Caught on camera: Humpback whale breaches clear of the water

Sub-adult Humpback whales in Algoa Bay.

Raggy Charters recently hosted a marine safari of tour operators, scientists and members of the PE cetacean spotters group to get a closer look at the sub-adult humpback whales that have been spotted in the bay. And the sights that awaited them was the best display that Raggy Charters has seen in their 23 years! The same animal breached at least 50 times in a row . . .

Lloyd Edwards of Raggy Charters managed to get the shot that has been evading him for years . . . a humpback completely out of the water! According to whale expert, Professor Ken Findlay, the smaller humpback whales seen along our coast are sub-adults that do not undertake the full migration. Naturally, the Sub-Antarctic is extremely cold in winter and no feeding can be undertaken by the whales. For this reason, they swim to the warmer waters of the southern African coast where at least some feeding can be done. The super pods that have been observed off our West Coast are a case in point. These animals, which number in their hundreds, only contain immature animals and no calves. All the larger males, pregnant and receptive females have headed to the warmer waters off west Africa (Gabon) and East Africa (Kenya and the islands). It would be pointless for these animals to undertake such a long migration when there were no benefits for them. Historically, the whalers also proved this to be true. According to whaling records from the Durban Whaling Station, in August only small animals were taken. The larger animals of both species had already past Durban and were in Mozambique or further north.The same holds true for humpback whales off the south and south east coasts of Australia. These are also much smaller animals that do not undertake the full migration.Just another story about why Algoa Bay rightfully deserves the title of the “Greatest Marine Wilderness in Africa”.

Information submitted by Raggy Charters

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