Tuesday October 21, 2014

Today’s conditions on the water were ideal for kitesurfing but extremely difficult for whale watching. The dreaded NE wind arrived overnight making conditions very sloppy and with no sunshine whales & the ocean blended together. We headed north & finally found a mother & calf which we followed from Haycock Point to Leonard’s Island. We had a number of close encounters but they were not in active mode. Bottlenose Dolphins were seen at Aslings Beach as we returned home.

 

Monday October 20, 2014

A SW change overnight made conditions on the water calm but very cold. Cat Balou sighted whales as they headed out & caught up with three pods of Humpbacks off South Head. Unfortunately they were not spending too much time on the surface so we headed south finding another 2 pods near Murwaree. One adult gave a spectacular head lunge. We left these whales & headed north spotting a breaching whale off The Pinnacles. This was a mother & calf and we had some wonderful close encounters with them. Back in Twofold Bay we located Bottlenose Dolphins off Aslings Beach.
A coach group on our afternoon Twofold Bay Cruises were treated to a great display by 4 mother/calf pods right in Twofold Bay. One pod was the mother/calf we were watching earlier. The mother was pec slapping while her calf did peduncle throws & tail slapping.

Sunday October 19, 2014

Today Cat Balou sighted 15 Humpback whales. Some pods were not as active as yesterday, however we witnessed many beautiful flukes – with Researcher Manue capturing most, a few peduncle throws and some breaches but not at close range. A mother, calf & escort near Leonard’s Island were quite active with pec slapping and peduncle throws and gave some fisherman a very close encounter.
Manue reports that three whales sighted by her in Hervey Bay this year were resighted at Eden 23 days later – one mother & calf plus another adult. They haven’t wasted any time heading south!

Saturday October 18, 2014

Cat Balou had two successful whale watching cruises today. The morning trip began with a mother & calf in Twofold Bay who we observed logging on the surface, giving passengers a chance to see just how big they are. The mother gave some wonderful slow flukes. We left them and headed south finding a pod of two adults and nearby another mother & calf. These whales affiliated and it turned into a competition pod. Heading north we passed a quiet mother & calf and off The Pinnacles a pod pod five with the calf breaching several times. As we headed home we found more whales with an active calf tail slapping.

With a quick turn around we headed back to where we has seen the last pod and had an amazing encounter with the mother & calf. The calf breached too many times to count! Mum did peduncle throws & they were joined by another mother/calf pod with one mother head lunging a number of times. As we were leaving we witnessed one of the adults breaching at close range.

Friday October 17, 2014

Cold & calm today. Cat Balou began their morning cruise sighting Bottlenose Dolphins which are always fun to watch. Towards Murwaree we had four pods of whales and we followed a mother & calf for some time before heading north. We put the hydrophone in & could hear a whale singing. As we headed north we picked up Common Dolphins and later another pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. Near North Head we watched a pod of 4 – 2 mother/calf pods who had affiliated. Suddenly one of the calves started to breach, then one mother launched herself out at close range – AWESOME!
The afternoon trip sighted two mother/calf pods with one adult tail & pec slapping. One pod was a resight of this mornings M/C pod.

Thursday October 16, 2014

Huge seas over the past 2 days prevented Cat Balou to go whale watching. Conditions on the water had improved today & Cat Balou was back out looking for whales. We sighted a total of 6 Humpbacks but none were spending much time on the surface. Researcher Tizoc was pleased that all whales fluked up each time they surfaced enabling him to photograph them for ID. We believe that the quiet behaviour may be a result of them experiencing the wild sea conditions that we have had over the past two days. While we were with the first pod we put the hydrophone in & heard some clear singing.
All passengers were offered a return free cruise tomorrow when we hope to see more surface behaviour.

Monday October 13, 2014

It was a bleak day on the water, grey skies & cold. CAT BALOU spotted a mother & calf within minutes of leaving the Eden wharf, but as this pair were very quiet we headed out in search of more whales. During the trip we watched 5 pods with some very close encounters. Common Dolphins were also seen as we approached the third pod and the whales were interacting with them. One mother we watched had damage to her fluke caused by a Killer Whale.

Sunday October 12, 2014

Within minutes of departing on our whale watch today we had spotted whales in Twofold Bay. The first mother & calf were a resight of whales seen earlier this week. There were another two mother/calf pods also inside Twofold Bay and we had some spectacular breaching from one animal. There were many Albatross around. With the NE freshening we headed north finding more whales near Leonard’s Island. Later we watched two adults with some peduncle thrusts exciting the crowds on board. Another mother & breaching calf were a good ending to the cruise.
Today we welcomed back two researchers from the Pacific Whale Foundation, Manue who was here last year & Tizoc who will be aboard Cat Balou until the end of October.

Saturday October 11, 2014

2014  On our morning cruise we spotted whales near South Head, but about a mile to the east we could see strong blows from a large pod of whales so opted to go out to them. This was a competition pod with at least 7 large Humpbacks who surfaced beside Cat Balou a number of times. One was head lunging in pursuit of a female.
Later we encountered several more pods with a couple of perfect breaches at close range. The last pod was a huge mother & calf. A few Bottlenose Dolphins were spotted as we returned to Eden and a couple of seals hauled out on the breakwall.
On the second trip we headed south and spotted whales between South Head & Murwaree. Passengers were thrilled with a breach from a calf right in front of the boat. With a freshening SE wind we headed back into Twofold Bay & cruised around the southern section.

Friday October 10, 2014

Conditions on the water today were calm & sunny. CAT BALOU began their morning whale watch sighting a large pod of Bottlenose Dolphins in Twofold Bay. It wasn’t long before we sighted whales between South Head & Murwaree. To our north we could see whales who were spending time on the surface so we headed to them and got a few huge spy hops as we approached. There were several pods of adults who at times affiliated giving beautiful fluke up dives. When we put the hydrophone in we heard the whales singing. Common Dolphins were also in the same area. Later we watched two mother/calf pods with one calf, a Type 4 spy hopping.
A coach group on an afternoon bay cruise received a bonus with a mother & calf in North Bay. We had four seals hauled out on the breakwal