Tour guide and regular SAPeople contributor Lloyd Koppel was “hanging out” on his balcony in Walker Bay, De Kelders (Western Cape, South Africa) yesterday with some guests, when a beautiful sight unfolded in front of them… watch below.
“Beautiful moments. There was a lob-tailing Southern Right Whale in front of the house. This went on for over half an hour. It was pretty windy but I had to send out the flying camera to capture this unique perspective… and I am so glad I did!” says Lloyd. For those of us far away, we’re glad too!!!
And it turns out, according to scientists, that perhaps it was because of the wind that the whales were slapping their fins on the water so much. A study by the University of Queensland, Australia, of over 90 different groups of migrating whales, found that although whales can make vocal sounds to communicate, their “breaching and pectoral-fin slapping increased when the wind picked up, possibly because vocal sounds became less audible”.
Watch Southern Right Whales, De Kelders, Western Cape, South Africa:
Beautiful moments. So yesterday I was hanging out on my balcony with some of my guests and this happened… A lob-tailing Southern Right Whale? in front of the house. This went on for over half an hour. It was pretty windy but I had to send out the flying camera to capture this unique perspective and I am so glad I did! Walker Bay – De Kelders
Posted by Lloyd Koppel on Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The sounds of the breaching and slapping travel under the water, and there is evidence they communicate messages to other groups of whales.
The scientists found that repetitive tail and pectoral-fin slapping, as seen in Lloyd’s video, appears to be for close-range ‘local’ messages… and the slapping is usually followed by whales joining or leaving the group.
The breaches and big splashes are probably for “long-distance calls”.
The vigorous slapping shows it’s an important message, say the scientists, because usually migrating whales need to conserve their energy as they’re not eating during this period.
Whale watching close to shore, Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa:
Meanwhile in the Eastern Cape the whales were also putting on a spectacular performance right near the shore at Jeffreys Bay Main Beach. Filmed by another fab regular SAPeople contributor, Michelle Mengel.
Wales at Jeffreys Bay Main Beach, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Posted by Michelle Mengel on Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Watch Drone Films 80 Ton Whales in Hermanus
Luke Maximo Bell (Western Cape videographer and another awesome SAPeople contributor) captured this brilliant ‘whales by drone’ footage over the weekend in Hermanus; and says the good news is that “these gigantic beauties will still be spouting all over the Hermanus coastline for the next few weeks so head over there and see them for yourself!”