Captain James Cook named this island in 1770 believing it caused interference with the magnets on board the Endeavour.
By the late 19th century Europeans had settled the island.
All men live enveloped in whale -lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realise the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life. (Herman Melville, Moby Dick)
In keeping with our love of all things coastal – hence our garden title “CrabandFish” – not just a combination of our star signs – but a calling to all things natatorial, we embarked on a whale watching excursion.
We have foregone the wineries, chocolate factories and fine food outlets for a two hour sea-faring adventure in this part of the region of Margaret River. As our followers know, we are holidaying in one of the most ancient and magnificent regions in Australia, renowned for its ruggedness and beauty. The beauty we sought out today, was the elusive and dramatic beauty of the hump-back whale.
Whale watching is just that – a concentration of the senses, a patient disposition and a navigational vessel that knows its waters. Our “Naturaliste” vessel took a group for forty of us out to sea and promised a sighting of whales and it did not disappoint. After a slow start – we are such impatient creatures, we humans – our first sighting appeared, albeit for only a few seconds. This was followed by not one but two diving tails and a collective, outpouring of excitement.
We were then to begin our chase as our vessel picked up speed pursued these creatures with a frenzy – was this the excitement those whalers experienced? But how could anyone bear to end the life of these magnificent and majestic sea creatures? In the horizon we could see their spouts spewing water, their breaching, their wings and splashing tails. We gathered pace until we were surrounded by whales to the shrieks of delight from all on board.
According to the tourist brochures, Western Australia has one of the longest migratory seasons for whales – from May to December and many can be seen from the shore-line. So we were indeed privileged to witness them frolicking in these waters.
Once you have experienced seeing these grand creatures in their world, you have to marvel at the beauty of their existence. They do not threaten us but live parallel to our shore and breath and feel and nurture as we do. Let us watch them and admire them as nature’s grandest creatures.