Landscape Photographer from the South West of Western Australia

Archive for August, 2018

Surfing lessons at Sandpatches.

We are starting to see some whales.

I originally found this mother-calf pair of Southern Right Whales at the Other Side of the Moon (a surf break just south of Cape Naturaliste). I think these were the pair seen in Dunsborough and Meelup yesterday. (These are an endangered species and we see a few coming around Cape Naturaliste each year). They were moving very slowly south, but enjoying a few waves even though they weren’t very good at it. A pod of dolphins were keeping them company.


They slowly moved south eventually reaching Sandpatches (the bay just north of Sugarloaf Rock). The dolphins met up with the pair again, and encouraged the calf to follow them closer inshore. They seemed to be interacting with the calf. Mum followed the calf. The calf enjoyed the surf but really didn’t get this surfing thing.D85_0631

So the dolphins gave some demonstrations.


At one point a dolphin started flapping its tail on the surface.


The calf thought this was a good idea and began flapping its pectoral fin.


Some attempts at surfing didn’t go well.


The dolphins were close by offering advice. This is mum in the foreground and she has a white blaze on her back – something I haven’t seen before.


By this time the calf was getting into it. Mum is there as well.


But mum and the calf kept missing the waves. I don’t think they could accelerate fast enough.


More lessons from the dolphins were in order.


The calf appreciated the advice.


And tried again.


But no matter how hard they tried mother and calf could not catch a wave.


The dolphins stayed with the pair of whales for about 5 hours.


This was an amazing experience. Tourists were taking selfies and ignoring what was happening just offshore. And a cold wind came in from the north – eventually I had to leave to avoid having my joints seize up! They were still playing together when I left.