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Two humpbacks rest up in Gold Coast Seaway

October 6, 2013
Humpback whale - used with permission of Humpbacks and Highrises

Humpback whale – photo used with permission of Humpbacks and Highrises.  Dale says the female humpback was 5 metres across and it’s blowhole was big enough for a child to pencil dive into.

By Mic Smith

Two adult humpbacks have been seen resting and spyhopping inside the Gold Coast Seaway early yesterday morning.

Before sunrise, several fishing boats watched as they came up to the side of the water taxi that transfers surfers over to South Straddie.

Listen to the interview with Dale by pressing play

“I got to work at 5.30 and there were two large adult female humpback whales right in the middle of the seaway only 20 or 30 meters off the seaway tower,” water taxi operator Dale says.

“It was quite a treat. They came right up to the side of the boat and they were massive, wider than I am long and my boat is 5 meters long,” he says.

The water taxi dropping off surfers at South Stradbroke Island.

The water taxi dropping off surfers at South Stradbroke Island. Used with Dale’s permission.

It’s unusual for them to come into the seaway, he says, adding he’s only seen a dozen inside the seaway in the seven or eight years he has operated the taxi service.

He has seen thousands, however, in the seas just off the river mouth over that time.

On top of the two he saw in the seaway he saw six off the northern wall yesterday morning.

Humpbacks tend to hang-around the waters off the seaway as it’s a popular resting area on their long trip back to Antartica,

Dale taking some time off the water taxi to slot in to a Straddy barrel

Dale taking some time off the water taxi to slot in to a Straddy barrel. Used with Dale’s permission.

“They tend to hangout. There’s a resting ground just to the northeast of the north wall. Porpoise Point that’s called,” he says. “You will see whales hang around quite a fair bit off that northern wall.”

The pair hung around for a long while.

They are very inquisitive, he says.

“They came up and looked at me. I could have leaned out and touched her she was that close.”

Link to this post on the Mic Smith Geographic Facebook Page to share any of your experiences with humpback whales coming into the Gold Coast Seaway, Southport Spit or Southport Broadwater.

In an email interview with Mic Smith, Dr Olaf Meynecke says it looks like the seaway is favoured as a morning resting area by females and their calves.

In a later sighting on October 6 Dale saw another four humpbacks – two adults and two calves in the channel adjacent where he picks the surfers up.

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