We are now at the end of this series of posts. My top/favourite whale encounters. Some of you may have guessed this one was coming but coming in at No. 1 we have…
# 1 Mum and newborn calf! (July 2018)
Like the previous post, this encounter also happened on my actual birthday (though two years later).
TBH, this probably would have made top of my list even if it HADN’T been on my birthday but that certainly made it even more special. I specifically took the day off work so I could go whale watching on my birthday. I am so so so so glad I did.
We’d only been out on the water maybe 30 mins or so when we saw some blows on the water’s surface a bit further out. At first we thought it was a dolphin because the blow was so small, but as we got closer we realised…
…It was a BABY WHALE!! 😍
I wanted to write up a few of my previous whale watch trips to share, the ones that really stick in my mind. One such trip was last year for my birthday.
I’d just the day before picked up a new camera lens and was looking forward to taking it out for a spin.
I headed down to Sea World Whale Watch on the Gold Coast for their morning tour and we headed out towards the Gold Coast Seaway at 10am.
The conditions were stunningly calm – flat as a tack, total glass out and barely a breath of wind. It made searching for ‘the blow’ a lot easier. (‘The blow’ looks like a puff of smoke above the water and occurs when the whales surface to breathe. The ‘smoke’ is actually their exhalation of air.)
We hadn’t been looking all that long when we spotted a blow not too far in the distance; it looked to be a single adult humpback. It was only as we got closer that we realised SHE had a calf with her!
And it was a NEWBORN! 😍
Taking into account the pale colour of the calf as well as how ‘rubbery’ the calf’s skin looked (and the dorsal fin was still ‘floppy’) we were guessing that the calf was, at most, about a week old but probably younger. So really quite new.
We turned off the engines and sat in the water a couple of hundred metres away to see what the mother would do – they tend to be quite protective of their calves, particularly when they’re so young as this one was. We never want to harass these animals – it’s their turf and all interaction is on their terms. To our surprise – and great delight! – the mother didn’t seem all that nervous. She started actively nudging her calf toward our boat.