Home & Lifestyle Autumn 2018

Sail with the Whales... so Quiet you can hear them blow!

T he anticipation begins to build as we pass between the Headlands. With Yacaaba to our left and Tomaree to our right, we instinctively scan the horizon. Right from the moment that we enter the open ocean, we’re searching for a sign. There’s always a buzzing sense of excitement…what will we see today, where will we see it? Who will be the first to catch a glimpse? Heading out to sea, it’s not long before we find ourselves right in the middle of the ‘Humpback Highway’…and at this point, it’s ‘game on’. Eyes squint into the distance and every whitecap is closely examined. Did somebody see a splash? From miles away we can recognise the ‘blow’ - it stands up to 4 metres high and lingers for a few seconds above the surface of the water, like a puff of steam. Everybody on-board has the same goal – we all want to see a whale. On their annual migration each winter, the magnificent Humpback whales make a round trip of almost 10,000km and they generally pass within 3km of our coastline. We’re lucky here in Port Stephens, we don’t often have to travel very far to find them. The

– we keep our eyes peeled for all of these creatures on our travels. Now in our 21st season, the ‘Imagine Cruises’ team have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. On-board ‘Imagine’, our sailing catamaran, you can spend 3 hours with us, exploring the Marine Park, and of course, we’ll hoist the sails if conditions permit. ‘Envision’ is our 40 foot fast-cat and on this personalised, 90-minute tour, we enjoy less travelling time but just as much time with the incredible Whales! As we cruise across the waves, we scan the seas, looking for the tell-tale ‘blow’. The excitement is infectious and as our crew share whale-spotting hints and tips, our guests - both young and old – are soon squinting, listening and scanning right along with us! It’s truly a joint effort…we all want the same thing on this adventure – to have some fun, learn something new, make some memories, and of course, experience up- close the breath-taking Humpback Whales! Book your adventure today - Imagine

whales travel quite close to the shoreline…. on their journey North, it keeps them out of the EAC (East Australian Current). Have you ever watched “Finding Nemo”? In the movie, the Turtles hitch a ride on this oceanic superhighway all the way down the east coast to Sydney. The whales, on the other hand, have to avoid the EAC, because swimming against it would make for a long, tiring trip. Later in the year when returning to Antarctica, our coastline not only helps them with navigation, but also provides some protection for the Mums and their newborn Calves. With approximately 25,000 of these beautiful animals expected to pass by Port Stephens this year, we are anticipating some spectacular sightings. There’s nothing quite like seeing a 40 tonne whale leaping out from the sea…but it’s just as exciting when they get curious and come in close to the boat for a better look at us. Sometimes it really is a case of who’s watching who! Of course, we can’t forget the dolphins, the flocks of oceanic seabirds, or the cute Fur Seals that laze on Cabbage Tree Island

Cruises Port Stephens 4984-9000 Email info@imaginecruises.com.au

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& Lifestyle Magazine | Autumn 2018

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