mother/calf/escort pod along with a powerful competition pod erupting in the waters off Fremantle. A beautiful morning and lovely conditions as we departed the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and made our way out towards Rottnest Island. A tall blow just ahead lingered for a long time and as we approached a tiny calf surfaced. Certainly not alone, the next surfacing sighted mother Humpback calmly swimming alongside her calf in focused migration mode. It wasn’t until the third surfacing that we observed the male escort, as usual keeping a low profile as he protectively watched over mother and calf. The little one was excitedly playing with the seaweed along the journey and would twist and roll to get the clumps all over his body. The male escort seemed bemused and began to roll to his side also as mother Humpback appeared at ease with the social interaction unfolding between the escort and her calf.
Allowing this lovely pod to continue on with their morning, a powerful commotion of white water and tall blows erupted just ahead. It was a newly formed competition pod and the energy was intense as the males charged after the female who was travelling at a steady 15 knots. Adding to the drama was an Australian Navy Submarine moving past and our female Humpback decided to head straight towards this perfect distraction. The submarine passed and that left the pod closer to Rottnest Island and in shallower water. The whales hung close together and pushed in towards our bow as the males jostled for position closer to the female. One male in particular was very impressive as he would launch skywards before slipping back below the surface powerfully, the perfect reversal! This same male was also chin slapping and creating many a bubble veil to hide the female who was now encouraging the attention by pec slapping over and over again. She was certainly flirting and seemed to be pleased with the efforts of this male who was fast establishing himself as the primary male escort. Whale watching in Fremantle during spring is always a great joy and a wonderful time was had with these incredible Humpback Whales today as the female and her new mate moved out into deeper water, a few bachelor males still lingering behind.