2011 05 05- Mother and young calf, the last close encounters of the season Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

Image below of a young 3-4 month old calf, its mother and an unwanted escort behind.

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Pickings were slim this late in the season but we did manage to find a mother and calf. Because there were no other boats around we were able to monitor them for some hours undisturbed. Eventually the mother and calf became used to the presence of our boat and the calf surfaced beside us a number of times but the pair remained aloof until an unwanted suitor appeared out of nowhere. Suddenly the mother and calf were my best friends as they came swimming directly at me to shake the large male. This was followed by some hours of vigourous behaviour from both the male and female as they seemed to battle it out. Eventually two other whales came to see what was going on and one remained with the mother and calf and the original suitor left. Image above taken from a freeze from from high definition video.

Photo below taken by Camilla Stringer:

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The female and calf above right and the unwanted male trying to get in between the mother and calf. This resulted in head lunges and tail slashes from the mother.

This was an amazing day where we not only had multiple close encounters with a young calf and its mother and two or three other whales, but also close up encounters with a manta ray and three Cuvier's beaked whales. Photos will be posted as soon as I have time to process them.

 
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