The two humpback whales recently took turns launching themselves out of the water as they swam beside a fishing charter. A tour group that witnessed the close encounter can be heard screaming with delight.
The whales were “double breaching, head lunging and cruising within meters of our boat,” David Jauger, who runs Tweed Gold Coast Dive Charters, told Storyful.
The acrobatic displays are a prominent fixture in the waters of eastern Australia between April and November, according to Australia's Department of the Energy and Environment. Most humpbacks migrate north from Antarctic waters to mate and give birth between June and August before swimming back to the Southern Ocean in September.
Humpbacks, which can reach up to 60 feet in length and weigh up to 40 tons, are known for their common surface activity, including breaching and slapping the surface with their pectoral fins and tails, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Researchers have hypothesized that breaching is a form of communication and a way to attract mates, according to Whale Facts.
Migration season can be dangerous for the more than 30,000 whales that travel along the coast each year, Australia’s ABC News reported.
Last month, a rescue team saved a migrating humpback whale ensnared in a shark net in the waters off the Gold Coast. The whale didn’t appear to suffer any serious injuries as it swam off after being freed.