The next in this series of my top/favourite whale encounters is a little special because it was QUITE unexpected.
#5: My THIRD encounter with MIGALOO! (September 2017)
We weren’t actually expecting to see him – last I’d heard he was way up north on the reef somewhere around the islands – so I don’t think anyone was even looking for him. And then THERE HE WAS.
But allow me to backtrack a little…
Continuing on from yesterday’s post, next on my list of top/favourite whale encounters is…
#6: My second encounter with MIGALOO! (July 2017)
Yes, I have been lucky enough to have MORE than one encounter with the famous white whale. 😁 For those who don’t know about Migaloo, he’s an all-white humpback whale that generally migrates up and down the east coast of Australia. His name means ‘white fella’ and he was named by the Aboriginal elders of the Hervey Bay area.
The White Fella
Our encounter this day was planned, to an extent, as we’d had reports that Migaloo was making his way north and was due on the Gold Coast in the next 24 hours or so. I headed out in the morning with Whale Watch Australia in hopes we could find him…
Well, it’s World Environment Day and what better time to start this next series of posts! I’ve been whale watching since 2007 but this is my 10th consecutive year. 😊 Today (and every day, lbr) I’m talking WHALES. Specifically, I’ll be counting down my top/favourite whale encounters. So without further ado…
#7: SUPERPODS and HEAT RUNS!
I’ve had two encounters with superpods (or competition pods) – the first consisted of 10 whales (2015), the second was 13 whales (2017)! 😱
Try and picture 10+ 30-40 TONNE (yes, TONNE!) animals charging through the water after a female, competing for mating rights. If you’re having trouble imagining that, don’t worry – it’s hard to visualise but go for ‘whale washing machine’ with a lot of huffing and grunting and you’ll be close. 😂
Grab a cuppa – or other beverage of choice – and get comfy. This entry is longer than most of the others because it was a BIG day, spent in the stunning Banff and surrounds. I would go back in a heartbeat. ❤️
2 October 2019
Hi Banff! I love you! 😍 Can I come back, pleeeeaaase?!
Banff, AB and surrounds
We started our day early – literally in the dark! – meeting at the bus for a drive up to the Banff Gondola! We were booked for brekky at the top of Sulphur Mountain… and it was perfectly timed so our gondola ride was during sunrise! 😍
The sky had hints of pink in spots – really beautiful – and the reflections off the surrounding mountains were just magic. 💗
Once we got to the top, Kerstin (a fellow tour member 👋) and I immediately headed upstairs and outside to check out that cracking view.
Holy. Crapola. This was a brand new level of cold I hadn’t experienced yet. 🥶 Even with multiple layers (seriously, a sleeveless tee, a long sleeved shirt, a flanno, beanie, scarf, fingerless gloves etc) AND a fleece-lined jacket with faux-fur lined hood (!) we had to go back inside after about five minutes. That wind factor made ALL the difference!
(Not that it was blowing a gale or anything, but it was blowing enough to be seriously icy on my face and my poor exposed fingers holding the camera! 😬)
Having said THAT, the views were absolutely magnificent… 360° of magnificent. It was so QUIET (wind notwithstanding) – that real absence of noise. And with only Kerstin and I upstairs at that point, you’d honestly think you were completely alone in the world. Incredibly peaceful and I’m dying to do it all again. 💙
Breakfast back inside was yummy (again with the a-ma-zing breakfast views!) but I demolished mine rather quickly so I could get outside and explore. (That’s a continuing theme through this trip!) There was a snow-covered mountainside with my name on it and who was I to refuse? 😁
1 October 2019
Being in the mountains is freezing – even when it’s not winter yet! – but oh man, did I fall in love with the Rockies. 😍 I would go back in a heartbeat if I could!
Revelstoke, BC to Banff, AB
I was sharing a room/suite with the awesome Maggie – a fellow Aussie, of course! 👋 – and we woke up to amazing views of sunrise hitting the mountaintops. 😍 What. A. View.
I didn’t want to miss the light so in only my PJs – not even any socks on my feet! – I grabbed the camera and traipsed out onto the balcony to take some photos. Of course, I only lasted a few minutes then I retreated back inside – I needed some feeling back in my toes. 😅 It was like 5°C outside or something!
Those beautiful views continued from the restaurant while we had breakfast! Seriously, Canada is THE place for breakfast and lunch views.