WHALE WATCHING MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES PORT STEPHENS

June 2018

Saturday 30 June

A beautiful sunny day to be out on the water today! On Hinchinbrook Explorer we saw 20 to 30 Humpbacks on our morning cruise! We stayed with a pod of 6 who had a great time on the surface as they were traveling up North.

On our afternoon cruise, we were surrounded by multiple pods in every direction. We saw a mum and young calf spending time on the surface.

Our morning cruise onboard MV Spirit we saw several pods of Humpback Whales. They performed breaches, tail lobs and spent great time on the surface.

Seals and Dolphins were seen out playing on all of our Whale Watch Cruises today.

Friday 29 June

Onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer at 10.00am, we met up with a pod of 3 Humpbacks who performed beautiful breaches and a tail lob! 11 Seals were seen out on the rocks at Cabbage Tree Island.

Our 11.00am cruise onboard MV Spirit travelled North East of Fingal Island where we watched a pod of 5 Humpbacks who were traveling North, spending good time on the surface. Bottlenose Dolphins rode the bow wave as were cruising back in inside the bay.

Over 30 Whales and Albatross surrounded our boat on our afternoon cruise! There were whales in every direction showing off their tails with tail lob after tail lob after tail lob!! To finish off their spectacular show, we were wished goodbye with a big full body breach!

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Thursday 28 June

We had whales on both of our morning cruises.

On our 10.00am cruise there were loads of whales..2 pods joined together with about 9 whales altogether. Good surface time and one big breach close to the boat.

At 11.00am we had two humpbacks, not up for any tricks but good surface time.

Our 1.30pm cruise, again loads of whales. One pod was on a heat run and we also had three breaches All of the passengers were happy, a great day on the water.

All cruises saw dolphins, and there were seals on Cabbage Tree Island.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES SEALS ON ROCKS

Wednesday 27 June

What a spectacular winters day for whale watching at Port Stephens.

We can see so many pods outside the heads this morning with an estimate of eight to nine pods.

On approach to our selected pod we saw breaching in the distance, and more action of splashing and head lunges as we got closer to the whales.

On the MV Spirit we had an inquisitive pod of three whales coming in close to us. All whales spent a good amount of time on the surface with only 3 to 4 minutes diving time.

During our afternoon cruise we found lots of whales near Fingal Island. We then travelled south with nice sea conditions and found a pod of 7 to 10 whales with a juvenile whale breaching enthusiastically.

Seal numbers on Cabbage Tree Island were up to 15 seals today.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Tuesday 26 June

Whales galore!

The whale highway is picking up. During this mornings cruise aboard the MV Spirit we saw eight whales. All the whales spent a good amount of time on the surface and a couple of active tail lobs.

We could also see two breaching whales in the distance.

We counted 15 seals on Cabbage Tree Island, and as we came back in through the head we came across a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins at Jimmys Beach.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Sunday 24 June

Success! The Hinchinbrook Explorer headed straight out the headland at Mt Tomaree. We cruised towards Boondalbah Island where we found four mature Humpback Whales. All whales were very active with lots of breaches, tail lobs, head lunges and pec slaps.

This pod of whales played for quite some time before getting back into migratory mode to continue their journey north to Queensland.

MV Spirit also caught up with a pod of three whales. All passengers enjoying a close encounter with the whales swimming up behind the vessel and sharing a gentle tail slap and pectoral slap.

The seals on Cabbage Tree Island were having a great time swimming in the water this morning, with more sleeping on the rocks in the warm sunshine.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Saturday 23 June

There were Common Dolphins everywhere on our morning cruises as they were out on a feeding frenzy!

Male Humpbacks were seen on a heat run, with a few coming in really close to the boat allowing everyone to get a great view!

A brand new baby whale calf was seen on both our 1.30pm and 2.00pm afternoon cruise. He was 3 metres in length and traveling with two females, swimming in right next to the boat! Very exciting 🙂

Onboard Hinchinbrook at 1.30pm, a pod of male Humpbacks showed off with head lunges and breaches. The Common Dolphins were still out swimming around everywhere.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Wednesday 20th June 2018

Due to unfavourable sea condition there are no whale watch cruises today.

Tuesday 19th June 2018

Due to unfavourable sea condition there are no whale watch cruises today.

Monday 18th June 2018

Due to unfavourable sea conditions there are no whale watch cruises today.

Sunday 17 June 2018

This morning we had “ our best whales ever” according to Teagan our cruise director.

Found our whales just outside the heads, they almost looked like they were doing synchronised swimming. We saw double breaches, double tail slaps, double spy hops, double pectoral slaps, double head lunges and double tail lobs…double everything.

Also saw thirteen seals on Cabbage Tree Island.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Saturday 16 June 2018

Just imagine total silence around you, everyone onboard the vessel is searching the horizon in anticipation of the first whale sighting of the day.

The first tell tale sign is the sound of the whale exhaling as it breaks the surface of the water. Onboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer we had this experience this morning. Everything was so quite and the only sound was the whales tail slapping the water, rolling in water and waving their pec fins.

This pod of three whales came in quite close to the boat, and we could see another pod following in the distance behind the vessel.

Meanwhile passengers onboard the MV Spirit have headed straight out the heads and found a pod of three whales, all whales spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water, with two big breaches not far from the vessel.

All whales were quite active with head rolling, and pec slapping. Today’s seal count on Cabbage Tree Island is up to thirteen seals.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Friday 15 June 2018

Our 10.00am cruise onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer went over to Fingal Island where we saw two pods of two Humpbacks. We  were entertained by two Humpbacks who were double breaching one after the other! All four Humpbacks showed off tail lobs, tail slaps, head lunges and pectoral fin slaps.

