Augusta Competition Pod on a beautiful winters day in Flinders Bay as the boys rumbled and trumpeted for the females attention. Our morning began with a completely different energy as we approached very relaxed pod of two who were enjoying some rest time in the shallows. One individual in particular was covered from rostrum to fluke in many barnacles that glistened in the morning sunshine on each surfacing. A perfect pod to begin the first drone flight of the morning as Grace continued the Fat Whales Project research onboard and we had wonderfully cooperative whales more than happy to have their images recorded. Slowing as they entered shallow waters, they seemed content with their newfound spot in the bay and settled in for a rest so we decided now was a good opportunity to tiptoe away. Further pods were moving around the cape and one pod in particular was communicating with enormous breaching, head lunging and pec slapping.
There was a change of energy happening as pods scattered and a few individuals began to focus in on a pod just up ahead. It appeared to be a yearling travelling alongside mum who had attracted the attention of a few boys interested in saying hello to mother whale. The dominance was growing as the males began to shuffle for position closest to the female who was leading them on a chase through the bay. Fluke and pectoral fin swiping started as the boys tried their best to clear some space around the female and push each other away. Trumpeting loudly as each male exhaled and added to the atmosphere of competition as they pushed towards our bow and stern, using us as a distraction in hopes of persuading the other males to swim in the wrong direction. One male lifted himself high above water level right alongside us in an enormous spy hop which also body blocked the male behind him. Always a joy to watch an Augusta competition pod take place and we wished them well as they continued towards the reef line and we spent the last few minutes of our wonderful morning with the friendly local Bottlenose Dolphins who came over to say g’day!