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 Facebook friends know Captain Ric quite well by now. For my new friends – Captain Ric is the man whose boat I hitchhiked from Malaysia to Australia for 7 months. In Australia, he's known as “The grandpa of extreme”. He's also one of the most inspiring people I’ve met during my journey.
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. This time it's all about my sea adventure. Last few days we had good time watching the migration of the humpback whales along Fraser Island.
It’s been 11 months since I’ve seen Captain Ric and sailed on his boat. I was purposely avoiding ANY kind of sea activity after hitchhiking the boat for 7 months, because I was so sick of the water. I couldn’t even look at it. Yes, it was that bad! 😀
We decided to go whale watching, so we stocked up on yummi food and sailed 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 hitch and how to put a bridal on. I still call cleat –> clitoris and preventer –> protector. Luckily, Captain Ric thinks that’s funny and he has never kicked me out of his boat.
As we came closer to Fraser Island, we started seeing more and more humpback whales. There was usually a mother and a small (1 tone) baby swimming together. Sometimes there were 2 moms and 2 babies or just a single whale by himself.
Around 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 they have 2 blow holes -> one for each lung. They are fascinating!
1st morning was special, because we got woken up by the whales that came very close to the 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 mating.
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. They were so close I felt I could swim to them easily. I could see the dolphins playing in a distance. The air was warm and my legs felt so light in the sand. There were starfish and some big, beautiful shells in 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 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 magic.
Our next day started with lots of sun-cream slapped across the face, but ended in warm clothes, because the warm weather turned into a winter somewhere along the way.
The next day, I hugged Captain Ric goodbye until we see each other again and continued my little mission to Bora Bora.