August 2018

31 August 2018

This morning we had one very active Humpback who was zigzagging around the boat spending great time on the surface as he was traveling North.
He showed off one breach and a head lung before we were welcomed by some jumping Common Dolphins!

A Humpback Whale showed off a breach as he was seen swimming around in circles between Middle Island and Cabbage Tree Island on our afternoon cruise.

30 August 2018

After a number of days with no whale watching cruises operating due to unfavourable sea conditions at Port Stephens, the crew on Hinchinbrook Explorer were keen to get back onto the water and head off shore this morning.

Our search has taken us straight out through the head land, and east of Boondelbah Island. Unluckily the mighty Humpback Whales were a bit evasive today, we spotted one lone whale traveling north bound, but he took a sounding dive and was under the water for quite some time.

We have been joined by a massive pod of over 50 Common Dolphins, its always impressive to see such large pods off shore.

The head count of seals on Cabbage Tree was up to 20 seals, with some basking in the sunshine on the rocks, and a few frolicking in the water.

Our afternoon whale watch cruise has been experience an unusual sight of a feeding frenzy involving Common Dolphins, Gannets, Terns and Albatross feeding a a huge bait ball of fish.

We have also seen a pod of two sleepy north bound Humpback Whales, both whales were taking a rest and just floating on the surface of the water, but did become more active just before our time ended with lots of tail slaps and breaching.

29 August 2018

Whale watch cruises have been cancelled today due to unfavourable sea conditions.

28 August 2018

Whale watch cruises have been cancelled today due to unfavourable sea conditions.

 

 

27 August 2018

Whale watch cruises have been cancelled today due to unfavourable sea conditions.

26 August 2018

We are still finding whales heading North bound to the warm waters of Queensland, there is the odd pod heading South. This mornings whale sighting was a pod of two whales traveling north just near the Fingal Lighthouse. Both whales were spending long periods of time on sounding dives.

We have also encountered a very sleek and speedy seal chasing fish, it must have been lunch time!

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

25 August 2018

Can you imagine looking into the eye of a Humpback Whale!

MV Spirit’s first encounter this morning was with a pod of two north bound Humpback Whales, both whales were traveling very quickly and content in continuing their journey along the Port Stephens coast line without slowing down too much.

We have moved on from this pod and come across a second pod of four huge Humpback Whales. These whales have been extremely curious, looking to interact with the vessel, and mugging the boat. A mugging occurs when whales approach a vessel resulting in the Captain needing to idle the boat until the whales move away. Whales often show behaviours such as; spy hopping beside the vessel to see what is going on above the surface of the water, roll from side to side to look above them and generally swimming close to the vessel. What an amazing chance encounter with this wild pod of Humpback Whales swimming under and around for all the passengers onboard MV Spirit.

For our passengers aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer morning cruise we have found pod of four Humpback Whales near Little Island, all whales spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water, coming quite close to the vessel and showing all onboard their powerful tails by flicking the water. As we have cruised back towards the dock we have sighted fifteen Bottlenose Dolphins surfing at Dolphin Rock.

During the afternoon whale watch cruise we have enjoyed the spectacular display of a Humpback Whale and her calf on a breach-a-thon near Cabbage Tree Island. Both whales were very active with mum breaching at least ten times, and the little calf keeping up with five breaches.The vessel was also surrounded by a pod of dolphins swimming the pressure wave as we cruised along.

We would not normally see Humpback Whales feeding during their migration, it appeared as though a lone south bound whale was feeding, possibly on bait fish but it was hard to see exactly.

The seal count today at Cabbage Tree Island was up to 27 seals basking in the sun.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

24 August 2018

Our morning Whale Watch cruise aboard Hinchinbrook Explorer ventured out past the heads, spotting a pod of 3 very relaxed Humpback Whales.

These whales seemed to be in no rush, slowly swimming past the vessel, showing of a few tail lobs, one on its back and the others being intrigued by the vessel, giving the passenger on board a nice close encounter.

We also had a special visit from oceanic bottle nose dolphins, these differ from our local Bottlenose due to their size.

As we the cruise returned back to the harbor we had very special and brief sighting near Fingal Island. As this was only a brief sighting ,we cannot be certain the definite breed of whale but our crew on board believe it may have been a False Killer whale or Melon whale.

Our mid day cruise aboard MV Spirit was accompanied by a pod of 3 large whales, still heading North. Mostly migrating with a bit of time under the water, keeping our passengers on watch, when they also had a close encounter to the vessel passing under the bow of the vessel. As the vessel started its journey back to the Harbor the whales finished the show with a few tail lobes.

20 seals were spotted lazying on the rocks at Cabbage Tree Island, and a pod of our local Port Stephens Bottle Nose dolphins near Yacaaba Headland.

whale watching Moonshadow TQC Cruises Port stephens

whale watching Moonshadow TQC Cruises Port stephens

whale watching Moonshadow TQC Cruises Port stephens

whale watching Moonshadow TQC Cruises Port stephens

23 August 2018

The whales have been a little bit elusive during our morning whale watch cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer.

