Saturday, May 22, 2010

Incredible encounters with a humpback whale mother and calf!!!


Today the passengers on both our morning and afternoon tours were treated to a rare and amazing encounter with a humpback whale mother and calf. Humpback whales are well known for their very long pectoral fins, their aerial behaviours, and their beautiful and complex songs that are sung by the males of the species.  We were very lucky to see some of the leaps that these whales are famous for.  The calf in particular was seen repeatedly breaching, lobtailing, spyhopping and pectoral fin slapping. These photos captured by our biologist onboard say it all...
BREACHING: This was the very large humpback whale mother, breaching very close to our boat

 BREACHING: The smaller calf was seen breaching over and over again.

  LOBTAILING: The calf on the right is lobtailing as its mother hunches its back in preparation for a dive

  SPYHOPPING: The calf rose vertically out of the water, possibly to look at its surroundings above the surface

 PECTORAL FIN SLAPPING: This is the calf again. A humpback's pectoral fins can reach 5-6 m in length each!

FLUKING: The pattern on the underside of this large female's flukes can be used to identify the individual

Today's humpback whale sighting brings us up to 11 different cetacean sightings in the past two weeks! This is definitely one of the best places in the world to see a variety of different whale and dolphin species. As well as the humpback whales, this morning we also saw 4 fin whales and a nice group of our resident bottlenose dolphins. Come and see for yourself! If you are not convinced yet, check out another photo from today:

Bottlenose dolphin checking out one of our boats

We hope to see you soon...


Parag said...

Beautiful captures.
Humpback whale are one of the most active whales in terms of behavior - they frequently breach, slap their tails and fins on the water surface, and males engage in vigorous, even violent competition for mates on their breeding grounds.

Miranda van der Linde said...

Thankyou for posting a comment on our blog. The Futurismo crew were very excited to see the humpback whales that day. They really are amazing animals. I had a look at your humpback whale link and really enjoyed the article. Thankyou for sharing that with us.

Parag said...

thanks for looking in to my link.

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