October 2018

31st October 2018

This morning we saw two pods East of Cabbage Tree Island heading over towards Fingal Island. Two calves were traveling with their mum’s, spending good time on the surface.

Common Dolphins were out playing as they swam around the boat.

On our afternoon cruise, we cruised over to Boondelbah Island where we stayed with a mum and calf who were slowly swimming on the surface. We spent some time watching them before cruising further North where two pods of mum + calves were seen breaching!

30th October 2018

Our morning cruises has started with a mum and calf Humpback Whale spotted near to Boondelbah Island. We have traveled along beside them towards Box Beach, with both whales were quite happily swimming on their southern migration, and spending a good amount of time on the surface of the water .

It’s been a super action packed afternoon of whale watching aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer today!

The crew have reported sighting at least nine pods of whales, with close to 30 whales in the vicinity, with mumma Humpback Whales and their calves everywhere.

We have spent our time with a mum and her calf near Fingal Island. We think the calf was invigorated by the windy conditions as the little calf was breaching none stop!

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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 October 2018

On our morning cruise we found four whale at Fingal Spit. Two juveniles, mum and escort, the juveniles were very active we saw two beautiful breaches and several pec slaps. Also saw bottlenose dolphins in the bay.

Our afternoon cruise found lots of whales north of Cabbage Tree Island, good surface time and quite close to the boat. However they were not up for any tricks, happy just lolling around on the surface.

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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 October 2018

Breach! Puts new meaning to fishing off the jetty. Best start to a whale watching cruise ever!

Captain Ben spotted a whale as we left the marina – as we were passing the mother and calf at Little Beach and VOILA! We have a breaching whale inside the harbour. Check out those little people near the wharf, bet they were just as surprised as our passengers onboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer, a wonderful surprise for people at the beach and on the water – unexpected, and so close to shore.

Once the Hinchinbrook Explorer reached the open ocean we have spotted four pods of whales with pods traveling both north and south bound. All whales were spending long periods of time on sounding dives, making it hard to track their movements.

We have cruised in the direction of Little Island for our afternoon whale watch to find a couple of whales putting a display of breaching!

For passengers on the 2pm MV Spirit whale watch cruise we have encountered pair of mumma and calf Humpback Whales, with both whales coming in nice and close to the vessel, rolling around in the water giving all onboard a good look at 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

26th October 2018

Lovely day on the water today.

Lots of common dolphin and really good whales.

We found a mum and calf heading south, very active. The little calf had learned lots of tricks from mum..he spent all his time breaching, tail slapping and lots of tail lobs.

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 October 2018

The sea conditions have calmed down overnight, and we are back out whale watching again today.

Passengers on the Hinchinbrook Explorer have spent time viewing an erratic pair of a mother and calf, the whales seemed to be swimming in circles making it a little hard to track their movements.

The seals at Cabbage Tree Island were in quite a playful mood, swimming around the vessel and sticking their heads out of the water to get a better look at our passengers onboard. It’s no wonder seals are called the puppy dogs of the sea, how cute does those faces look swimming in the water.

It has been an afternoon of unusual occurrence this afternoon, with the crew aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer sighting a mother and calf Humpback Whale heading north in the direction of Queensland. At this time of year we would be expecting to see whales on their south bound journey, but this pair seem to be a bit confused.

We have also been joined by a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins off shore, it is very rare to see our resident dolphins of the Bay outside the heads.

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 October 2018

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

23 October 2018

We love days spent on the water with perfect spring weather and lovely off shore sea conditions, all cruises today have enjoyed a wonderful day filled with sun shine, blue skies, light breezes and most importantly, whales!

Our day has began with a pod of three whales, a Humpback mother and her calf traveling with another adult escort. All whales spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water and came in quite close to the boat, giving all passengers a chance to have a good viewing.

The off shore Oceanic Dolphins were very playful today, interacting and almost appeared to be pestering the pod of whales with their interest in the whales being very apparent.

For our afternoon cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer we have met up with a pod of three whales, the crew think this may have been an all male pod as there was no young juvenile or calves within the area. All whales were very active, playful and keen to be seen with big breaches, tail and pec slapping creating a lot of white wash and splashing.

