Breaching Humpback Whales are a spectacular sight and today we were spoilt with a beautiful display from a lovely mother whale in the waters just off Rottnest Island. It was another beautiful day in Fremantle as we departed Success Harbour in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and made our way out to the sighting grounds. Breaching on the horizon was followed by pec slapping as we could observe two pods communicating with each other. Approaching the area we noticed a nearby vessel had disturbed the conversation and unfortunately the pods were no longer moving towards one another but had separated. Joining with the mother whale who had been most consistent with her friendly pec slapping we spent some time getting to know the pod. The mother whale settled in for a quick snooze as we observed a few feeding dives from her calf. It is always wonderful when a mother whale trusts us enough to allow her calf to feed right below us as she uses our sound footprint to hide in during the feeding time.
The little one was very curious and along with mum would surface just off our bow for a closer look as we continued to build trust with this lovely pod. Rest time over we were all amazed to see mum launch into an enormous full body breach before following up with brilliant head lunging as her calf raced to keep up with her momentum. Further breaches followed and a nearby Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross who had made a very surprising and much enjoyed arrival on the scene was able to score a small snack of whale skin. Often during surface activity our breaching Humpback Whales will rid themselves of any loose skin which is of benefit to any nearby fish or birds who are quick enough to take notice of this fleeting snack. She was spectacular and it was a wonderful time spent seeing just how elegant and precise her breaching and head lunging was in the waters just off Rottnest Island. Hard to believe we are in the final weeks of the southbound Humpback migration but we are looking forward to meeting every last pod possible and enjoying some time with these remarkable Humpback Whales.