Baleen Beauties, 18 September 2018

Rainy weather with incredible sightings.

Written by Jax Bath, September 19 2018

Baleen Beauties, 18 September 2018

Guide Summary.

Today was a three tour day for us out on Dream Catcher and we managed to have some awesome whale sightings on all three. The first tour of the day got caught up in some rain, but luckily the whales do not seem to mind the water so we were able to do some awesome whale watching anyway.

On the first tour, we spotted mostly moms and babies. Since we are the calving ground for the Southern Rights, this is to be expected although the shear amount of babies this year has been absolutely fantastic. At the moment, we have an estimated amount of over 500 little whales swimming along our coastline and having their moms teach them everything they need to know about being a Southern Right Whale. After spending some time with 2 pairs in the shallows, we cruised to Pearly Beach to spot just a few more whales before travelling to our seal island. The Cape Fur Seals were perky as ever and we spent some time watching the colony, which is always a hive of activity.

Trip two started off with an incredibly cool sighting of a calf swimming with its mouth open. This meant that we got a view of the gorgeous baleen in the baby’s mouth, which was ivory in colour. This is what baby will use to filter feed on krill one day. This is not so usual for us as these whales do not have enough krill here to do too much feeding, so for the most part they keep their mouths closed. The next baby we caught up with was doing a bit of lob tailing, slamming its flukes against the water and after watching this gorgeous display, we head on over to Slashfin. Here we got a few sights of a Copper Shark and we also had a second shark species today, when a seal brought up a Puffadder Shy Shark to enjoy for lunch, this was really cool to get to watch as he thrashed the little shark around which made for some cool photos.

Trip 3 also had some cool Southern Right Whale action, with lots of whales hanging out in shallow water just in front of the beach. We had lots of moms and calves around, but we also suspect that there was a single male hanging around one of the females in the hopes of getting lucky. We had 2 adults travelling with one calf. On this trip, we had some really nice and close approaches as well as some spy hopping going on as the baby stuck its head out the water a couple of times, perhaps trying to see what we were up to. Once we’d had some quality time with these oceanic giants, we moved into the world famous waters to visit our sea Labradors, the seals, before heading on home.

 

Sneak Peaks.

Lobtailing.

A Cape Fur Seal pup eating a Puff adder ShyShark.

Cape Fur Seals on Hospital Rock.

According to the biologists working on our sister boat, Slash fin, this little guy has really taken to hunting Shy Sharks and by the looks of it, he’s becoming an absolute specialist.

Whale Watchers enjoying the sun.

Baby’s first boat trip.

This whale calf gave us a real show, swimming with its mouth open and exposing its teeny tiny baleen plates. The baleen is the white in the mouth.

A close up of the baleen, they don’t really feed in our waters, so we don’t often get to see this.

Another baleen shot, baleen is made out of keratin and they will have hundreds of these plates in their mouths.

The mother of the baby who kept opening her mouth. This is an old wound from a ship propeller.

A travelling Right Whale.

A picture perfect tail.

Look at that smile.

checking us out.

Baby spy hopping next to mom.

A head shot of a mother Southern Right Whale.

A calf surfaces.

Having words.

Cape Fur Seals scratching each others backs.

Cape Cormorants heading to their home on Dyer Island.

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Written by

Jax Bath Guide

Jax has been guiding for Dyer Island Cruises since 2015, quickly becoming famous for the excitable shouts coming from her direction every time we see incredible wildlife (which is often!).

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Jax Bath

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