10 Fascinating Facts About Humpback Whales

1. A fully grown Humpback Whale can weigh more than 5 adult elephants, the largest land mammal.

2. Humpback Whales fast during the winter living off of fat stores they’ve acquired gorging themselves during their feeding season.

3. It is estimated that as much as 90% of the humpback whales population was eliminated during the whaling era.

4. The only known natural predator to hunt humpback whales is a pack of hungry killer whales. Successful attacks are believed to be rare with most attacks ending up in nothing more than scarring and bruises.

5. During mating season only the male humpback whales produce whale songs, or “sing”

6. Consuming a large variety of fish and krill, these marine mammals have the most diverse eating habits of all baleen whales.

7. The scientific name for the Humpback Whale is, “Megaptera novaeangliae”.

8. Humpback Whales are easily identifiable by their abnormally large flippers, big fanned tail and hump-shaped back with a small black dorsal fin.

9. Humpback whales can hunt in cooperative groups of 15 or more when searching for food.

10. The humpback whale is protected against hunting by international law.

Photo: Taken by Aaron Hoffman aboard Out Of The Blue

Newborn White Whale Sighting Off Lennox Head, NSW

 

Its that time of year when we all get excited about whether or not Migaloo will be sighted along the Australian East Coast.

As the popular form of communication is via social media we have decided to announce this sighting.

A newborn white whale spotted off Lennox Headland, NSW, Yesterday! June 30th 2018.

Our team at Out Of The Blue Adventures  was notified of this sighting by a local who had seen this white whale swimming with its mother just off the coast of Lennox Head, NSW, near the Out Of The Blue vessel. These images were captured as they travelled north by Kynan Wall.

Our team was beyond excited to hear this breaking news. Even the thought that we had been so close that morning on our Ballina to Byron Bay Whale Watching Tour , gave us goosebumps!

Unfortunately no other white humpback whale (Migaloo Jrn or Barloo or Chalkie) has been sighted for over 5 years, so it is possible Migaloo is the only one still alive, or is he? Our image is yet to be confirmed with researchers, but we are hoping this is the comeback of a lost generation.

Other known white whales were all young humpbacks and either their pigmentation gene kicked in and they are amongst the general population or they have simply succumbed to the harsh Southern Ocean or Japanese whalers. It should also be noted that sometimes when a baby humpback is born it can appear to be all white or greyish in colour and as the whale grows the normal pigmentation of their skin darkens.

 

The 2018 Whale Watching Season along the Australian NSW North Coast has certainly started with a Big Bang!

Words can’t describe the jaw dropping moments we have experienced aboard Out Of The Blue, witnessing these astonishing Humpback Whales up-close on our Byron Bay Whale Watching Tour as they migrate past the coastline between Byron Bay and Ballina. Follow the link to see some of the reviews our guests have given us after experiencing one of our first-class tours. Tripadvisor Reviews or visit our facebook page or gallery to see our photos taken aboard in the last few weeks.

Many dedicated whale watchers and researchers are taking up positions on many Capes and Head Lands along the New South Wales & Queensland coast line, as well as seats aboard our Ballina to Byron Bay Whale Watching Tour , with binoculars in hand searching for a pod of Humpback whales breaching out across the Pacific Ocean or Coral Sea horizon, hoping to get a glimpse of the elusive all white whale called Migaloo which is a local aboriginal word meaning “White Fella”.

 

Where will you go Whale Watching this season?

If you are thinking of visiting the Byron Bay or Ballina region, be sure to take a cruise with Out Of The Blue Adventures . Gabrielle, our onboard Marine biologist enhances your whale watching experience by sharing in-depth knowledge about Migaloo, local points of interest, history and encounters we experience.

A specialised underwater hydrophone is also onboard, so you can hear live humpback whale song! You will be observing wild animals in their natural environment just like researchers & scientists do as a means of increasing our knowledge and understanding of these magnificent marine mammals and our ability to conserve this species.

We hope an intimate, close encounter aboard Out Of The Blue Adventures Whale Watching Tour leaves you feeling empowered to protect the environment and its beloved creatures as we are reminded today of how precious they are with this new sighting.

BOOK

Your seat for “The most impressive Byron Bay Whale Watching experience!”

P.S Visit this link for original footage of whales, taken by Kynan Wall  : Baby White Whale Footage!

Photo: Aboard Out Of The Blue Adventures on Saturday 30th June 2018 (same day the baby white whale was sighted)- This whale is Spyhoping! (aka people watching) Get your cameras at the ready!

