It was a perfect day for whale watching off the shores of Broome. And we were really lucky to see a number of whales this particular day with some of them breaching many times.
I had never seen a whale close up before, so was intrigued to see them so close to our boat.
I did the Sunset Cruise and can highly recommend Broome Whale Watching http://broomewhalewatching.com.au Really friendly, professional and knowledgeable skipper and crew who supplied us with plenty of tasty food and kept us up to date with interesting info about these remarkable sea creatures.
I was fascinated first of all with the boats that transport people out to the catamaran, having never seen a boat with wheels attached to it before. What a great way to take off on the sand on wheels which then lift up when the boat gets into the water and motors out to the catamaran.
Whale sightings are Guaranteed (July-September)
From June to September, humpback whales journey all the way from Antarctica to Broome where they stay over the warmer season mating, calving and nursing their young. With over 35,000 whales expected to travel along the coast of WA, Broome is an ideal destination to witness this phenomenal annual event.
I was interested to learn that Humpback Whales are what is called a baleen whale, meaning that they lack teeth. The long hair-like fibres inside their mouths are used to filter krill and small fish out of the water. Although they can be as big as a school bus, they are one of the world’s most athletic whale species, regularly performing above-water behaviours such as their infamous breaches as well as slapping their tails and fins.
Humpbacks communicate by sound, with males performing long, complex songs that travel extremely long distances to attract females, while mothers and calves keep in constant contact through a series of single clicks. They can hold their breath for up to 45 minutes however, will surface much more regularly while active. They are frequently seen floating on the surface of the water, also known as ‘logging’, which makes them easy for us to see as the light from the sun glistens off their huge backs. We can also see them by looking out for the spout of water (see photo above) created by their high-pressure exhales, which can reach up to four metres high.
It is quite common for the whales to be interested in the activity on the water such as the cruise we were on, and one of them came very close and kept circling around and underneath us.
I found myself a spot up the front of the Catamaran where I stayed for the whole trip as it was an excellent vantage point (and I didn’t spill any of my Champers!)
Coming back into Roebuck Bay, there was quite a swell on the water due to the tidal changes and for a while there, I felt a little bit nervous having suffered from sea-sickness in the past. However, I wasn’t the only person to feel like this, and it was good to sit outside in the fresh air.
There was a beautiful sunset happening as we returned to our starting point. The only slight hitch was that the tide had gone out so far, we couldn’t reach our mooring as there wasn’t enough deep water, so had to enlist the assistance of another ‘boat with wheels’ to transport us back to the shore to where our bus was waiting.