We are now approaching peak time for Whale Watching – end of August on wards is premium time.  This is when we see much more interaction and antics.  They are usually in a lot closer as well so you get to spend more time with them.  That’s not to say that all whales want to “play” and put on a show for us so we do have to find some that are interested in us and Crusader 1.

Some more interesting Mating Habits of the Humpback Whale: –

  • Whales reach sexual maturity by the age of 7 – 8 but do not become sexually active until about 5 more years later.
  • They have calves every two or three years but some have calves every year.
  • Amazingly enough, Humpbacks don’t eat anything during the breeding season.
  • Humpback Whales are not monogamous – they have numerous partners during each breeding season.
  • Humpback Whales have never been observed mating but they have been seen engaged in affectionate and “seductive behaviour.
  • A males foreplay is blowing “bubbles that will rise beneath the genital of the female”
  • You can usually identify male humpback whales by their battle scars.  These are a result of fierce competition among males for ovulating females.
  • Female Humpback Whales normally get pregnant in the warm waters and return the following year to give birth.
  • Giving birth to their calf is usually done along the Eastern Australian coastline was the waters are warm and the calf would not survive the freezing waters of the Antarctic.
  • Once the female has given birth she can become immediately pregnant again.
  • About 80% of mother and calf pods have a male escort but for how long, we don’t know as the mother is usually lactating and not a potential mate at that stage.
  • The males are not interested in raising the young.
  • Females rarely interact with one another in the breeding area.
  • It is thought that the female chooses a particular male but we don’t know what attributed females prefer

Join us for a glimpse of these magnificent animals and learn more about their behaviour.

Call Paddy on 0412 155 814 or jump onto our website to book.

 

 

What a fantastic week of activity and weather.  A mixture of an 18 hour overnight fishing trip to the fun 5 hour corporate social club outings.  Throw in some Whale Watching and we even assisted the Coastrek event. (Wild Women on Top)  The weather last week was for nominal with beautiful sunny days and calm seas which always makes being out on the water magical.

Our New Zealand friends have been loving the fishing and we are certainly enjoying showcasing the Sunshine Coast fishing, coastline and conditions to them. Jason sent through this fabulous text after there trip last week: –

 “Thank you so much for yesterday Paddy.  Your staff were so friendly and helpful, everyone had a great time.   It has been the highlight of their trip so far and thanks for the rod and reel, that was so nice of you guys.” 

After ferrying the Coastrek participants from La Balsa Pontoon to The Public Boat Ramp in Mooloolaba on Friday, we headed out whale watching for the afternoon.  Had a lovely encounter with a few mum’s and calf’s.  The whales are starting to come in a lot closer now which is good as they are generally more playful and active.

Last weekend was all about fishing.  Corporate events and bucks parties followed by our big overnight trip.  We were lucky enough to have a company from Toowoomba on board on Saturday and his was kind enough to put up a google & Trip Advisor review.

“The staff were fantastic, they made the trip something to remember. It was a real pleasure to be on the water,  I would definitely recommend this charter for everyone.” – Michael

Our 18 hour, overnight trip was filled with all sorts – On the way out we were lucky enough to experience a pod of dolphins riding the waves and the bow of Crusader 1.  Enjoying a few drinks and nibbles while watching the sun set, a nice big feed of eye fillet steaks and a variety of other meats.  Breakfast was croissants, bacon, eggs, hash browns and anything else you want.

Some fabulous fish caught, but instead of rattling them off – watch the video: –  Enjoy.

If you would like to know more about our Fishing Charters, Whale Watching, Cruises – just call Paddy on 0412 155 814 or check out our website – www.sunshinecoastafloat.com.au

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

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!

 

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!

 

There are thought to be roughly 40,000 humpback whales across the world. With half of these expected to glide through the Sunshine Coast’s waters this winter, here are some fun facts to school you up on these magnificent creatures!

CHARACTERISTICS

  • The female humpbacks are longer than the males. A female can measure up to 50 feet long, with their tale up to 18 feet wide!
  • The average weight of the humpback whale is 45 tonnes. That’s equivalent to over 20 cars, or 1000 children.
  • Humpback whales usually live to between 45- 50 years.
  • They have very sensitive skin that is easily sunburned.
  • They have no sense of smell or taste, but have incredible hearing ranging over many kilometres for communicating and finding food.
  • The whale’s tale is like human fingerprints – each has unique and different characteristics.
  • The males’ tales are usually covered in battle scars as a result of the fierce competition for available females. This is the easiest way to tell the difference between male and female! The easiest way to tell the difference between a male and a female!
  • The Humpback Whale has two blow holes – one for each lung. Each of its lungs is the size of a small car.
  • Baby humpback whales, known as calves, are fed over 400 litres of rich milk each day, which is the consistency of condensed cream.

 

BEHAVIOUR

  • Humpback whales’ have a huge appetite and can devour up to 1800kgs of krill per day!
  • During mating season, humpback whales will fast for months at a time, so they can focus on migration and mating.
  • Female humpbacks usually get pregnant in Queensland’s warm waters, and return the following year to give birth. Their calf will not survive if it is born into the freezing waters of the Antarctic.
  • Humpback whales are the most acrobatic of all the whales, and can often be seen playing in the water and putting on a show!
  • The tale is used as a form of non-verbal communication through a tail slap…which can be heard underwater several hundred metres away.
  • Each pod communicates through its own dialect, and sings its own whale song. These songs can be heard up to 32km away and can be up to 20 minutes long. The whales are known to repeat the same song over for hours.
  • Adult whales can hold their breath under water for over half an hour.

MIGRATION PATTERNS

  • Humpback Whales travel over 10,000kms on their yearly migration, the longest migration journey of any animal in history.
  • This migration is largely driven by their immense appetite and love of krill! These small prawn like creatures are abundant in the Antarctic waters.
  • They migrate north to Queensland’s subtropical waters to mate and give birth. Their new baby calves would not survive if born in the freezing Antarctic waters.

 

Nothing compares to the thrill of seeing these giant creatures up close in their natural habitat. Let Sunshine Coast Afloat take you on a whale watching experience of a lifetime!