Follow the leader on a November morning through the Humpback sightings grounds as mother and calf manoeuvred towards Rottnest Island on a beautiful warm day. A very calm sea enabled a perfect opportunity to scan carefully through the resting grounds as we noticed the slinky surfacing of a mother Humpback Whale and her cheeky calf. The little one had a rostrum covered in barnacles which is a part of the long journey as baby barnacles drift in the water column waiting for the perfect host and as the Humpback Whales swim through that water column the barnacles land and settle in for a year or so of happy living on their ever moving home. It will be handy for this youngster to have a scattering of sharp, pointy barnacles to help fend off any Orca or Sharks they may encounter in the months ahead.
The mother whale was big, her huge frame looked thin and she seemed very tired as both whales calmly made their way towards Rottnest. Her calf was very healthy and curious, always ahead of mum and it almost seemed it was follow the leader for the mother whale as her calf lead the way. Steadily covering ground we noticed their curiosity towards us increase and shortly afterwards both surfaced right alongside our bow for a good look. It was wonderful to be so close to wild whales and see this youngster looking back towards us all with much interest. It was a beautiful day for travelling and we wished mother and calf well for their long journey ahead and know that this female will soon be enjoying a long awaited meal of krill, a reward for her dedication to her calf and the nearly six month long migration she is about to complete.