As the whale watching industry is slowly being recognized as the major tourist attraction for this region, I think it is important, that every person, visiting Hervey Bay to see the Humpback whales, as well as every one who benefits from the industry, has a basic knowledge of these animals, their reasons for coming here, why Hervey Bay is and will remain the Whale Watching Capital of the World.
Although the majority of our visitors still come from South East Queensland, more and more interstate and international tourists will become aware of this incredible opportunity to see the fifth largest animal that ever graced this planet.
Whale Watching tours are conducted aboard commercial vessels with experienced crews in superb conditions and this is available to families with young children, elderly and disabled people.
The bond between dolphins and humans is widely accepted, in fact we often read about the dolphin's healing powers, which can help the sick, depressed or handicapped. But how many people know, that perhaps thousands of bottlenose, spinner and common dolphins come into the Bay, together with the Humpback whales and they are almost as popular as the whales?
Does such a bond also exist between whales and humans?
When passengers see their first whale, their reactions vary from nervous laughter, shouting, crying (with real tears), applauding or being totally speechless.
Hervey Bay has a natural tourist attraction, which will continue to draw an ever increasing number of people, but apart from just looking at the whales, the incredible story of their life, feeding habits, migration, intelligence etc. must also be told as, eventually, this may assist the whales' ultimate survival on the planet.
To go and see the whales may be the first step for many people to appreciate and to understand the environment and the impact pollution could have.
In these articles I have tried to tell the story of the Humpback whales as I do every day to the passengers aboard my vessel, the M.V. SAFARI PRINCESS. Many passengers have asked me to put the story on tape, so they can play it in the car, going to work. I think that a picture always tells a thousand words and a book with some of the best photographs in the world would be much better.
The contents of these articles is based on reading many reports, books, discussions with scientists, researchers and other operators and of course my own observations, since the beginning of commercial whale watching in 1987 and after spending almost every day amongst the Humpback whales, whilst they are in the Bay.
To a marine biologist my conclusions may be too simplistic, but I believe it will assist the readers to have a better understanding of the Humpback whales.
I make no apologies for creating more questions than providing answers. That is the mystery that surrounds the Humpback whales and I sincerely hope, that this will remain for a long time.