Wild Whales

Wild Whales in the waters of Flinders Bay roared at pace as a competition pod of five powerful males challenged each other as the female led the chase. Dolphins raced towards our bow as we arrived on scene with the comp pod just starting to get underway as the males converged and other pods in the vicinity scattered. The males intent was focused and high energy as they raced after one another with many dominant chin slaps and puffing of their throat pleats to intimidate the male right next to them. The female switched from close quarter competing to sprints across Flinders Bay as they males charged after her quickly. The males would be side by side while travelling at over fifteen kilometres per hour and while both surfacing they began to surge as one. 

Tackles were a popular tactic today as the males charged and lunged after each other. Trying to avoid the impact the whale being charged would frantically dive to avoid the collision which sent pectoral fins and flukes flying. The female would swim directly towards us before diving underneath in an attempt to slow the males down slightly and regain control of her spot at the front of the line. The intensity never wavered and it was incredible to see these wild whales at their optimum in competition terms as the evenly matched males did not stop. Wishing them well as they began to push out to deeper waters we wondered which of the males would be successful. A comp pod with this intensity can continue for many hours and it was a beautiful scene to observe as the essence of the northern migration rumbled towards the horizon.

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