Friday, September 20, 2013

Whale watching at Hervey Bay

Marianne suggested that we go on a whale watching boat trip while we were at Urangan.

A bus picked us up an took us down to the local harbour. There used to be a major whaling station in the area and here is an old whaling harpoon gun.

The usual collection of expensive boats at a marina. Most of them would rarely be used.

The tour boat arrives. If you look closely you can see it is a catamaran.

Apartments overlooking the marina.

A few hundred of us filed onto the boat and we headed out to the bay. Not all of the boats in the harbour are for pleaasure. There is still a small fishing industry.

We headed out into the bay. You can see a map of where we went here.

A very small island called Round Island.

You could imagine being cast away on this island but you wouldn't last too long.

A bigger island, Woody island.

Fraser Island. It's 200 km long and is the worlds largest island made of sand. If you are not familiar with it you should take the time to read the Wiki article.

Four wheel drive vehicles are the only mechanized vehicles on the Island.

Fortunately there were whales. This is a nursery area for whales and about as far north as they travel on the east coast. The water is quite warm here.

The first indicator of a whale is often spouting water.

It is quite difficult to take photos because the boat is rocking with the waves.

Most of the people taking photos with small digital cameras because of shutter lag. I suspect many of their photos would not have turned out.

Listen to the sound of the tail whacking the water. The whales seem to really enjoy doing this.

Most of the whales were mothers and calves with an occasional escort male. The calves were the ones who were leaping out of the water. The guide said that it only takes a couple of tail wags to get their entire bodies out of the water. These are humpback whales in this area.

The guide pointed out the 'autumn leaves' in the distance on the island. It is actually the result of burning off to control large bush fires.

The calves emulate the mothers, sometimes in unison.

Eventually it was time to return to port. I know there were a lot of photos but the experience is amazing. Try to do it sometime in your life.

The sun was starting to set as we returned to port. A stiff wind sprung up and the waves developed quite chop. We occasionally felt a few drops of spray.

Back to the harbour. Marianne wants to do it again. Once was enough for me even though I really enjoyed it.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! nice photos and beautiful article. Thanks for sharing. I have also know a place to stay in Hervey Bay. Check it Out!