March 28, 2017
Whale Watching Season
Humpback Calf in Jervis Bay during February?!
What a surprise we had on 26th of February 2017, with a Humpback whale calf sighted by one of our skippers off Green Point on the North end of Jervis Bay!
We could hardly believe it when the whale breached John our skipper said “I could hardly believe it! It shot up out of the water like a big torpedo”. The young calf was quite playful and was very inquisitive about our vessels, it was quite the surprise for our customers and of course all our crew.
On the East Coast of Australia, we usually see Humpback whales travelling north from May each year travelling to warm sub- tropical waters where whales mate and give birth. After a summer of feeding on krill in Antarctica they are all fuelled up and ready to start their migration covering up to 10 000km in a year!
The start of the migration is led by groups of young males, followed by pregnant cows and calves. When the whales leave the Antarctic regions is influenced by the ocean water temperature, presence or absence of sea ice and the amount of food available and also the location of their feeding ground.
So, the whale we saw was quite early. A young whale on it’s own, is often a concern as they are quite dependent on their mother for food and it’s family social interactions and security from predators. We contacted our good friends at ORRCA – (Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia) and sent them footage of the young whale we saw. They believe the whale is around 18 months old and may be a young male that has been pushed out from its family or left to find a pod of other bachelors. Such behaviour is not too unusual and in the scale of a whale arriving in Jervis Bay from more southern Antarctic waters, is a bit like driving from Sydney to Melbourne along the Hume Highway to catch up with friends.
We will keep our eyes out for this whale over the next few weeks and hopefully it will visit us again in the future.
To see the Humpback Whale migration yourself, book a Whale Watching Cruise with us from May- November. Perhaps we will see this little guy!