Posted by: jacksterja | 5 June, 2006

Just call me Ahab

I went whale-watching on the weekend. It’s the right time of year to catch whales off the NSW coast on their annual migration to warmer waters in Queensland and I read in Sunday’s paper that heaps had been spotted from Botany Bay National Park, just South of Sydney.
So off we traipsed, undeterred by abysmal weather. Hoping to see something a bit like this:

All was going well, we had rugged up and had a clear run of traffic all the way down. We checked in at the Discovery Centre on the way through and the sign said that 3 whales had been spotted that day already. Alright! Whale-watcher extraordinaire coming through.

Spoke to the lady at the Discovery Centre counter (I needed to renew my annual National Parks pass while I was there) and asked how likely it was that we would see Some whales. “Well, they’re out there…..but there’s a lot of white-caps and they’re kind of hard to spot. You’d be better off in calmer weather.” She said, obviously trying to be encouraging despite the fact she didn’t think we had a hope in hell of spotting a whale.

Anyway, I’m kind of a “glass half-full” kind of person. So I adjusted my expectations to more like this:

and set off with trusty (old-fashioned weighing-a-ton) binoculars in hand, polar-fleece, gloves and wooly hat (of course!), still hopeful of spotting a whale.

Anyway, the afternoon was wild and wooly. Worse weather was clearly on its way and I found myself suffering a serious bout of jealousy at the people set up nearby who had had the forethought to bring a thermos of coffee (what a good idea! Why didn’t I think of that!).

So we sat and we watched, and we rubbed our hands together and blew on fingers to try to stay warm. We combed the horizon and marveled at the power and beauty of the pounding waves. We got a month’s worth of fresh air and at the end of the day had windswept hair and red cheeks, aglow with windburn.

And at the end of the day what did we see? Well this is a closer approximation:

Yep, saw plenty of pictures of whales. And had a fantastic day.

J. 🙂

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