During June to November, the whale watching season in Australia, whales such as the humpback and orca migrate from the cold waters of the Antarctica up to the warm temperate waters of Australia to give birth. About 20,000 whales pass by the waters of Australia during this period, and I took the opportunity to catch a glimpse of this magnificent creature up close during my trip to Sydney.While you can watch the whales on numerous land-based vantage points in NSW national parks, I opted to join a 2-hour Adventure Cruise to increase my chances of spotting them in the deep blue sea.
After seeing the promotional images, who could ever resist such an opportunity? I opted for the smaller speed boat as it can go faster than cruise ships and the open deck would allow whale watching from all angles. But with agility, also meant smaller size boat and a speed ride that could rival Universal Studio’s. I was clinging to a pole like a koala bear most of the time, and your camera shutter speed has to be at least 1/1000s to be able to minimize blurred photos.
(Source: Whale Watching Sydney)We started off our adventure from Darling Harbour. We were lucky to have good weather, and a nice view Sydney’s skyline.
Spotting the candy-striped Hornby Lighthouse at Watsons Bay got me all excited – I remember walking the South Head Heritage trail just few months ago :) It’s also a whale watching vantage point. I will be back…Here we are in the open sea! I was just griping about how small and rocky our little speedboat was until I saw this open boat/dinghy – I think I would have peed in my pants if the whale came up just in front of me.
And the waiting game begins…according to our guide, the easiest way to spot a whale is to look for spouts/blows made by the whale, and a greenish shape in the water as the whale emerges (can you spot that in the photo?). Did you know the blow is distinctive to each whale species – humpback (tall, column-shaped blow); orca (bushy shaped); gray (heart-shaped!). The mammal can stay underwater for as long as 10 minutes, so you have to be verrry patient.
This was the best I could get on my virgin whale watching adventure. I didn’t even get to see your face, and I didn’t know what I actually saw until I went home to check – a rare albino humpback whale. This would be my second amazing milestone made in Sydney – the first being catching the New Years Eve fireworks : )