2014 Sightings | May 27

This morning on board the Asteria we headed out to the southwest corner with the hopes of catching some of the great feeding behavior that has been going for the past few weeks. It was windy and wavy and we were joking that type of weather is often called “breaching weather.” Well, was it ever breaching weather this morning!


No sooner had we gotten into the area where we’d spotted blows before we were treated to a spectacular triple breach! Three adult animals launched themselves out the water at the same time and made a huge splash. And then the breaching was happening all around us in every direction there were huge splashes and animals launching out of the water.

Why this type of weather is associated with breaching behavior is a mystery, maybe the animals are trying to get above the waves to get a good breath of air, but no matter the reason it gave us a truly unforgettable whale watch this morning. With all the breaches, tail breaches, chin slaps, tail lobs, and pectoral slapping it was hard to get ids on many of the whales but we did watch Geometry, Osprey, Tongs and calf bubble feeding for a short while and Glo-stick finished off the trip with some kick feeding while Jabiru breached and pec slapped away behind us. I truly don’t think I will ever have another whale watch with so many breaches ever again!

The 12pm trip also had an enormous amount of activity. We first passed about six to eight different fin whales that were feeding in the area. One of the finners that passed by gave us gorgeous views of the asymmetrical white blaze and chevron patterns extending from its white chin along its back. Amongst the fin whales a small minke was porpoising on the surface of the water perhaps also feeding.

Finback whale

Among the many feeding groups of humpbacks that were in the area, were Glostick, her calf and Jabiru. As we’ve often seen over the past couple weeks, Jabiru and Glostick were kickfeeding while the calf played and mimicked their feeding behavior nearby. The calf was tail breaching, chin breaching and even gave us a nice full breach.

Full breach fun for a calf

We then went over to humpback whales Weathervane,  Eraser, Daffodil, Aswan, Samara, Geometry, Cajun, Milkweed and calf. Initially in two or three different bubble net feeding groups, these humpbacks joined up to form a super bubble netting group! It was a spectacularly choreographed display! After two super bubble nets, the group split back up into smaller groups and continued to feed.

Super bubble net!

Slow filter feeding

Right before we left, one of the very large mature humpbacks breached right near the boat! Having only seen calves breach this season, the enormity of the splash made it immediately obvious that this was definitely an adult! We were sad to go but happy to see that the whales are still abundant and actively feeding in large numbers! Another great day on the water!

Adult humpback breach

This afternoon we again headed out to the southwest corner. After the breach bonanza of the morning the whales were feeding in earnest now and we had a great trip watching Jabiru, Glo-stick and Cajun kick and bubble feeding while Glo-stick’s calf played at the surface and gave a few tail breaches.

Many people ask: What happens if the whale eats a seagull? The whale usually just spits it out!
Its throat is usually not big enough to swallow the bird. 

Open-mouth feeding

Many of the calves have been observed emulating their kick feeding mothers and today the calf gave a few tail slaps along with Glo-stick’s kicks which look like this little one is learning this feeding behavior as well.

A little kick-feeding practice with mom and calf

It was awesome seeing these three adults bursting through the water open mouthed to catch fish! Another spectacular trip at the southwest corner!

— Tasia and Tegen

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