This morning the Asteria headed out with Captain Jim and crew to the very north east of the northwest corner to an area where around 30 humpback whales were feeding vigorously. All together we watched about 17 of these humpbacks, but we know that there were many more in the area and we could have stayed out there all day and still had more to see.

 

Two humpbacks open mouth feeding
Two humpbacks feeding

Our first sighting was of a mother and calf who, after some brain wracking, turned out to be Bounce and calf. Bounce’s tail fluke pattern has changed quite a lot and it was only after staring at it for ages and knowing I’d seen it before that I finally remembered and we were able to check against our photo database. Her new calf, the first of Bounce’s that I’ve seen, was very curious and came over to check us out and do some flipper slapping. Before long, it got called back to mom’s side who was doing lonesome bubble net feeding.

humpback whale fluke kick feeding
Kick feeding humpback whale

We carried on until we arrived at an area of a lot of whale activity. Looking at the bathymetry of the area it looked to be along the edge of a long trench in the sea floor between banks or ledges. Perhaps perfect sandlance habitat? We watched a group of four whales feed together including Mayo, Pepper, and Crown a few times before moving along to a vigorously kick feeding whale that quickly identified itself as a female named Dome. Dome often makes very loud trumpet like sound when she exhales and it’s a sure fire way to get a good idea of which whale you’re looking at. Hopefully the action will stay the same through the weekend and I’m excited to get back out on the water as soon as possible.

— Tegan

fluke of a humpback whale named Bounce
Humpback whale named Bounce
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