 

22nd October 2018

This morning MV Spirit reported back they had caught up with a pod of 2 adult and 2 baby humpbacks – they were straight out through the heads and we lost count after 35 continuous breaches!!  There were also some pectoral slaps and tail slaps on display before the return journey when we saw oceanic dolphins, seals and bottlenose dolphins.

We have experienced simply amazing whales this afternoon, the Hinchbrook Explorer has straight out through the headland to find whales everywhere with at least five pods in the vicinity. To begin with we were mugged by a mum and her calf swimming in nice and close to the vessel.

We have then continued onto another Humpback mum and calf pair near Fingal Island. It appeared as though todays sightings of the little babies were being taught by their mum’s how to breach, tail lob and tail slap with lots of surface activity.

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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

21st October 2018

We only cruised in the morning today, at which time we saw a pod of a mother, calf and escort around the islands.  They spent good time on the surface and showed off a little with a couple of breaches and tail lobs.  On the way back to harbour we also spotted a seal and a large pod of oceanic dolphins.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

20th October 2018

Beautiful sunny morning, lots of mums and babies passing by Nelson Bay.

Today we located a mother and calf at the entrance to the bay, lots of lolling on the surface so we had a good look at them.

Another mum and calf at Fingal, and as the crew said “the baby went nuts” lots of breaching, rolling on the surface, pec slaps and tail lobs. Very entertaining – a great day to be on the water.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

19th October 2018

Hip hip hooray for Fridays! We think spending a sunny Friday whale watching at Port Stephens to top notch!

We have been blessed with a beautiful warm spring day. Our first cruise of the day aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer have come across a mother and calf pair of Humpback Whales just outside Mt Tomaree. This pair was content on continuing their south bound journey, so we have moved onto another pod, again a mother and her calf past Boondelbah Island. The calf was practicing its head lunges, and perfecting the art of breaching!

Passengers onboard MV Spirit for the 11am cruise have been entertained by a pod of three active whales with a mum and her calf who were traveling along with an adult escort.

The whales were keen to check out the vessel and our passengers onboard, swimming in nice and close to mug us. It’s always a good day when you are mugged by a pod of inquisitive whales. All whales were very active; breaching, pec slapping and tail lobbing – there was lots of white water splashing happening with this pod of whales.

For our afternoon whale watch cruise we have traveled past Cabbage Tree Island, heading towards Broughton Island where we have found a little Humpback Whale breaching till its heart was content. The little calves just have so much energy, and like the energizer bunny, just keep going and going……

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

18th October 2018

It has been a morning for mum’s and their calves during today’s whale watch cruises at Port Stephens.

MV Spirit has found the first Humpback mum and calf pair plus an escort traveling with the pod near Cabbage Tree Island. Mum was showing her force with a big tail lob. We have then moved onto another pod of a mum and calf, the little calf seemed to be learning how to breach, as it was repeatedly breaching over and over and over again.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

17th October 2018

We are back in action today after a couple of days of high swell.  This morning we spent time with two adult humpback whales while they surfaced frequently and came quite close to the boat.  We also spotted a calf on our way back to the harbour.

Amazingly enough we spotted a north bound pod of  two Humpback Whales during our afternoon cruise, this is extremely rare to see whales heading north at this time of year and left our crew a little bit confused. We have also spent time with another two pods of whales that were travelling south bound, these whales were heading in the right direction.

The off shore Common Dolphins were out in force today, with a huge pod being sighted. It’s a spectacular sight to witness such a large pod of these beautiful mammals in their own natural environment.

 

16th October 2018

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

15th October 2018

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

14th October 2018

Not sure if its a known fact, but the whales seem to become a lot more active when its windy with lots of playful action being displayed, and today the whales are proving this fact correct with a bit of wind about off shore at Port Stephens today.

We are seeing a lot of mother and calf pairs on their southern migration at the moment, the Hinchinbrook Explorer has spent time with two pods of Humpback Whales near to the Fingal Island Lighthouse. All whales were very relax and full of fun, rolling about on the surface of the water, and waving their pectoral fins in the air and then smashing them onto the water.

