Australia’s South West Whale Watching during July is an exciting time as we not only sight many adult whales migrating north but also a few more calves who have been born further south. Today was a great mix of adults, juveniles and calves on our morning and afternoon tours. It was also a unique mix of weather as we had wind, rain squalls and sunshine all move through the day which created a dramatic skyline and beautiful rainbows. Escort pods meandered past as the males kept eyes and ears peeled for any bachelor males in the vicinity who could cause a problem by trying to steal their female away from them. The females seemed happy today with the males they were travelling with and didn’t feel the need to call out with flirty pec slapping. Due to this the escort pods moved through Flinders Bay calmly without wanting any extra attention.
The mother and calf pods today were a slightly different story as they had attracted the attention of a few bachelor males who were following with interest. Leading her calf away from the males the female did her best to outmanoeuvre the curious bachelors who completely ignored the calf and instead put all focus on following mum. The females often use a handy tactic whenever a vessel is close by swimming towards and underneath that boat. Hiding in our sound footprint it enables the mother and calf to be out of earshot of the males for just long enough that the boys lose track of them and continue to swim away from the area. Today that was exactly what happened as the mother and calf managed to complete the disappearing act perfectly and popped up right underneath our bow. The females don’t always want the attention of curious males once their calf is born as it can be energy draining and a distraction for them. Wishing them well as the rain cleared and winds eased we made our way back to the Augusta Boat Harbour as the sunset and muffled blows scattered around the bay created a beautiful scene.