Landscape Photographer from the South West of Western Australia

Archive for October 29, 2013

An eventful couple of days whale watching.

Sunday I saw 8 blue whales from the shore at Pt Picquet. Geographe Bay is probably the only place in the world that you can see these massive whales sometimes only 50m from shore.

Yesterday was even more eventful. I went to Cape Naturaliste early and in an hour and a half a blue whale and about 20 pods of humpbacks passed – probably 60 whales in total. Some were very close – 70-80 metres out (there are some offshore submerged rocks and this is about as close as they get. On the way home I called into Pt Picquet – 2 more blue whales. Later I received a call from some friends – they had been watching a blue whale and calf behaving erratically – changing course 7 times in an hour and going out to sea, and repeatedly coming back in. Normally they swim straight past from east to west at around 7-8 knots.

I went back out to Pt Picquet to see if I could see this whale. It had disappeared – they can dive and stay under for lengthy periods and travel a long way while under. However we located a Southern Right Whale 150m offshore. It was being accompanied by 2 humpbacks. Again this is unusual.

Just as we identified the Southern Right Whale, someone called out – forget the whales – photograph the shark! There was a 2.5m-3.0m bronze whaler about a metre from the waters edge moving slowly towards Eagle Bay. So after informing the authorities I had to go and warn the people swimming in its path.
On the walk back from Cape Naturaliste
This image was taken on the walk back from Cape Naturaliste. You can see Sugarloaf Rocks and Cape Clairault in the background.

Bronze Whaler

Bronze Whaler

I have included this composite image for anyone curious as to what a blue whale looks like. They are fairly uninteresting – they never breach and one of these views is all you can see. At any time only about 1/4 of the body is showing, so it is difficult to appreciate their size. These images are of two whales – at first we thought there was only one because they were rising alternately. I was trying to match the body shots to the head to the head shots – that is why I created this image.