MAJESTIC: The Main Event has begun whale watching trips from Bundy.
MAJESTIC: The Main Event has begun whale watching trips from Bundy. Ashley Clark

Meeting the gentle giants of the sea

“QUICK, out there in front!”

Excited cries called out from around the ship as I got to my feet and rushed up to the middle deck of the boat.

At first, the water was calm, silent as dozens of pairs of eyes scoured the ocean.

The sun was casting bright reflections, making us squint as we searched for what we had travelled from across the deep blue to witness.

All of a sudden a mammoth grey creature emerged slowly and gracefully from the water about 50 metres in front of our boat.

“Wow”, “look at it”, “that’s amazing” were some of the excited comments hushed throughout our small group as cameras clicked continuously.

A humpback whale had shyly welcomed us into its territory, crossing our path on its epic journey north to migrate.

NewsMail journalist Ashley Clark on the Lady Musgrave Experience's first whale watching tour for the season.Photo Isaac Schipper
NewsMail journalist Ashley Clark on the Lady Musgrave Experience's first whale watching tour for the season. Photo Isaac Schipper Ashley Clark

I was on the Main Event, the beautiful big boat belonging to the Lady Musgrave Experience, for one of the first whale watching tours of the season.

The enthusiasm and excitement that captain and owner Brett Lakey and his crew greeted us with while on the Main Event was truly inspiring.

It was clear to see that they lived and breathed the ocean and all of its beauty and mystery.

On our four hour journey, Mr Lakey and his crew wandered around the ship talking to passengers and imparting their knowledge of the humpbacks that passed through our waters each year.

“Humpbacks are very curious creatures and most of the time, they love to show off,” Mr Lakey told us.

“As the season goes on, we will be lucky enough to see many pods travel through these waters.”

WHALE WAVE: A whale shows off its gigantic tail. 
Photo Isaac Schipper
WHALE WAVE: A whale shows off its gigantic tail. Photo Isaac Schipper Contributed

We spent most of the trip alongside the whale that first greeted us.

Although shy at first, it was clear to see the whale becoming more comfortable in our presence, swimming closer to us and at one point, even breaching.

Mr Lakey guessed that the calm creature was about five years old and probably pregnant.

We spent about two hours marvelling at the majestic animal and watching its every move from the various decks and seating options on board.

Humpback whales can grow as long as 16 meters and can weigh up to 45 tonnes. But to see these massive creatures up close, you wouldn’t think so.

Their gracefulness and curious, playful nature is what truly makes them the gentle giants of the sea.

Whale watching tours

Lady Musgrave Experience half-day whale watching tours start at the Port Marina, Burnett Heads.

Guests experience the annual spectacular from aboard the luxurious, four-level, high-speed catamaran called Main Event which has air-conditioning, flat screen TVs and a cruising speed of 24 knots.

Half day tours are from 10.30am–2.30pm. Morning tea and a light lunch is provided. A licensed bar operates and snacks and souvenirs are available.

To book, click here.

Viewing from the side deck. Photo Isaac Schipper
Viewing from the side deck. Photo Isaac Schipper Ashley Clark