Our afternoon cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer has encountered a pod of three whales consisting of a mother and her calf who were traveling along with an escort just behind Cabbage Tree Island. All whales were quite playful, coming close into the boat, rolling around in the water showing their beautiful white bellies to all our passengers, the calf was also showed off with a few tail lobs.

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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 October 2018

Crew onboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer has report seeing several pods of whales off shore this morning, and have chosen to spend time with an active mum and her calf near Fingal Island.

MV Spirit reported spending lots of time with approximately 10 adult humpbacks this morning – there was non stop breaching, including a spectacular double breach!

For passengers on our afternoon cruise we have witnessed a Humpback Whale breach-athon, with a pod of four whales, including two juveniles breaching constantly.

We have also been joined by a pod of Common Dolphins off shore, and cruised past Cabbage Tree Island on our way home to see the seals basking in the sun 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

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

12th October 2018

A large pod of Dolphins were seen out swimming at Yacaaba as MV Spirit cruised out of the bay this morning.

A total of four pods of Whales were sighted during the cruise. We stayed with a very active pod of three Humpbacks, including a little calf.
The Whales spent great time on the surface, rolling around with the baby swimming with his mouth opened up very wide (he must have been hungry!).

They mugged the boat and showed off a spy hop (a spy hop is when a Whale vertically pokes his/her head out of the water).

Hinchinbrook Explorer saw great active whales on both morning and afternoon cruise.

Both cruises saw a pod of three Humpback Whales, consisting of two adults and one calf, who were playing around on the surface showing off pectoral slaps and tail lobs. Breaching whales were seen on our afternoon cruise.

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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

11th October 2018

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

10th October 2018

Rainy weather today but the Whales still came out to play!

This morning MV Spirit cruised over to Fingal Island where we watched a mum and calf out enjoying the rain! The baby breached next to the boat and the mum showed off head lunges. Passengers on the 10am whale watch cruise have had a close encounter with a female Humpback Whale and her calf coming in quite close to the boat, we have also spotted a breaching whale near the Lighthouse.

For our afternoon whale watch aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer we have had a ‘Gorillas In The Mist’ moment, with the Humpback Whales loving the misty rain conditions with lots of playful action near the Fingal Island Lighthouse, with all passengers witnessing a double breach with two whales breaching in sequence.

We have also spotted a mother and calf pair near Wreak Beach.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

9th October 2018

The morning passengers were wowed by LOTS of whales out there today.  Most time was spent with a pod of two mothers, two escorts and two juveniles.  One of the young humpbacks put on a mighty show with breaching, tail slapping and pectoral slapping before mum joined in breaching also.  To top it off we also enjoyed the seals and oceanic dolphins during the cruise.

The afternoon cruise was also highly successful sighting two pods showing off with tail lobs and breaching before heading to another pod around Fingal Lighthouse.  There was also a massive pod of oceanic dolphins.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

8th October 2018

This morning we met up with a pod consisting of a mother and two juvenile humpbacks off the northern tip of Cabbage Tree Island.  They spent good time on the surface and came nice and close to the boat for good viewing.  Of course we also spotted the friendly seals during the cruise.

This afternoon our passengers were enthralled by two adults accompanied by two calves – the babies were actively involved in a breaching contest with each other.  We also spotted oceanic dolphins and the seals near Cabbage Tree before making our way home.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

7th October 2018

After a couple of days of no whale watching due to sea conditions we were excited to get back off shore again aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer in search of the mighty Humpback Whales traveling on their southern migration.

The Captain has been sheltering the vessel behind the islands around Boondelbah and Little Island where we have come across quite a young Humpback mother and her calf. Mum is not all that large and the crew believe she may be a first time mum. Both whales have come in quite close to the vessel on a couple of occasions giving all onboard a good amount of viewing time of the pair.

We have also spotted a large pod of Common Dolphins off shore that are feeding on a school of fish.

