Western Australia southbound whales are on the move as dozens of pods make their way past Rottnest Island each and everyday. Today our morning began with a long search as we made our way through the sightings grounds and covered over 15 mile before the first blow was sighted just ahead. Sometimes during the migration you will see ebbs and flows to the whale traffic and today we could see a larger distance in-between the pods as they moved south efficiently. Since the adult Humpbacks haven’t consumed any food since they departed Antarctica the krill waiting further south is a big motivator for them.
Now that the season has changed and water temperatures are increasing it allows the whales to know that it is time to make the move back towards the summer feeding grounds. Following the lofty exhalation we could see a few pods spread and on the move. Breaching enabled the pods to communicate towards each other over distance and it was wonderful to see. A mother and her calf were also sighted southbound and the little one looked to be in great health. Mother whale was thin but this is normal at this stage of their season after many weeks without a meal but many days of providing their calf with 300 litres of milk per day. The mother whale produces this milk through her own fat reserves so conservation of energy is vital during this long migration. Thankfully once mother and calf have made a safe return to Antarctica they can both feast on krill to replenish fat reserves for mum and supplement the diet of her calf.