21 May 2022
There is a buzz around Port Stephens as talk of the return of the Humpback Whales beginning their northern migration along Port Stephens coastline for the 2022 whale watch season. The crew are jumping at the opportunity to be rostered on the Hinchinbrook Explorer for our whale watch cruises departing daily, and everyone wants to be the first crew member to sight a whale for the season.
Our first departure of the day aboard the Hinchinbrook Explorer has not needed to travel too far out through the headland at Shoal Bay for our morning whale watch cruise with a lone Humpback Whale located close to the Fingal Island Lighthouse. The whale was quite active surprising all of our passengers by breaching within a short distance from the vessel.
We have also spotted a seal just sun baking on the surface of the water.
There are a number of pods of whales that can be seen off shore this afternoon. All pods of whales have been a little quiet, but there was one Humpback Whale that took quite an interest in the Hinchinbrook Explorer with our first mugging of the season occurring. The whale was rolling on the surface of the water showing off his beautiful white belly, he then started to move away and then has turn around again coming back towards the vessel. Another whale could be seen pec slapping and tail lobbing the water creating lots of splashes.
It is not just the whales that we have enjoyed today, with the crew reporting a big pod of Off Shore Common Dolphins, a number of Albatross flying around, young Garnets and a stunning soaring Sea Eagle on the hunt for food.