Admiral, There Be Whales Here!
At this time of year there’s something of an oceanic highway running up the east coast of Australia. Whales, that have spent the first part of the year in the Antarctic feeding grounds, migrate north towards the equator to breed. It’s an epic migration that’s been going on for 34 million years (give or take a year or two) and twice a year we get to join in on the fun. I was invited out onto the water by the folks at Dolphin Watch Cruises and I joined them for a morning trip out through the heads of the bay and into the Tasman Sea to go whale watching. It was a fairly brisk winter morning with a bit of a breeze but it was lovely out in the bay on the sure-footed EcoExtreme boat. After about 15 minutes of looking, we sighted our first whale and then we got many more encounters with these incredible creatures. It was a great morning out on the water and a real privilege to see the whales doing what they’ve been doing for about 33.8million more years than our planet-wrecking species has even existed. There be whales.
Beautiful winter’s morning in Huskisson and on Currumbene Creek.
After heading across the bay we tracked along the inside of the Beecroft Peninsula – this is Silica Beach.
There’s some incredible geology on the cliffs around Point Perpendicular that you only get a chance to see on a boat like Dolphin Watch’s.
First ‘blow’ sighted about a kilometre away from us.
First proper sighting. The humpbacks get their name from the curving of their backs when diving.
We moved out into the Tasman passing by the lighthouses at Point Perp.
Another sighting, this time much closer to us.
Our closest drive-by. There are about 80,000 humpbacks worldwide and 50,000 of those are in the southern hemisphere. Before the days of whaling there would have been in excess of about 125,000.
Waving goodbye? The long black and white tail fin can be up to a third of body length.
Two whales pass by our boat.
Then a third breached off our starboard side and swam underneath us.
Time to head back to Huskisson, but the whales have about another 3000km to go.
One final blow from the whale before we continue back across Jervis Bay and back to Huskisson.