Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SEA WORLD WHALE WATCH, GOLD COAST

On our second last day in Gold Coast, Hubby and I decided to take it easy by going for a cruise to witness the yearly migration (late May until November) of whales from the Antarctic to the warm Australian water to give birth before returning to the Antarctic again. There are a number of whale watching cruise operators in Gold Coast but we chose to go with the one operated by Sea World. The Sea World Whale Watch is situated right next to Seaworld itself, and I do believe that it is cheaper when you get the combo entrance fee.
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Tour departs twice daily from June to November, with the early morning cruise departing at 7 a.m. and returning at 10.00 a.m. and the mid-morning cruise from 11.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m. Booking is required. I do recommend to go for the early morning cruise not only to avoid the hot glaring sunlight but you get to maximise your day by visiting SeaWorld after the cruise. Seaworld Terminal is just right next to Seaworld itself.
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We got up very early as we were required to be present at least 30 minutes before tour departs. There is a small cafe at the terminal and of course, what could beat a warm cup of frothy latte and freshly toasted bacon and cheese sandwich? All for AUD10!
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We were really impressed with the brandnew vessel. Sparkling clean with spacious white leather seats. There are two levels, each fitted with a large LCD screen and before we reached the open sea, we were briefed on marine wildlife through their 3D animation presentations.
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There are three levels of open viewing platforms so there is ample space for all of us to move around. While I was busy taking photos, I heard some lady screaming at the front deck, turned out that they spotted some dolphins. By the time I ran down to the front deck, I couldn't see a single thing. Sniff...I just don't have such luck!
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After the dolphin incident, we kept our eyes WIDE opened!
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Once in the open sea, we were tasked to concentrate to lookout for whales. Once spotted, we have to shout out loud the exact location by using the clock system, e.g. 12 o'clock means straight in front.
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We were actually looking for this!!! Yes, the blow of a whale; a cloud of spray that appears as the air is exhaled through the blowhole.
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Whales travel in groups, hence if you spotted one, you will see more of them coming up to the surface later. The whales that we were looking for were Humpback Whales. They are the 5th largest animal on the planet, growing up to 18 metres in length and weighing as much as 45,000kg - as big as a total of 11 elephants or 500 people!
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We get so excited each time they surface but unfortunately it only lasted less than half a minute each time. The moment you see the tail flipped upwards, that means the whales is going for a long deep dive. We were clueless when and in which direction it will resurface again so we have to continuously be alert. Anyway, I don't know what is the commotion about but everyone seemed to be so anxious to get a good picture of the tail. It was difficult cos they moved really quickly but gracefully. I had my camera on and ready at all time. I was worried that I would run out of battery before end of the cruise, just like ahem, what happened to Lyrical Lemongrass. Her camera was dead during her whale watching cruise (it was a separate cruise) and so she ended up with no picture to post and drew one up instead.

picture courtesy of Lyrical Lemongrass...(sista, lurve your drawing, really!)
















And here is the real thing, a picture of the tail everyone was dying for!

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It was great fun as we spotted a few groups of Humpback whales. The male Humpback Whales sings too! The vessel engine was turned off and the underwater microphone (I have no idea what it was called) was turned on so that we can listen to it. I couldn't hear a single thing but Hubby claimed he heard something.
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It was great fun and experience but definitely needs a lot of concentration. So much so, I was concentrating too hard while swaying along with the waves, I ended up sea sick at the end of the trip. So back inside I went to rest and with such comfortable seat, I was up and running in no time.
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Pretty windy and chilling if you go in the morning, so do remember to wear something warm!

24 comments:

Hubby said...

Ohhh... you forgot to mention that I actually saw a whale "breached" the surface.. Breach = a situation where a whale jumped up (whole body length) to the surface.." ... hehehe

kat said...

So this is how it really looks like. LL's drawing wasn't that accurate.. :D

CUMI & CIKI said...

love that shot of the tail! its really cool and the water looks so blue!

Precious Pea said...

Hubby: Yah...and by the time you shouted out, i could only hear a big splash :(

kat: Hahaha..LL's drawing not too bad although it looked a bit like she is on a sampan.

cumi & ciki: It is quite difficult to shot that pic and it took me very long to finally catch one cos they flip so fast. Yes, the water very blue and clean!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Ahem. You guys insulting my drawing, izzit? For GFAD's information, we were on different boats ler. :-P But no, it wasn't a sampan. Glad your camera didn't die on you, PP!

Precious Pea said...

luscious sista: Hahaha..no la...i find it so entertaining! If I were you, i would probably sulk and whine about it and would never thought of drawing it out! Good one sista!

J2Kfm said...

haha. stil rmbr LL's artistic touch. made me cracked up esp the part with drunk Aussies and vomiting woman.

Tummythoz said...

Thx for the info & really amazing pictures. But if luscious LL draws a breached whale well ..

PureGlutton said...

Wow...must be such a memorable experience! Would be nicer if can dive with them, hehe! Are divers allowed in the water there?

Borneo Falcon said...

The boat looks comfortable and sea looks calm. Otherwise sea sick. That's so great to be up and personal with the whales

Nic (KHKL) said...

one thing for sure, the vessel looks so good compared to the one i take to batam from singapore!

must make this a part of my itinerary if i go to australia lar! :)

Jason said...

Nice pictures! Luckily they didn't turned out blurry else you would need to go again!

vkeong said...

wow, nice. i don't think I ever seen a real whale before at all

JessieLee said...

how nice if the whales are dolphins...haha....i love dolphin so much....:p

Precious Pea said...

j2kfm: Haha..i almost ended up like the vomiting woman.

tummythoz: Hmmm..maybe we should request from LL. I bet she can draw a nice one.

pureglutton: I think it's too dangerous to dive with whales especially when they flip and flap their tails. Cannot imagine what would happen if it knock against a human. Rememeber, the weigh 11 elephants!!

borneo falcon: Sea not that bad but after a while, i still ended up seasick.

nic: What is in Batam?

Jason: Ahh, if that's the case, i don't mind blurry photos. Hahaha!

vkeong: Do remember to go for this cruise then when you visit Gold Coast. This is my first time too.

jessielee: I love dolphins too. Such beautiful creature, aren't they? I didn't have much luck when i went for dolphin cruise many years back.

Lingzie said...

wow must have been a really memorable experience!! really cool that you guys saw the whales and the tail! hehe
i missed this :( hopefully can catch it in future!

jam said...

Wow, I never get to see this lovely animal before. Thanks for sharing!

Cokeworld Citizen said...

Waaa...looking at the animals live. Wonder in the next 20 years still have whales anot :P

Spanking new ferries O.o if only langkawi ferries are like this...

I cant stop giggling at the sketch XD

Precious Pea said...

lingzie: Yes, I felt lucky too. Actually I didn't put much hope in spotting whales, after my disappointment with dolphin cruise in melbourne.

jam: Glad you enjoyed it :)

cokeworld citizen: I am sure will have cos they travel to Australian water and not Malaysia. Thank god!

sc said...

whales are such graceful creatures eventhough they're huge! who says big is not beautiful?

tigerfish said...

The drawing is really cool....
Have not been to any whale watching before. Hmmmm....now I get lucky just by visiting your blog :)

Precious Pea said...

sc: Haha..agree agree!!!

tigerfish: :)

pinkelle said...

Awesome! What season must you go in to catch the whale-watching?

Precious Pea said...

pinkelle: From June to November.

 

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