A few key points to consider before we head off on the day.

Remember, any time you are out on the water the weather can change quickly! We recommend that regardless of the weather forecast you always bring a rain jacket, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Wear comfortable shoes. Its not fun walking in those beautiful high heels on a moving boat deck! Regardless of how good the shoes look, you run the risk of looking less than steady on your feet! Think and plan ahead and give us the best chance to make sure we can do our thing to make sure you enjoy your time with us to the max!

The Humpback Whale Migration is now in full swing along Australian Coastlines. We live in an age were we are lucky enough to see their numbers increasing by more than 10% per year.
Every season more and more people are able to experience the amazing sight of these wild and majestic creatures swimming in our protected waters.
More and more research is being done on Humpback Whale behaviour as well as the changes the climate is having on their patterns.
As we learn more about these fascinating mammals, we thought we would share some of the information we have learnt about Humpback Whales and the way they appear to communicate.

  • Humpback Whales produce the longest and most varied songs in the animal world.
  • Australian Humpback Whales communicate further (over greater distances) than any other whale on earth.
  • The “songs” are produced by moving air back and forth through body passages.
  • Only Male Humpbacks sing.
  • Each sequence normally lasts 10-15 minutes and can be repeated without a break, for hours.
  • The sequence is unique to that population – all the Humpbacks in the one area sing a “local” song.
  • Each year the songs evolve and are a little different but incorporated into the current sequence.
  • Many of the songs are at a very low frequency, out of our hearing range.
  • Some evidence suggests that the large whales create “infra sound”.
  • It is thought that singing maybe part of the breeding process.
  • Humpback Whales communicate through song but also social sounds which are vocal and through surface behaviour.
  • Surface behaviour includes breaching, fin slapping, lob-tailing and flipper slapping.
  • More than 34 different vocal sounds have been recorded.  From noises similar to a bird chirp to a snort, which is all amazing as they have no vocal cords.

Join us on one of our intimate Whale Watching experiences by booking online or phoning Paddy on 0412 155 814

This is one for the hard-core fisherman!

Sunshine Coast Afloat’s Overnight Deep Sea Fishing Charters are the only overnight fishing adventure on the Sunshine Coast! On this 18 hour charter, our experienced crew will take you deep, deep into the ocean, all the way to the Continental Shelf.

These tours are carefully planned out around the moon cycle, tides and fishing reefs, to ensure ultimate fishing success! We’ll take you to a number of closely guarded locations that have proven themselves as fantastic night fishing locations. These charters target snapper in particular, but large Pearl Perch and other night predators are certainly in our scope as well!

This charter is only run during the winter months when the weather is more stable, as it relies heavily on favourable weather conditions. Winter is also big time snapper season, and they love to feed at night!

Sunshine Coast Afloat only takes a maximum of 12 passengers on these trips (despite being able to comfortably fit plenty more!) designed for maximum comfort and plenty of space. With sleeping accommodation for up to six people at a time, this charter is designed for maximum fishing time! Dinner, breakfast, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are all included.

Mother Nature usually only allows us to run a maximum of eight trips per year, making them all the more special and exclusive! Dates for our overnight charters are released in May for the winter – July is booked out and we only have a couple of spots left on our August 26th trip.  September 9th is started and will probably be our last for the season so if you have been thinking about these trips I’d suggest you get in quickly.!

 

The annual migration of the Humpback Whale is one of nature’s most amazing sights, and the Sunshine Coast is lucky to be a key destination on their route! Over the winter months, around 20,000 humpback whales undertake the 10,000km journey from the icey seas of Antarctica, to the warm tropical breeding grounds of sunny Queensland. The Sunshine Coast is quickly earning a reputation as one of Australia’s best whale watching destinations!

 

WHALE WATCHING TOURS

From late May, these giant visitors will begin to arrive in the Sunshine Coast’s waters, lured by the subtropical waters which make for a comfortable mating and birthing ground. Once the business is done, they’ll begin their journey back South from August to November, with their new babies in tow!

