July 2019

30th July 2019

It goes to show that even with grey sky’s Port Stephens can still shine, as we are cruising past the off shore islands, the backdrop of cloudy skys and brilliant green foliage has created a beautiful picture.

Near to Fingal Island the whales have been at play this morning, with one whale breaching over thirty times and fin slapping the surface of the water.

The Off Shore Common Dolphins have been eager to interact with the vessel riding the pressure wave and swimming around the vessel.

We counted up to twenty seals on Cabbage Tree Island.

We have been playing a game of hide and seek with a pod of two whales this afternoon, we have followed along side the pair as they travelled between the Fingal Lighthouse and to Bondelbah Island. Both whales have come in nice and close to the Hinchinbrook Explorer at one stage before they have tracked closer to the island and taken a long sounding dive.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

29th July 2019

There has been lots of action on display by multiple pods of Humpback Whales off shore this morning, with Humpback Whales head lunging, breaching, tail lobbing with lots of white water splashing about.

The Common Dolphins have surfaced right beside the Hinchinbrook Explorer, leaping out of the water and riding the pressure wave as the vessel cruised along.

Our afternoon cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer has discovered our first pod of Humpback Whales heading south bound. This seems extremely early to see whales swimming towards the southern oceans, the three whales in the pods have spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water, with a few flicking tail lobs.

The friendly Common Dolphins have again been keen to stick with the vessel as we have cruised along.

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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

 

28th July 2019

Ahhhh Port Stephens, what a magical day for whale watching with good sea conditions off shore this morning.

As the Hinchinbrook Explorer has approached Fingal Island we have spotted our first Humpback Whales of the day, two pods are quite close to the Lighthouse with three whales in each pod.

One of the pods has come in quite close to the vessel, with all whales spending a decent amount of time on the surface of the water, allowing all of our passengers a good view as the whales continued their journey north bound.

Our passengers aboard the MV Spirit 11am whale watch cruise have encountered a pair of very friendly Humpback Whales who have mugged the vessel, swimming around the MV Spirit, spy hopping to find out whats happening above the water line and rolling around in the water showing off their beautiful white bellies.

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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

 

27th July 2019

Great sea conditions offshore Port Stephens today!

This morning we traveled alongside two large Humpback Whales who spent great time on the surface, showing off some tail lobs!

A few pods of Humpback Whales were swimming around MV Spirit, displaying some beautiful breaches!

This afternoon we were entertained by two very active Humpbacks who were constantly breaching, showing off with head lunges, pectoral fin slaps and mugging the boat.

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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

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

26th July 2019

Hinchinbrook cruised just out between the headlands this morning when we saw a pod of Humpbacks who were breaching non-stop! The first pod of three humpback whales had one whale constantly breaching, then the other two whales joined in and double breaches ensued.

Two of the whales eventually swam off towards the islands while the now one lone whale continued breaching and pec slapping.

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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

25th July 2019

It feels like a spring day at Port Stephens, sea conditions are perfect for whale watching today with low swells and light sea breezes.

Cruising out through the headlands the crew have reported up to five pods of whales just outside the heads. We have traveled along side a pod of two Humpback Whales that have spent a good amount of time on the surface of water with short sounding dives, and appearing quite frequently to breath.

One of the other pods further off shore were seen breaching in the distance.

A pod of Humpbacks were seen on a heat run on our afternoon cruise, with two whales popping up in front of the boat surprising everyone onboard.

The count of seals on Cabbage Tree Island was up to nine seals this morning with eleven seals in the afternoon!

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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

24th July 2019

As the Hinchinbrook Explorer has cruised out past Mount Tomaree and on towards Big Island can see breaching and tail slapping whales in the distance. On approached there are actually two pods of whales, one pod has two adult Humpback Whales and another two Humpback Whales and a calf in the second pod. These whales have quieten down once we have reached them, there are also more pods of whales further in the distance.

The seals at Cabbage Tree Island were playfully swimming in the water this morning.

Our Port Stephens Bottlenose Dolphins were riding on the bow as the Hinchinbrook Explorer cruised along Shoal Bay Beach on the way off shore for our afternoon whale watch cruise.

We have spotted three pods, each with two Humpback Whales per pod. As we approached the pod we could see tail slaps from a distance. All whales have been fairly quite, with two to three minute sounding dives, but all happily swimming along on their journey north bound.

A large pod of Common Dolphins have been racing along behind the Hinchinbrook Explorer, leaping out of the water and generally being playful and interacting with the vessel.

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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

23rd July 2019

What an amazing day for cruising aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer, the seas are as flat as a tack with little to no sea breeze making it a perfect day for whale watching at Port Stephens.

