Tuesday, 7 August 2012


Today was my big adventure...i left Becky stroking sharks at the aquarium where she was far less likely to get seasick and went whale watching! (Becky has also done it before and so had even less incentive to risk the waves.) And boy was it rough! The boat was pitching into huge troughs and I started off with a wonderful seat outside at the front of the boat...it wasn't long before everyone sat around me had disappeared up to the next level as the waves started crashing over the front of the boat. I was soaked! Thank goodness my camera is waterproof! I then realised it was not just my trousers but my shoes and socks that were soggy, and the last remaining woman and her son decided they had had enough, so we all abandoned this position and moved up to the top section...by which time there were spare seats because many had gone inside to avoid the wind or to be sick!

I am not going to give you a blow by blow account of the trip...but we set off at 9.15am and saw our first whale at 12.07pm! In the meantime I saw waves, waves, bird, waves, waves, unconfirmed eagle with fish sighting, waves, waves, enormous black-backed gull, waves, more waves and some more waves...not even a dolphin!

Anyway we got a message from another whale watching boat at about 11.30 and raced off, straight into the wind to a quiet, calmish spot not far off the shoreline near to Bondi beach. And there in all its glory was a hump-back whale on its migration passage North. The boat kept up with it and so we kept seeing its back hump out of the water...it was difficult to predict where it would next come up but they do leave a "footprint" where the water goes flat and glassy because there is movement underneath it. It was very exciting and we had some really good views (never right on top of it but I think the boat keeps a respectful distance). Unfortunately my video footage is not fantastic because I was determined to see it all with my eyes so I pointed the camera in the right direction and hoped for the best...I have got a few shots though.

Then because we had taken so long to find it and were now running late we had to set off back :-( However, by this time my teeth were chattering so I was quite glad to go below deck and warm up... with about seven Chinese people randomly asleep! I don't knew if they even saw the whale, they were all lying with sick bags next to their heads!

Just as I was starting to feel my fingers again we were called up on deck again (next time I go whale watching I will not sit in the wind and spume at the front of the boat for three hours prior to actually watching anting!!) Two more hump-backs had been spotted at the base of the cliffs. This time we were further away but we saw spurts of water from their blowholes and two flapping tails! Brilliant! But of course we couldn't hang around because we were already late so we shot on. Then we were called one more time to see dolphins which we would have stayed to play with (you guessed it - "if we'd had time"...grrr!) But they did come and play momentarily in the bow wave, and I was standing in just the right place :-)

So we were an hour late getting back-I had been on board (with wet socks) pitching and yoreing for five hours!! And when I got off the boat I could still walk straight! Met Becky, quick trip round monorail and then bus home for a nice long bath...feet looked like white prunes but are recovering now.

Too busy holding binoculars and video camera to take any pics on phone to show you, so I will leave you with this photo I took of an Aussie newspaper yesterday-nice to know they are not sore losers at all!

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