16th July 2019
Our morning cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer have spent time with two pods of Humpback Whales, with two whales in each pod. All whales were sighted near to the Fingal Island Lighthouse, all whales were intent on continuing their journey north bound. They were completing short dives with a good amount of time of the surface of the water.
The Fingal Island Lighthouse seems to be the hot spot for sighting whales on their northern migration, with a pod of two whales sighted near to the island during our afternoon cruise. One of the whales has displayed a tail slap with a big white wash of water.
The crew have also reported seeing whales further off in the distance but these pods appeared to be doing long sounding dives.
As we have cruised towards Cabbage Tree Island to visit the seals, we have been joined by a pod of Off Shore Common Dolphin riding the bow wave of the vessel.
15th July 2019
Unfortunately all whale watch cruises have been cancelled due to unfavorable sea conditions.
14th July 2019
Lots of action on today’s whale watching cruises with plenty of pods of Humpback Whales traveling north along the Port Stephens coastline, with pods involved in heat runs and socialising.
The Hinchinbrook Explorer and the MV Spirit have stuck to the eastern side of the off shore islands to give more protection from the strong winds blowing from the west. With multiple pods being seen on all cruises passengers have been treated to breaching, beautiful tail flukes, and action in heat runs with the males in the pod trying to seduce the females.
13th July 2019
The Hinchinbrook Explorer has sat just on the inside of the Fingal Island Lighthouse in anticipation of the first pod of whales traveling north bound, our patience has paid off with a pod of whales appearing right on schedule. The Captain has cruised along side the pod, keeping the off shore islands to our starboard side to give a buffer with today’s westerly wind. As we have continued in a northerly direction the whale have started to breach delighting all of our passengers.
The crew onboard MV Spirit 11am whale watch cruise have reported that there are whales everywhere, one whale has breached quite close to the vessel, with a few tail lobs on display also. The whales have been a little bit had to keep track of, with the pods changing their direction and zigzagging from one side to the other. Before heading back to the dock we have stopped to see the seals on Cabbage Tree Island.
12th July 2019
Many whales were sighted onboard all whale watch cruises today with crew reporting good sea conditions offshore.
All cruises today sighted multiple pods of Humpback Whales who were spending great time on the surface, breaching and showing off tail slaps! Our morning cruise onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer even had some humpbacks come up under the bow of the boat!
11th July 2019
Multiple pods of whales and dolphins were seen on all cruises today.
Our morning cruise saw eight pods of Humpback Whales at Fingal Island. They were breaching and showing off tail lobs. Bottlenose and Common Dolphins were also seen.
On our afternoon cruise we watched a little baby calf (approximately 2 weeks old) learning how to tail slap alongside its mum and escort. The mum was showing off breaches and the baby Humpback was trying its best to show off some tail slaps!
A mega pod of Common Dolphins were also seen offshore!
10th July 2019
The Port Stephens Whale Highway is becoming extremely busy with pod after pod of Humpback Whales being sighted daily.
For this mornings whale watch cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer, the crew have reported sighting multiple pods, at least four or five pods in the vicinity of Fingal Island, with one pod in the distance pec slapping the water.
All pods have been cruising along a steady speed, continuing their journey north bound towards the warm waters of Queensland. At one stage one of the pods has swam quite close to the boat.
The Fingal Lighthouse has been a success again for whale sightings this afternoon. Passengers aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer have been traveling along side two pods of Humpback Whales, with both pods consisting of two whales in each. Pod one has come in quite close to the vessel a few times, and pod number two has been displaying their beautiful tails as they dove on sounding dives.
The Common Dolphins have also been bow riding on the front of the vessel.
9th July 2019
Port Stephens has turned a perfect winters day for whale watching, with sun shine, blue sky and light breezes off shore.
The Hinchinbrook Explorer has found two pods of four Humpback Whales straight out of the Tomaree Headland. We have witnessed a few beautiful flukes as the whales dove beneath the water showing off their tails. All whales have spent a good amount of time on the surface, and at one point have cut across the bow of the boat giving all on the front deck a closeup look. We could also see another pod of whales breaching in the distance.
We have come across our second Humpback Whale calf in two days with the crew on the MV Spirit reporting the sighting of 11 whales including a mum and newborn calf. The calf is very small and is learning how to breach itself out of the water, mum showing off with a big breach and baby following. It was very cute to watch.
There has been an abundance of Humpback Whales off shore this afternoon. The Hinchinbrook Explorer has headed straight out past the Tomaree Headland to find four pods, each with two whales. The Humpback mum and calf that were seen on our earlier cruise are also still in the area. The crew have also reported that they are able to see another half dozen or so pods in the distance.
A small pod of Off Shore Common Dolphins have been swimming along with the pressure wave of the vessel, and for those who were standing above on the lower deck could see one of the dolphins chasing a fish.
8th July 2019
We’ve had great sea conditions off shore for our whale watch cruises today, with calm seas.
The Hinchinbrook Explorer has spent time with a pod of whales, they have come in quite close to the boat at one stage checking all of our passengers out. We have also been greeted by a massive pod of Off Shore Common Dolphins.
