Monday, 13 October 2008

A Whale Of A Tale & A Century!

Well, it took a few more days than anticipated to get back to tell you about the second week of our holiday, but I finally made it! Now, the highlight of week two was our whale watching trip. We were able to book it at the office of the beach resort (cabin park) that we stayed at. When she was explaining the two different types, the girl at the counter said they were both good - one was a half day trip that included morning or afternoon tea, had underwater viewing, but took two hours to get out to where the whales usually were found, while the other was only a three hour trip, was a smaller boat and was FAST! My beloved Geek Boy and I looked at one another and grinned - FAST!! Tee! Hee! Hee! The only catch was, we would have to drive an hour and a half to Hervey Bay to catch the the boat and this meant getting up a bit earlier than we'd like, especially when on holidays! But, we bit the bullet and set the alarm.

Now, I'm sure you've all heard some variation of the saying: "I'd follow my husband to the ends of the earth ... of course I wouldn't HAVE to if he'd stop to ask directions!!" Well that was a bit like the start of our whale watching excursion. Somehow, GB misinterpreted a road sign and took a wrong turn off - something he didn't realise (despite me saying 'Grandma said to take the other turn"!!) until we ended up somewhere we didn't what to be and no where NEAR the marina! So we did a quick U-turn, back-tracked and took the RIGHT turn, arriving at the boat just as it was boarding - PHEW!! We did have a photo taken as we boarded, but it's particularly unflattering to me (though the boat looked good!!) so I haven't included it!!! So, instead, here's a shot of GB settled into his seat. (after taking sea-sickness prevention tablets! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

Our crew of two (who looked like they should still have been at school - oh no! I sound like my mother!!!) soon had us underway, slowly til we got to the edge of the marina and then ... Pedal to the metal, sweetheart!!! ZOOOOOOOOOOMMM!!! Oh! I DO so love a good burst of speed!

This was the view from my seat looking towards the front of the boat. Good thing I could see out the SIDE of the boat or it would've been a boring ride! Tee! Hee! Hee!

It only took about 40 minutes to find the first pod of whales - our tour guides/boat pilots were in constant radio contact with other boating traffic, a couple of scientific study groups, so were able to tell us there were quite a few small pods (whale groups, not the chocolate and caramel filled crispy snacks!!) in the area. WOW! They were EVERYWHERE! We tended to stay with one pod for a while, then meander to another, all the while enjoying fantastic views due to small passenger numbers, gorgeous blue, blue water and warm weather. Even though we SAW lots of whale activity, capturing it with our fairly basic digital camera was a bit more of a challenge - we had a LOT of shots of "this is the water where the whale just dived"!! Tee! Hee! Hee! So, here are some of the better photos ...

OK, this was a) another passenger who jumped in front of GB while he was taking the photo and b) the large splash where a whale had just set a new record for the Biggest Belly Flop!! Oh, and I might add that this was accompanied by a fairly awful smell - which the scientists our guides were chatting to via radio informed as was a whale fart!! Oh joy! Just the sort of experience we signed up for - NOT! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I think this one was doing a Loch Ness Monster impersonation!!

This whale had dived under the boat and this was where it came up only about a metre away from the other side - ooooooooohhhh! They ARE big! It was pretty amazing! Then, one of the guides said she could see a whale in the distance breaching. This is where they come up high out of the water and kind of twist around to land flat on their back - very spectacular to watch - so off we motored! When we got closer, it turned out there were two juvenile whales both putting on a good show. Look, they were waving at us!!

And here's another "Just missed the whale" type splash!

At one point the two whales looked like they were competing in the synchronised swimming - they were both on their backs on top of the water, side by side, and rolling from one side to the other waving their fins around in time with each other - very funny to watch! We decided they were obviously juvenile MALES and showing off - TYPICAL! Tee! Hee! Hee!

So after a pretty magical couple of hours, we again headed for the marina, passing a loggerhead turtle, a distant pod of dolphins and the white sandy beach of Fraser Island - the largest sand island in the world. Just before reaching the marina, our pilot/captain/guide/secret speed demon let the boat have it's head and we chucked a few lappies, zigged, zagged and spun at high speed - WOO HOO!!! Lots of fun and a fantastic day out. It's just amazing to see these huge creatures up close and makes you wonder even more how countries like Japan can be allowed to hunt them - oh, sorry "study" them!! And when we reached dry land again (with GB feeling a little dozy from the effects of the sea-sickness pills!!) I had a close encounter with a 'beached' whale.

OK, so there's not actually any beach bear him, but it gives you a bit of an idea of the size of these creatures when you consider this is only HALF a whale!!! PHEW! So ... that was our whale adventure - much enjoyed, though Scott slept all the way back to Bargara as the effects of the sea-sickness tablets kicked in big-time!No stamina! Tee! Hee! Hee!

The rest of our week was pretty low key - lots of beach walks, another catch up with Michelle, another dinner with Grandma - very relaxing - and then we were pleased to come home to our own bed and I was pleased to be back in close proximity to my craft stash! Tee! Hee! Hee! Thanks again to all of you who sent us lovely well-wishes and Bon Voyage messages - it was a wonderful send off for a much-enjoyed holiday!

Now ... the second part of my title - a century! Well, though it hardly seems possible, the trusty counter at the top of my blog tells me this is my 100th post!!! YAY! STREAMERS! HAPPY DANCE!! OK, stopping now! Tee! Hee! Hee! Now, there is going to be a sentimental monologue and a give-away - or two or three!! - but it will be in the NEXT post, so be sure to come back in the next few days to check it out! Until then, "Call me Ishmael!" and have a whale of a week! Bear Hugs Ahoy, me hearties!!



Kerryanne English said...

I knew the second week was worth waiting for. I'd love to go whale watching but I'm afraid I am a bit like Scott and would need the sea sickness pills.

Did yo do any other crafting while you were away?

julia said...

Hi Kris,
how cool is that - my dream is, to watch those big creatures some day, too...
What about a design with them? O.K., it would be difficult to sneak in a bear, but hey, you could send a bear on a beary adventurous diving trip to the whales, lol ;o)
Have fun at the retreat stitching the new passengers of Noah's Ark -
hugs, Julia

clare said...

Sounds likes a great trip . Love the whales.

Debbie Lane said...

Really miss my whale watching trips...the last one was spent chasing a toddler around the boat, but it was still great and I got a very nice compliment at the end of the day, from a lady who thought we'd done so well with our cherub.

THere's nothing quite like it! All u overseas folk, if u get a chance to do it, then take it with both hands!

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