Southern Right Whale – Spy hopping
This term was known by the whalers as whales lift their heads and part of their bodies out of the water vertically to give them a 360 degree view of the world above the water and may be that the whale is observing its surroundings as they are most curious.
Southern Right Whale – Breaching
Periodically a whale may thrust three-quarters or more of its body out of the water, pivot onto its side and back, and fall back with an enormous slash into the sea. This jumping technically known as “breaching”’ frequently occurs several times in succession. This behavior might be a form of communication or indication of male prowess, generally during mating. Or it might be to get rid of whale lice or perhaps the activity assists in the moulting process and maybe they do it for the pure fun of it. It is usually done in sets of between four and six. When performed by young calves, for instance, it seems that the activity is one of sheer exuberance. This is undoubtedly the most spectacular of all whale behaviour.
Southern Right Whales visit Hermanus in the heart of the Cape Whale Coast every year during May – December