We have been greeted by a pod of five or six Humpback Whales close to the Fingal Bay Lighthouse.  There was a lot of action within the pod as the whales competed in a heat run, with whales displaying their true strength by tail lobbing with lots of white water splashing. The whales were also spy hopping to see above the water line.

Can you believe its a winters day, with temperatures of 23.6 ° at Nelson Bay it has turned into a spectacular day to be on the water, the calm seas have continued into the afternoon. We have spent time with a pod of whales that we have spotted near to the Fingal Island, all whales have spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water.

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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

22nd July 2019

There’s no such thing as the ‘Monday Blues’ when we have the privileged of spending our day with the mighty Humpback Whales that are currently making their way north bound past the Port Stephens coastline.

Our morning cruise has discovered so many pods of whales off shore, its hard to know which way to look.

We have cruised along with one pod that has surprised all of our passengers by breaching one after another. It’s an amazing sight to witness a 50 tonne whale launch itself out of the water for a full body breach.

Its been all about the heat run during our afternoon cruise. The male Humpback Whales in the pod become quite aggressive between one another as they push and shove each other all while trying to impress the female within the pod. At times the whales have approached the vessel giving all our a passengers a very close encounter.

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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

21st July 2019

Conditions are perfect for whale watching at Port Stephens today, with lovely calm seas and brilliant blue skys.

As the Hinchinbrook Explorer has approached the Fingal Island Lighthouse the crew have reported sighting multiple pods of Humpback Whales scattered off the coast line. The Captain has traveled along side two pods of Humpback Whales with lots of active behaviour occurring; tail lobs, breaching and pec slaps.

Before cruising back to the dock we have visited the seals on Cabbage Tree Island.

Our afternoon cruises have enjoyed beautiful flat seas making spotting the whales a breeze. With lots of whales about we were spoilt for choice, at one point there were two whales breaching at the one time in the distance. A passing container ship also gave a great perspective of the size of the whale in comparison.

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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

20th July 2019

Sunshine and beautiful sea conditions to be out whale watching today.

We didn’t have to travel too far out between the headlands before spotting multiple pods of Humpback Whales onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer today.
All pods were spending great time on the surface showing off some breaching and a few tail slaps – one pod even had a little newborn calf!

MV Spirit headed over to Fingal Island where they watched a total of 6 pods of Humpback Whales with one juvenile constantly breaching!!

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

19th July 2019

There are plenty of whales passing by our lovely Port Stephens, with over 20 Humpback Whales sighted near Fingal Island today.

Pods were spending great time on the surface on our morning cruises, showing off some tail slaps and breaches. Plenty of Bottlenose Dolphins were seen out swimming near the headlands.

A very exciting moment was experience by passengers onboard our afternoon cruise on Hinchinbrook Explorer with crew describing the cruise as one of the best they have worked on in 10 years!!!!

Four Humpback Whales have mugged the boat for over 20 minutes, swimming underneath from one side to the other coming up and spy hopping passengers onboard.

A truly memorizing experience for everyone onboard.

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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

18th July 2019

The Hinchinbrook Explorer has not needed to venture too far out through the headland this morning, instead we have found shelter just inside Fingal Island and spent time viewing two pods of Humpback Whales, each with two whales in a pod.

The whales have been quite active, breaching themselves out of the water and amazing all passengers onboard with their acrobatic display.

The Off Shore Common Dolphins have been extremely interested in our vessel, with a large pod joining the bow wave and leaping out of the water as we have cruised along.

17th July 2019

Whales, whale, whales and more whales!

The crew onboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer have reported the sightings of multiple pods of whales off shore this morning, there have also been breaching whales in the distance.

We have traveled along with a pod of three whales that weren’t on sounding dives for too long and spending a good amount of time on the surface of the water. There has been a bit of white water splashes with the whales whacking the water with their tails.

As we have come back towards the Bay we have come across a pod of Common Dolphins near to Fingal Bay and Bottlenose Dolphins inside the harbour.

Passengers onboard our MV Spirit 11am whale watch cruise has cruised along side a lone Humpback Whale as it has made its way north bound. Again, we were able to see more pods further off in the distance. A pod of Bottelnose Dolphins have greeted the vessel near to Yaccaba Headland.

What an amazing afternoon all passengers onboard the Hinchbrook Explorer have experienced, to begin with we can see over seven pods of Humpback Whales from our location near to the Fingal Island Lighthouse with the crew counting over twenty whales in the vicinity. While we have been observing a fairly quite pod of whales, a whale from one of the other pods has suddenly starting breaching like crazy! The skipper has maneuvered the vessel to give all our passengers a direct view of the one whale just repetitively breaching over and over again. Last count the whale was up to 12 breaches!

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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

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.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

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.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

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.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

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!

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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

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!

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

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.

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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

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.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

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.

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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

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.

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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

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.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens