One of the things that was on the disorganised bucket list that I kept in my head was to go whale watching. If you read my blog regularly, you’d know that I’m now in the process of putting together an actual proper organised bucket list. So far I have 30 items on the list! Anyway, with the whale watching dream, I had romantic notions of sailing out to sea, the peaceful sounds of lapping water, the occasional lone bird call, and catching my breath when I finally saw whales breaching in the distance. They would swim closer and closer until they were so close I could touch them. I would have moving moments like looking one in the eye and feeling some kind of soul connection and be forever changed. I would take incredible close up photo’s of my new whale friends. It was going to be amazing! Um yeah, it wasn’t quite like that!
It was October 2015 that my first whale watching experience occurred. Yes I know – it has taken me so long to blog about it! It was at Hervey Bay here in Queensland. I did do a post about Hervey Bay back then which you can read HERE but I’m long overdue to write about the whale watching experience. I took soooo many photo’s that I think that is what has caused the delay. There are literally hundreds of images of whales to pour through and decide which ones are worthy of editing and including in a post.
We went on a 3/4 day Whale Watch Cruise on Spirit of Hervey Bay. This was a 5 hour cruise (8:30am to 2:00pm) including morning tea and a buffet lunch. It was a lovely big boat just as I thought I wanted. I had decided that a bigger boat would be more steady on the water and therefore I had less of a chance of getting sea sick. What I hadn’t thought about was that a bigger boat meant more people and less of a chance of having my ‘peaceful and moving experience’. In particular, our cruise had MANY, many, MANY, many, MANY young children on it, and they ran wild all over the boat. There appeared to be no rules nor discipline about that. They not only were running all over the boat but they were LOUD. Of course kids make noise, we all know that but … refer to my romantic notions in para 1 “sailing out to sea, the peaceful sounds of lapping water, the occasional lone bird call, and catching my breath when I finally saw whales breaching in the distance…”. To add to the obvious illusion I had conjured of the experience I would have, we never did see whales up close. They were quite a distance away. My photographs make them look closer because I zoomed in on them. I do believe that there are rules about approaching whales. You are only to go within a certain distance of them. If they come closer to you than that then that is ok. If you really want to know more about these rules, you can find out more HERE.
I had made a rooky error in judgement. I should have risked sea sickness and gone whale watching on a much smaller boat. I saw some people out there on those and oh how I envied them. One day I will go whale watching again … on a small boat. Maybe then I will get that peaceful and moving experience after all?
The Spirit of Hervey Bay is a great cruise option – for young families, people who suffer badly with sea sickness and need a ‘steady cruise’ and people who do not expect a peaceful and moving experience as I did. The staff were friendly and informative. The food was average. Overall – a great option – just not for me. After 5 hours on this boat with constant loud squealing, shrieking and screaming, we were very close to kissing the ground when the boat finally docked back at shore. The peace of the motel room afterwards was GOLDEN and the lovely peaceful walk along the esplanade I took a bit later was wonderful. Oh my – this means I’m getting old doesn’t it?
Here are some photographs from the day. During the lunch period, the boat pulled in close to Fraser Island in calmer waters. Any photographs showing land are of Frazer Island – the northern end.
And to finish off, here is a short video I shot on the day. There is quite a lot of wind noise so keep your volume low!
It was wonderful to see whales out in the ocean, free and in their natural environment, even though it wasn’t quite the experience I had hoped for. Added bonus – I didn’t get sea sick – yay!
Have you ever been whale watching? Did you want the peaceful and moving experience I wanted? Did you get that? Did you not really care you just wanted to see some whales? Tell me about your experience? Know of one you think I might enjoy?
Ciao for now
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