Humpback Whales during Whale Season
As we cruised through the crystal clear waters of Pearly Beach, we were treated to the incredible sight of a juvenile Humpback whale breaching. This was our first Humpback whale sighting of whale season and we are thrilled to announce that these gentle giants are slowly starting to reappear in our waters. In honour of this, we thought we’d share a little bit more about these incredible creatures, where they’re from, and what they’re doing in our waters.
Humpback whales are a species of Baleen whale, which makes them a filter feeder. Baleen whales fall into the suborder Mysticeti and are well known for undertaking great voyages from their feeding grounds in the polar regions to warm tropical waters. In these waters, the females will give birth to their little ones, whereas the males will compete amongst themselves to have young of their own.
Here in Kleinbaai, we’re very lucky to have them migrating past our shores as they move towards their breeding grounds, which we find off the coast of Mozambique and Madagascar. For us, this movement north brings with it the possibility of spotting these incredible creatures on our trips from the end of May through to November.
This is an exciting prospect for all aboard our trips, as Humpback whales are world renowned for being amongst the most surface-active whales in the world. This means that with every encounter, there is always a chance of seeing the flippers, their famous flukes and even an iconic breach. We’re usually spotting them in slightly deeper water, with the blow of the whale often giving them away.
In the next few months, we hope to be encountering these gentle giants a lot more frequently, with the help of our Kira, our eagle-eyed whale spotter. Some of our best sightings last year include a mother and calf doing some bonding via breaching, being completely surrounded by around 9 Humpbacks and getting to see some synchronized swimming from two active adults. We’ve also been lucky to see these guys play with kelp and even had a few individuals swim with a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins.
Although every encounter is unique, we’re sure that this year’s sightings will not disappoint and are very much looking forward to spending some time with one of the oceans’ most iconic creatures. As we move ever closer to our traditional whale season, we’re starting to see some Southern Right whales moving in and out the bay. We also have the rest of the MArine Nig 5 species that we hope to find, which includes the incredible Cape Fur Seal colony, the endangered African Penguin colony, various dolphin species and the Great White shark.
Should you be interested in booking a tour with us, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team here. We also do daily trip updates if you’re interested in staying updated with our marine adventures.
Our first Humpback whale of the season.
As if seeing this little one was not enough, we were also treated to a few breaches.
An iconic shot of mom and baby breaching together, one of the best sightings of the 2017 season.
A synchronized breach, whales are thought to breach for a few different reasons ranging from parasite removal to just having a bit of fun.
Humpback whales are well known for showing off their gorgeous flukes and can be identified by their tails due to each one being unique, much like our fingerprints.
When whales slap their flukes against the water, this is known as lobtailing.
A Humpback whale putting on a show just off of Danger Point.
As a whale exhales, the warm air in their lungs meets with cold atmospheric air, which creates the “blow” that we use to spot these gentle giants.
A Humpback whale exhales just as it is about to break the surface.
In our waters, we are sometimes privileged to watch the whales play with kelp. This juvenile had a ball getting tangled up in the seaweed, showing off his pectoral flippers, which are notoriously long.
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