Jervis Bay – Whale Edition

animals, national parks

The week after we went to Dubbo, we hit the road again for an overnight to Jervis Bay. This was our second trip to Jervis Bay, and it was a treat to find out that we loved the place as much, if not more, than the first time. It had been such a magical place when we first went, I actually felt nervous that when we visited the sites of such vivid memories from last year, that they would not hold up. It had been our first trip out of Sydney, so everything seemed amazing, at the time.

Indeed they did hold up, though, and our experience with our beloved Booderee National Park and the crazy-weird Moona Moona Creek were deepened by seeing them at a different time of year, particularly since it was Winter and mid-week, and thereby very nearly deserted. My favorite part of the trip was sitting on the pristine Murray’s Beach during what photographers would call “the golden hour,” with Partner-in-Crime, a bottle of wine, and not another soul, except the dolphins who moseyed past from time to time.

I won’t say much more about these spots, since I wrote about them the first time, but I’ll share a few photos before I get on to the real adventure of the trip.

Booderee National Park
Booderee National Park
At last, kangaroos on the beach! (Booderee)
If you look closely at the Mama kangaroo, you can see a little joey in her pouch. (Booderee) 
One million crazy little blue crabs. Moona Moona Creek.
Moona Moona Creek.
Life in the cracks, Moona Moona Creek

The main purpose of our trip to Jervis Bay was actually to take a whale watching cruise. It was nearing the end of the season when whales migrate south to north, and can be seen off the coast of Australia. I wasn’t sure if we’d see much, since it was the tail end of the season, but good news for us was that it was an amazingly clear, blue sky day, so visibility was top notch.

From the boat, heading out of Jervis Bay. 

We also lucked out big time because, taking the trip mid-week and outside of school holidays, there was hardly anyone on the boat. On a huge ship with room for 150 or more, there were maybe 20 of us. Prime viewing for everyone.

My fears about not seeing much were for nothing. We ended up seeing nine whales and two fur seals on the three hour tour (very Gilligan’s Island, no?). Basically, once we were out to sea, one of the lookout crew would spot a whale in the distance, and the boat would head in that direction. For awhile, we were chasing some whales that were near a pair of moored Navy ships, and we had to retreat, lest we be seen as threatening the security of Her Majesty.

We did see one whale breach a ways away. And, the absolute highlight of the day came, at the very end of the trip. We’d been following a trio of whales at a bit of a distance right before we needed to turn back for the day, and the captain suggested we could stay where we were for just a couple more minutes to see where they came up. And, holy mother, they came up for air right next to us … practically touching distance. I was snapping away on my camera, but too excited to pay attention where I was looking, so instead of some amazing shots of whales mere feet from me, I got a bunch of pictures of the mast at various angles. Not that I could photograph the best parts, anyway … the sound, the feel, and my deligthed surprise.

Ah well, sometimes these memories must only live in your mind.

Whale breath.

About the only shot I got of the whales near the boat. Could be whales. Could be old tires. Who can say?