Whale Watch Western Australia Extravaganza today as we were welcomed into the glassed off Indian Ocean waters and treated to the Humpback breaching display of the southern migration season. The northern migration is generally utilised by the Humpbacks to display such energy and language however today all of our Pod Members and crew were in awe of the majesty displayed by the most acrobatic, aquatic giants humans have ever had the privilege to encounter, let alone experience. A Humpback Mother around the 40 ton mark decided school was in for her 4 ton calf and started to breach skyward for over an hour in what was determined to be well over 30 breaches, interrupted only by the 1 ton pectoral slaps on the oceans surface which started to get responses from far off in the distance as the Language of the Whales resonated around Rottnest Island and the surrounding water space.
Not to be outdone the calf showed skills beyond his short 12-14 week age by throwing in over 40 breaches and we lost count on the pec slaps. This language displays a welcoming communication as they approached within 20 meters of the vessel at stages but without any tail slaps or tail lobbing which is generally a defensive language in most cases. Humpbacks will use this behaviour to attract other whales in the area, generally a male, to escort her and her calf southbound to the cold waters of the southern ocean as a form of protection and also mateship for the long journey. It wasn’t long before the pod’s heard her call and approached the still breaching mother and calf but unfortunately they too were mother and calf pods, not the bodyguard she was looking for, at times the mother/calf pods do join to keep safe in the migration but generally keep to themselves unless a presentable male shows up with the hopes of mating, they then turn into an escort pod.
Notably, the mother of this pair has not had any food intake since April/May of this year which makes the energy burn quite remarkable, as whale watchers we are always careful to observe and not influence the whales for this precise reason, energy levels. Without the right amount of energy levels, the mother can struggle to to feed the calf the right amount of milk and that will be detrimental not only to this pairing but has an overall affect on the whole migration if we interfere with their underwater corridors and resting areas, of which, we are fortunate enough to call home right here in Perth. An extraordinary day of whale language and memories that will always come under the heading of Whale Watch Western Australia Extravaganza!