Whale play blows visitor away

The story and images we received from Booderee visitor Maree were too fantastic to keep to ourselves.


Humpback whale

I’m completely blown away by the experience I had on Dolphin Watch’s ‘Extreme’. I got to witness the magic bond between mother and calf near Murrays Boat Ramp, Booderee National Park. The mum seemed happy enough to let junior ‘play’ close to the boat. At times the calf rolled over and over, slapping both pec fins lazily in all directions, whilst eyeballing us. Next it would get a burst of energy and breach continuously, right alongside our boat.

We got to hear the beautiful sound of their vocalisation - snorts, moans and growls, before finishing their display with a high-pitched trumpet sound that appeared to be mum announcing it was time to go. At times she let the calf junior move away from her during his/her antics and she would bring her head out of the water to keep an eye on it. I was in awe of the connection between the two.

Maree Clout, Jervis Bay resident

The Australian National Guidelines for Whale and Dolphin Watching specify how vessels, aircraft and people must behave around whales and dolphins. For example, vessels must not deliberately approach whales closer than 100m. Within 300m vessels must use caution and travel at low speed. Touching or feeding whales and dolphins is prohibited. Learn more here