So we all know that if we hop on a boat and take a trip out on to the water this time of year, there’s a chance we could see some whales. If you haven’t done a whale watching cruise yet, be sure to add it to your Australia bucket list (and be quick – they aren’t around for much longer after this month!)
I actually had the opportunity to get out and see some whales this weekend and it was such a great experience, I would recommend it to everyone!
We did our whale watching with Sydney Adventure Cruises. Once we left the harbour, it didn’t take long for us to find a good spot where a mother and calf were hanging out. To begin with, they were being a bit shy and, although we saw the odd fin, we didn’t see much more. The girl who was doing the commentary said that they were spending an unusual amount of time under water compared to what they’d seen the rest of the week … typical!
After about an hour though, well it all got a bit exciting! They were coming up for longer, we saw them slapping their fins down and eventually, they got a bit excitable and started jumping in and out the water … a lot! It was amazing!
I did try to take some pictures but felt like an amateur with my camera phone next to all the others who had their big cameras with their wide lenses and fast shutter speeds. So, when I thought I was getting the whale jumping, by the time my phone caught up, I was just getting the splash back! Because of regulations, the boat has to stay 400m away from mother and calves so even though I could see perfectly, it didn’t show up well on screen. Add to that the fact that I couldn’t keep the phone steady because the boat was rocking – well, all I’m saying is not to expect miracles with a camera phone! I did film the whales for a little while and can get some screen shots from the video but eventually, I decided it was much better to look with my eyes and remember it firsthand rather than through a lens!
Things to remember …
Even if you don’t get sea sick, take a tablet just in case! My friend felt quite ill once the boat stopped and I felt a bit queasy (and we had both taken sea sick tablets). There were a few people dotted around who were looking a bit worse for wear! One poor teenage boy barely made it to the sick bag that his mum was frantically pushing towards him (although thank god he did! He was stood right next to me and that could have been disastrous!). When the boat is moving in and out of the harbour, it isn’t too bad but once you stop, depending on the conditions, the boat can get quite rocky. There’s some big waves out there, sometimes they are not your friend!
The good news is, the staff on the boat are ready for this! Take their advice, stay on the lower level of the boat, focus on the horizon, get some fresh air and they’ll give you a ginger beer if you really are suffering. If worse comes to worst, they have enough sick bags to last you a lifetime … don’t be embarrassed and go and hide in the toilet if you do get ill, no one can help you in there and it will only make you feel worse (not to mention it could lead to a line of frustrated fellow whale watchers who are bursting for the loo!)
It’s a good idea to take a jumper or cardigan or some sort … even on a sunny day. It can get a bit windy out there and if you’re there in just your shorts and vest, you may get a little cold. It was 28 degrees when we did it, I took a light cardigan and was still a bit chilly at times.
It goes without saying that you should take sunscreen! I know, I know, I just said that you may get a bit chilly … but that doesn’t mean the sun isn’t beating down on you, it’s just you may not feel it. And that’s the worst, because you don’t think you’re burning but by the time you get to shore, you resemble a tomato, and that is never a good look!
All in all, we had a great time! The staff were great and full of interesting facts, the weather was awesome and we saw a mother and baby have some fun in the water … you can’t argue with that eh! It really is incredible to see these animals in their natural habitat!
There’s so many cool things you can do in Australia, and whale watching is up there on my list of favourite things I’ve done so far! However, my experience wasn’t quite as epic as the one had by this couple on the Gold Coast a few weeks ago! They actually got to swim with a baby humpback whale and it’s mother, even taking the ultimate selfie … there’s not many people who can say they have swam with whales! Check out the video below – doesn’t it look awesome?! I’m sticking this on my bucket list for 2015 for sure!
Have you been whale watching? Tell us about it! We’d love to see your pics!