Whale Sunday

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Humpback Whale off Sydney Head, Sunday 18 October 2009

Humpback Whale off Sydney Head, Sunday 18 October 2009

The day did not start out well with scattered showers.  We thanked forethought and the advice given on the whale tours for insisting we brought a good warm coat as it looked cold out on the water.

It looked even worse as we left the Darling Harbour.  I wished I thought to bring a simple plastic bag to protect my camera with as it looked like we’d be shooting in the rain.

My fears were unfounded as we slipped through the head the day showed it could be kind to whale watchers and broke up the sky enough for us photographers to take our eyes off the sky and put it on the ocean, searching for signs of whale.

The tour guides had been tipped off on a pod of four whales making their way down the coast that they hoped to intercept as they travelled past the heads.  Unusally for this time of year it was a group of four adults as individuals and mother/calf groups are more common.

There was a two foot swell outside the heads which doesn’t sound like a lot until you have to find our footing, hold onto breakfast and keep an eye our for whales all at the same time.  All this became particularly hard when the whales were spotted and the captain manevoured the boat so it was side on to the waves.  Now instead off just going up and down the boat seemed to roll in lazy circles taking my stomach with it.  But I was too busy to pay any attention to rolling stomach’s as the whales surfaces maybe 2oo metres from the boat.

I understand we spent two hours following the pod as they zig-zagged their way down the coast as far down as Bondi.   I can honestly same I don’t know where the time went.  Before I really felt the desire for land the captain turned the boat back to the heads.  There another pod, this time a mother and calf.  Like the captain, they seemed to be in a hurry to get where they had to go and didn’t hang around to look at the boat.


Though not a dramatic whale watching experience, it was impressive to see these animals up close.  To say they are big doesn’t describe them.  They are the largest animals that any of use are likely to see, and too think they go straight past Sydney’s doorstep is incredible.

I think I should like to go out and wave g’day to them again when they make their trip north next April.

If you want to see some mighty impressive whale shots or read the whale blog by Jonas the Photographer click on the image below.

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