Whale trip - 7th Nov 2010

Although it rained constantly all night and the sun was slow to arise, the sky opened to a perfect day.
50 or so people boarded a powered catamaran at Ettalong at 9am at winkled our way out through the shallow channel of Brisbane Water and out onto the ocean within visibility of Broken Bay and Sydney just to the south.

The first pic was taken just north from Barenjoey looking down towards Avalon.
You can see some action happening as the birds (shearwaters ?) and fishermen chase the fish.

The rest of the pics simply show bits of what I saw of the Humpback whales this morning.
Ending about now, the whales are returning to the arctic waters for dinner, being krill eaters.

The most common site is that of a mother feeding a new baby, only weeks old, after being born in tropical waters up north. The mum has to supply the baby with around 600 litres of milk per day, after not eating since leaving the arctic waters and after giving birth.

The whales break free from the southerly fast moving East Australian Current and move in to the coast so the young ones can feed in peace. There will often be another female standing guard in case of sharks.
This is a time when the mum's are teaching the kids their communication and behavioural skills and it's amazing to see 40 tonne whales jump clear out of the water, fin slapping, and tail slaps on the water.
Today we saw one complete breach, but as you can imagine, this is extremely hard to capture.

With the pics below you will at least see some of the identifying marks that the whales carry under their tails.

It's been very gratifying to note that over the past several years the whales have increased in number and seem to relate more to the observing boats.

Anyway, please enjoy a few pics. They're not particularly stunning, but it's a case of "You had to be there!!"