A whale of a time!

 

 

 

 

 

There are not many people in the world I would hitchhike 5410 km for…

…but when Captain Ric says “Ana Banana, come to the east coast and let’s go whale watching!” I say “Aye, aye Captain”, and teleport my arse in the world record time from the west to the east coast of Australia. I’m sure my old friends know Captain Ric through my stories quite well by now. For my new friends – Captain Ric is a man whose boat I hitchhiked from Malaysia to Australia for 7 months. He is known in Australia as “The grandpa of extreme” and is one of the most inspiring people I’ve met during my journey.

 

Captain Ric
Captain Ric

 

...and his faithful companion, Barry The Bird.
...and his faithful companion, Barry The Bird.

 

Hitchhiking 5410 km from Broome through Darwin all the way to Hervey Bay was a journey itself, but this time I won’t write about my road adventure, but about my sea adventure. Last few days we had way too much fun while watching the migration of the humpback whales along Fraser Island.

 

Photographing this amazing creature from the boat. (Thank you Captain for this shot.)
Photographing this amazing creature from the boat. (Thank you Captain for this shot.)

 

It’s been 11 months since I’ve seen Captain Ric and sailed on his boat. To be completely honest, I was purposely avoiding ANY kind of sea activity for at least half a year after hitchhiking the boat for 7 months, because I was so sick of the sea. I couldn’t even look at the water. Yes, it was that bad! Hahahaha

 

Believe it or not, Captain Ric has built his boat Hard Yakka by himself.
Believe it or not, Captain Ric has built his boat Hard Yakka by himself.

 

This photo of Hard Yakka was taken by Ric's dron. We're on that tiny piece of lego floating in a deep blue...
This photo of Hard Yakka was taken by Ric's dron. We're on that tiny piece of lego floating in a deep blue...

 

We decided to go whale watching, so we stocked up on yummi food and sailed for a half a day from Hervey Bay to the tip of the Fraser Island. I was pleased with myself for not forgetting how to tie a bowline, half a hitch or how to put a bridal on. I still call a clit –> clitoris and a preventer –> protector, but luckily Captain Ric thinks that’s funny and he has never kicked me out of his boat...by now.

 

Aerial view of Fraser Island taken by Ric's dron.
Aerial view of Fraser Island taken by Ric's dron.

 

As soon as we came closer to this little bay at the tip of Fraser Island, we started seeing more and more of humpback whales. There was usually a mother and a small (1 tone) baby swimming together. Sometimes there were 2 moms and 2 babies together or just a single whale by himself.

 

 

 

 

About 1900 humpback whales migrate up the east coast of Australia every year. Adults are between 12-16m long and weigh about 36 000kg. Their life span is between 45 and 50 years. They have no teeth, but have 2 blow holes -> one for each lung. Each of its lungs it’s the size of a small car. They are truly fascinating!

 

 

That's what chasing the whales looks like on the monitor....up and down and all around, zigging and zagging! :)))
That's what chasing the whales looks like on the monitor....up and down and all around, zigging and zagging! :)))

 

 

 

1st morning on the boat was special, because we got woken up by the whales that came very close to our boat. As our bathroom was located below deck I listened to their song while sitting on the toilet! Males produce a complex song lasting 10 to 20 minutes which they repeat for hours at the time. The purpose is not clear, but it may have something to do with the mating.

 

Photo by Captain Ric.
Photo by Captain Ric.

 

Photo by Captain Ric.
Photo by Captain Ric.

 

We stumbled upon two sea turtles mating...a.k.a. a bit of a turtle porno.
We stumbled upon two sea turtles mating. They were not shy!

 

Moments like this...
Moments like this...

 

 

Just before the sunrise, Captain Ric dropped me off in a dinghy on Fraser Island to do my morning run. It was supposed to be the run as any other – except that it wasn’t.

 

As I ran around the tip of Fraser Island, the sun came up and played with the golden colors of the sand. There was a colony of tiny birds on the right side and 4 jumping whales on my left side, so close I felt I could swim to them easily. I could see the dolphins playing in the distance. The air was warm and my legs felt so light in the sand. There were starfish and some big, beautiful shells all along the shallow water. There were no other footprints but mine. The tears started rolling down my cheeks and I couldn’t catch my breath. I’m not a religious person, so the only way I could describe that special moment to you is by saying that it felt like my inner, beautiful world matched the outer beauty of the nature and I felt the connection. I don’t want to sound all hippy and shit, but I felt an absolute love and these were my happy tears rolling down my face. Lately I’ve been crying when happy and smiling when sad. I think I finally got my shine back. I lost it for some months, but now it’s back with me and ME feels like ME again!

 

That morning I didn’t have a camera with me, so I brought it the next day and documented some parts of the magic…

 

Hard Yakka photographed from Fraser Island.
Hard Yakka photographed from Fraser Island.

 

Sunken boat on the beach.
Sunken boat on the beach.

 

Pretty little starfish.
Pretty little starfish.

 

The beach.
The beach.

 

Small colony of birds on Fraser Island.
Small colony of birds on Fraser Island.

 

The tail.
The tail.

 

Good view from Fraser Island.
Good view from Fraser Island.

 

Captain Ric was messing with his drone. Can you see it in the air? Funny story...his 1st drone got taken down (and literally killed) by a vicious magpie bird. Captain Ric doesn't think that story is very funny.
Captain Ric was messing with his drone. Can you see it in the air? Funny story...his 1st drone got taken down (and literally killed) by a vicious magpie bird. Captain Ric doesn't think that story is very funny though.

 

 

Our next day started with lots of sun-cream slapped across the nose, but ended in our warm clothes, because the warm weather turned into a winter somewhere along the way.

 

Captain Ric...looking like a frozen popsicle.
Captain Ric...looking like a frozen popsicle.

 

Me...looking like a frozen popsicle, pineapple flavor.
Me...looking like a frozen popsicle, pineapple flavor.

 

Perfect ending to a perfect day... a sunset over Hervey Bay.
Perfect ending to a perfect day... a sunset over Hervey Bay.

 

The next day, I hugged Captain Ric goodbye until we see each other again and continued my little mission to Bora Bora.

 

...and the gypsy is off again! :)))
...and the gypsy is off again! :)))