Humpback Calf Only Hours Old visits Us at Whales in Paradise!
What a magical morning!
This morning we had a couple of very special visitors- A mother Humpback and her brand new little calf- only hours old (or "straight off the conveyor belt" as our awesome Skipper, Gary, put it!) The friendly pair ventured right up to our boat- Mamma Humpback must have wanted to show off her gorgeous little edition! And with good reason- he was completely beautiful. We had excellent visibility as newborn calves are completely grey, which makes them easy to spot and also makes them look a a tad like their dolphin cousins!
So, what is the story with Humpback Calves? Unsurprisingly, they are quite magical little creatures. At birth, a Humpback Whale calf is already between 3 to 4.5 metres in length- that is longer than a door! The not-so-little newborn weighs up to a massive 1 ton. Like us, the Humpback arrives in pristine condition- the characteristic barnacles & scarring develop over time- often caused by Humpback males pushing them out of the way to 'spend some time' with the mother Humpback.
Remember your first breath of air- closely followed by a giant cry? The Humpback version of that involves the young swimming up to the surface with its mothers and voila- its first breath of air. It's then not long before the calf tries out its first few head lunges- takings its first peek at the world (and maybe even a glimpse of some enraptured passengers at Whales in Paradise peering down at him from our water level viewing deck!) Another reason we had excellent visibility of the beautiful little fellow is because Humpback Whale calves are usually positioned over their mothers head when swimming. This protects the baby from a predators attack from below- and conveniently also means our passengers have incredible photo-taking opportunities!
Yesterday's cruise was also a roaring success. Whales everywhere- and one particularly entertaining display by two giant Humpbacks who delighted passengers with a long show of synchronised fin slapping as they floated on the surface next to each other. It looked as if they were playing some kind of whale version of the card game 'snap' out there! We loved it!
As the season progresses we can look forward to more breath-taking sightings of the growing Humpback Whale Families and their clever ocean acrobatics on the Gold Coast. Book your ticket now for your chance to witness one of nature's most enchanting creations- the gentle giant of the ocean.
See you out there soon!
Photo Credit: Franco Banfi for 3D Entertainment Ltd