Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day 3: Eden Whale Watching

Twofold Bay from my hotel room

We met the boat at 7:15am. A chilly wind was blowing strongly. I was snug as the proverbial bug (Proverbs 18:25) in my windriver jacket wot the Slobro bought for me in Canadia. Blessings upon his house, yea, and unto his unruly hair.
Caroline was regretting her three quarter length pants. I explained that was the air-sea gap that the Defence Department was always going on about.
Solved: Longer socks.
Take that Indonesia!

The air-sea gap closed

We cruised across the stream of short-tailed shearwaters (mutton birds) as they headed out into the bay. I'd been reading about the US pacific campaign in WW2 so I couldn't but think of US carrier-borne aircraft as the mutton birds played follow-my-leader with the air currents just above the heaving water. Between two waves they bank to catch a gust of wind, each one in turn.
I'm riding on one element, watching another be a master of theirs.

Short tailed shearwaters

Gannets arrowing into the brine. Mutton birds streaming out into the bay. Joined by albatross, pacific gulls, terns and cormorants (black and pied).
Caroline saw 75 albatross of which, on further info, half were pacific gulls. Or 48% to be specific. An albatross floating on the water, as the boat passed it regally spread its wings, took six hops and was airborne.
A large brown flecked gull glided past the stern. I suggested it was a juvenile pacific gull, but since it didn't have adult markings it was hard to specify. So it was a non-specific or inspecific gull.
The Pacific gull's specific name is pacificus. How boring, but get young women say it five times fast whilst drunk and they'll say 'penis'. True.

Impressive creature #1

The first sighting was a mother and calf. The next was a mother, an escort, and a calf. They rose right next to the boat and seemed to be playing with us by diving for a long time then coming up very close to the front or rear. The white of their flukes a few metres down allowed us to see them early enough to rush to the appropriate spot on the boat.
The escort took off. He was no gentleman.

Impressive creatures #2 and 3

We ate horrible food at "Taste of Eden" on the wharf.
Caroline's verdict: Absolutely ghastly!
And a rip off. Don't go. The food at the Great Southern was good, but overpriced.

The Killer Whale Museum is very very good. Extremely enthusiastic resident guide/researcher. He'll talk your ear off and you'll love it. He doesn't so much talk as download. Awesome.

I didn't ask.

Caroline went walking and found the fisherman's club (a rebadged RSL). Excellent food. The chef trained under Rick Stein. Go there. Fuck everything else in Eden, go to the Rissole.
I thought I'd won ten points for "Spot the Asian" but my perpheral vision was playing me false and they were only Italians.

Smoky mussels and now (at 8:46pm) a smokey whiskey. Remind me to have a smoked mussels and whiskey night.
The barmaid is a vision.

The Great Southern Hotel


Pippilicious said...

and yes, the killer whale museum is awesome too. i assume you mean the one where the killer whales used to heard the fish into shore for the fishermen, and all the different whales were named by their dorsal fins??

harry said...

Yes. But not fish. They herded humpback whales in and assisted with the kill by lying across the target's blow hole (which is how they kill them normally).
Yes, they were mostly named for their dorsal fins, but the most gregarious was a male called Old Tom.
The museum was set up to honour him.

Cozalcoatl said...

Have you read "Killers Of Eden" by Tom Mead. Its all about the Orca's herding the Humpbacks into the bay and the people who worked with them. Worth a read.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

remember: have a smoked mussel and whiskey night.

as long as there's something other than whiskey to drink.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...


hee hee hee

he said ass shells.