September 2018

30th September 2018

The whales were ready and waiting for our vessels to depart this morning, with a pod of three whales located just at the Tomaree Headland. The pod consisted of a mother and her calf and an escort, all whales were happy to see us with the pod coming in for a closer look of the boat and showing off with tail lobs and slapping the surface of the water with their tails.

Hinchinbrook Explorer has continued off shore to visit the seals at Cabbage Tree Island. As we have cruised back towards land we have come across a second pod of whales also with a mumma Humpback Whale, her calf and another escort traveling with them. The calf in this pod has delighted all passengers onboard by spy hopping and checking out what was happening above the waterline.

Our lucky passengers onboard the Dolphin Discovery Cruise on Moonshadow IV have been treated to spotting whales in the harbour at Shoal Bay this morning, with the pod seen at the Tomaree Headland venturing inside the Bay.

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

29th September 2018

Hinchinbrook Explorer saw 4-5 pods of Humpback Whales just outside of the headlands this morning. They spent great time on the surface, coming in nice and close to the boat allowing everyone to get a good look.

MV Spirit cruised out around the outer islands this morning where they found and mum and calf. The calf showed off tail lobs, with both the whales swimming in close to the boat.

Oceanic Dolphins rode the bow wave and 20 seals were seen out on Cabbage Tree Island.

The Whales were a little elusive this afternoon, however, we did manage to find and mum and active calf. They spent good time on the surface, with the baby showing off some breaches!

A pod of Bottlenose Dolphins were seen swimming offshore.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

28th September 2018

Sunshine, blue skies and playful whales today!

There were Whales in every direction this morning. They showed off tail lobs, pectoral fin slaps and rolling around on the surface. Breaching whales were seen a little further out.

Active Whales again this afternoon, with a mother and calf showing off all their tricks just outside the headlands. They were breaching, showing off their pectoral fins and tail slapping.

More Whales were seen inside the bay preforming breaches, tail lobs and pectoral fin slaps.

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 September 2018

Very active and playful Whales with perfect sea conditions this morning!

A mum and calf were seen showing off at Boondelbah onboard both our morning cruises today. They were breaching, double breaching, showing off tail lobs, tail slaps, head lunges and pectoral fin slaps. Displaying all of their tricks entertaining everyone onboard.

A total of 22 seals were seen at Cabbage Tree Island!

Multiple pods of mum and calves were seen around the outer islands on our afternoon cruise. As soon as we cruised out between the headlands, the whales put on a show! Showing off tail lobs, tail slaps and a baby who was  preforming constant breaches!

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 September 2018

Wet weather didn’t affect our morning whale watch cruise, as Hinchinbrook Explorer headed past the heads venturing near Zenith beach were we picked up a mother and calf. The young calf was very intrigued by our vessel, circling around as the passengers all got a very nice sighting and even a mugging. We visited our friendly fur seals colony.

With the rain set in for the day, our afternoon cruise aboard Hinchinbrook Explorer ventured out near Boondlebah Island, sighting a mother and calf, this pod weren’t spending to much time on the surface, but did do a few tail lobs as they went for their sound dive. The Captain decided to leave this pod as the crew spotted another 2 pods behind Cabbage Tree. Mum and calf did head lunges, pec slaps before the calf did a little breach close to the boat. What a spectacular show this juvenile whale put on for our passenger aboard.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

 

25th September 2018

Today we had only one Whale Watch cruise departing at 10am on board Hinchinbrook Explorer during which we spent time with two separate pods of humpbacks.  The first pod spent good time on the surface and the second pod close to Little Island showed off with a few breaches.  After leaving the whales we headed over to see the seals on Cabbage Tree Island and also spotted some oceanic dolphins outside the harbour.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

 

24th September 2018

This morning on the 11am departure aboard MV Spirit a mother and calf showed off with some breaches around Fingal Island after which the boat headed back in to the harbour to catch up with our friendly local dolphins.

The 10am cruise on board Hinchinbrook Explorer spent quite a bit of time with a pod of 6 humpbacks – there were a few pectoral slaps and plenty of good surface time close to the boat.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

23rd September 2018

Our Cruise Director’s today (Paddy & Teagan) reported it was the ‘best whale watch cruise they had ever done!!’.

Hinchinbrook Explorer at 10am was mugged by two pods of humpback whales and they ended up coming in a little late as the whales did not want to let the boat leave.

