How important is sound for whales? Sound is the main sense for our Humpback Whales and today we had a great example of just how important sound is in their daily lives. Starting the morning with a warm easterly breeze we ventured out to the sighting grounds and scanned carefully for the first sighting of the day. The first of the mum and calf pods surfaced and it was great to see them gathering together with three pods joining as one. Mingling together two of the pods were getting on very well as the third approached us for a closer look. The mum and calf circled around us repeatedly and as we watched the wonderful Navy move past we could see the pods responding to the sound profile of each vessel. The navy vessel was quieter and the whales continued to play as they moved past but the submarine has a very different noise profile.
The mother and calves remained relaxed and just shuffled over a little further before resuming playtime once again. It was very interesting to watch their response and how comfortable they are with working in and around the vessels with ease. The importance of sound was still on show as the mums and calves socialising created white water and sound which very quickly captured the attention of two nearby bachelor males. The boys approached and as some of the mums and calves scattered we could see the boys focus in one one mother whale and begin to follow her closely. The bachelor males were very polite and followed along closely with much interest but remained relaxed which kept both mother whale and her calf happy. It is always a favourite of ours to see our whales and our warships out together to see the same protection and dedication our mother whales show their calves as the same protection and dedication our navy has for our nation and citizens.