6th October 2018

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

5th October 2018

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

4th October 2018

We are continuing to see good numbers of Humpback mums and their calves traveling on their southern migration past Port Stephens.

Hinchinbrook Explorer has cruised towards Fingal Island to find our first mum and calf pair of the day, both whales have spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water.

Both the Hinchinbrook Explorer and the MV Spirit have cruised up towards Bennetts Beach and Cabbage Tree Island where we have located another mum and her calf, this baby was very active with lots of spying hopping by the calf to see what was happening around him. Both whales came quite close to the boat with plenty of time spent on the water line for our passengers to have a good look at them.

MV Spirit was joined by very playful dolphins riding the bow wave of the vessel, this is always so much fun to watch from the deck above the dolphins.

Its been a busy afternoon of whale watching, the rain showers have held off and although overcast our cruise has certainly been exciting. The crew aboard the Hinchbrook Explorer have reported seeing six pods of whales! And like this morning the whales in the pods have been very active and playful with breaches, head lunges and tail lobs being displayed by a mum and two calves.

As we have headed for home we have come across dolphins near the Nelson Bay Inner Light House.

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whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

3rd October 2018

Hinchinbrook Explorer cruised just out of the headlands this morning where we saw three pods all consisting of mums and calves. They were spending good time on the surface, with one of the calves showing off breaches!

MV Spirit saw a breaching baby traveling with his mum at Boondelbah Island during the morning cruise. We spent some time watching him until he appeared to have worn himself out.

We then traveled over to Cabbage Tree Island were we saw three Humpback Whales, including a calf, spending great time on the surface.

Dolphins were seen out playing at Yacabaa.

2nd October 2018

It was a breaching kind of day for all our whale watch cruises with lots of pairs of Humpback mothers and their calves passing along the Port Stephens coastline.

Both morning cruises aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer and the MV Spirit have had close encounters with whales coming close to the vessel, we have also seen a huge pod of Common Dolphins off shore.

For passengers aboard our 10am whale watch cruise we could see a few pods that were doing long sounding dives making it a little hard to track where they would next appear, and then moved onto another pod of a mum and calf near Cabbage Tree Island with the calf breaching.

The MV Spirit has cruised out to the same pod and by this stage the calf is going crazy with so many breaches. It was like an energizer bunny, it just kept going and going, and both whales were head lunging and pec slapping. We have left this pod and continued around to the seals before making our way home and again encountering the same mum and calf pair, this time both come in for a close look of the vessel delighting all onboard including cruise director Tess.

Our afternoon cruise has also been successful with whales sighted during each cruise, with another mum and calf just outside Mt Tomaree. Both mum and calf were breaching quite close to the boat and at one stage were joined by a pod of dolphins that were playing in amongst the whales.

MV Spirit has traveled a little further north outside the heads for the afternoon cruise to find a pod of Humpback whales of a mother, calf and an escort. All whales have been very playful rolling around on the surface of the water, waving their pectoral fins about and of course its rude not to wave back, so all passengers onboard could be seen waving to the whales!

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

1st October 2018

The public holiday long weekend Monday has seen Port Stephens bathed in brilliant Spring sunshine, and what better way to spend the day than out searching for whales!

The little Humpback calves have been a highlight right throughout the day, with mum and calf pairs everywhere! The MV Spirit has cruised to Boondelbah Island to find the first calf of the morning, just resting on the surface of the water. We have been joined by a pod of Common Dolphins swimming on the bow wave of the vessel as we have come to the second pod, with of three Humpback whales consisting of a mum, her calf and an escort. This pod was quite active, tail slapping, pec slapping and at one point swimming upside down near to the boat.

For our passengers aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer this afternoon we have spotted three pods of Humpback mothers and their calves straight out the entrance of the harbour heading towards the Fingal Island Lighthouse.

Our last whale watch cruise of the day aboard MV Spirit spotting the whales was an easy task with the crew reporting four pods of whales just outside the heads near Fingal Island. We have spent time with one of the very active pods of a mumma and her calf with all passengers delighted with the calf tail slapping, pec slapping and almost mastering a half breach.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

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