November 3, 2018

What was that sound? Pec Slapping Humpback Whales in Jervis Bay.

What was that sound? Pec Slapping Humpback Whales in Jervis Bay.

Have you heard a Humpback’s ‘pec slap’?

Where a whale ‘slaps’ its pectoral fin on the surface of the water. These fins can be up to 6ft long! Often the whale is resting on it’s back or side exposing its large white underside, which is quite striking against the deep blue sea – or our beautiful Jervis Bay.

We most frequently observe this behaviour on the Southern Migration and see Humpback Calves testing out this skill for the first time!

I sometimes describe it as the “thhaawopp!” sound a foam body board makes when it is slapped on the water at the beach.

& have heard customers say it sounds like a crocodile snapping it’s mouth..

A finding from recent research suggests ‘pec slapping’ could be more commonly used as a form of communication when the wind picks up as vocal sounds become less audible….

🤔 How interesting!

 

The link below has more information for those curious about this peculiar behaviour and research.

 

https://www.newscientist.com/…/2114953-whales-talk-to-each…/

 

Featured Image: Maree Clout- Jervis Bay Through My Eyes

"The Most Amazing Whale Experience"

We were really lucky and saw everything - whales, dolphins and seals (I didn't see the seals, but it was pointed out on our return from the trip and I missed it). This is my first whale watching experience and it surely set the bar too high for my future whale watching trips. We saw a few adult whales and also a few baby ones - all playing around and showed off some fancy "tricks". They even "played" with us by swimming under our boat - making our boat rock side to side! They (and the dolphins) got extremely close to us.