The best time for whale watching is during their mating season from July through to late October. This is when visitors to the Sunshine Coast will spot these magnificent creatures singing, fighting and performing acrobatics to the delight of whale watchers. Whilst some of this can be seen from the shore, nothing quite compares to getting up close to these animals on the sea.

Some tour operators commence whale watching trips as early as June, however Sunshine Coast Afloat prefers to wait a few weeks to ensure there are plenty of whales in our waters. This means you’ll spend less time whale seeking, and more time whale watching!

 

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

We are fortunate that the 2018 Term Two and Term Three school holidays land during the Sunshine Coast’s peak whale watching season. If the promise of golden beaches and sunny skies wasn’t enough to lure you to this piece of paradise, a whale watching experience with Sunshine Coast Afloat is guaranteed to be a holiday highlight for the entire family!

 

WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER?

The Sunshine Coast has well earned its name, however Mother Nature isn’t always kind and has been known to lash us with occasional wild weather. The safety of our passengers is paramount, so from time to time, rough seas, high winds and heavy rain may result in tour cancellations. But don’t worry, unlike humans, the whales aren’t scared off by the rough seas. They’ll still be there tomorrow when the ocean is calm, and the sun is shining!

With the humpback whale’s population increasing each year, and more babies being born in the Queensland’s waters, there been an easier or more exciting time to go whale watching on the Sunshine Coast. Let Sunshine Coast Afloat take you on the experience of a lifetime!

 

We are about to start our Whale Watching Season as we have been seeing them in larger numbers now and in rather close, about half an hour out.  The baby whales have been quite active.

We offer two types of Whale Watching: –

  • Fast, Fun Whale watching trips in our fully enclosed Jet Boat.   This is not a thrill ride but a way to get out to the whales fast and in a fun way.  You are also close to sea level watching them.
    • This is a 2 hour trip – $ 120.00 per person
  • Cruise in comfort while Whale Watching, have plenty of room to move around, guaranteed rail side viewing, all non-alcoholic drinks and food included.
    • This is a 3 hour trip – $ 99.00 per person

Being a small family owned and operated company we strive to give our guests the best experience we can.

With only 10 people on Hela-Va Jet and 23 on Crusader 1, you can get full viewing of the whales no matter where they are in relation to the boats.

Don’t miss out on this fabulous experience this season : –

  • Personal interaction with crew
  • Small passenger numbers
  • Access to all areas of vessel
  • Everything included in the price
  • Rail side viewing – ready for that photo moment

Call Paddy to book – 0412 155 814

Sunshine Coast Afloat was the first tour operator across our stunning region to offer “extreme” whale watching. Our custom-built, turbo-charged speed boat will take you screaming across the water at speeds of up to 40 knots, to the local sites where our biggest aquatic visitors come to play!

Humpback Whales

The Humpback whales are visiting our waters in record numbers. With more than 10,000 set to grace our shores this winter this tour will bring you closer to these magnificent creatures than any other. In fact, Hela-Va jet will have you sitting so low and close to the water, you’ll almost feel like you’re swimming with them (but don’t worry, you won’t even get wet!).

The Humpback Whales are playful creatures and often treat awe-struck whale watchers to an impressive display of acrobatics as they play with their calves. So it’s not all speed and action, we’ll slow to a crawl and spend time soaking in the experience of viewing these animals in their home environment. Dolphins also seem to be attracted to our speedy boat and often cruise along with us!

This tour aboard Hela-Va Jet is the perfect balance of adrenalin and whale watching. With some wild spins, drifting turns and throttle-stomping straightaways, this unique and exciting experience is one you’ll be talking about for many years to come!

Whale watching tours operate from July – October.

Queensland’s whale watching season has started for some and it is not that far away before we begin as well.

We have picked a date – 2nd July, 2018 so book your spot by call Paddy on 0412 155 814.

It is expected to be another massive year so we thought we would keep you informed and give you some interesting facts about these fascinating creatures.

