Stinker’s Fishin’: Boaties beware

Whales love Stinkpot in front of the Outer Lighthouse.

THE whale watching season is in full swing with a procession of the monsters leisurely cruising north.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of the season opening celebrations when a fleet of local vessels left the port and headed for the open ocean.

There are whales everywhere, an estimated 40,000 passing with a population increasing at thirteen percent each year.

This is great news, however there is a problem for those of us who head to sea fishing in a tinny.

As you know ‘Stinkpot’ is 3 metres in length, which looks even smaller when an adult humpback wants to cuddle up and make friends.

Last season I had numerous close encounters in front of the Outer Lighthouse.

I mean real close, within a couple of metres!

Inquisitive giants, just wanting to make eye contact.

Whales stare at me and I can clearly see the barnacles and smell their breath!

It’s a strange sensation, more excitement than fear.

I check my life jacket and look for the closest rock to swim to if I get up-ended.

I do expect more tales of encounters as this season progresses.

I would suggest to all boaties to have a ‘whale plan’ in place.

Good news for those who make the Nelson Bay Breakwall their second home over the winter months.

The luderick have arrived.

Thumpers with broad shoulders and bright eyes.

Remember, ten fish in one day is the bag limit.

By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE

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