Sperm Whales and Killer Whales

Sperm Whales and Killer Whales on another magnificent day as we enjoyed the company of these powerful predators in the waters off Bremer Bay. Picture perfect conditions greeted us this morning and made for a speedy trip out to The Patch as the odd Shearwater and Albatross drifted past working with the little wind they had today. Arriving in the sighting grounds our first interactions were with the world largest toothed predator as Sperm Whales were enjoying a day of good fishing as these big males surfaced after long foraging dives. Our first meeting was with a rather interesting character who appeared relaxed and in no hurry to dive, perhaps enjoying the sunshine for a bit after some early morning foraging. During our interaction he would roll over to his side before pivoting himself upside down and settling into inverted tail slapping. A behaviour we have not observed from Sperm Whales previously as normally the belly down fluke slap is the easiest manoeuvre for them to complete. It was amazing to watch the agility of this big male roll over and gracefully show off his inverted fluke slap for all to see. 

Generally any form of fluke slapping in baleen whales such as Humpbacks is considered dominant behaviour and used to clear room around themselves from other whales, predators or vessels. Tail slapping in dolphins and other toothed whale species can also be dominant, but generally is used as a means of communication to attract attention towards themselves or call in members of the family pod. The second male Sperm Whale was in forage mode with a beautiful fluke up dive completing a series of inhales and exhales in preparation for his deep sea morning tea run which he was about to undertake. The call went out from Toddy and his team that the Orca were on the march and fast approaching the Sperm Whale foraging area as they closed in the distance. Joining with Alki and her family pod it was great to observe them join up with Queen and her family as calves from both pods enjoyed the opportunity to socialise. The youngsters were full of beans as little Grace raced towards the Craig-Pro for her closeup as Samurai was fast on her fluke as the family enjoyed the day travelling together. A fantastic opportunity to observe both Sperm Whales and Killer Whales in one of the most unique and beautiful locations on our planet to view wildlife of the cetacean kind.

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