Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wildlife Wednesday - Humback Whales

Three Whales in Sync! (calf on left)
I went on a trip to see a Whale Shark when we were at Exmouth. And before you get excited - the whale sharks didn't show. But Humpbacks did!!

When we started out and saw the first lot of humpback whales, one of the guys running the cruise said it was Humpback Highway and we'd be sick of them when we finished the trip. I wasn't sick of them, but it was a highway. I have never seen so many! And so close!

The shot that had the most of a body!
There were calves and adults. They came quite close to the boat. They'd just appear.

Humpbacks playing
One even came for a snorkel with us. Of course I was so mesmerised I didn't take a photo. But this is the story - we all got in to the water and were following the guide, I was towards the back because it was like a scrum up close. Then there was a lot of noise from the boat. When I looked up they were pointing and yelling. I looked ahead of the group and saw the arch of a whale as it cruised past. The girls at the lead got a few photos but the water was kind of murky. If I swam fast (instead of remain still in awe) I might have felt the water move as it cruised past. Of course I was just stuck there, camera on my wrist, taking no photos and not moving. A seriously silly thing to do!! Imagine what I'd have been like with a whale shark!!

Oh, and yes, I do live on the south coast of NSW where the whales do cruise past twice a year...but there was something magical about being up north where they play and birth and stick around. Plus if you can't see whale sharks...whales are the next best thing!

A few Humpback facts:

Australian humpbacks migrate to warmer waters by heading north between June and August.

They head back south between September and November.

While they're up north (or heading north), they give birth to their young.

They grow to a length of about 16 metres and weight of 40 tonnes.

They have exceedingly long pectoral fins (I think one of the guys on the snorkelling tour said they had the largest pectoral fin:body ratio - but I can't find that info anywhere)

The Australian Marine Mammal Centre coordinates Australian marine mammal research, which includes sightings and rescues of whales. 


  1. Love. Love. Love whales.
    We were at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in the last School holidays, which is when the humpbacks come past Augusta. I guess they're on their way north?? at that time of the year, so you would get to see them if you were in the north about August? Maybe they were coming south again at that point.
    Anyway. Love whales.
    I got sidetracked by your branding post (Sunday's) when I came to visit.
    I think you're on the money with your science/wildlife/erotica 'brand'... I'll think about it more - I left you a comment on the branding post, (and I forgot to say I thought your branding post was a great one).
    Sorry for being arse-about with my comments, so to speak.

    Lily M

    1. We went to Augusta in 2005 and I could live there. It was beautiful! I think they head up around June because we had whales when we were there in July. On the east coast the whales have a really staggered migration and I guess it's kind of the same on the west too.

      They're truly magnificent animals. Just to see them is breath taking. We got spout spray on us a few times and the guys on the boat kept telling us it was lucky.

      I'm glad you're thinking along the science/wildlife/erotica line too... But they're such strange things to bundle together. Typical of me to find somethings that don't work together! :)

      Thanks for thinking!

      Cate xoxo