Travels Around the World

A Whale of a Time! by Sharon Archer

I need a bigger camera!  Because when I grow up I want to be a whale watcher!  🙂

In my last blog, I did a pictorial post on our fabulous weekend away on the southern shipwreck coast of Victoria.  We stayed at Warrnambool and went to the Logan’s Beach  Whale Watching platform over looking Lady Bay. It’s so easy to access with the platform and steps down to the beach.  And so close to Warrnambool that we just had to visit!

Whales-LadyBayAnd we were thoroughly spoiled because there were at least two whales out there just beyond the pounding surf.

This picture doesn’t do justice to their majestic presence but I do have a slightly more interesting one to show you later…

Whale1The pregnant females come north from sub-Antarctica to the “warmer” (relatively speaking) climes around mid-May to calve. The mum gives birth to a one-tonne, five-metre baby after a gestation period of about 12 months.  This area is one of the whale nurseries dotted along the southern coast of Australia.  Others are more popular getting more whales visiting and this area usually only gets two to three mothers and calves for the season.

The nurseries have reasonably shallow waters and strong wave action which apparently helps to protect the calves from predators.

These are Southern Right Whales and these amazing creatures are, sadly, still on the endangered list.  I felt very privileged to have seen them even at distance…

… and extra lucky to catch this one just off shore, coming out of the water.

Warrnambool-whaleIt looks like he’s having a jolly good time and I wonder if it’s one of the calves full of the joy of the day. We visited in late September and the whales leave around early-October.

So how about you, fancy a spot of whale watching?

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14 thoughts on “A Whale of a Time! by Sharon Archer”

    1. LOL Amy! It sounds like WordPress ate your first comment?? It’s done that to me a couple of time recently. 😦 Pretty annoying! And naturally the comment that gets eaten is always a masterpiece!

      Yes, it’s a great opportunity down at Warrnambool to see the whales! we’ve been down there a few times in that past but never made it to the platform – I think I’ll be making a point of making sure we get there in future.

  1. Fabulous photos, Sharon. You are so lucky to have seen those whales au naturel. The only place I have ever seen them is in an aquatic park and although I appreciate that they are trying to protect the species, it isn’t the same, is it? Australia in late September for some whale watching? Tempting, very tempting indeed!
    Jennifer.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Yes, it feels like a real privilege to have seen them and on my very first visit to the platform.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if we could protect animals in their natural habitat? We need to find a way to not be so hard on the world around us.

      hey, it’d be lovely to tempt you DownUnder for a spot of whale watching!

  2. I have been very fortunate in that I’ve seen whales a few times. The first time I saw a whale breech, I was in the gym on a cruise ship on the treadmill. I looked out the wall-to-ceiling windows and couldn’t believe my eyes. The next time I saw a whale I was on a much smaller boat heading out to Channel Islands for a day trip with our kids. We came across a pod of whales! Unfortunately it was like a National Geographic film, where the mother whales was teaching the babies how to kill their dinner. The subject of dinner being a seal. It was very hard to watch nature in it’s most brutal but necessary form. I had to go down inside the boat before the mother whale wore out the seal and then used her huge tale to finish the deed.

    1. What amazing whale experiences you’ve had, Lynne. Oh, but I do feel your squeamishness about the seal being chased for dinner. As you say, brutal but necessary… but also hard to watch. I suspect it was a pod of killer whales, was it?

  3. Fabulous photos, Sharon! I’ve been lucky to go whale-watching twice. In Hawaii, it was amazing to see humpbacks breach when we were out on a boat searching for them. And later, two swam so close to the beach I was lying on, it was incredible, and one passed its fin over the other’s back as they slowly glided along. Two summers ago when I went to the RWA conference in Anaheim, California, we got to see two blue whales, which are apparently very rare. Or, I should say, we got to see their water spout and part of their backs – they are enormous!

    Thanks for sharing your photos!

    1. Thanks, Robin! I was quite surprised to see just how close to shore the whales were – and there were even a few surfers in the waves. Awesome on the blue whales. I remember seeing a skeleton of one of those in the museum as a child and being amazed at the enormous bones.

  4. Wow, Sharon! I’ve never seen a whale in the flesh (or blubber?) but your whale-watching sounds amazing. You’ve definitely whetted my appetite to try it out (although, like Lynne I think I’ll close my eyes if they start doing the seal hunting thing).

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