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

Thursday October 9, 2014

Everyone loves breaching whales and Cat Balou passengers on both trips today saw that. The morning trip saw a number of mother/calf pods, some resting, some active. The highlight of the morning trip was spectacular breaching by the last pod with both mother & calf launching themselves out of the water right in Twofold Bay. The mother also gave a pec slapping display. Common Dolphins were seen on this trip.
More mother/calf pods were seen in Twofold Bay & north to Leonard’s Island on the later cruise with an active baby breaching a number of times. One mother also gave a tail slapping display.

Wednesday October 8, 2014

CAT BALOU   passengers today witnessed nature at its best. We began the trip watching two mother/calf pods right in Twofold Bay. Heading east we ended up 6 miles east of Eden with a smorgasbord of sealife. Over 70 Common Dolphins enjoyed racing CAT BALOU towards the whales. Hundreds of Short Tail Shearwates and Australasian Gannets plus a few Albatross were on the surface and we were surrounded by sub adult whales. It was hard to count as they kept appearing all around us, but we estimate there must have been 20 Humpbacks and we also sighted another whale, possibly a Minke or Brydes from its fin. The dolphins kept hanging with the whales, along with a few seals. Later we watched two whales pec slapping and saw more pods on the trip home.

Conditions on the water were perfect with lots of sunshine & no wind.

Tuesday October 7, 2014

Cat Balou spotted whales shortly after departing this morning and caught up with a mother/calf pod near South Head. They were fairly quiet so we didn’t intrude, heading south in search of more whales. We spotted a number of pods but most were not spending much time on the surface. A bait ball with Common Dolphins, seals, Albatross & Australasian Gannets, along with a small Humpback created interest with plenty of activity on the surface.
We later headed north & picked up several pods near North Head. We followed 2 adults to South Head which fluked up at regular intervals and later another pod with an animal which had an interesting fluke. It appeared to have numerous Killer Whale rake marks on it.

Monday October 6, 2014

The dreaded NE wind had begun blowing in the early hours of this morning and we knew it was going to be rather unpleasant on the water. Some passengers opted to transfer to later in the week but the brave opted to give it a go. We found a mother, calf & escort about a mile outside Twofold Bay and we had some close encounters with this pod. Heading back into the more sheltered section of Twofold Bay we found another mother & calf who also came close to Cat Balou. After morning tea in East Boyd we found another pod in the bay which was a mother, calf & two escorts. As this wasn’t one of our better trips weather wise all passenegers were offered a return free trip or had half their fare refunded. The weather is looking good for the rest of this week.