With the massive increase in Humpback Whales each year now, we are expecting to have over 30,000 pass the Sunshine Coast this season.

To be able to get you up close and personal with these majestic animals is exhilarating.  We love to be able to share this experience with you.

Some Fascinating Facts about Humpback Whales are: –

  • The average weight is 45 tonnes which is about 1000 children together
  • An average length of 13 to 17 metres which is about 10 adults lying head to foot.
  • The average lifespan is between 45 – 50 years
  • Calves are fed daily over 400 litres of rich milk which is the consistency of condensed cream
  • Adult Whales can hold their breath under water for over half an hour
  • An expelled breath or ‘blow’ that reaches a speed of between 300 – 500 kilometres per hour as it exists through the blowhole.
  • The Humpback Whale has two blow holes, one for each lung. Each of its lungs is the size of a small car.
  • Humans identify different whales is by their tails. Each whale has different characteristics, just like our fingerprints!
  • The Humpback Whale has no teeth instead they have baleen plates, that acts like a giant sieve!
  • They also have little or no sense of smell or taste
  • They do have very sensitive skin that is easily sunburned
  • Remarkable eyes with strong muscles that change the shape of the lens so they can see in the air or underwater.
  • Their eye the size of a grapefruit
  • Incredible hearing ranging over many kilometres for navigation, communication and finding food
  • Calls or songs that travel hundreds of kilometres
  • Pectoral fins that are ten times longer than your arm
  • You identify Whales mainly by their tail flukes  but also dorsal fins and body markings
  • They have a Belly Button as well.
  • Humpback calves stay with their mothers for 11–12 months before becoming independent. During this time, the biggest threat they face is attack by killer whales or sharks.

 

The Southern Right Whales is another species you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of on the Sunshine Coast! This whale is the rarest of the four species you’ll find in Queensland’s waters and is currently considered endangered. The good news is, their population is on the rise meaning sightings are becoming more and more common! Here’s what to look out for on your whale watching tour.

CHARACTERISTICS

  • Adult Southern Right Whales range from 14-18 metres in length
  • These large animals weigh up to 80 tonnes – that’s the equivalent of 8 adult elephants
  • Their mating season is from June – August, which is when there’ll be the greatest chance of spotting on one the Sunshine Coast
  • Compared to other whale species, their heads is disproportionately large, making up roughly one third of the whale’s body.
  • Unlike other species, the southern right whale does not have a dorsal fin.
  • They have a dark greyish/black skin tone, with white patches on its throat and belly.
  • The exact lifespan of these animals is unknown, but it’s estimated to be between 50-100 years

BEHAVIOUR

  • Like the humpback and dwarf minke, the Southern Right Whales also primarily feed on krill, plankton and other tiny crustraceans.
  • Their migration patterns are similar to that of the humpback, spending their feeding season in the colder Antarctic waters, and migrating north up Queensland’s coast for mating and birthing.
  • These whales are skimmers and can be seen swimming at or near the surface of the water – this is great for whale watchers!
  • Southern Right whales are fairly active and can be found performing acrobatics in the water
  • They’re a very social species, and have been known to approach boats and vessels to observe them and the people.
  • But they’re also gentle giants, appearing to be thoughtful when interacting with humans and small animals by limiting their activity, to ensure they do not cause injury to others.
  • Unlike other species, male whales to not typically fight with one another or show jealousy when it comes to mating.

 

With as few as 12,000 Southern Right Whales spread through our oceans, they are the rarest of the whales you’ll likely spot in the Sunshine Coast’s waters. But, with their population on the rise and sightings becoming increasingly common, your chances of seeing these playful giants are better than ever before! Keep your eyes peeled  – they’ve even been known to swim as close in as the surf zone!

 

We finally had a full weekend of great fishing and weather conditions.

We did a “Mega Day” – 11 hour fishing trip on Saturday.  Not a trip we do often.  It was great to see a lot of our regulars on board and after the mid week flare up of weather, it gave for some good fishing out wide.

