Valley and Her Calf – 15/7/23

We’ve been fortunate to be able to spend a lot of quality time with NA-0483 “Valley” and calf over the past week or so. This calf has been so much fun to watch. From rolling around and playing to practicing the art of blowing bubbles to full blown breaching displays… this youngster has wiggled its way right into my heart!

Valley herself is a very special whale and one that we came uncomfortably close to losing a couple of years ago to a life threatening entanglement. That thought, about how lucky she is to be alive today, ALWAYS creeps into my mind while watching her and as a result, sightings of her are always so special to me. She was in very rough shape after her ordeal, but here she is today looking as healthy as ever (although a bit thin which is somewhat to be expected as she’s caring for a calf) with a rambunctious little calf in tow.

Yesterday afternoon we were treated to quite a bit of surface activity from a few different whales, but I think it was the double breach of Valley and her calf that blew us all away. What an incredible moment for all of us.

We also encountered HW-MN0100083 “Patches” … this whale is such a rockstar! Almost every time I see him, I’m rewarded with some wild surface activity and this afternoon was no exception! He breached multiple times and followed it up with some flipper slapping and lobtailing. It’s always such a treat to see him!

How many of you have met Patches and have you observed the same charismatic behaviors?

-Mandy

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