8 Nov 2014

8 Nov 14 - Having A Whale Of A Time

After a great day with 5 species of Pterodroma Petrels on the seamount about 20 nautical miles offshore from Henderson Island, We returned to the island late in the afternoon: this would allow a calmer night for sleeping. Matt would also be able to make an early check on the beaches the following morning, in case, the weather & sea state were favourable for a landing.
Henderson Island: There was nowhere it would be possible to safely land on this part of the island, just bleak, steep cliffs
Henderson Island: There were some decent sized caves as well
Henderson Island: There was little vegetation on the upper part at this end of the island
As we got closer to the island, we saw a Whale blowing nearly to the island. It quickly dived, but we had better views when it resurfaced. It turned out to be a mother & calf Humpback Whale. Matt & the crew had seen them about 3 weeks earlier when they were last at Henderson Island, so looks like it had been around for a while.
Humpback Whale: One of the early views showing the distinctive humped back view
Humpback Whale: They have a lot of back in front of the fin when the want to show it. Mum also had a very distinctive back fin shape
Humpback Whale: Mum & the calf (on the right). Note, the different fin shapes
Humpback Whale: Eventually, mum decided to start showing off
Humpback Whale: A classic view
Humpback Whale: The tail goes back into the water & mum is going deep
We decided to leave them in peace at this point & carried on to the sheltered part of the island, for the night.