FIRST WHALES SEEN

Tourists and crew im­pressed with early sight­ings

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times.com.au

THE whales have popped their heads up over Whit­sun­day wa­ters early.

The True Blue Sail­ing crew and 22 guests were the first to see the mag­nif­i­cent whales on the north­ern end of Hook Is­land on Satur­day.

True Blue Sail­ing Whit­sun­day Bul­let skip­per Ben Har­ri­son said the whale sight­ing came shortly af­ter a snorkelling ses­sion along Manta Ray Bay.

“The whales dashed out and popped to the sur­face 3-4 times and it was re­ally good to see af­ter what we have been through with the cy­clone,” he said.

“It’s nice to see the whales aren’t scared and they will gen­er­ate peo­ple to the area, it is a very pos­i­tive out­come af­ter ev­ery­thing we have been through and will in­spire crew mem­bers and lo­cal peo­ple to en­joy whales and the Whit­sun­days.”

Mr Har­ri­son said the first whale sight­ings gen­er­ally oc­cured to­wards the end of June un­til the be­gin­ning of Septem­ber.

“I’ve been work­ing here for 11 years and this is very early, we should be in for a crack­ing whale sea­son,” he said.

The tourists and guests on board the Whit­sun­day Bul­let were thrilled with the added “bonus” to their trip as they snapped pho­tos and ap­pre­ci­ated the mo­ment.

“To see an an­i­mal that big, that weights 3-4 times more than our boat is amaz­ing,” Mr Har­ri­son said.

True Blue Sail­ing op­er­a­tions man­ager Steve Small­man said this was fan­tas­tic news for tourism in the Whit­sun­days.

“I can’t be­lieve how early it is that th­ese whales sprung into life, it’s like they fig­ured some­thing ter­ri­ble had hap­pened and came to the res­cue,” he said.

PHO­TOS: IAN WIL­SON / TRUE BLUE SAIL­ING

THEY’RE HERE: The first whales were spot­ted three miles north of Hook Is­land over the week­end.

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