Friday 3rd June
Passengers and crew of two of the ports whale watch vessels “Imagine” and “Spirit” witnessed a sad whale watchintg event in nature yesterday. A small humpback calf clearly seperated for some time from its mother was labouring along past the entrance of Port Stephens at 11am.
Barely able to swim and struggling even to raise its head for a breath, the barnacle encrusted calf appeared near the end. Both skippers of Spirit and Imagine spoke with National Parks and Wildlife Service Manager Mick Murphy about the possibility of its stranding somewhere along the NSW coast in the next few days.
It is generally understood that a Humpback calf requires its mothers milk for a full year if it is to survive. Whatever the reason for this calf’s seperation, it will die within days unless by some miracle it is adopted by a lactating female that has lost her calf.
This incident is of a different nature to the strading of sick Humpback Whales recently on the Western Australian coastline.
Later in the cruise two healthy Juvenille Humpbacks were sighted going north and an amazing feeding frenzy involving hundreds of Common dolphin and thousands of Gannets massing to feed on bait fish.