Humpback Whale Research continues onboard each of our tours as today we enjoyed monitoring the movement of the whales through Flinders Bay as they continue to change their pattern of migration from the previous two seasons. Humpback Whales will feed in slightly different locations when in Antarctica and depending on their last feeding ground before making that departure towards Australia can affect their migration path trajectory. The movement of the Leeuwin Current can also be a factor in the whales decision of hugging the coastline or moving wider past the capes. The last two seasons we have seen the bulk of the Humpbacks migrating wide on the journey north and during those seasons fewer whales were observed close to the coastline in Flinders Bay. Augusta season 2022 so far has seen the Humpback Whales resume their close contact with the coast as dozens of pods return to their migration within a few hundred meters of the beach with many others still travelling wide of the bay as well.
Our first pods were some of these individuals who were hugging the coastline and one pod in particular was extremely friendly. Two enormous adults came over for a closer look as they swam around and underneath us, a wonderful curiosity to see and be so close to such wonderfully wild whales. After many close passes they eventually made their way towards the reef line where we wished them well and joined with a competition pod which had formed after enormous double breaching in the heart of the bay. The pod of six came straight for us with one of the males launching himself above the swell spectacularly as the competition rumbled onwards. Eventually four whales remained as they followed the female around the cape and we joined with another active pod. The female was pec slapping, breaching and began inverted fluke slapping as she attempted to get attention from any bachelor males that were close. The sound of her enormous fluke hitting the oceans surface echoed out around us on this beautiful morning and it was a spectacular sight to see. Our journey home was slightly delayed as we continued to meet a further four pods on the trip back on a very busy morning of Humpback Whale research.