Whale Watching with Ocean Extreme – Sydney, Australia
When I read whale watching starts at the end of May, I definitely did not want to miss the chance to see more whales in our life. I selected Ocean Extreme since they have the smaller, inflated boats than the giant boats I saw with other companies so I was hoping it would be a bit easier to get around to see the whales.
I was surprised that the boat was completely full for a Thursday afternoon but we were locked into our assigned seats. Fortunately, our guide had insulated jackets for everyone. Even with every layer I brought on the trip, I knew it would not be enough to cut the wind on the water. And these jackets were intense, I may need to purchase one.
Our guide spent a bit of time searching the coastline where thousands of humpback whales were in the process of migrating from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef area. The season lasts from May to November with the peak being in June and July for the chance to see one of thousands of whales. So we knew there were whales in the water, it was just a matter of luck in finding them. After a few dolphins caused false alarms, our guide spotted a pod of maybe two or three whales that we sat with for a while.
After almost twelve minutes of splitting the blow hole, the whales resurfaced. With each dive down, they spent less time under and shorten our time between views to almost four minutes. Once the whales knew we were there, they became curious and stayed closer to the surface. We got several sessions of the whales popping up, one of them even breached.
But I did not see it happen. Unfortunately with a full boat and everyone standing, I was in the worst spot for viewing the whales. I am also short even on my tip toes, I could not see over the people who were also excited to see the whales. It would have been good for the guide to change the boat position to give everyone a fair view of the whales but I realize that is not always possible. The fact that we spotted whales – let alone one that breached – was exciting. I just wish I saw the action but I take everyone’s word that the breech did in fact occur.
I have to say even with the anti-motion sickness medication I was not feeling too hot. The swells in the water were big and since we stayed in one spot watching these whales for a while, the boat was doing quite a bit of bobbing. I was also testing out the camera instead of using the phone and I think that really added insult to injury.
Overall, it was a great trip with Ocean Extreme and would definitely recommend them if you are visiting Sydney during whale watching season.
Enjoy the photos for our day on the ocean: