VISITORS to the Portland breakwater have enjoyed a spectacular swimming lesson thanks to some antics by a new mum and her baby.
One of the few southern right whales born in Victoria this season was given a lesson on how to breach and tail slap by its mother.
At times Friday’s lesson took place about 10 metres from Portland’s Lee breakwater.
Portland photographer and fishing enthusiast Bob McPherson said the mother and calf have moved on to Cape Bridgewater where they were yesterday among a group of four whales.
“They are going west — they will probably head off to Antarctica soon,” he said.
Mr McPherson said the Lee breakwater provided great close-ups of the whales.
“You can drive a car up and sometimes get within 10 metres of them,” he said.
Department of Sustain-ability and Environment (DSE) senior biodiversity officer Mandy Watson said there could be two cows and calves in the south-west this season.
She said one pair was reported recently among the large group off Port Fairy and another pair reported off Portland.
A spokeswoman for the Port Fairy Visitor Information Centre said there were about four whales between Port Fairy and Killarney yesterday.
Port Fairy has been a hot spot for whales this season, with up to 13 seen there earlier this month.
Ms Watson said the southern rights were spending an unusually long time off Port Fairy this season because they were mating.
No calves have been born this season at Warrnambool’s Logans Beach, which is the traditional whale nursery and a tourist attraction.
Mr McPherson said he hoped the prolonged mating activity off Port Fairy this year would lead to a boom in whale births.
He said that apart from Logans Beach, whale calves had also been born at Portland, Codrington and Cape Bridgewater over the years.