Watchers have a whale of a time with rare blue sighting

Albany Advertiser

Keen Albany whale watchers will have their eyes glued to the Southern Ocean over the next few days as they wait for the arrival of an expected blue whale on its annual migration from feeding grounds near Antarctica to warmer breeding waters in the northern Indian Ocean.

The giant underwater mammal has been spotted near the Albany coastline on this day for the past two years and is rumoured to have been taking the same migratory course for at least a decade.

Zoologist and photographer Steve Reynolds was aboard the Bremer Canyon Killer Whale Expedition over the Easter long weekend when he snapped a shot of blue whales pass-ing close to the coast on Saturday.

This sub-species is known as a pygmy blue whale, however, measuring up to 24m, it is not much smaller than its full-size cousin, which can grow to 30m.

Mr Reynolds said spotting three pairs of the blue whales was a “real treat”.

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“They can certainly motor along, capable of 50km/h, and the skipper did a great job of keeping our distance whilst providing a stunning backdrop of the dunes to the west of Bremer,” he said. “A very special moment that myself and the passengers that day will not forget — being so close to one of the largest animals that have ever existed.”

The Albany whale-watching season runs from June-October.

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