June 2019

30th June 2019

The cloud cover has disappeared in time for our morning whale watch cruises heading off shore in the search of Humpback Whales.

The crew aboard Hinchinbrook Explorer have reported being able to sight at least three pods of whales from Fingal Island and up towards Little Island. We have spent our time with a large, possibly female and a juvenile Humpback Whales. Both Whales have been very active with the whales displaying a variety of behaviors; tail slap, pec slap and breaching.

Passengers aboard the MV Spirit 11am cruise have encountered a couple of friendly whales, with one Humpback Whale breaching quite close to the starboard side of the vessel, while the second whale took quite an interest in its surroundings swimming under and appearing on the bow of the boat much to everyone’s surprise.

The highlight of our afternoon whale watch cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer was spotting our first new born Humpback Whale calf of the season. The Captain has kept the vessel at the regulated distance from the mum and calf, and didn’t stay for too long to allow both time to bond. The calf even still had a floppy dorsal fin, which indicates its quite newly born.

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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

29th June 2019

The day has started out with vibrant blue skys, the perfect start to our whale adventures.

The Hinchinbrook Explorer has been surrounded by a couple of pods of whales on both sides of the vessel, with one of the whales becoming active and tail slapping the water creating lots of splash.

The MV Spirit has cruised between the Fingal Lighthouse and Middle Island and have located three pods of whales; all whales have spent a good amount of time of the surface of the water and showing off with tail slaps, pec slaps and one magical breach.

The major dilemma for our passengers onboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer on the 1:30pm whale watch cruise, was which direction they should be looking. With both sides of the vessel having two whales double breaching, that’s a total of four whales breaching at once!

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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 June 2019

Clear skies and beautiful sea conditions today!

We saw multiple pods of Humpback Whales just outside of the headlands today, at one stage crew counted 17-20 whales out there! They showed off breaches, tail lobs and displayed great time on the surface.

The seals were seen out ‘cliff diving’ this morning and plenty of Bottlenose Dolphins were out and about on all cruises today.

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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

27th June 2019

Our first encounter of the day has been with a pod of two Humpback Whales near to the Fingal Island Lighthouse, they have been swimming along at a steady pace in a northerly direction.

The Hinchinbrook Explorer has spotted another pod of whales becoming quite active a little further off and has traveled towards them to watch a range of behaviors; tail slapping, tail lobbing, breaching and even a double breach with two whales breaching at the one time.

Passengers onboard the MV Spirit have cruised along side a pod of three whales, the whales were doing short one minute dives and staying on the surface of the water a few minutes at a time. Further pods could also be seen in the distance with lots of breaching action happening.

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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

26th June 2019

The Hinchinbrook Explorer has traveled alongside a pod of two Humpback Whales, the pair have been intent on continuing their journey north bound and swimming at a steady pace. Both whales spent a good amount of time on the surface, with short sounding dives.

Seal numbers on Cabbage Tree Island have increased again, with thirteen seals counted resting on the rocks and swimming in 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

25th June 2019

After a couple of days of being land locked due to the sea conditions, it was fantastic to be back out on the water again today searching for the mighty Humpback Whale.

Our morning cruise have had success finding five whales just north of Fingal Island. All whales spent a good amount of time of the surface of the water as they continued their north bound journey along the Port Stephens coast line.

We have been greeted by a few pods of active whales this afternoon, with lots of breaching, tail slapping and waving of pec fins in the air as the whales competed in a heat run. Along with a pod of Common Dolphins.

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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

24th June 2019

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

23rd June 2019

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

 

22nd June 2019

Today we cruised over just North of Fingal Island where we found two Humpback Whales who we traveled alongside with to Middle Island where we met up with another pod of Humpback Whales. All whales spent great time on the surface.

Common and Bottlenose Dolphins were also seen out playing in the ocean.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

21st June 2019

Five pods of Humpback Whales were seen out at Fingal Bay Lighthouse this morning  showing off some tail lobs Рcrew counted a total of fourteen whales and fifteen seals at Cabbage Tree Island!!!

Another four pods were seen out at Fingal Lighthouse this afternoon spending great time on the surface, swimming nice and close to 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

20th June 2019

We have hit the whale jackpot this morning, with a pod of seven whales sighted in line with the island, straight out through the headland. There has been a slight swell about this morning, but the sunshine is beautiful.

All whales have spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water. We have also been joined by a big pod of Common Dolphins.

Our tally of seals on Cabbage Tree Island was up to twelve today.

The Hinchinbrook Explorer have spotted a couple of stragglers from this mornings pod in the same location, with another whale breaching off in the distance.

