When you take a whale-watching trip, you need to be lucky to observe a breaching session. To watch two such shows from two different humpbacks in a single afternoon is nothing less than a privilege.
On Wednesday, July 19, as I was carrying out some surveying and photo-identification for the Mingan Island Cetacean Study off the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, I followed the humpback whale H753 with its calf for about 3 nautical miles off of Gaspé Bay. The entire time, the calf was swimming ahead of its mother and breaching repeatedly. It made more than twenty jumps before it calmed down.
A few minutes later, much deeper in the bay, I observe a huge explosion on the water surface. It was another humpback – the adult H840 – who was engaging in the same antics. The latter carried out the full range of various leaps and flips that a humpback is capable of. This individual is an accomplished acrobat! Breaching and landing on its back or side, poking out its head to take a peak across the water surface (spyhopping), slapping the water with its pectoral fin and then with its tail (caudal fin). A complete show that lasted about twenty minutes! I was not the only one to attend, as there was a whale-watching boat on site and a few individuals were probably able to witness this display from the Forillon coast.
Here are a few photos.