WHALE AN­TICS AWE BOAT­IES

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY

BOAT­IES off the North’s is­lands have been cap­ti­vated by some of the first hump­back whales of the mi­gra­tion sea­son as the an­i­mals look to es­cape the bit­ter Antarc­tic cold.

Or­pheus Is­land Lodge’s marine crew snapped a pod of three whales breach­ing in a bay off the is­land last week.

Fur­ther south off Mag­netic Is­land, three fish­er­men filmed a spec­tac­u­lar full breach by a ju­ve­nile whale just 20m from their boat.

Fish’n N Fuel’n fish­ing and wa­ter­sports store owner Dale Brooker said he and two friends were aboard the 6m Shy Tot off Cape Cleve­land when they spot­ted a cu­ri­ous pod about 300m from their ves­sel.

“We turned the mo­tor off just in case they came un­der­neath us and we sat there for a while, and all of a sud­den we saw them come up and blow but then they dis­ap­peared,” Mr Brooker said.

“We were fac­ing the other way and thought they had gone past when we heard a loud noise and then the breach, which was re­ally amaz­ing be­cause it was so quick.”

Mr Brooker said the splash and sub­se­quent waves rocked the boat be­fore the an­i­mals dis­ap­peared.

“It has been a quiet whale sea­son so far,” he said.

inset).

WARM WELCOME: A hump­back whale breaches off North Queens­land dur­ing the an­nual mi­gra­tion last year. The first whales of the new sea­son have been seen off Or­pheus Is­land (

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