May 2017 on the Great Barrier Reef

As long as you live

Captain Trevor Jackson

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 around this time every year is….. How is it that the 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. Well it soon will be anyway….For 6 weeks across June and July, 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 come 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, 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 blessed with these mighty creatures, and you could easily be blessed with several encounters just like the one I’ve described.  Our itinerary is changed especially to give you the longest and closest interactions; and YOU could be doing it this winter. Blow off the southern state chills and come aboard for an experience you won’t forget, for as long as you live.


Check out more information on our Minke Whale Expeditions.

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