All eyes on the whales

KEEN EYES: Whale watchers Angie Bryant and Jan Rankine say the whales are “definitely giving a good show”.
KEEN EYES: Whale watchers Angie Bryant and Jan Rankine say the whales are “definitely giving a good show”. Blainey Woodham

WHALE watchers flocked to the coast yesterday to see humpbacks migrating north.

Debbie Freestone said she had travelled from Sydney for the past 20 years specifically to see the whales.

“We started it about 20 years ago and it’s something that makes us feel so close to nature,” she said.

“It’s just an extraordinary experience.

“We have a tendency to stay in one spot for six or seven hours.”

Whale researcher Peta Beeman said the male humpbacks were passing through.

“The migration is just pacing up in volume,” she said.

“This population of humpbacks we are expecting 14,000 going past.”

The masters research student at Southern Cross University said the pregnant females would be the last to leave Antarctica.

“They stay in Antarctica as long as they can to build up their fat reserves,” she said.

Ms Beeman said the whales would not eat again until returning to Antarctica.

“It could be five months without eating,” she said.

“They go up looking very padded, but on the way back you can see the vertebrae.

“There will be a turn around from August to November.”

Topics:  humpback whales whales

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