Whale Watching

Sometimes my life is so much more interesting inside my head.

For example, when I booked our tickets to go whale watching with Whale One out of Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, I imagined the sky would be clear, a beautiful calm ocean perfectly reflecting a majestic shade of blue, and we’d find ourselves amongst a few whales who’d throw themselves out of the water to let us know how happy they are.

Reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

I still agree with the verbiage on the Whale One website:

A Whale Watching Cruise can change your whole perspective on life – it can touch the deepest of emotions – overwhelm you with love and affection – have you feel all warm and fuzzy – and this is all at the sight of one of the most magnificent mammals on this planet – The Humpback Whale.

Just to be perfectly clear, and to further convince myself, I’ll say that again.  I still agree with the verbiage on the Whale One website, and I was emotional and overwhelmed with affection.

The Humpback Whale is an incredible creature, a most amazing mammal, and I was thrilled we saw one on the cruise.  I’ve never been so close to one before.  They are so majestic and I believe we, as the dominant race on earth, have barely scratched the surface when it comes to understanding them.  Perhaps we never will, and perhaps that’s just the way it’s meant to be.

It’s just really sad that I didn’t get the chance to feel all warm and fuzzy being so close to one of these marvellous creatures.  My insides were feeling something very different indeed – a complete polar opposite to the ‘warm and fuzzy’ I expected.

While Dean secured a perfect port-side position, even getting a bird’s-eye view as one swam close by to investigate the boat, I was out the back in the makeshift ‘sick bay’ trying to maintain some semblance of dignity, my misery matched only by the myriad of children who were ‘in the same boat’ – literally and figuratively.  I felt as bad for them as I did for myself.

After Dean and I spent A Day on the Water in the Whitsundays, I said I would not go out on the water again.  How quickly we tend to forget why we say these things.  How quickly I forgot why I said it.  This time though, I mean it.

I WILL NEVER GO OUT ON THE OPEN WATER AGAIN.

Unless I win an all expenses paid holiday sailing around the world aboard a HUGE cruise liner.  As for little boats, I’m done!


Back to our whale watching cruise.

We were booked in for today (Wednesday) but unfortunately the cruise was cancelled due to forecast strong offshore winds.  The company rang and asked us to reschedule and we chose Monday as they said Monday’s forecast was for calm seas with not a breath of wind, and I have to say the weather has been rather beautiful lately.  But then we have been in Brisbane, one hour south of where the tour is operated from.

Things turned a little sour on Monday morning the closer we got to the Sunshine Coast, with light rain settling in and the day feeling very gloomy and miserable.  Given a second opportunity, we would have rescheduled for another day, but the office was closed and the boat was leaving.  At the time we thought the rain might clear and as it takes and hour to reach Whale Highway*, by the time we got there, the day may well look and feel completely different.

Sadly that was not the case.  As I said earlier, my life is so much more interesting inside my head.  There was no blue sky, no sunshine, and no whales throwing themselves out of the beautiful blue water to say hello to let us know how happy they were.

But we did see whales, two of them actually, a mother and her adolescent calf.  We followed them, they followed us and, for around and hour or more, they kept popping up to the surface causing everyone on board to say ‘Ooooh!’ and ‘Ahhhh!’.

Yes, even those of us in the sick bay were exclaiming our own version of ‘Ooooh!’ and ‘Ahhhh!’.

It’s taken me a few days to get over being so sick and I’ve not had a chance to filter through Dean’s photos.  But I will share more photos as soon as I have.


* Whale Highway is a stretch of water between Moreton Island and Double Island Point, both of which are landmarks the whales use on their annual migration.  Cruising from the Sunshine Coast, Whale One takes passengers to a point offshore that is almost in the middle of this area and, in doing so, they guarantee that you will see a whale on the cruise.

2 Comments

  1. Long ago and far away, I had the chance to go deep-sea fishing with a buddy and his family. Never having been sea-sick before, I boldly waved off the motion-sickness pill offers. Pshaw, I thought, I’ve been flying. Never been sick. Been in situations where I rocked from side to side in a vehicle on mountain passes. Never an urp. Poetic justice, it was, when I boarded the fishing boat and we reached open water. I didn’t figure on pitch and yaw at the same time. While everyone else was busy hauling in salt-water fish, I was maintaining a close relationship with the boat’s head, barfing my guts out. I feel your pain. They tell me, you get your “sea legs” after awhile. I’m skeptical.

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    1. Yes, I’ve also been told you eventually ‘get your sea legs’, but I’m also confident those words were sarcastically uttered in jest and I was not happy with my husband laughing so hard at the obvious pain I was in. I still have no desire to get back in a boat of any shape or size, so very sceptical and firmly planted on terra firma I will remain.

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