MV Spirit passengers on the 11am cruise were absolutely mesmerized by a mother and calf breaching countless times just a few metres from the boat.  There were also 26 seals around Cabbage Tree Island – swimming and sunbaking.  The lucky passengers also enjoyed spending time with a pod of bottlenose dolphins offshore.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

22nd September 2018

Sunshine and playful Whales everywhere this morning!!!

Hinchinbrook Explorer at 10.00am reported very active whales around Fingal and Cabbage Tree Island. Eight Humpback Whales were seen swimming around, with one humpback showing off tail lobs, tail slaps and he even mugged the boat!

We continued over to Fingal Lighthouse where a Humpback whale mugged the boat again and did one big breach!

MV Spirit at 11.00am saw two very active Humpback whales. They were breaching, showing off their pectoral fins and preforming spy hops all while swimming very close to the boat allowing all passengers onboard to get great viewing.

Five Humpback Whales mugged Hinchinbrook Explorer on our 1.30pm cruise today! They were seen straight out between the headlands, swimming around the boat while showing off breaches, tail lobs and tail slaps!

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 September 2018

Multiple pods were seen onboard Hinchinbrook Explorer this morning, with a total of five different pods between Boondelbah and Fingal Island.

We stayed with a mum and calf who were traveling on their Southern migration. The calf showed itself off by preforming a breach near Fingal Lighthouse.

A mum and calf were seen entertaining our afternoon customers at Cabbage Tree Island, with the calf showing off his beautiful tail with continual tail lobs.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

20th September 2018

Active Whales on both our cruises today! They were showing off tail lobs, tail slaps and breaches. Seals and Dolphins were seen out playing all day.

19th September 2018

This morning we cruised over to Cabbage Tree Island where we found one Humpback Whale. He was resting from his big journey (still traveling North), however, it didn’t take him long to catch up on some energy as he started to show off his big beautiful breaches!!

On our afternoon cruise, we headed over to Boondelbah where we saw a pod of three Humpbacks which included two adults and one baby.
The baby calf was quite active, being very playful on the surface.

 

18th September 2018

OMG what a cutie! MV Spirit has cruised towards Cabbage Tree Island and found a super active little calf, he has amused everyone onboard by breaching none stop, one breach after another. It appears that mum is taking a rest and is very sleepy, she is just resting on the surface of the water while junior is burning off all his energy.

The Skipper on the Hinchinbrook Explorer has traveled quite some distance outside the heads nearing the 100 metre mark to find a pod of four Humpback Whales. All whales have spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water allowing all passengers onboard ample time to view the whales as they travel past the Port Stephens coastline.

What an afternoon of whale watching we have had! The Hinchinbrook Explorer has ventured north outside the headland towards Bennetts Beach at Hawks Nest to find a large pod of Humpback Whales containing five to six playful whales.  All whales have been extremely friendly and approached the vessel mugging and entertaining all aboard with their active antics of breaching, tail lobs and pec slaps.

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

17th September 2018

Hinchinbrook Explorer and MV Spirit morning voyage for the Humpback whale was unsuccessful with sightings, however we did have 2 pods of common oceanic dolphins coming for a ride on the bow waves.

Once we voyaged back to Cabbage Tree Island the fur seals were quiet relaxed, making the most of the beautiful sunshine rays. MV Spirit had our local Bottle Nose Dolphins a little out of their regular zone, coming to visit the seals as well at Cabbage Tree.

Hinchinbrook Explorer set out again this afternoon in search of the Humpback Whale, and spotted a pod of 2 traveling North Bound. These whales did have a fluke dive, showing of their amazing tails. It is very late in the season for these whales to be heading North.

We also had a visit from 1 common oceanic dolphin, which is unusual as they generally are in large pods.

We were also looking to the sky’s to watch a flyer over by a RAAF Jet, you need to be quick to see the jets quite often you can hear them but they are traveling at such high speeds it can be hard to spot them.

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 September 2018

We are back to the warm winter woolies today with a chill in the air at Port Stephens, a scarf and beanie are the accessory of the day!

We have just the one whale watch cruise available this morning, the Hinchinbrook Explorer has traveled just east of Cabbage Tree Island to find a pod of four large Humpback Whales. The pod has decided people watching is in order today, with all whales becoming very inquisitive, checking out the vessel and all onboard and mugging the boat, giving all onboard a good chance to view this pod of whales up close.

