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DWARF MINKY WHALES
CURIOUS & FRIENDLY MINKY'S
UP TO 8 METRES IN LENGTH
TIME OUT FOR A TROPICAL LUNCH
MINKY WHALES CAN BE SEEN IN NORTH QUEENSLAND BETWEEN JULY AND SEPTEMBER
Poseidon Minke WhalesTravellers Tale!
Submitted By: Posidon Cruises - Australia
Poseidon Wow - what an experience! Minke Action
Last Friday 22nd June, guests on board POSEIDON had an experience of a life time when the they were visited by two adult Dwarf Minke Whales. The amazing encounter happened around 2pm on the last site of the day at Agincourt Reef. The whales were first spotted on the surface by the Skipper David Miller, while all snorkellers and divers were in the water. After the initial rush of excitement the crew assisted to assemble the guests to have a turn on the float line.
Poseidon holds one of only three permits issued to day boats by the marine park managers, GBRMPA, allowing passengers to deliberately swim with these curious and friendly whales that grow to 8 meters in length. This interaction is a world's first, and relies upon the operator following very strict guidelines to avoid disturbing these beautiful animals.
Swimmers in groups of ten are sent out along a floating line once whales have been seen near the boat. By following this passive approach, the whales invariably swim close to the swimmers to satisfy their own curiosity, often staying close by for over an hour until the boat finally has to move on.
These two incredible creatures stayed in the area for sometime, passing within 2 meters of the swimmers where various forms of behaviour were witnessed include bubble blowing through their blowholes and repeatedly presenting their white belly's by rolling onto their sides. Belly presentation is a bold way of signifying the animal’s willingness to mate. Who the lucky chosen person was we will never know!
Then quite an incredible display of curiosity happened. One of the Whales came up vertically from below, surfaced in amongst the group of snorkellers and did what technically is called a “Spy Hop” i.e. Pointing it’s head well out of the water. It turned 360 degrees and everyone got the feeling it was looking them straight in the eye. Passengers were all ecstatic! It spy hopped on several more occasions during this encounter and surfaced frequently in amongst the snorkellers and right next to the boat. The whales were being quite friendly with the mooring line by rubbing their bodies up and down the ropes and pirouetting around the mooring. Passengers still on deck and swimmers in the water all had a chance to watch in awe. Swimmers came out of the water "over the moon" and completely spell bound by the experience, reducing some to tears over the encounter.
Even though it was an overcast day, the clarity of the water was spectacular with over 25 - 30 meters visibility which enabled our onboard photographer to capture these images. Although the winter months can be windy this is more than compensated by the clear water and chance of actually swimming with these amazing Minke Whales, helping Poseidon contribute to the collection of data that is so important to ensure their long term protection.
These encounters, whilst never guaranteed, are frequent during our winter months, and many whales are also sighted while the vessel is travelling. From early July, until late September, the much larger Hump Back whales are also encountered often giving breathtaking displays of breaching, tail waving and pectoral fin slaps.
Poseidon has an excellent photography service onboard for snorkellers or divers including rental of digital cameras with underwater housings, and CD 's or prints to take home. Photographs are the ideal way of remembering your day and this is available to guests by Oak Beach Productions providing excellent quality images of the day.
Remember to look out for David Miller's Photo Spot every week in the tourism page of the new colourful Gazette. This inspiring piece features a selection of underwater images from the daily encounters onboard Poseidon with a background story of adventure.
Enjoy the underwater action with the team at Poseidon OuteEdit This Page