Minkes back

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Jessie Tol­son

THE minkes have re­turned, with the first ones spot­ted on Tues­day from a pri­vate char­ter tour on­board the Ca­lypso Pure Snorkelling boat.

An adult and a ju­ve­nile minke whale put on a show for the lucky crew, mark­ing the start of whale sea­son in the lo­cal wa­ters.

If th­ese Ca­lypso crew wer­ent blessed enough, a few min­utes later they crossed paths with a pod of over 80 pilot whales cruis­ing the wa­ters.

Lucy Deu­ble from Ca­lypso said the boat had been pri­vately char­tered for the day and were fur­ther north than they usu­ally trav­elled.

‘‘The crew had just dropped off the pas­sen­gers at the reef, and were head­ing back when they saw them,’’ she said.

‘‘They were shocked and ec­static by the sight as it was to­tally un­ex­pected as they were on a dif­fer­ent route when they spot­ted them.

‘‘It is much ear­lier in the sea­son than we usu­ally see them, prob­a­bly two or three weeks ear­lier.

‘‘It could have been be­cause the wa­ter has gone colder sooner or they could have just been lucky.

‘‘Hope­fully this means there will be more sight­ings now.

‘‘It is a shame the pas­sen­gers missed the show but the crew were very happy when they came run­ning into the of­fice.’’

Minke whales are usu­ally seen around the trop­i­cal wa­ters from the end of May un­til early Septem­ber when the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture drops for win­ter.

While rarer, hum­back whales also pass through lo­cal wa­ters in the win­ter months.

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