If you ask anyone who has seen or wants to see Humpbacks what they would really likely to see then right after ‘breaching’ comes ‘bubble-netting’. Really, I think bubble-netting comes at top of the list but it was really too much to put that one on our wish-list. (We had but only in jest as in “It would be really nice if you could arrange a bit of bubble-netting action to be thrown in” sort of thing.) Well right in the middle of a session of breaching a group of humpbacks just ‘sort of’ took a minor diversion and threw in a bubble-net right near the shore. Just the one. At the time, I didn’t initially realise what was happening as I reacted with the camera as if if were just another breach but as I watched and fired a sequence off on the camera I realised this was different and a little bell went off in the back of my head as I recognised what was going on. Fortunately, I’d got the sequence as well as a huge grin.
For those of you who don’t know what bubble-netting is, this is a collective feeding action where the humpbacks sink below a shoal of fish and letout a ring of bubbles that rise up through the water column. Apparently the fish won’t pass through the bubble so the whales are free to then rise up in the middle and scoop the trapped fish out of the water at the surface.
On this occasion there were about 6-8 whales involved but many more can sometimes be in a net.
This and another photo can also be seen in the humpback gallery here.