Amoroso was named by one of our interns Marlene and the rest of the crew agreed with her choice. Amoroso means lover or tender. It was a perfect description of this yearling’s loving gentle nature. Amoroso came into the research vessel Moon Dancer and just lay there rubbing itself on the side of the vessel, hardly moving at all.
Above: Amoroso lying trustingly alongside ‘Moon Dancer’.
We only encountered Amoroso once, on the 8th of August 2007. However, that one encounter will last a lifetime in the memories of all on board. Amoroso was so quiet and trusting of the research vessel and the crew, that we wondered if it was using the vessel as it would its mother - lying close into the side of the vessel and remaining still. Moon Dancer’s white underbelly and shape would slightly resemble the approximate size of an adult mother at thirteen meters in length. Because Amoroso moved slowly around the vessel, we were able to judge his size at seven to eight meters by measuring him against the width of the vessel, which is six meters. Humpback calves are around four meters at birth and usually double their size within their first year. In Hervey Bay yearlings often spend periods of time alone, but we also observe them associating with larger groups and occasionally accompanying a mother with calf.