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20     Young Whales - Male and Female

Immature whales, both male and female follow second in line once again, leaving approximately three days after the first group. They are the most active of the groups and use a lot of energy in play and socialising.

RIGHT : Play is an integral element in the development of a young whale. Often sub-adults can be found on their own fully immersed in various kinds of play. This was the case with 'Slaphappy', a female, who was found alone energetically slapping her tail while lying on her back, then rolling onto her belly she would continue to tail slap. This sequence would be followed by a full body roll and she would begin again. We stood off and watched for over an hour and slowly she made her way to the Expedition vessel. As she swam towards us we realised she was in the company of a pod of Bottlenose dolphins and that they were the focus of her playfulness.

(Photo: Trish Franklin)

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