Whales head north to the Whitsundays
IT WAS a whale of a year for the Whitsundays in 2016 when it came to the ocean’s gentle giants paying a visit.
In August, the region was treated to a visit from Chalkie, the same white whale believed to be the calf that was named in the Whitsundays four years ago.
And it seemed the whales weren’t shy either.
In July, a young humpback whale popped up next to some jet skiers for a selfie.
And with a record number of humpbacks expected this winter, one can only wonder what the whales will bring and when in 2017.
The annual migration north has officially begun for the giants of the ocean, with a mother and her yearling leading the way off the Gold Coast this week.
The two curious humpbacks were spotted right alongside a tour boat, breaching the water several times, much to the delight of many onlookers.
Sea World Whale Watchers general manager David Robertson said the pair arrived “right on time”.
“This is generally when we start to see them pass offshore,” he said.
“This year we’re expecting far more than last year, with 27,000 predicted. The numbers seem to increase by 10% each year.”
Mr Robertson said the increasing numbers would provide whale watchers with more opportunities to catch a glimpse of the huge marine creatures.
But the one whale on everyone’s watchlist – Migaloo – is not expected to reach Queensland waters until July.
“(Migaloo) passed through around July last year and we’re expecting him to come through at the same time again this year,” Mr Robertson said.
POSE: Whitsunday Jetski tour guest Travis Poland got a selfie with a humpback whale in the Whitsundays last year.