Whale Acoustics

Whale acoustics are a fascinating look into the world of the whales as today we had the opportunity of not only observing surface activity noise but also listening in to the sounds below. Humpback Whales communicate largely with surface activity and verbal acoustics which create sound that can travel many kilometres. Hydrophones are a fantastic way of listening in to the environment around us and determining what noises can be heard. Today a strong current was picked up by the hydrophone and as expected, the nearby mothers and calves were most likely whispering to each other as any communications amongst them was not heard. The surface noise today was much louder and visually observed as the 5+ pods surrounding us would sporadically break out with breaching, head lunging and tail lobbing as the noise created rocketed around. A wonderful opportunity to have Professor Marcos Join The Pod today and show our guests the Language of the Whales from a different perspective and one so important to cetaceans.

It felt as though predation may have been in the area, the whales were on alert and focused on moving through the resting grounds efficiently. One of the mother Humpbacks launched into enormous head lunges as her calf joined in with breaching as something appeared to have startled this pod. Approaching the area we noticed that both mother and calf were quickly swimming away from the area and intent on moving northwest. A lone male bull also launched into a couple of breaches of his own and on approaching he joined with us for a little while before pushing towards Rottnest Island. An escort pod were also traversing through this area with the protective male escort swiping his fluke and snaking his body from side to side. The local Bottlenose Dolphins charged over towards our bow and seemed very pleased to see us this morning as Crested Terns and Pied Cormorants focused in on the smaller fish left behind by these clever cetacean hunters. An interesting day on the water and great to still see a few large adults travelling south later on in the southern migration season as mothers and calves continue to flow south in good numbers.

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