Thursday, June 30, 2011

Humpbacks in Sydney

A Humback Whale dives
A Humback Whale dives

The migratory season for Humpback Whales is well underway and a large number of them are currently making their way north from the Antarctic Ocean toward the breeding grounds in North Queensland. One of our friends got us tickets to go Whale watching and we booked the trip for last weekend.

More photographs inside.

Whales surface close to a boat
 Whales surface close to a boat

We were lucky not to have to go looking for Whales when we went out. As soon as we headed out of the harbour the skipper was informed that whales had been sighted just north of the heads. The trip north didn't take too long and we soon came up to a number of stationary whale watching boats. Apparently Humpbacks dive for about 5 minutes on average and we didn't have to wait long before they surfaced.

A Humpback Whale dives off the coast of Sydney
A Humpback Whale dives off the coast of Sydney

They didn't seem to be too bothered by the large number of boats which were in the vicinity. They were quite inquisitive and came close to the boats on a number occasions. At one point they were just 5 or 10 meters away. The water was quite clear and we saw them swimming under the boat on a number of occasions.

Whales surfacing
Whales surfacing

We sighted about four or five separate pods over the entire trip. Since there were so many Whales the boats were quite spread out and didn't crowd them. The Whales were not the most playful and we were not lucky enough to see them breach. They lifted their tails out of the water very often as they dived and we saw a few whales slapping their flukes.

A Humpback slaps a fluke
A Humpback slaps a fluke

These photographs were captured with a Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens. The ISO performance on the camera and the great light helped me get some sharp photographs. My only regret is not having taken a Circular Polariser on the trip.

A Humpback tail slapping
A Humpback tail slapping



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