A baby humpback was seen off the Coffs Coast.
A baby humpback was seen off the Coffs Coast. Jetty Dive Centre

Newborn humpback spotted off the coast

A GROUP of lucky whale watchers witnessed an extra special sight on Wednesday when they spotted a newborn humpback calf and its mother in waters off the Coffs Coast.

Lindsay Devery, who was skippering the Jetty Dive Centre whale watching trip that afternoon, said he was alerted to the mother whale by an on-shore spotter.

"We made our way out there and we got to the whale and it was moving really slow," he said.

"We followed it a bit and it wasn't doing anything at all for probably 20-30 minutes, and then all of a sudden we saw what looked like a dolphin initially.

"I told everyone it was a dolphin until it started slapping its tail, at which point we realised it was a little newborn humpback."

 

The humpback calf swims beside its mother.
The humpback calf swims beside its mother. Jetty Dive Centre

Mr Devery said it was uncommon for whales to give birth in waters this far south.

"It's a pretty rare sight to see here on the coast because whales normally go to a lot warmer water, north around Hervey Bay, because the calves can't survive if it's too cold.

"It's really rare to see them off the coast here and I've only seen it twice in the five years I've been doing whale watch tours."

He said it took a little while for the sighting to sink in for those on board.

"They were pretty excited to see a dolphin with a whale, but when I told them it was in fact a baby whale, I don't think they realised just how special that is."



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