This story starts with me booking a whale watching cruise for a completely different day than the one I meant to. It continues with me then making a silk purse out of it by realising that my sister and cousin would both be in town at that time, and that perhaps we could all go together.

So we did.

Here follows the story [in pictures] of the sisters, the cousins, and the whales.

{Photo taken on Emma’s camera by stranger, so not sure who to credit here}

We prepared for boating by making sure we had layers, more layers, and sensible shoes

Further preparations involved stocking up on anti sickness medications, although as it turned out all the actual medications contained gluten (sidenote: whaaaat) so I was stuck with just the natural ginger tablets

We queued, we wobbled aboard. As requested by the crew we shared a table with people we didn’t know. No bother, we thought

We listened to the loud lady behind us insist she would not share her table, as it ‘invaded’ her ‘personal space’

We queued for the buffet and marvelled at the skyscrapers of Barangaroo slipping past, and then suddenly the whole city skyline was there

What a view!

Surprisingly, we enjoyed our lunch a lot. Most of the buffet was gluten free (everything except the bread rolls) which made me very happy

We counted suburbs, mansions, and waterfront views

We spotted secret beaches, famous beaches, and nude beaches

We avoided the small boats zipping about in the stiff breeze

I cracked into my emergency chocolate supply

We hit the choppy waters as we exited the heads and put our sea legs (and anti-sickness medication) to the test

We squinted out to sea, concentrating on looking for whale breath

We saw sail boats, oil tankers, yachts, other whaling boats… and no whales

A whale!

Which whale to follow?

We found a larger whale making its way up the coast with purpose. Our captain decided to follow it as it looked like it might be a breacher (some whales are more likely to do this than others, apparently)

The whale did not breach

The whale did surface very close to the boat on numerous occasions, at least once giving the captain a fright at how close it surfaced

We saw whale tail

{Photo taken by Emma}

We saw Manly beach, with an ominous bushfire cloud spreading across the horizon. We hoped for controlled backburning and not an actual bushfire

We followed the whale for a few surface spells, then left her on her merry way before heading back towards the heads

We bounced and jounced around the boat as it picked up speed, getting rather closer to people we did not know than we may have otherwise done

We enjoyed the warm sunshine and the fresh sea air

As the heads came back into view we saw the views, views, and some more views

I took all. the. photos

Because how could you not? I still can’t believe this city is my home now

My camera definitely got a workout

{In action – photo taken by Emma sneakily while I wasn’t looking}

The harbour really is beautiful from the water

I highly recommend whale watching as a great way to experience the city of Sydney from a different angle. We went through Oz Whale Watching and I was impressed with the boat, the food, and most importantly the quality of guide and captain. I would recommend to a friend (especially if they’re gluten free). We went for the lunchtime BBQ cruise and got our vouchers off Groupon. Not sponsored by anyone; least of all sisters and cousins.

[When a whale surfaced behind S as he was taking a photo of us]

Have you ever gone whale watching? Can you tell who is my cousin and who is my sister!?

-Rachel

Postscript: The loud lady behind who valued her personal space so highly got seasick. Very seasick. I did not mention the word karma (but I certainly did think it)

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