CRT+RPK=RTW – Australia 7

Four weeks of traveling left! I can’t even believe it! It’ll be really nice to be home and standing still for a moment but until then we’ll just keep exploring. Pretty rough task, but we’ll do our best! Unfortunately I have only 30 min until they close up shop so I’ll try to type fast and pick up where I left off the other day…

So we watched part of the Rugby game but lost interest after the Haka. Mostly because the guys who were teaching us about the game lost interest in us and were more intent on the game and even more intent on their drinks. Maybe another night…

Next morning we checked out the beach and booked whale watch for that afternoon. On one of our snorkelling trips we’d passed a mama whale and her newborn calf so we knew there were whales to be seen. No idea how much we’d be seeing them though. Our whale watch boat was a big bramd new catamaran and there were only maybe thirty people on board so it was easy to have a perfect view of the sea. We left the harbor around 1pm and headed straight out to deeper waters, following the coast of Fraser Island (more on that later) and passing huge sand bars along the way. when you whale watch, you basically scan the horizon continuoulsy for what looks like puffs of smoke. They’re actually the blow, or the spray from the blowholes and you can see them a long way off. Also any splashing should get your attention too although most of the time it’s just another boat or a whitecap breaking. I get excited a lot and jump the gun mostly because my eyesight is bad and so anything that cathces even the corner of my eye and I’m pointing and yelling for everybody to look. “The girl who cried whale” I guess. Anyway, all of our careful horizon scanning paid off and we got right up close to a pod of whales, 3 maybe 4, a couple of males who were chasing around a female and trying to impress her by thrashing the other guys and swimming in all directions. Most of the “action” as they say takes place under water but it’s still really cool to look into the water and see a bus sized animal and hear it make noise like a gasp every time it clears the water from its blowhole. Our captain was really cool, he just let us watch and watch and then when it seemed the whales were swimming away, we;d go in search of another pod. One of the crew was getting everyone to wave their arms and yell to attract the whales attention. Personally I think they were far too interested in mating to be bothered by a bunch of waving arms but when it comes to whales I will do just about anything to get a closer look so I was screaming my head off and flailing around. It’s probably caught on camera somewhere… Anyway, all that arm waving may have done something, beacuse we happened on another pod of whales, these a bit less active, watched them for along time until something else caught everyone’s attention far off. There were a series of splashes. It kept happening so the captain hauled us over in that direction where we discovered a young female whale still huge, big as a school bus, entertaining herself or maybe showing off a bit by doing acrobatic full breaches over and over again. SHe must have jumped out of the water 50 times in 15 minutes and close to the boat, less than 30 meters away. Just jumping and jumping. When she’d get tired she’d just roll around at the surface and slap her fins on the water to cool off, making huge cracking noises. Then she’d show her tail and dive down again only to spring out of the water again a few seconds later. It was so amazing. I’m really glad it happened lke that for Ryan’s first official whale watch becuase sometimes they don’t jump out. It was incredible and would make a whale lover out of just about anybody.

Time’s up… Fraser Island, Australia Zoo andGold Coaststories allto follow, Love you all, Happy Birthdayon last ThursdayTiffany Rose! I called but you were probably celebrating! Love CR
Posted from Australia:

posted Saturday August 2006