The winter cold makes you wanna curl under the covers and hibernate. So even though we had planned to get the show on the road early, we slept in for a bit. Okay, a lot. Had a quick breakfast in the apartment (cup noodles) before setting off for Port Stephens.
Passing rolling fields en route to Port Stephens
Once at Nelson Bay, we headed to the visitor’s centre to book our whale-watching cruise. There wasn’t enough time to check out the sand dunes before the cruise started but just as well ‘cos we were told by a lady who made our bookings that the gale-force winds (going at full blast then) would have caused us to be sand blasted. Not good.
So we spent our time having a nice brunch by the bay and exploring instead!
Lovely sights at Nelson Bay
Brunching by the bay
Exploring the quaint streets of Victoria Parade
I bought an Australian literature from a precious second-hand bookshop and am reading the book now :)
Finally, it was time to board!
It was a perfect sunny day to be out at sea and the winds were really strong and chilly.
These whale watching cruises are only available from May to November every year – when the humpbacks make their migration journey south (past Port Stephens) so do plan your trip around this time if you’re intending to catch a cruise.
Trying to spot them humpbacks in the vast ocean
For more than an hour, we got really excited just seeing them spew water from their blow holes. Every single time we saw water flying from the water we ooh-ed and ahh-ed.
The highlight of the cruise was catching sight of a playful humpback BREACHING and OH MY GOD, I was so awed. IT WAS SPECTACULAR.
I kept asking L, “Did you see that? DID YOU SEE THAT?!”
(Believe it or not, my camera chose the moment right before the breaching to die on me. Seriously, right?)
This is an entirely natural phenomenon and many a times, people are more or less satisfied seeing water from the blow holes. A refund is also offered if no whales are sighted (it happens). So can you imagine our luck? We saw breaching. *hyperventilates*
Even though we don’t have a video of the whales (or a decent picture for that matter), L managed to spot some playful dolphins on our way back to the port. Unlike whales, dolphins are really attention-seeking so they tend to swim near moving boats :)
I felt so small and humbled in the magnificence of nature. It was quite an amazing experience. No photo or video could do it justice.
By the time the cruise was over, it was late afternoon so we packed some grilled fish and started on our two-hour drive back to Hunter Valley.
I fell asleep in the car and woke up to this…
Driving into the beautiful orange pink sunset
WHAT A DAY :)