Humpback Mothers and Calves filled the coastline today just off Fremantle as we enjoyed the experience of two mother and calf pod’s introducing themselves to each other in the azure blue waters near Rottnest Island. There was plenty of traffic about and the pair of pod’s navigated slowly but surely through the vessel’s as they headed south. The calves, like all youngsters, were very curious with our vessel and also played with the seaweed on the surface. Many do not know just how sensitive a Whale’s skin is and how they all enjoy the tactile sensations the seaweed offers.
One of the Mothers had signs of being an Orca surviver and when our local resident pod of Bottlenose Dolphins showed up to play with her calf she let us know she was not very keen on that, with a loud trumpet she then retreated next to our vessel, having become confident in us that we were not a threat. One of the problems we have as a Whale Watch vessel is the approach of other vessels who do not know how to act around Whales and consequentially pose a threat to the Whales, they pick up on this energy and then defensive behaviour begins and the Whale watch ends, thankfully 99% of people do the right thing and treat the Whales with respect, but as we started to attract a crowd today we left our new friends and spent some time with the local Pod of Dolphins who know our vessel well, to the delight of all onboard.
Note to readers: If you are on the ocean and you see professional Whale Watch vessels with Whales, please give them a wide berth as they spend many hours building relationships with Whales for the benefit of not only customers but also research. Though perhaps with the best intentions in mind, you can still interfere with someone else’s experience. Everyone should have the intentions of observing and not influencing behaviour when spending time with the Whales of WA.