Season the whale deal

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Whale charters are reportedly seeing more whales this season than in previous years.
Camera IconWhale charters are reportedly seeing more whales this season than in previous years. Credit: Picture: Naturaliste Charters

Whale watching in the Capes region boasts an “orca-stra” of humpbacks and pygmy blues with Naturaliste Charters director Paul Cross describing this season as the best he had seen in years.

“This has been some of the best whales I’ve ever seen in years as far as interaction goes,” Mr Cross said.

“We went out (on Monday morning) and I think we would have had between 30 and 50 breaches of humpback whales.”

Mr Cross said the last few days have brought a huge influx of mothers and calves coming through the bay to feed and rest before making the open ocean journey back to Antarctica.

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“They exercise their calves in Geographe Bay to make sure they have enough stamina to make it back to Antarctica, this is kind of the last little spot they can rest.”

In addition to the masses of humpback whales, the charter also recently noticed the first group of pygmy blue whales — a subspecies of the blue whale, coming through the bay.

“We can’t distinguish whether they are Antarctic blues or pygmy blues because the only way you can tell is by measuring between the dorsal fin and the fluke,” Mr Cross said. “There are only 2000 of this population that we see on the WA coastline left in the world, so they are very, very rare.”

“The humpbacks, the Southern rights, the minke and the Blue Whales are the kind of whales we have been seeing in the bay over the last month.”

Mr Cross said Naturaliste Charters had been inundated with demand, recording more than a 200 per cent increase compared to the same time last year. “We haven’t done those big numbers since early 2010 and 2011,” he said.

“It just seems like the choices are getting less for people in Western Australia and I think iconic locations and experiences are more on people’s drawcards now than they have ever been before.”

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