Kimberly calling along the Western Australian coastline as the Humpback Whales respond with thousands migrating north towards the warm waters of their winter home. Today we had the most beautiful sky as the patterns changed with the lighting and as we departed into Flinders Bay we approached our first pod for the morning. The energy was boisterous as one whale would roll over belly up as the others shuffled around. A few cheeky tail lobs amongst the individuals seemed to gather momentum as further pods around responded with some action of their own. One of these whales appeared to divert away from the pod and move towards a pod to his left. A commotion began and our hearts skipped a beat as we could see a tiny dorsal fin caught up in the white water, it was a Humpback calf! Mother whale was travelling with a protective male escort who charged at the challenger as the female lifted her baby up onto her back to keep the little one safe. The energy was tense but the males behaved themselves and we were relieved to see the dominant male holding his ground and continuing to protect mother and calf.
Our third pod for the morning was a lovely young female who was breaching across the bay as a male followed after her. A beautiful black belly crash landing after each breach which was lovely to observe as a fourth and fifth pod began to tail lob further to our left hand side. The two pods were boisterous as they shuffled around the shallows trying to avoid each other with one of the whales coming right in behind our stern. It was a busy morning amongst the Humpback freeway and fantastic to see some wonderful behaviours and also a brand new calf showing why the Humpback Whales are taught to be resilient and tough from such a young age.
The afternoon sky was just as lovely as the morning and scanning the horizon we could see breach after breach from a large whale. Arriving on scene we noted one very active female who continued her breaching and pec slapping along with three males. The chase was only short as it soon became apparent that two of the challengers were much younger and smaller than the mature bull. He pushed them aside and as they continued to follow a few body lengths away the males focus sharpened onto the female Humpback. She didn’t seem impressed with this big bulls dominant and persistent energy as he would continually nudge her underside and attempt to go belly to belly, a classic mating attempt. The female was not impressed in the slightest and began to tail slap repeatedly every time her came too close. At times it looked like the tip of her fluke would land on his upper jaw he was that close as she got her message across for him to be more polite. His enthusiasm settled slightly as we wished them well but could still see the female needing to keep her “fluke” on him to make sure he behaved himself as they moved northbound with the Kimberly calling them onwards for the migration ahead.