Western Australian Humpback Season 2023 has begun as we departed the Augusta Boat Harbour on a beautiful, crisp morning to meet the arrivals in Flinders Bay. It was fantastic to be back out on the water again with all eyes scanning for the much loved and treasured Humpback Whales who will now take over the Western Australian coastline for the next six months. The first pod we met was a mother whale and her yearling calf who were resting quietly together and very relaxed. A huge swim from Antarctica is always rewarded with some time spent relaxing and resting in the sheltered and protected waters of Flinders Bay. Wishing them well we approached further pods just up ahead as we could see a small gathering of juveniles in this area.
The youngsters were relaxed but curious as they went to approach each other in search of a perfect friend to join with for the the next stage of their journey ahead. The smaller whale decided she wasn’t too keen on the larger juvenile who was swimming towards her so outmanoeuvred the approaching young male. He didn’t seem too bothered as he decided to come over and investigate the Steep Point instead. A good look was had before he decided it was time for a quick rest and settled in alongside us as we drifted together in the beautiful morning sunshine.
Lovely to see these youngsters looking so big and healthy with a good amount of weight from a big summer feeding season. Wishing the youngsters well for their long journey ahead we made our way back in towards the coastline as we watched the Gannets and Crested Terns actively feeding. Schools of baitfish bubbled to the surface and as we watched the feeding activity just ahead two enormous adult Humpback Whales launched. Breaching and head lunging in unison and it was spectacular to watch unfold in the glittering sunshine. The reason behind the activity appeared to be shark related, we often see sharks closely associated with schools of baitfish and increased shark activity can unsettle resting whales. After the big display both adults cruised up to our bow for a quick look before continuing on with their morning and it was the perfect way to celebrate the start of the Western Australian Humpback Season 2023.