Humpback whales show off their moves
IT WAS a whale of a weekend for Coffs Harbour local Geoff Hampson when he spotted pods of great ocean beauties cruising just metres away.
Geoff was on board the Pacific Explorer on Saturday when he saw more than a dozen humpback whales passing the boat.
"I've lived in Coffs Harbour for 30 years and I've never seen one before," he said.
"We had friends staying with us from Sydney so we decided to head out. It's something that's been on the bucket list for many years."
For more than two and a half hours, the boat followed the whales as they made their annual east coast migration to warmer waters.
Geoff - a regular contributor to the Advocate's Loving the Coffs Coast section - was ready with his camera.
"We saw them as soon as we got out of the harbour and everyone was just blown away by the experience."
"To see them that close was awe-inspiring in the truest sense.
"I'll be going out again, that's for sure."
The population of humpback whales is estimated to be around 20,000 with an annual growth rate of about 10-11%.
During the 1960s, at the end of the peak global whaling industry, the population was reduced to a few hundred.