August 2020 Update

Almost all of the whales are cruising south by the time August rolls around, with the odd exception of one or two slow individuals doing their best to catch up to the other whales up north. August is a favourite time of year for the crew on board, because there are a lot of juveniles moving past that tend to be quite curious around boats.

Sometimes we experience ‘muggings’. It sounds quite aggressive but it’s actually quite the opposite! This is when the whales are displaying inquisitive behaviours around the boat and are so close to us that we have to disengage the engines and just float, while the whales hold us hostage. During these encounters, the whales are watching us just as much as we are watching them. They’ll often ‘spyhop’ very close to the boat. That’s they raise their heads vertically above the water, sometimes high enough for their eyes to be above the surface, so they can take a good look around at what is happening above!

We’ve also recently discovered that we have more than one species of fur seal hanging out under Macquarie Light around South Head. For a long time, there were only Long-Nosed Fur Seals (formerly known as New Zealand Fur Seals) but after reviewing some of our photos from recent encounters, we’ve noticed a few sneaky Australian Fur Seals hanging

out here as well! They have a similar distribution and it isn’t uncommon for them to share space and interact, but up until recently, we had only been seeing Long-Nosed Fur Seals.

Over the next month, we expect to start seeing some more adult Humpbacks moving south. Toward the end of September, we should also start to see some little calves, just a couple of months old, making their first-ever southern migration towards Antarctica with their mothers. This is another favourite time of year for the crew. Actually, who am I kidding…the entire migration is a favourite time of year for the crew!

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Admin
1 month ago

Can’t wait to get some more muggings! 🙂