With a new Whale Watching season fast approaching for 2014, I thought I'd share some tips on making the most of a whale watching cruise.
I have been on many WW trips. My first trip was unforgettable for all the wrong reasons. High winds, high seas, gripping the side rails the entire trip so as not to have a 'man overboard' experience. Half the guests made use of seasickness bags. We saw whales at a distance and many people really wanted to get back to shore.
Since that time, I have been on many WW trips (with a different company) - www.brisbanewhalewatching.com.au & each has been fantastic & the memories of the whales shine through. I found Captain Kerry to be passionate about the whales & a fountain of knowledge. The crew were very welcoming & did whatever they could to make sure everyone was enjoying the trip. Morning Tea, a generous buffet lunch & afternoon tea are provided. The cruises leave from Redcliffe Jetty & travel across Moreton Bay & just out past Cape Moreton to the open sea.
I have a few guidelines I follow to help make the day a joy to remember.
Firstly, I book only a few days in advance, that way I can be quite sure of the weather conditions. I look for a day with the following conditions forecast at reputable websites:
Many days during our Brisbane winter align with these guidelines so it's not too difficult to find a suitable day. Days with these conditions will often give you beautiful glassy water in Moreton Bay & a swell in the open ocean that won't be demanding that you need to have a good set of 'sea legs'.
Humpback Whales can be spotted along the east & west coasts of Australia from June to November each year as they migrate from Antarctica to our warmer waters for birthing & breeding.
Beautiful Moreton Island
A Humpback Whale breaching in Moreton Bay. This whale breached more than 20 times! Amazing energy.
A Humpback Whale - Belly up! So playful.
A Humpback Whale - A powerful display of Tail Slapping, so awesome.
A Humpback Whale - Spy Hopping, just popped up to take a really long look at us, so curious & social. It's easy to adore these creatures of the deep.
Otherwise known as Angel Tern, Fairy Tern or Lovers Tern, these little white sea birds are very unique in the Avian world.
They habitat Lord Howe Island off the coast of New South Wales amongst other places. They can be easily spotted from September to May.
More often than not, you will see these angelic birds flying & sitting in pairs. They appear to be gentle, caring & doting creatures, a joy to watch.
White Terns lay their eggs on a bare branch, no nest at all.
The parents take turns in sitting on the egg for around 30 days until it hatches. Great care must be taken so the egg will not fall to the ground.
After the chick has hatched, it will take about 2 months before it can fly & even longer before it can feed itself. So the parents go out to sea to feed themselves & to bring back tiny fish to feed their chick.
I found this lovely sitting on a lower branch of one of the many Norfolk Island Trees dotted along the waterfront of The Lagoon.
A little time passed, then I noticed a tiny brown downy wing emerging from under her.
Soon, she nudged her baby chick to wake up & come out. So gorgeous.
Proud mum. Those little wings coming out for a stretch.
Mum flies off out to sea, leaving the chick alone on the branch...
This is another chick. A little older, losing it's brown grey down & transitioning to white feathers.