Every year from June until November, hundreds of Humpback
Whales visit the warmer waters off Coffs Harbour on their
migration north and again on their return journey south to
Antarctica with their young. Watch these magnificent
creatures as they glide through the clear water, breach,
wave their pectoral fins and slap their tails so close - you
can almost touch them. We often get a lot closer than
expected on this whale friendly boat.
Don't forget your camera to record the whales and the
beautiful views of this spectacular coastline from the
aboard the COUGAR CAT 12 as you cruise out for an
experience you will never forget.
Because of Cougar Cat 12's top speed of 25 knots we actually spend less time travelling and more time watching whales than our competitors! Typically our whale watching cruises last between 1 1/2 to 2 hours duration and include complimentary refreshments.
The most common whales we see from the Cougar Cat 12 are
Humpbacks are one of the most active whales in terms of
behaviour - we frequently see them breach, slap their tails
and fins on the water surface.
Unlike their 'cousins' the blue, sei and minke whales,
humpbacks (Megaptera novaeangliae) are not slender and
graceful - they tend to be quite stout and stocky, with
exceedingly long pectoral fins (their 'arms'). They are much
slower swimmers than these other species making them great
Humpback whales grow to about 15 m, and 40 tonnes in weight.
Like all baleen whales, females are slightly larger than
Humpbacks communicate among themselves with their famous
and beautiful song. A song is usually quite short, less
than ten minutes, but can be repeated many times, sometimes
for hours without stopping. It is thought to be mainly a
method for mature males to advertise themselves to females
as sexual partners
Because they were slow and fat, humpback whales were
targeted by whalers well before the faster blues, fins, etc,
and were killed by open boat whalers with hand harpoons in
the 19th century. However, they survived in numbers until
the 1950s and 1960s when illegal whaling reduced their
numbers to near-extinction.
Nevertheless, they now seem to be recovering well after
whaling ceased, and their numbers are increasing in many
areas of the world. The populations, which breed in
Australian waters, have doubled in the last 10 years.