Humpback whales in bay

For two consecutive days I have seen humpback whales breaching in the bay below our house.

Yesterday I saw one whale breach, but didn’t have a camera with me. Did take the camera out and get quite a few grainy shots of two groups of two humpbacks in the the bay. Two about 1km offshore NW from the New Wharf and two within the Rahui – just about 200m east of the new wharf.

Today I went out to take a shot of a big group of shearwaters, and both heard and glimpsed a whale breaching to my left. I just caught the second breach at the bottom left of the frame, but got the third one closer to centre view.

The birds I went out to photograph

The birds I went out to photograph

Second breach - first I caught on camera - just!

Second breach – first I caught on camera – just!

splashes from first and second breach

Spashes from first and second breach

Third Breach - second I caught on camera

Third Breach – second I caught on camera

Splashes from second and third breach

Splashes from second and third breach

Whale takes a quiet breath

Whale takes a quite breath

Last shot of the session

Last shot of the session

To put this in a context – I was commercial fishing for 17 years, and have been a lifelong boatie and recreational fisher – with over 30,000 hours at sea, and in all that time, I only ever saw one whale breaching – plenty of dolphins and an occasional killer whale (in reality big dolphins), but only one full sized whale. Saw plenty of whales, hundreds of them, breathing and just hanging around on the surface – Brydes, sperm, humpback, right, various beaked whales, blue.

Last month Ailsa saw a whale breach 4 times, and got some great shots.
Yesterday I saw one from our kitchen, I was just talking to Ailsa and caught the movement in my peripheral vision.
Today I was out looking at birds when I heard the crash of something big hitting the water, as I turned to the sound I just got the sequence of shots above. This while standing on the deck of our home.

You just never know what reality is going to put in your path.

Update Sunday 19th October 2014
Just watched a groups of probably 3 humpbacks cruise around the bay. Started watching them about off the lion’s pool in Ingles Bay, and watched them for about 20 minutes as they lazily made their way around in front of Fyffe House, and I lost sight of them under the cliffs. They were moving slowly – about 3 knots, breathing about every 4 minutes.

1 shot that I took that might have enough information for identification

Humpback 19th Oct 2014 16:27 - could be good enough to indentify the individual from the marks near the fin.

Humpback 19th Oct 2014 16:27 – could be good enough to indentify the individual from the marks near the fin.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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