May 2015 on the Great Barrier Reef
As long as you live
Trevor Jackson – Spoilsport Captain
There are plenty of things we don’t understand about the universe. Physicists try to make a fist of it but the bottom line is, no one really knows how it all works. The same is true of nature. Despite centuries of study, there is so much we simply don’t understand. How do geese find their way home after winter? How do bats ‘see’ in the dark? How do turtles find exactly the same patch of beach year after year? But the baffling question that pops up aboard Spoily this time every year is…How is it that these dwarf minke whales know exactly when and where to show up at the same spot and the same time to give us such a fantastic insight into their lives?
Yep it’s that time of year again. For 6 weeks starting as we go to press this month, the magnificent dwarf minkes will show up and give divers an experience that is unrivalled in the world. The minkes make the DIVER, the creature that is being observed. Here’s how it works … You come back from a dive on one of the fantastic Ribbon Reef pinnacles. From the stern of the vessel a line is run out on the surface for divers to hold on to. You lay there in the water in your snorkelling gear and wait for a bit. In they come, tentative at first, within a few passes the distance they keep between themselves and you seems markedly reduced. They disappear again for a few moments and you think ‘wow that was cool, hope they come back” You lay there for a second before being suddenly cast into shadow by another diver, You turn to see who it is and hey presto, there’s an 8 metre dwarf minke whale coming right in to check YOU out. Literally an arm’s length away. The gentle giant spies you with his thoughtful dark eyes, pivots almost imperceptively from side to side, swims away and then comes back even closer. You could reach out and touch him, but you don’t, not wanting to upset the pure tranquillity of this extraordinary experience.
Every year like clockwork during June and July the Ribbon Reefs are graced with these mighty creatures, and you could easily be blessed with several encounters like the one I’ve just described. Spoilsport is the premier ‘Minke Licensed’ offshore liveaboard in Australia, running specific minke interaction expeditions in absolute luxury with the stability that only a catamaran can provide. Our itinerary is changed especially to give you the longest and closest interactions; and you could be doing it this weekend! You won’t forget it, for as long as you live.