Unfortunatley there is no afternoon whale watch cruise due to unfavourable sea conditions.

15th September 2018

It’s beginning to feel a lot like summer!!!

The sun is shining and the whales are out playing today! Our morning cruises saw seven Humpback Whales who were spending great time swimming around rolling on the surface, showing off tail slaps, pectoral fin slaps and breaches.

A Dolphin was seen jumping out of the water several times as if he was trying to breach!

Our afternoon cruises saw a tiny Humpback showing off some tail slaps as he was heading North. We then cruised over to pod of three Humpbacks who were spending good time swimming on the surface.

We finished off the cruise by watching a breaching Humpback at Boondelbah Island.

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 September 2018

A beautiful sunny day to be out on the water in Port Stephens today!

Our morning cruise reported seeing lots of pods of Humpbacks swimming by today. They cruised with 3-4 pods who were spending great time swimming along on the surface.

A breaching juvenile put on a show for us this afternoon as he was seen preforming constant breaches! Another two Humpbacks were seen at Yacaaba who showed off tail lobs and breaches!!

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

13th September 2018

This mornings 10am whale watch cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer, and our 11am whale watch cruise aboard the MV Spirit had an encounter with a trio of Port Stephens wildlife.

It is a long belief that the sign of lots of sea birds ensures that whales are close. This morning the crew have reported a lot of Gannets and Mutton Birds flying about, and sure enough we have also seen three Humpback Whales. This pod of whales were heading south bound, all came in quite close to the Hinchinbrook Explorer and spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water.

For passengers aboard the MV Spirit, they have come across the same pod of whales, with one whale of the whales showing off by breaching to everyone’s delight!

Before returning to the dock the we have cruised past Cabbage Tree Island, today’s seal count was up to twenty seven seals resting on the rocks. This would be close to the highest number of seals seen this year.

As the MV Spirit has traveled back past Tomaree Headland we have spotted a pod of the local Port Stephens Bottlenose Dolphins.

There was a collective ooohhh and aaahhh from all aboard during our afternoon whale watch as we have spotted the littlest of Humpback Whales calves being protected by it loving mum just outside the headland. A calf can look deceptively small next their huge mums, but quite often when a calf is born they can be the sames size as a small family car.

There are so many whales out off shore this afternoon, our Cruise Director Renee has reported five different pods within a wide area. We have stayed with a pod of three whales, that have merged with another pod of two whales. All whales were very active, breaching, tail lobbing and pec slapping.

We have then met up with pod of Oceanic Dolpins in a feeding freenzy in the middle of a massive bait ball, with dolphins darting in and out of the school of fish and Terns diving into the surface of the water.

You know when the Cruise Director is jumping with excitement that this has been a mind-blowingly amazing afternoon of whale watching at Port Stephens!

12th September 2018

All of the crew and passengers onboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer Whale Watch Cruise are buzzing with excitement after experiencing a very close encounter with two Humpback Whales near the Fingal Island Lighthouse during our morning whale watch cruise.

On approach to the pod of whales both appeared to be sleeping or resting, but that soon changed with both whales coming to life and swimming extremely close and mugging the vessel for at least 30 minutes.

The whales were quite large sub adults that took a keen interest in the vessel along with .all the passengers onboard and could be seen staring up at the boat as they came to the surface of the water. As if all onboard weren’t already amazed, the pod of whales was then joined by a playful seal that decided to join in the fun, swimming around the whales and looking to the vessel.

On our afternoon cruise we saw one very small Humpback Whale who was content on heading North to catch up with all the other Whales who have already reached Queensland. Just running a little bit late!!

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

11th September 2018

The whales on our 10am Hinchbrook Explorer cruise were very elusive today, with no whales being sighted. We were joined by a large pod of Common Dolphins riding the bow wave of the vessel.

Spring is in the air at Port Stephens, with a lovely sunny day out on the water looking for whales.

For our passengers aboard the MV Spirit this morning we have located a pod of two Humpback Whales just north of Little Island, with a mum and her calf traveling along our coastline in a southerly direction. Both whales were spending long periods of time benneath the surface of the water on sounding dives making it difficult to track their journey. But we did see one powerful tail lob, splashing the water to create lots of white wash.

