The final weekend of my parents trip had arrived and I was determined to have them leave with a memory they would never forget. Something that I have always wanted to do was to go whale watching and see these magnificent animals in their own environment and not like Shamu in Sea World!!
About a month before my parents arrived I booked tickets for my mum, dad, Andy and myself to go on a tour off the coast of Australia to see the whales as they were migrating back to Antarctica along the ‘Humpback Highway’ after raising their calves close to Australia. I had high hopes of seeing a whale, however I don’t think anyone could have predicted just how close we were to get to not just one but two of these incredible animals!!
As I had previously mentioned, we were due to head out on the Saturday however with storms forecast and not very nice weather upon us, it was postponed to the Sunday. (Luckily for us as my parents trip ended on the very next morning!!!
We drove to the Barrack Street Jetty in Perth City and I had paid an extra small fee so we could sail right down the river into Fremantle. This is a lovely boat ride that sails right past Perth city, Kings Park as well as all the millionaire houses which follow the river right the way down. (And some of them are ridiculously big!!) By the Sunday the weather had completely cleared and it was a beautiful day!
We docked In Fremantle for a couple of minutes whilst the rest of our tour
hopped on board and then we were off!! The boat took us just off the coast of Western Australia, after twenty minutes of going over quite high waves the boats engines turned off. By law the boat is not allowed to go within 100 meters of a whale, however if the whale comes to the boat then they have to stay put until it swims away. This is in an effort to conserve the whales and not to scare them.
After about five minutes of drifting our tour guide pointed out two humps
about 100 meters away from us, a mother with her baby having a nosy from a distance. It was an incredible sight and if I am honest, all I was expecting to see.
However the two whales decided that they were wanting a closer look, and slowly swam head first for the boat. It is hard to put into words just how giant these animals are and as they swam round the boat, showing off, everyone was in awe of these amazing animals.
At one point one of the whales swam to close and hit the boat giving quite a
good thump!! The whales pulled their whole heads out the water to take a close look at the boat, circling to the other side and doing the same… just out of curiosity! We were told that there are naturally curious animals which unfortunately makes them easy prey from whale poachers. Before they realize they are in danger and have time to swim off the poachers are able to catch them.
Our time was running out, however as I said before if the whales are at the boat then engines must remain off. These two whales were not for leaving!!! It was great news for everyone on board the boat who got to watch these animals for way longer than they should have been able to!!
Eventually they managed to start the boat and head back to land. The tour guide told us that the whales coming right up to the boat like that is very very rare and even she had never seen them come so close, made it seem all that wee bit extra special knowing that not everyone will be able to experience it to the degree that we did!!
I have to say it was an amazing experience and one I would recommend in a heart beat!
With a goodbye meal to say a final farewell to my parents they were off back to the UK with what I hope was a memorable trip behind them!