Saturday, 22 August 2015

Mooloolaba Whale Watching

I spent the week at a conference in Mooloolaba on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and, before travelling to Brisbane and the Gold Coast for next week's events (life's tough but someone's got to take on the hard tasks...), took a morning whale watching tour to see the migrating Humpback Whales.

We boarded the boat, Whale One, at Mooloolaba Harbour at the very civilised hour of 9:00AM

Whale One, Mooloolaba
Pentax K-5, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/1600

and headed down the Mooloolaba River and out past the lighthouse into the Pacific Ocean.

Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/8, 1/2000

The weather was cloudy with the constant threat of rain (which, fortunately, did not eventuate) and windy so there was a continuous rolling of the boat, which had a few passengers revisiting their breakfast but the crew handled the sick passengers very well, leaving the rest of us to take in the view of the town

Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/8, 1/2000

and scan the ocean for signs of whales. The first whale was spotted breaching a few hundred metres out to sea. One of the challenges with photographing a breaching whale is that this is what you usually get...

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/3200

...by the time you frame and focus, all that's left is the end of the splash. However, it's usually a good signal that the whale is going to hang around for a while...and we got some good shows, albeit at a distance.

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/3200
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2500

Another whale soon joined in,

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2500

quickly followed by several more on the shoreward side of the boat

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/4000
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/4000

We soon had three separate pods around the boat, each with 2-4 whales, which stayed around for nearly two hours giving us some great views of them close-up and displaying various behaviours.

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/3200
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/4000

As the whales got closer, the skipper cut the engine and we sat for about 20 minutes watching whales all around us.

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/3200

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2500
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/8, 1/1600
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/8, 1/1250
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/3200
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/5000
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/4000

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/4000
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/3200
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/3200

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/3200
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/2500
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5, 1/6400
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/8, 1/3200
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/8, 1/2000

Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-5, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/1600
Humpback Whale, Mooloolaba, Queensland
Pentax K-5, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/1600

2 comments:

  1. WOW1 What a fantastic trip adn as you go through your post the shots of the whales just get better and closer. thanks for sharing Ian.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fabulous day out - very envious! What great sightings.

    ReplyDelete

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