We have headed back towards the off shore islands again this afternoon, and have come across a lone juvenile Humpback Whale heading north, it is quite late in the season to still see whales on their northern migration. The whale was quite active; head lunging, and just the one breach. This whale was showing a unque behaviour by blowing bubble on the surface of the water. The crew thought he may of been feeding, which is also a rare occurrence to view.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

10th September 2018

O whale, whale, wherefore art thou whale! We have had a successful morning of searching for the mighty Humpback Whale with three large adult whales sighted east of Cabbage Tree Island. It appeared that the whales were involved in a heat run with lots of playful activity with the whales rolling about in the water, the whales came within 100 meters of the vessel. We could also see another whale near Little Island, but it disappeared from view fairly quickly.

Both whale watching vessels, Hinchinbrook Explorer and the MV Spirit have also encountered large pod of Common Dolphins with three or four pods seen across a large expanse of the ocean.

The seal count at Cabbage Tree Island was up to 20 seals this morning, with five seals swimming in the water, and sticking their fins above the water line to regulate their body temperatures.

Unfortunately there is no whale watch cruise for the afternoon today.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

9th September 2018

Sunday vibes make a relaxed day of cruising aboard the Hinchinbrook Explore at Port Stephens. This mornings cruise have viewed a single juvenile Humpback Whale heading southbound, the whale spent a good amount of time on the surface of the water.

A pod of large Off Shore Common Dolphins have been interacting with the vessel, leaping out of the water as we have cruised along.

As we have headed back towards the dock we have found a pod of local Port Stephens Bottlenose Dolphins near the Yacaba Headland.

For passengers onboard MV Spirit we have met up with the same juvenile Humpback Whale as the Hinchinbrook Explorer, we have then moved onto another two whales just north of Little Island. All whales were spending long periods of time beneath the surface of the water on sounding dives making it difficult to keep track as they traveled north.

The MV Spirit has also cruised along with two pods of Common Dolphins off shore, and viewed another two pods of the local Port Stephens Bottlenose Dolphins in the harbour on our return in shore.

8th September 2018

Very active Whales were seen onboard our morning cruises today.

Hinchinbrook Explorer at 10am headed over to Fingal Lighthouse where saw a small baby Humpback who was heading South. He showed off spy hops, head lunges, tail slaps and breaches!

MV Spirit at 11am had two very playful, continually breaching Humpbacks who were heading South. They preformed double breaches, double spy hops, tail slaps and rolling on the surface.

A large pod of Common Dolphins surrounded the boat as they were jumping out of the water!

7th September 2018

The rains held of for our morning cruise aboard Hinchinbrook Explorer, we ventured out past the heads straight past Little and Boondlebah Island. We had one juvenile humpback whale with great surface time, rolling, breaching, head lunges.

All the passengers on board got a great sighting with this very friendly whale.

The migration has slowed a little, with not many other whales spotted, mostly just migrating North, with very little surface time.

6th September 2018

Another beautiful day on the water in Port Stephens! Our morning cruise has encountered a pod of two Humpback Whales near the Lighthouse at Fingal Island. Both whales were very relaxed, and seeming to just be floating about taking in their surrounding with the concessional pec slap and spy hoping to see whats going on around them.

5th September 2018

Hooray for sunshine and blue sky’s! Today was our first day back out searching for the mighty Humpback Whales after a couple of days of adverse sea conditions.

The Hinchinbrook Explorer was the first vessel to depart today. We have cruised towards Broughton Island where we have found a pod of three sleepy north bound Humpback Whales resting beneath the surface of the water, just occasionally breaking the top of the water to take a breath.

For our passengers on the 11am whale watch cruise aboard the MV Spirit we have spotted two Humpback Whales nears Bennetts Beach, Hawks Nest. Both whales were heading south and were very lazy, just leisurely continuing on their migration along the coastline.

Our passengers have been amazed by the speed of a pod of the dolphins as they swam along with the MV Spirit on the bow wave of the vessel.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

4th September 2018

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

3rd September 2018

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

 

2nd September 2018

Unfortunately the whales were not co-operating this morning with no whales sighted during our morning whale watch cruise aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer.

We have found a large pod of Common Dolphin just north on Cabbage Tree Island that came in quite close to the boat and looking to swim along as we headed back to see the seals resting on the rocks. The Bottlenose Dolphins were ready to great the vessel as we cruised back to the Marina.

whale watching moonshadow tqc cruises port stephens

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