Humpback whales on their northern migration are enjoying a significant drop in boat ‘traffic’ in Moreton Bay, according to Brisbane Whale Watching’s captain Kerry Lopez.
Kerry says they are spending more time in the bay and appear more relaxed and playful this year.
“We’ve had 10 days of really good weather and lots and lots of whales … I’m talking a lot of whales and a lot of interaction,” she says.
“This year there’s been more spy hopping, we even had one pod chasing us. We’ve been seeing 15-20 whales in a day and we’ve seen eight newborn calves.
She’s seeing the same pods two or three days in a row.
“All of them have been really noisy as well. The bulls in particular, showing their dominance because there’s a lot of mating going on,” Kerry explains.
“This year’s been exceptional for interaction.”
The whale watching season typically runs from June to November, but tours started in July this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
By then Kerry, her crew and guests were eager to get back on board Eye Spy and out on Moreton Bay.
This season has not disappointed, and passenger numbers are encouraging despite a cap on the number of people allowed on each tour.
“It is working OK. It’s better for the passengers because there’s less people,” Kerry says.
A silver lining appeared when Brisbane Whale Watching recently won a Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best award for being in the top 10 per cent of attractions worldwide.
Kerry says the award was the direct result of positive passenger reviews and she’s particularly proud of the achievement this year.
The whales are also fans of tours, playing around the boat. On a recent tour, when she backed her vessel away to leave, they kept following the boat and Kerry couldn’t start the engine until they left.
“They were people watching,” she says.
“They’ve been interacting and spy hopping and staying around. They’re really curious. We had five huge adults trying to get into the boat.”
Kerry says there’s still plenty of action ahead during this whale watching season.
“The babies will start coming, then we’ll get the big pods – pods of six or seven whales joining together,” she says.