Onboard MV Spirit at 11.00am, we headed straight out between the headlands where breaching whales were seen all around the boat. We stayed with a pod of six Humpbacks who were swimming quite slowly while displaying breaches, tail slaps, tail lobs and surface rolling.

Ten or more Humpbacks were seen being extremely active further out showing off breaches and lots of surface action. Twenty Dolphins were seen at Yacaaba and Seals were out playing on Cabbage Tree Island.

Onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer at 1.30pm this afternoon we had one very active Humpback Whale who performed lots of breaches. They were surrounded by a huge pod of Common Dolphins who were also jumping out of the water as they were feeding. A seal then came and joined in on the fun swimming around our active mammals.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Thursday 14 June 2018

MV Spirit passengers were entertained by an active pod of three Humpback Whales just north east of Fingal Island with two males chasing the female.

All whales were very energetic with lots of tail lobbing and pec slapping. We then found another pod of 3 Humpback Whales closer to the shore line, with one of the whales coming in quite close to the boat.

Today we have 15 seals basking in the sun on Cabbage Tree Island. As we cruised back in through the heads we came across three pods of Bottlenose Dolphins fishing for lunch in the Bay.

This afternoons whale watch cruise saw the first of the large heat runs, with approximately 3 pods with 6 to 9 whales in each pod. There is always lots of hustle and bustle between the males in these heat runs vying for the females attention.

To finish our day we have cruised around Cabbage Tree Island for one last look at the cheeky seals on Cabbage Tree Island.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Wednesday 13th June 2018

Whales everywhere!

There are whales in every direction this morning, with pods whales spotted on heat runs. A heat run occurs when the males chase the female whales and can get quite active with the males humpback whales vying for the attention of the female.

The MV Spirit then spent a good amount of time with a juvenile Humpback Whale who did over 100 tail lobs. He was having a great time.

We are up to 13 seals on Cabbage Tree Island. On our afternoon cruise, we saw around 8 Humpbacks who were showing off their tails with several flukes and a juvenile performing tail slaps. We were also visited by a pod of around 100 Common Dolphins!

Tuesday 12th June 2018

Hoorah for sunshine!

A great morning of whale watching on MV Spirit. We spotted a single female Humpback Whale just outside the head land, and she has shown off with a breach for all onboard.

We then followed another pod of four whales in a heat run.

On our way to Cabbage Tree Island we were joined by a pod of about 40 Common Dolphins.

The seal count at Cabbage Tree Island is up to 12 today, with a few seals swimming in the water.

Rainbow over Port Stephens Harbour - Whale Watching Cruise Moonshadow TQC Cruises

Monday 11th June 2018

The whale highway is starting to get busy!

This mornings cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer found a pod of 3 to 4 whales near Fingal Island this morning. This pod was joined by another couple of whales.

We traveled along beside a breakaway pod of 3 whales that were very active, breaching, tail slapping, head lunging and pec slapping.

As we have cruised back home towards the dock we have met up with a pod of 10 Bottlenose dolphins near Jimmys Beach.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Sunday 10th June 2018

While today’s weather was overcast and showery, certainly a day to rug up to keep warm. We were greeted by amazing whales just north of Fingal Island, with a super active pod of 3 whales breaching, tail slapping and pec slapping the surface of the water.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Saturday 9th June 2018

This mornings cruises were able to get a great look at the whales this morning. Several Humpbacks swimming over to the boat. Breaching was seen by pods a little further out in the distance.

WHALE WATCHING PORT STEPHENS MOONSHADOW TQC CRUISES

Friday 8th June 2018

Described as ‘the best whales this season’ by our crew. We were entertained by a pod of 3 Humpback Whales who were continually showing off breaches, tails slaps, pectoral fin slaps and tail lobs.

We cruised with them from Boondalbah Island to Cabbage Tree Island and saw 13 Seals out resting on the rocks.

Our 11.00am cruise saw 4 Humpbacks who swam in close and mugged the boat. Seals were seen at Cabbage Tree and Dolphins inside the bay.

On our afternoon cruise, we saw 6 pods where the males were chasing the females!

We spent some time viewing them before heading over to Cabbage Tree Island to see the seals. On our way back, we were entertained by a pod of 3 breaching whales!

Sunset Port Stephens Moonshadow TQC Cruises

Thursday 7th June 2018

Blue skies and sunshine!

After a week of rain we are very happy to be out cruising looking for whales. On such a lovely day with a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins being sighted on our way out through the heads.

There were around 4 pods off shore this morning on Hinchbrook Explorer. We spent time with a pod of two whales. Both whales spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water, only disappearing for a few minutes at a time on sounding dives.

The seal count on Cabbage Tree Island was at 5 this morning. Five pods of whales on our afternoon cruise, we migrated north with 2 pods ( 3 whales in each pod). They were quite playful..chasing each other around and lots of good surface time.

Wednesday 6th June 2018

We have not let the damp weather deter us from celebrating the official launch cruise of the 2018 Whale Watch Season.

We didn’t have too far to travel to find the first pod of whales. This was a quite pod that disappeared frequently and were hard to track.

We then moved onto a second pod with about 2 to 3 whales. This pod was much more inquisitive, coming quite close to the boat and even treating us to a double breach.

This afternoon we saw a breach in the distance by one of the 2 humpbacks off Fingal Island who were spending good time on the surface. Dolphins were seen at the headlands.

 

Tuesday 5th June 2018

It’s great to be back out whale watching again after a number of day of unfavourable sea conditions kept our vessels docked at the marina.

We did not have to travel too far this morning in Hinchinbrook Explorer heading towards Fingal Island to find two Humpback Whales.

Both whales were fairly quite, spending a good amount of time on the surface of the water with just the one tail lob. We were joined by a friendly pod of Common Dolphins bow riding the front of the vessel.

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