Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Whale Watching Cruise - Brisbane Whale Watching

On our Brisbane holiday last October, one of the top things that I wanted to do was to go on a whale watching cruise. I was very excited to go on this whale watching cruise, I mean when you see the pictures on the whale watching cruises websites you can see people patting this great creature on sea and you can see majestic pictures of the whale in full breach. Oh wow, my kids would really loved it, I thought. It will be an unforgettable experience. 

Brisbane's whale watching season is from June to early November, so we headed to Brisbane about third week October and we chose a cruise company called "Brisbane Whale Watching" namely because it is the only cruise that allows kids under 3 on board and it serves breakfast, lunch and tea. I was also pleasantly surprised that Brisbane Whale Watching are able to cater to our halal requirements when I called in. 

We drove from Eight Miles Plains to Redcliffe Jetty as Brisbane Whale Watching shuttle service is only from Brisbane city and it would be a hassle for us to drive to Brisbane city and then park the car there just for the shuttle. Parking at Brisbane city is outrageously expensive, we parked in a building near Charlotte Street to check out a restaurant (which turned out to be non-halal) and came back within 30 mins just to be charged AUD28. We nearly chocked. 

Back to the whale watching cruise experience;lLet's just say it wasn't as what I imagined it to be. 

First and foremost, I forgot my camera battery! Urgh what a start to the day. Totally ruined my mood. Luckily the back-up camera was on hand but still *pouts*

Secondly, Brisbane Whale Watching staff went around selling motion sickness pills to us at AUD1 each, well alarm bells went ringing.. I wasn't worried for us but if they find it important to go around offering to sell us these pills, shouldn't they put something on their website regarding the sea conditions and maybe I could have find something for the kids? All of the adults took the pill, my MIL seems the least affected by the sea conditions, I was slightly light-headed but remained fine, hubby was most affected and didn't enjoy the whale watching cruise. My 3yo was cranky, possibly due to light-headedness but was still excited about the whales, while my 18mo vomited all over me and himself. Luckily, we brought extra clothing.

Thirdly, halal food was just grab whatever salad and seafood that is on the buffet spread and I will give you the halal chicken. Ooohkay.. suddenly I thought.. hmm.. what if they think that all chicken is halal and not only islamically-slaughtered chicken is halal? Lost my appetite for the chicken, so only went for the salads and potatoes. 

Lastly and the most importantly, I didn't get to see the full breach nor a whale close enough (as I couldn't go around the boat going after the whales while attending to my kids) , though my MIL did get to see one close up when by chance the whale appear near the place she was sitting. 

Below are pictures of the whale sighting using max zoom on a digicam, not a DSLR so you know how "close" we were to the whales. And how much of the whales did we really get to see. Disappointing and not worth the money, I would say. Maybe enjoyable if the kids are bigger and can tolerate the sea conditions better. (Note it was really choppy, I saw a few other people just sitting on a corner closing their eyes, just feeling miserable).

Before it all started..

Can you believe it that this was the best picture I got?

A hint of the tail

Most of the time this is what you will see

Two whales together

a bit of water spurt all from afar

and tail splashing

That is the harsh reality of whale cruises, since it's all nature, it's really your luck whether the whales decide to give you a full breach or just teasing you with their tails, the captain commented that once a whale was scratching his tail on the boat and they were just stuck there for a while unable to move, but I guess how many times did that happen yeah?