Whale watching in Busselton and Dunsborough Whale Watching throughout October and November can let you to witness the stunningly crystal clear and iridescent blue waters of the Geogrpahe Bay coastline. One of the oceans GREAT whales that commonly inhabit the deep abyssal waters as they dive hundreds of metres down into the darkness, holding their breath for hours on end are regularly seen within 100m of shore AND as shallow as 4m deep, RIGHT HERE in our backyard! Often close to shore and JUST below the surface lies the worlds LARGEST animals, cruising within close proximity past boats, coastal walkers, kayakers and surfers without notice!!!! For an 180 tonne animal they can be EXTREMELY illusive unless you have a trained eye and know what to look for like our amazing land-based monitors!!! At this time of year, similarly to humpbacks, the BLUE whales are making their annual southern migration back down our coastline all the way from one of their calving grounds which is all the way up in Timor! These torpedo-like animals move through the waters like missiles travelling at speeds of up to 50km/hr!!! However, on tour we get to cruise alongside these magnificent creatures AND as times their 2 tonne calves!!!!!
In fact, TODAY we encountered a blue whale closer than EVER!! We thought we had lost one of the two blue whales that we had been cruising behind when out of nowhere an exhale shot from the surface only metres ahead of the bow, blowing all over EVERYONE as they jumped back in shock!!! The blue whale was so close you could see down its blowholes (yes they have 2, all baleen whales have two blowholes as apposed to toothed whales which have one). This encounter had the customers AND crews hearts racing with sheer shock and excitement, a moment that may never happen again and will be cherished by everyone on board for years to come
Over the past few years our dedicated land-based monitors have sighted near 250 and 170 blue whales over the past two seasons, respectively. Sadly however, the blue whale population is globally only 3% of what is once was! This is why we are so lucky to witness the worlds largest animal this closely and frequently! And hey, if you can't handle boats don't worry because LOTS of these sightings have been from shore (mainly Point Picquet down Cape Naturaliste Rd).
DID YOU KNOW?
The blue whales along with ALL great whales, provide highly important ecosystem services whist simultaneously acting as enormous carbon sequesters for the entire world!! Each great whale sequesters 33 tons of CO2 on average taking that carbon out of the atmosphere for centuries! A tree meanwhile, absorbs only up to 48 pounds of CO2 each year. What does this mean for us?
Whilst whales excrete waste up and down the water column and throughout our oceans on their migration they pump nutrients from the depths to the surface that are needed for phytoplankton growth. DID YOU KNOW phytoplankton contribute to 50% of ALL oxygen to our atmosphere, therefore….
At a minimum, even a 1% increase in phytoplankton productivity thanks to whale activity would capture HUNDREDS of millions of tons of additional CO2 a year, equivalent to 2 million mature trees!!!!
WOW, as if we didn’t already LOVE these animals enough! Be sure to join us on our whale watching tour throughout October - November to have your chance at encountering the worlds LARGEST animal in the clearest, calmest and closest waters along our beautiful southwest coastline!
Images provided and taken under permit by @sharkyaerials through Western Whale Research (WWR)