16th April 2008 thunderstorms and rain Print
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

Wednesday 16th April. Departed Darrell's Wharf at 9.15 with Mike Smith on his boat Sea Slipper, Kevin Horsefield and Dr Annie Glasspool. Notes taken and sent to me by Annie.

Round King's Point to be met by a fresh breeze; looks like we could have a choppy ride. Head to Sally Tucker's.

10:40 Kevin spots blow on bearing of 190 deg, SSW Sally Tucker's. Spend 5 minutes searching for no further sightings so resume course of 260 deg.

10:49 We spot blow south again on a bearing just under 1 km away. Depth is 240 feet so suspect whale is feeding on edge of platform.

11:57 No further sighting so again resume 290 deg course.

11:12 Mike spots tail about 400 m away on 260 deg bearing. .....Another teaser!

11:20 Head towards Chub Head. Rain starts.

11:35 Annie spots blow behind us - 1/2 km away.

11:37 Two further blows sotted - looks like two whales. Head towards them. They're in 60 feet of water

11:38 Two whales on surface about 100 m apart

11:40 Spot another blow about 3/4 km back towards Chub Head.

11:41 2nd of two whales seen blowing.

11:43 Same whale now diving; got some fluke shots.

11:45 Spot both whales again; on surface

11:47 Another sighting on surface about 200 m to south of us.

11:48 Observe pec slapping on surface. Mike takes some photos; I start gearing up with wetsuit just in case.

11:50 This whale blows then dives.

11:52 Another blow followed by a dive in the same location

11:54 Observe whale diving 100 m to NW.

11:55 Mike notes that we're on a way point where he has recorded whales several times previously.

12:00 Mike spots one of the whales due west of us. ..........it's gone quiet. The rain has settled in, visibility has dropped to a couple of hundred metres, but the sea has at least calmed. Surreal.

12:07 I sight a whale to our north and observe a fluke dive, but no chance for photos.

12:10 Spot floating debris on surface; Mike positions boat so i can hook it - a ball of yellow nylon rope.

12:15 Kevin spots blow to our west followed immediately by a dive.

12:35 Everything has gone quite again ....except for the rain.

12:40 Lunch menu offered by Captain Mike who then prepares it an serves us! With rain closing in again and reducing visibility, the whales have given us the slip.

12:54 Decide to head south to one of my favourite haunts.

13:10 Mike decides it's time for a little reggae - an experiment to see if the whales like Bob.

13:15 Another stop to pick up floating debris - this time an old potato sack.

13:17 Back in action (maybe the reggae?). I spot a whale breaching on a bearing of 204 deg, followed by two further breaches. This is the same location where we saw the two earlier whales on the point of Sally Tuckers where there are six fishing boatsĀ all moored. Presumably the fishermen and the whales are after the same thing!

13:39 I see whale again - seems to be right on the edge so suspect it is feeding.

13:43 Spot another whale on horizon on 150 deg bearing. A different pod, again probably feeding on the edge.

13:47 I see another blow from the first whale, followed by a second blow.

13:48 Two more blows - 2 whales.

13:49 Another blow, followed by a 6th and then a fluke dive. No photos.

13:50 I see another blow, but it seems to be a good bit further southeast. Looks like two separate pods.

13:53 Another blow in the distance.

13:54 Now a blow from the closer pod

13:55 A second blow from this pod

14:01 I see a whale at the surface aft of us in about 150 feet of water.

14:10 Again, another blow to our east about 200 m away.

14:11 Another blow, same direction; we're now in 50 feet of water.

14:12 Blow

14:20 Mike spots a blow followed by a dive, in 57 feet depth

14:29 Whale spotted due astern - possibly feeding as it's in deeper water

14:30 This whale dives

14:36 Kevin spots one blowing east of us about 100 m away but we are given the slip again.

No further sightings. Decide to head in at 16:30. Back to Darrell's Wharf at 18:20.