The seal count on Cabbage Tree Island was up to 21 seals lazing on the rocks.
For passengers aboard the 11am MV Spirit Whale Watch Cruise we have viewed a pod of three Humpback Whales with a very new born calf near to Boondelbah Island. The calf appears to be only recently born, as its dorsal fin is still folded over and the adult Humpback Whales have been supporting the little calf and bringing it to the surface for the calf to take a breath.
Our afternoon whale watch cruise has found a pod of three Humpback Whales, all whales were quite active with the whales breaching up to four times.
The Off Shore Common Dolphins have also been interacting with a pod of whales, swimming in amongst them.
7th July 2019
The misty fog that blanketed Nelson Bay this morning has cleared into fine blue sky day for whale watching at Port Stephens.
As the Hinchinbrook Explorer has cruised out past Mt Tomaree the crew have spotted a breaching whale not far off in the distance. As we have approached the whale we can actually now see that there are two Humpback Whales. We followed along beside the pair towards Middle Island and much to all of our passengers delight, the whales have performed a number of breaches again and again.
6th July 2019
Around 4 pods of Humpback Whales were seen on our cruises today with all pods spending great time on the surface, showing off tail lobs and breaches.
5th July 2019
Today we cruised over to Fingal Island where we saw 3-4 pods of Humpback Whales. The swell was up a bit, so we cruised over to stay inside of the island where we watched two Humpback Whales. We did have the privileged of sighting a large Loggerhead Turtle during our morning cruise.
The afternoon whale watch cruise was cancelled due to deteriorating sea conditions.
4th July 2019
Our first pod of Humpback Whales have been sighted traveling north bound inbetween Fingal Island and Boondelbah Island. The pod has been happily swimming along on their journey with the odd tail lob displayed. We are also able to see whales breaching further off in the distance.
Passengers onboard the MV Spirit 11am whale watch cruise have cruised to the Fingal Lighthouse where they have spotted three separate pods of Humpback Whales. At stages the whales have approached the boat quite closely, and have been very active with lots of breaches, head lunges, and pec slaps.
3rd July 2019
There’s a whale inside the harbour! As the Hinchinbrook Explorer has cruised towards the heads, we have been greeted by a breaching juvenile Humpback Whale as we approached the Yaccaba Headland. The whale was tremendously playful and quite inquisitive of its surroundings. We have traveled at a distance behind the whale as its made its way back off shore continuing to breach, half breach, pec slap, tail slap its way towards Cabbage Tree Island.
The latest count of seals on Cabbage Tree Island is 19 seals.
Passengers aboard the 11am MV Spirit whale watch cruise had headed towards Boondelbah Island to find a pod of three whales, the crew have lost count of the number of breaches performed once they reached 70 breaches, they have stopped counting after this point. What an amazing trip!
Lots and lots and lots and lots of whales is the only way to describe our afternoon cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer. There have been six to seven pods sighted near the Fingal Bay Lighthouse, the whales appeared to be surrounding us. It was a very playful afternoon with all whales breaching, tail slapping and even double breaching.
2nd July 2019
You know you’re in for a great day of whale watching when within the first 45 minutes of our morning whale watch cruise there have been at least ten whales spotted.
We have spent time with one pod of Humpback Whales that have showed off with a double breach. Another pod of five or six whales have been involved in a heat run with lots of action on display with head lunges, and pushing and shoving. And we can see more breaching off in the distance. The run of whale sightings has continued throughout of 10am whale watch cruise with over 18 whales sighted.
What an afternoon! There are so many pods of whales off shore today, the crew has lost count after the fifteenth pod was spotted. Each pod consisted of two to three Humpback Whales. Which every direction we looked all pods were extremely playful with display of pec slaps, head lunges, tail lobs and breaching.
We have had the rare sight of a bait ball of fish, that appeared to breaching out of the water like the dolphins.
As we have cruised towards Cabbage Tree Island to view the seal, we have been joined by a massive pod of 100 plus Common Dolphins, with lots of action leaping out of the water and what looked like they were chasing the vessel.
1st July 2019
Day by day we are seeing the number of Humpback Whales migrating along the Port Stephens coastline increasing, at times we are sighting multiple pods during the one cruise and quite often there will be further pods off in the distance.
Our morning cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer has spotted four pods of Humpback Whales, with the pods consisting of three lots of two whales, and one sole whale. A couple of the whales have at one stage approached the boat quite closely, but all have been intent on continuing their journey north bound. In the distance we have also seen the large splash of a breaching whale.
We have cruised toward the Fingal Island Lighthouse this afternoon to find two pods of whales; we have spent time with one of the pods that had three whales in it. These whales were quite inquisitive, swimming near to the stern of the vessel and then changing direction to be along side the boat at one point. One of the whales has surprise everyone by breaching not far from the Hinchinbrook Explorer.
The Common Dolphins have found our vessel and joined in swimming on the bow wave, they love nothing more than swimming on the pressure wave and what looks to be racing along with us.
The seals on Cabbage Tree Island appear to be enjoying their sunny winter sojourn, with lots of seals resting on the rocks of Cabbage Tree Island.