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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

19th June 2019

The mornings are getting chilly, but with the backdrop of blue skies we were certain of a great days whale watching at Port Stephens.

The Hinchinbrook Explorer has cruised outside the heads to be greeted by a huge pod of Shorted-beaked Common Dolphins, who have raced over to the boat and were leaping high into the air. The dolphins were the stand out stars of today’s cruises.

We have then continued towards Little Island to find a couple of pods with approx four Humpback Whales in each pod. All whales were traveling along at quite a fast pace, but were spending a good amount of time on the surface of the water giving all passengers a good view.

As we have headed out for our afternoon cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer we spotted a breaching Humpback Whale, but as we have ventured closer the whale has quieten right down, looking to be lazing in the water resting.

We have also spotted a couple of White-bellied Sea Eagles soaring high up-above.

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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

 

 

18th June 2019

The sunshine and blue skies are back and we have whales everywhere this morning!
The Hinchinbrook Explorer has not had to travel too far at all to meet up the Humpback Whales just outside the headland. All whales were quite playful, breaching nice and close to the vessel, with several heat run action happening.
Unfortunately our afternoon whale watch cruise has not operated today.

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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

17th June 2019

unfortunately, whale watch cruises have been cancelled today.

16th June 2019

The air may be a cooler this morning, but lucky for us this does not effect the whales traveling on their northern migration.

Our first whale sighting of the day was a Minke Whale just outside the heads, but was doing long dives and surfacing infrequently.

The Hinchinbrook Explorer has then moved onto a pod of three Humpback Whales near Boondalbah Island. All whales were spending a good amount of time of water giving all passengers a great view as they continued north bound.

MV Spirit has located two pods of whales; with two Humpback Whales in each pod. We have followed along side one of the pods that were doing four minute sounding dives, one point they have come quite close to the boat giving all onboard a great view of the whales fluke as they dove beneath the water.

The number of seals on Cabbage Tree Island was up to thirteen seals, as the weather cools down we are seeing more seals arriving for winter. As the MV Spirit cruised back into the Bay we have been greeted by a pod of 40-50 playful Bottlenose Dolphins, with lots of the dolphins leaping out of the water.

Passengers on our afternoon cruise have been extremely lucky to see a Minke Whale and her calf. Minke whales can be quite elusive and very hard to track, and today’s sighting was certainly in the distance, and very brief. As we have approached the off shore islands we have located two older large Humpback Whales, both were just resting on the surface of the water, moving close to the vessel at times.

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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

 

15th June 2019

Clear skies and calm waters again today  Рperfect conditions for whale watching!

All cruises saw several Humpbacks who were spending great time on the surface, breaching and coming in nice and close to the boat.

Our afternoon cruise saw a Humpback Whale at Fingal Island feeding on some bait fish which is a very rare sight as the whales don’t normally feed on their northern migration.

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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

14th June 2019

Several pods of Whales were seen out near Cabbage Tree Island and Fingal Lighthouse on our cruises today.

They were all slowly swimming past, taking their time as they showed off with distant breaching and a few tail lobs.

There was plenty of marine life out and about today with dolphins, seals, sea eagles, flying fish and albatross all spotted during the cruises.

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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

13th June 2019

Our wonderful sea conditions are remaining into the second half of the week, with nice still waters and no wind welcoming the Hinchinbrook Explorer on the first whale watch cruise of the day.

The local Port Stephens Bottlenose Dolphins have jumped on the bow wave of the boat as we have started our journey along Shoal Bay Beach.

As we have cruised off shore the vessel has been approached by a pod of three Humpback Whales which have come within a 100 meters from the boat. All whales were heading north bound and spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water. The crew have reported the whales have been quite active with tail slaps, pec slaps and the occassional beautiful fluke on display as they dove beneath 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

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

 

12th June 2019

The Port Stephens whale highway has been busy this morning, the seas are flat as can be, making spotting whales in the distance a breeze.

The crew on the Hinchinbrook Explorer have reported several pods in the vicinity of the vessel, but we have spent time in between Fingal Island and Cabbage Tree Island with two pods; the first with three Humpback and the second with two Humpback Whales.

The pod of three whales appears to be two males and one female; the males have become quite active and competitive towards the female trying to win her affection. While the female has been breaching, the males have been showing off by tail lobbing, head lunging, and pec slapping. At one stage all three whales were rolling about and looked to be fighting over each other.

We were able to see more pods traveling north bound from Boat Harbour, and at one stage a massive pod of in excess of 50 Common Dolphins were also spotted off shore.

