Rottnest Island Whales it was this morning as Humpback mothers and calves stretched out and enjoyed a morning of fun in the waters just off Rottnest Island. Our first pods were surface active as inverted fluke slapping, pec slapping and peduncle slaps were practiced. A busy morning for the vessel traffic travelling out to Rottnest Island which made it tricky for the mothers and calves to navigate across the channel. Thankfully they kept close and we worked as an escort across the channel as they travelled within our sound footprint to avoid any risk of collision from the incoming vessels. It is vitally important for all those out on the water to ensure they are respectful towards the whales and when a sighting has occurred to slow down and adjust course accordingly to minimise disturbance to the whales that are migrating or resting in the area.
One of the calves was particularly curious and as mother whale waited for the next round of vessel traffic to move past she stopped in front of our bow. Her calf loved this opportunity to show off and was twisting and rolling, looking like a giant starfish with pectorals out wide and belly to the sky floating at the surface. It was beautiful to be welcomed into this special pod as mother whale began to fluke slap as another vessel approached at speed. Asserting her dominance with fluke slapping ensured that the area remained as her own and both herself and her precious calf could enjoy a relaxing afternoon ahead. A beautiful morning with the Rottnest Island Whales observing the special interaction between mothers and their calves.