The seals on Cabbage Tree Island were enjoying the spring like weather, being very playful and diving into the water from the rocks.

As we have cruised back in through the headland we were greeted by a pod of local Port Stephens dolphins.

This afternoon whales watch cruise aboard Hinchinbrook Explorer voyaged out past the heads to find a very sleepy whale. Following his migration North he had

a few long sounds dives but came to the surface finishing with a tail lob, we also had some common oceanic dolphins greet us out at sea.

On the journey back in to the harbor we spotted more local Port Stephens dolphins at Little Island. This afternoon we counted 19 fur seals, all lazing on the rocks.

Hinchinbrook Explorer afternoon cruise saw 1 whale with 2 breaches near Fingal Island.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching Moonshadow TQC Cruises Port stephens

whale watching Moonshadow TQC Cruises Port stephens

22 August 2018

Whale watch cruises have been cancelled today due to unfavourable sea conditions.

 

21 August 2018

Whale watch cruises have been cancelled today due to unfavourable sea conditions.

20 August 2018

Whale watch cruises have been cancelled today due to unfavourable sea conditions.

19 August 2018

A ridiculous amount of whales is how our cruise director Evie has described the whales sightings from the Hinchinbrook Explorer 10am whale watch cruise today.

The windy conditions seemed to have excited the whales with one pod of two Humpback Whales were breaching quite close to the boat, there was another pod of two whales further east that were also breaching and more whales could be seen breaching in the distance.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

18 August 2018

This morning we saw a newborn calf traveling North with his mum, spending great time on the surface coming in nice and close to the boat.

Our afternoon Dolphin Watch Cruise had a very special surprise just near the headlands! A Southern Right Whale breached right out in front of the boat as it was swimming by with her little calf.

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

17 August 2018

This morning we saw a Humpback slowly traveling North spending great time on the surface.

A large school of bait fish swam by before we headed over the see the Seals at Cabbage Tree Island.

On our afternoon cruise, we had two Humpbacks showing off lots of tail flukes and some pectoral fin slaps as they were traveling North. Albatross and Gannets were seen flying above and Dolphins were seen out swimming around in the bay.

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

16 August 2018

The Port Stephens Whale Highway was extremely busy this morning!

For passengers onboard the 10am Hinchinbrook Explorer we have spotted a total of twelve whales. We have stayed with a pod of four very active Humpback Whales. All whales were showing a variety of behaviours with lots of breaching; some very close to the boat, tail lobs, head lunges, tail slaps and pectoral slabs.

Great morning on the water had by all (including the crew)

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

15 August 2018

This mornings cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer has found an active pod of two whales near Little Island. Both whales were heading south bound and were quite playful with breaching, pec slaps and tail lobs. We have also visited Cabbage Tree Island to see the seals, and found a pod of Common Dolphins.

14 August 2018

MV Spirit whale watch cruise at 11am has cruised out towards Fingal Island and spotted a mother Humpback Whale and a calf. The pair were very quiet and looked as though the calf was feeding. We have continued on towards Boondelabah Island and have found a whale that just appeared out of no where, we have spent a bit of time with this whale before moving onto another single whale located just east of the island. This whale was heading north bound, and was interacting with a pod of Common Dolphins.

There are lots of whales about this afternoon, the first pod of three Humpback Whales consisted of a mum, her calf and an escort seen swimming into the little cove at the Fingal Lighthouse.

As the Skipper turned the vessel around we spotted another two pods of whales with two whales in each pod. One pod was heading north bound, and the other on their southern migration. Both pods of whales were hard to keep tracking of as they were traveling in a zigzag pattern.

The off shore Common Dolphins were spectacular this afternoon, leaping out of the water much to everyone’s delight.

Hinchinbrook Explorers Cruise Director has also reported seeing a massive turtle that Teagan estimated to be 200 years old swimming very close to the vessel.

Whale Watching Moonshadwo TQC Cruises Port Stephens

Whale Watching Moonshadwo TQC Cruises Port Stephens

Whale Watching Moonshadwo TQC Cruises Port Stephens

13 August 2018

Blue sky’s have blessed Port Stephens again today and the whales have not been deterred by the chill in the air.

For our morning cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer we have spotted two juvenile whales head on their southern migration. Both whales have spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water with one whale showing with a tail lob splashing the water about.

The seals on Cabbage Tree Island were lazing in the sun on the rocks, not doing much at all!

Our afternoon whale watch cruise has again met up with a pod of two juvenile whales heading south bound, both whales were content with continuing their journey along the Port Stephens coastline. As we have cruised home, we have stopped by Cabbage Tree Island to see the seals, and also encountered a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins.

Whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

 

12 August 2018

The wind blowing was certainly chilly this morning, but we’ve rugged up and ventured off shore to find the friendly Humpback Whales.

MV Spirit has cruised out past Cabbage Island where we have spotted a juvenile Humpback Whale traveling south bound. The whale was quite playful, gently slapping the surface of the water with its pectoral fins, head lunging and spy hopping three times to get its bearings on what was happening above the water line.

A pod of Common Dolphins has joined us bow riding on the front of the MV Spirit.

During our afternoon cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer passengers have experienced a friendly whale that came in quite close to the boat and breached twice much to everyone’s delight!

Whale Watch Moonshadow TQC Cruises Port Stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

11 August 2018

A beautiful sunny warm day in Port Stephens today!

Onboard MV Spirit this morning we saw one Humpback who was migrating North, swimming along quite quickly.

We cruised over to watch the seals at Cabbage Tree Island where we had a surprise visitor who stole everyone’s attention. A big green sea turtle entertained everyone onboard as he swam by the boat.

On our afternoon cruise, we headed over to Fingal Bay Lighthouse where two Humpbacks were seen migrating North. We were greeted by Dolphins at Yacaaba Headland as we cruised back inside the bay.

10 August 2018

Five Humpbacks were seen on our Whale Watch Cruise today showing off their beautiful tails. They were lazing around still slowly heading North.

8 August 2018

We are still seeing whales traveling on their northern migration along the Port Stephens coastline.

Our mornings whale watch cruise have spent time cruising beside a pod of two juvenile Humpback Whales just behind Bondelbah Island. Both whales spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water. We have also been joined by a pod of Common Dolphins that were keen to ride the pressure wave of the boat, their speed in the water is amazing to watch.

7 August 2018

Whale watch cruises have been cancelled today due to unfavourable sea conditions.

6 August 2018

Today’s whale watch cruise was more a case of the Humpback Whales experiencing a spot of human watching. In what has been described by Cruise Director Teagan as the best day of her 6 years of her carer, all aboard have encountered¬† a very inquisitive pod of Humpback Whales as they swam around and under the vessel, mugging the boat for over half an hour. The whales thrilled all by spy hopping right beside the vessel to get a better view of everything going on above the surface of the water. It’s pretty certain that everyone (including the crew) walked off the boat on a ‘Whale High’

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

5 August 2018

The Hinchinbrook Explorer has cruised down towards Boat Harbour to find two Humpback Whales on their northern migration. Passengers were treated to one of the whales showing off with a massive breach, and a few tail lobs flicking the surface of the water.

As we have traveled back in the direction of the Mount Tomaree we have been joined by a pod of Common Dolphins riding the bow wave of the vessel.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

 

4 August 2018

Our morning cruises saw two pods of Humpback Whales just outside of the headlands. We spent some time with them before seeing distant breaching by another pod in the distance. We traveled out to them and were greeted by a mother and newborn calf!

Common Dolphins were seen swimming around the whales and the seals were out on the rocks at Cabbage Tree Island.

On our afternoon cruise we traveled straight out between the headlands where we found one Humpback Whale who ended up coming in nice and close to the boat allowing us to have a good look at him.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

3 August 2018

This morning onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer we cruised just South of Fingal Lighthouse where we saw a newborn calf swimming with its mother. The newborn swam away from the mum, coming up to the boat and mugging everyone onboard.

We than traveled over to closer to the rocks near the lighthouse where we were joined by our other Whale Watching vessel MV Spirit as we both watched five massive Humpbacks who were swimming around on a heat run performing lots of head lunges!

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

2 August 2018

The whales were ready to greet the Hinchbrook Explorer as she cruised out the headland this morning, we have followed a pod of two Humpback Whales towards Boondelbah Island with both whales traveling slowly northbound and showing all onboard their beautiful tails when diving. We have also spotted a pod of Common Dolphins and a large flock of garnets feeding.

What an afternoon of whale watching we have had! With stunning sea condition and light breezes we have spent time with a pod of two active Humpback Whales near Fingal Island cruising along towards the off shore islands. Both whales were breaching and almost double breaching but didn’t quite get their sequences together to perform simultaneous breaching. When the whales weren’t breaching they were socialising with a pod of Oceanic Dolphins with whales and dolphins mingling together.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

1 August 2018

A juvenile Humpback welcomed us at the entrance bar as we went to cruise out between the headlands on MV Spirit this morning. He was spending great time on the surface rolling around and showing off some tail dives.

We continued out towards Broughton Island where we found two large breaching Humpbacks. They were showing off double breaches, single breaches, head lunges, tail dives and pectoral fin waves!!

Onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer at 10.00am we stayed and watched the same juvenile whale at the entrance bar than headed out to see the seals and dolphins.

Three pods of Humpbacks were seen on the afternoon cruise who allowed us to get great viewing as they traveled in close to the boat.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

Leave a Reply