Cruising back to the dock we have visited Nicky’s pod of local Port Stephens Bottlenose Dolphins along Jimmys Beach.

Breaching whales here, there and everywhere!! Passengers onboard the 1:30pm Hinchinbrook Explorer whale watch cruise have been spoilt for choice with whales in every direction. Last count was twelve whales straight out through the head land.

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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

11th June 2019

Oh what an amazing winters day for our whale watch cruise at Port Stephens, with brilliant blue skies and calm off shore sea conditions making for a stunning day on the water.

Hinchinbrook Explorer has cruised straight out past Mount Tomaree on towards Cabbage Tree Island where we have spotted a pod of three Humpback Whales. All whales were taking approximately 4 minute sounding dives then coming to the surface for a couple of breaths before diving again. The whales have then come in closer to the vessel giving all onboard good viewing as they spent more time on the surface of the water.

We could also see another pod of two whales further to the south in the direction of Boat Harbour.

This mornings seal count on Cabbage Tree Island was up to nine seal lazing on the rocks.

Our afternoon whale watch cruise has found another pod of two Humpback Whales, all whales spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water, with the occasional whale tail waterfall on display as they dove beneath 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

10th June 2019

Cruising off shore at Port Stephens this morning during our whale watch cruise could be described as like floating in a bath, with flat seas and little to no wind about.

Hinchinbrook Explorer has reached Samuari Beach to find two pods of whales, consisting of three whales, all heading north bound. We have then spotted another pod of two active juvenile Humpback Whales who playfully tail slapped the surface of the water, and were seen head lunging too.

We have also been joined by a small pod of Common Dolphins bow riding in front of the boat.

Passengers onboard the 11am MV Spirit whale watch cruise have enjoyed an action pack cruise; the crew report constant tall slapping and breaching by a pod of two Humpback Whales.

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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

9th June 2019

A day spent in the brilliant long weekend sunshine is always going to a be perfect day!

For passengers onboard our morning Hinchinbrook Explorer whale watch cruise, we have come across two Humpback Whales just outside the head land near to Boondalbah Island. All passengers were surprised by a double breach close to the vessel, with the whales swimming under the boat.

Sighting an Albatross during a cruise is meant to bring good luck, which means all onboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer have luck on their side as an Albartross flew above the vessel.

MV Spirit has cruised along beside a pod of two Humpback Whales, the whales have continually breached none stop and just to show off a bit more, have been tail slapping the surface of the water. One of the whales had quite interesting markings with a speckled white spots over its body. As the MV Spirit has traveled back into the Bay we have also seen a pod of our local Bottlenose Dolphins near to Jimmys Beach.

Its amazing how the seals feel that the rocks on Cabbage Tree Island make suitable and comfortable sleeping positions. Rocks on the island are in high demand, with seals often seen squabbling over their resting place.

The picture perfect sea conditions have continued into the afternoon cruises will light breezes and low swells, our 1:30pm cruise has spent time with a large adult and sub adult Humpback Whale. Both whales had good surface time with sounding dives of only three to four minutes.

For passengers onboard the 2pm whale watch cruise, we have cruised towards the Fingal Island Lighthouse to find a Humpback Whale and calf, this pair has been quietly resting, so we have moved onto another whale that started out to be quite lazy, but has then become active with lots of 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

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

 

8th June 2019

We traveled over to Fingal Island onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer this morning where we saw one Humpback Whale who was spending great time on the surface. We cruised with the whale over to Middle Island, with the Humpback spending most of his time on the surface traveling close to the boat.

MV Spirit saw a calf traveling on his own on the morning cruise, with a breaching Humpback in the distance!

On our afternoon cruise on Hinchinbrook we headed back over to Fingal Island to watch a Humpback Whale show of some beautiful tail flukes, spending good time on the surface.

Common and Bottlenose Dolphins were also out playing for both the morning and afternoon cruise and the seals were seen out enjoying themselves on the rocks.

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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

7th June 2019

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

6th June 2019

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

5th June 2019

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

4th June 2019

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

3rd June 2019

After a few days of no whale watch cruises due to sea conditions, we were excited to be cruising in our search of the mighty Humpback Whale again today.

We have had success on both the morning and afternoon cruises with whales sighted near to Boondelbah Island, resident Indo-Pacific Bottlenose and Common Bottlnose Dolphins off shore; including a little calf.

Before heading back to the dock we have visited the seals at Cabbage Tree Island, and viewed a White-Bellied Sea Eagle soaring high above the sea on the hunt for its dinner.

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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

 

 

2nd June 2019

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

1st June 2019

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