It’s that glorious time of year; the whales have arrived in the Whitsunday waters, as part of their annual migration journey north, with the first sighting yesterday.
The baby humpback whale was sighted off the east coast of Whitsunday Island, the crew aboard Red Cat Adventures’ Thundercat were the lucky viewers, treated to the calf playing in the warm Whitsundays waters.
Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer, Tash Wheeler, believes in The Whitsundays every tour offers the rare opportunity for tourists to our region to meet our annual visitors.
“So many of our tourists come back from their day on the water having witnessed these majestic creatures playing in the warm turquoise Whitsunday waters. Every boat tour during this season is a chance to see these gentle giants in action.”
“The whale migration season is such a special time in The Whitsundays, not only does it mark the start of the whale migration; it also coincides with the beginning of the stunning Whitsundays winter weather,” she said.
Every year from June to September, whales migrate north from the Antarctic and make their way to the Whitsundays to utilise the regions warm waters to give birth, socialise and to mate.
The Whitsundays waters are ideal for these majestic animals as the waters are protected, shallow and warm. Which is the perfect setting for the birth of their calves and make a fantastic nursery as the little ones wait for their blubber to grow before moving back down to the freezing Antarctic waters.
Red Cat Adventures’ boat Thundercat was out on the water as part of the Whitsunday Blueprint for Tourism Operators water quality monitoring program.
This program is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, as well as North Queensland Bulk Ports, and with support from Reef Catchments, the Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association, James Cook University, Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership, and Whitsunday Bareboat Operators Association.
Participating tourism operators are Ocean Rafting, Red Cat Adventures, Southern Cross Sailing Adventures, Tallship Adventures and True Blue Sailing. The crucial data from the program will help shed light on water quality and reef health in The Whitsundays.
Red Cat Adventures Co-owner and operator, Julie Telford, said her crew were ecstatic to have seen this beautiful creature.
“Seeing the first whale of the season is always a thrill, and in this case, especially while the crew were out doing such important work for the water quality monitoring project.
“During the whale season each year, our marine crews are always on the lookout and they are often rewarded with witnessing behaviours such as breaching, rolling, spy-hopping, and playing of mothers and calves.
“Winter in The Whitsundays comes with incredible clear sunny days, mild temperatures and tradewinds; it’s the best boating weather of the year, and coupled with the chance to see whales, it doesn’t get better than this,” she said.
The waters of The Whitsundays are alive with a huge diversity of marine life, at any given time of the year sightings of manta rays, dugongs, turtles, and a fantastic array of tropical sea life is possible.
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