The wind and waves held off yesterday as we traveled to the SW corner to find three humpbacks, Baja and her 2014 calf, and another female humpback, Sundown. There was also a TON of bird activity including many shearwaters, gulls, and diving gannets amongst the feeding whales (see photo of Sundown and birds).
|Sundown and bird frenzy|
We started out watching Baja spiral bubble net feed, and filter and “drag” at the surface while the birds followed. Baja’s calf seemed to be practicing bubble feeding too – a few times the calf blew bubbles and came up fluking, after mom did her own feeding, as if mimicking what it saw. It’s hard to interpret such behaviors, but hopefully Baja’s calf is learning some important feeding techniques it will use on its own next season.
|Sundown kick feeding|
While Baja was bubble feeding, Sundown also grabbed our attention with repeated kick & bubble net feeding throughout the entire trip. Sundown would make big splashes, and each time she’d come up to kick, the force would turn her body upside down and at times we would even see her flipper.
|Baja breach, part 2|
As if this all wasn’t enough, after a brief rest, Baja and her calf suddenly surprised with synchronized full breaches followed by synchronized chin slaps! Baja initially breached first followed by her calf breaching, then the pair began chin slapping, with the calf leading this time.
|Baja's head breach|
We were treated with another big breach from the pair before we headed home.