A great variety of fish on board ranging from a nice big Tusky, Tea Leaf Travalley, Wrasse, Moses Perch, Banana Fish and a beautiful Clown Fish which obviously went back.

Poor Zoe nearly had a fit when a Crested Tern, that is a bird for all you fisho’s, got tangled in Tony’s fishing line.  It was all hands on deck to save this poor little thing.  Zoe nurtured him to recovery, mind you I think he was happy nestled into Zoe’s chest while recovering but soon after releasing him a Booby bird tried to attack him but that soon sent him off.

Our usual Dolphin visit is always a bonus.

Sunday was a small 5 hour fishing charter – lovely conditions out on the water with a lot of Happy Moments coming up, more than we’ve seen in a long time.  A few (just) undersized Snapper were caught but a few of the passengers managed to hook a nice Grassy Sweet Lip and a good size Mowong.  Slightly frustrating as it was clear from the sounder information that the area was solid with good sized fish under the boat!

It was nice to see some women on board and Julie hooked up a nice Trigger Fish

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Winners of Trip Advisor 2017 Certificate of Excellence, Sunshine Coast Afloat is your number one pick for deep sea fishing charters on the Coast!

Sunshine Coast Afloat’s award winning Deep Sea Fishing Charters have a wide range of options to suit everyone, from first timers diving in to try their hand at fishing, to the experienced, avid fishermen!

Our tours range from half a day to overnight, and everything in between. Our shorter charters are ideal for the beginner looking to try their hand at a big of fishing. A fun and enjoyable trip that offers a tantalising taste of what you’ll experience on longer trips, but is far more focused on having a fun time offshore. There’ll also be plenty of amazing marine wildlife to observe!

The longer duration or evening charters are perfect for the more experienced fishing enthusiasts seeking a true deep sea fishing adventure, and wanting to chase that trophy fish! On these longer charters, we’re able to travel beyond where recreational boats feel comfortable, meaning less fishing pressure and with a little skill, more fish!

Fishing equipment and bait is included and all legal fish are yours to keep. They’ll be gutted and gilled for you by our crew, so they’re ready to throw straight on the BBQ when you get home. Our sunrise and sunset/evening charters all include a BBQ meal.

With varying departure times, Sunshine Coast Afloat’s range of deep sea fishing charters are a fantastic way to get out on the water and have a great time on a lovely, large and safe vessel, regardless of your fishing ability! Our friendly and highly experienced crew will show you the ropes and take you on an award-winning adventure to remember!

 

Orcas, commonly known as killer whales, are lured to the Sunshine Coast’s waters during the winter months thanks to the abundance of food on offer…with a favourite being the humpback and minke whales!

Orcas prey on these whales, and with thousands likely to visit our shores from May – November, it’s highly likely there’ll be some orca pods lurking in the background!

Here are some facts about these fascinating creatures to help you spot one on your whale watching tour.

CHARACTERISTCS

  • Orcas are black and white, with a white eye patch
  • They can weigh up to 6 tonnes, and range from 23 to 30 feet in length
  • Their average lifespan is 50 to 80 years
  • They have a diverse diet, feeding on fish, marine animals and even other whales
  • Lucky for them however, there is no other animal that preys on them!
  • They are a toothed whale
  • Orcas can be found in each of the world’s oceans and in a variety of marine environments

BEHAVIOUR

  • They’re extremely intelligent and highly social animals
  • They hunt in pods – family groups of up to 40 individuals
  • Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviours are often specific to particular groups and passed across generations
  • Contrary to popular belief, wild killer whales are actually not considered a threat to humans – they’ve only ever been aggressive towards humans whilst kept in captivity!
  • Unlike most other species of whales, Orca whales do not appear to follow a regular migration route each year, instead driven by the availability of food
  • Orcas are not actually whales, but in fact the largest of the dolphins!

With more humpback whales to feed on, it’s highly likely there’ll be more orca pods in the Sunshine Coast’s waters this winter! Another reason to book your whale watching tour with Sunshine Coast Afloat, to view all these wondrous animals at play!