Monday, 1 June 2020

The whale watching season has officially started on the Northern Beaches - and what perfect timing for us as we all emerge back into the great outdoors.

This year there will be over 35,000 humpback whales migrating north from their Antarctic feeding grounds to the warmer waters off northern Queensland where they breed and give birth.

We’re part of the ‘Humpback Highway’, which is the nickname of the whales’ migration route because of the volume of aquatic life all travelling in the same direction.

Out at sea and on land, you’ll get some great views from most of our headlands but particularly impressive spots are Manly’s North Head, the top of Long Reef headland and Barrenjoey Lighthouse.

Tips for spotting:

- Head out on a clear day

- Middle of winter is the peak season for us

- Look for the blow, particularly on still days when the plume can hang in the air

- On windy days whales tend to breach more often

- Look for a big splash (which probably means you just missed a whale breaching)

- Keep an eye on deeper waters, you'll have a better chance of a whale breaching because they need depth of water to gain the momentum to get up and breach out of the water.


Why do whales breach?

It takes a lot of energy for a whale to breach, they're a 30-45 tonne mammal and can jump sometimes completely out of the water, so why do they do it?

Researchers believe it’s a form of communication. The sound of the breach can travel for vast distances through the water and it is believed this is how they communicate with other far away whale groups.

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