A breach is when a whale leaps mostly or completely out of the water. It’s the most spectacular and popular of the humpback whale’s many moves. While other species of whale breach, the humpback whale is the world champion of this breathtaking behavior.
Breaches often occur in series, creating excellent photo opportunities. Humpbacks can accelerate from resting to a full breach in as few as three beats of a tail fluke.
Why whales breach is unknown. Scientists believe that a breach can help dislodge parasites and dead skin but there is also a strong social element. Whales may breach to impress a mate or intimidate a competitor. And it might breach simply because it’s fun.
There are several variations of the breach, including the classic twist and a chin breaches (falling back into the sea on their chins).
With the numbers of whales found here during the season, visitors to the Silver Bank see breaching whales every day. Often before breakfast!