 

Whale Article

SUBSCRIBE & WIN!

Subscribe to our mailing list for the chance to WIN a 3hr Private Whale Watching Charter for yourself and 19 of your lucky friends!

Valued at over $2,000

Plus 10 single passes for our Premier Whale Watching Cruise are up for grabs.

Drawn on the 1st August, 2018.

Click Here & Enter email: Whale Watching Tour with Out of the Blue Adventures.

 : Marty Purcell aboard OUT OF THE BLUE

Visitors and locals alike are have been eagerly anticipating our favorite annual visitors…the Humpback whales!

Between June and November, Byron Bay is one of Australia’s best destinations to watch these majestic mammals on their annual migration from their cold Antarctic summer feeding grounds to their warmer, sub-tropical breeding and birthing grounds off Australia’s coasts. Humpbacks are believed to use landmark to help with navigation on their migration, so they tend to hug the coast making local waters and Cape Byron, Australia’s most easterly point, center-stage for whale watching.

Mothers choose calm, sheltered & protected waters like Byron Bay to nurse, teach, rest, and play with their young in preparation for their long swim back to the Antarctic. Not that you need incentive to visit, but it’s all the more reason to book a whale watching tour with Out of the Blue Adventures, which provides front-row seats aboard an eco-vessel with 360º viewing of the sheer beauty of our favorite finned-friends. Whether its your first or 100th whale watching expedition, you are sure to watch in awe as these acrobatic creatures amaze us every time; whether they’re breaching, competing for mates, or nurturing their young.

The onboard marine biologist enhances your whale watching experience with informative commentary. A specialised underwater hydrophone is also onboard, so you can hear live humpback whale song! You will be observing wild animals in their natural environment just like researchers & scientists do as a means of increasing our knowledge and understanding of these magnificent marine mammals and our ability to conserve this species.

Humpback whales are among the largest animals on earth! Witnessing them up close and personal you’ll realize their impressive size. Adults average 14-18m in length and weigh 50 tons. The weight of 8 African elephants, the largest land mammal. Mothers give birth to big babies! Calves are born around 4m in length and weigh 2 tons…that’s comparable to a UTE truck.

In the excitement of the whale season beginning, we reflect on Byron’s history of whaling and whale watching. Whaling became one of Australia’s first primary industries in the 1800s. Whales were hunted for their blubber which was melted down/ processed to be used as oil for lamp fuel, perfumes, soap and medicine. Between 1950 and 1962, nearly 12,500 Humpback whales were killed and processed at whaling stations along the east coast including at Byron Bay. A jetty stretching three quarters of a mile out into the bay at Byron was a feature of the landscape for 85 years.

The Byron Whaling Jetty served the fishing and whaling industry, with whaling boats pulling up to unload their catch which was then transported via a rail line along the jetty to the factory. Locals would venture into town to watch this popular event. Include Picture of whale winced onto jetty? https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/photos-take-a-look-back-at-byrons-whaling-jetty/3246186/#/5

In 1960 and 1961, illegal hunting by Russian whaling ships in waters south of Australia and New Zealand took around 24,000 whales and wiped out this population. Over-exploitation eventually led to the demise of the whaling industry in Australia. By the mid 1960s, there were no more whales to catch. Humpbacks were hunted nearly to the brink of extinction with only 200 whales left in this population. A ban on hunting humpbacks came in 1963, and they were protected worldwide in 1965 after recognition of a dramatic global decline in numbers. Commercial whaling in Australia ended altogether in 1978 with the closure of the last whaling station in Western Australia.

In 1979, Australia adopted an anti-whaling policy, permanently ending whaling in Australian waters and started to focus heavily on working towards the international protection and conservation of whales. 40 years ago, people believed the only way their children would see a humpback whale was from a page of the National Geographic magazine. Thanks to those who fought for the protection of this (nearly extinct) species and dedicated decades of funding and research, this is not how the story unfolded. Nowadays, there are around 25,000 humpback whales in this population that migrates up Australia’s east coast…the healthiest it’s been since they were hunted nearly to extinction. We can watch whales ashore Byron Bay’s picturesque beaches or enjoy close encounters aboard a whale watching excursion.

It’s an inspiring comeback story confirming change is possible with hope, perseverance, and commitment. Change may not be immediate/may take time, but this tale proves positive change can be happen over a lifetime. We hope an intimate, close encounter aboard Out Of The Blue Adventures Whale Watching Tour leaves you feeling empowered to protect the environment and its beloved creatures.