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December 15, 2018
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When it comes to taking time off for a vacation, there are endless choices as to what you can do. Some people might simply enjoy relaxing by themselves at home, relishing the free time they have without having to worry about deadlines. Other people, however, enjoy going out and visiting new places. In some cases, this might be taking a road trip with a group of friends or family. Other times, you might choose to take a vacation elsewhere. Some people prefer to choose an activity that will take up a good portion of the day. One of the most popular activities to choose from is whale watching. Going on a whale watching tour is not only fun for the entire family, but it can give you a weekend that you will never forget.

What Does Whale Watching Involve?

As the name might suggest, whale watching in Sydney involves boarding a boat and setting out hoping to spot some whales in their natural habitats. While you might be able to see whales up close at a zoo, there’s something special when it comes to watching whales being comfortable in their natural habitat. A whale watching tour will often start with you stepping foot onto a boat and then heading out to a location where whales are commonly found. As you watch for whales, there’s a good chance that you will see a variety of behaviours from the whales themselves. A professional on the cruise will be able to inform you what the whales are doing and provide some reasons as to why whales act as they do.

What Can Whales Do?

If you are lucky enough to spot some whales on your whale watching tour, you will want to know what types of whale behaviours you might see. For example, some of the more common things that you might see are fin slapping and tail slapping. Fin slapping often involves the whales slapping their pectoral fins on the water. This is thought to be a means of communication to other whales, though it could also be a way for whales to remove parasites from their pectoral fins. Similarly, tail slaps happen when the whale raises its tail out of the water and forcefully brings it back down. More often than not, it is a repetitive motion thought to serve as a warning.

There are some other behaviours that are less common, but even more stunning to see. The peduncle throw, for instance, is when the whale throws its tail out of the water and slaps the area between the dorsal fin and the tail fluke (otherwise known as the peduncle) onto the water’s surface. This often creates a large splash of water; however, it is no challenge to the most iconic whale behaviour that you might be able to see on a whale watching tour. The breach is one of the most spectacular things you can witness a whale doing. The whale will use its tail and propel itself out of the water, typically bringing most of its body out of the ocean in the process, before coming down with an enormous splash. While it is not fully understood why whales do this, it is thought to either be a form of communication or a way to rid the whale’s entire body of parasites. No matter the reason why whales choose to breach, it is truly a sight to behold.

Fenton Gerry

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