2017 Whale Sighting Update
Blue Dolphin Marine Tours:
Whale season 2017 has kicked off to a great start with superb weather and an abundance of whales visiting the Bay. We are seeing good visitor numbers to Hervey Bay especially from international tourists enjoying this glorious sub tropical climate we are experiencing.
The whale encounters so far have been mind boggling and seasoned whale watchers are beside themselves with the quality of viewing and interactions they are seeing. Mugging season is well and truly here and it seems the whales can’t get enough of human watching. We had a beautiful pod that mugged us, but one female Humpback stood out, as the others came and went, she hung around for hours and even followed us for a short while when it was time to go. No where else in Australia do you see this type of interaction and it still astounds us as to why they are so curious about the vessels in Hervey Bay. An Italian family was shown a wonderful introduction to Humpback Whales and had whales mugging Blue Dolphin all day. All you could hear was CIAO, BELLA, BELLISIMO as they waved and talked to the whales. Memories etched in their minds forever and Hervey Bay will always be known as the home of the Humpback Whales. We love our backyard and showing these magnificent whales to the world. Looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing a lot more Mums and their calves enter the Bay. Heres to a great season.
Pacific Whale Foundation:
After 3 decades conducting scientific studies of humpback whales off the east coast of Australia, Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) now provides opportunity to see whales as the researchers do in the sheltered waters of Hervey Bay. Beginning this season, PWF offers expeditions aboard its new, 13m purpose-built Ocean Defender: a low-profile, smooth riding vessel that mimics the experience of riding on a research boat.
The 2017 season got off to an early start, with our first whale watches starting on July 15th. Whales have been observed on every trip to date, and we are now entering the most exciting time of the season when mothers and their newborn calves, pods(groups) of large males competing for access to reproductively active males and curious young whales enter the Bay in large numbers. Not only are whale-watchers guaranteed sightings during this time of the season, they will see the most spectacular surface and aerial behaviours to be witnessed anywhere in the world. PWF has developed a unique vocabulary over the past 30 years to describe these fascinating interactions and behaviours. Breach, spy hop, pecslap, fluke-up dive, peduncle arch, competition pod . . . are a sample of the unique terms that are a standard part of the Hervey Bay vernacular during this time of year.
Spirit of Hervey Bay:
The whales are back in the Bay!. There have been lots of large males in the bay just hanging out in pods. These are the inquisitive ones!. They have definitely been making their presence felt this year, checking out areas where they don’t normally go! Whales have been seen off Torquay Beach and have even ventured into the Mary River system.
This inquisitiveness is great for our guests on board as we are regularly being ‘mugged’. And that’s not what you would normally think…but means the whales have been coming right up close to the boats, rolling on their sides and lifting their giant heads out of the water to take a look at the humans who have come to see them.
Our guests on the ‘Spirit of Hervey Bay’ and our fast, fun boat ‘Yahoo’ absolutely love this experience saying it is one of those special events that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
We look forward to more mums and calves coming into the bay as the season progresses. Pretty amazing that they make this journey from Antarctica to the warmer waters of North Queensland and back every year.
We are so lucky to be in the best place in the world to view humpback whales. Come and enjoy it with us. We would love to welcome you on-board either the ‘Spirit of Hervey Bay’ or ‘Yahoo’. Check out our website at: http://www.spiritofherveybay.com/
*All photos contributed