STUNNING SIGHT: A young humpback whale got up close to divers underwater on a Sunday dive at Wolf Rock.
STUNNING SIGHT: A young humpback whale got up close to divers underwater on a Sunday dive at Wolf Rock. Wolf Rock Dive

EPIC: Divers get magical close up with humpback

DIVERS were treated to a rare sight yesterday when a humpback whale passing through Cooloola Coast waters stopped metres from them as they descended underwater from a dive boat.

The juvenile male was captured on underwater camera as it curiously, but calmly investigated the four divers and one instructor who were descending to popular dive site Wolf Rock.

Often heard underwater or seen from the boat, Wolf Rock Dive co-owner Fiona Butler said yesterday's up close and personal encounter with the divers was rare.

 

A humpback wowed divers by floating for several minutes just metres from their descending boat on Sunday. Courtesy of Wolf Rock Dive.
A humpback wowed divers by floating for several minutes just metres from their descending boat on Sunday. Courtesy of Wolf Rock Dive. Contributed

"He literally just sat in front of them for a minute or so and had a good look before swimming off," Mrs Butler said.

"It was a really nice interaction - you hear them and think they're really close, but they're usually quite flighty.

"He was obviously interested," she said.

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STUNNING SIGHT: A young humpback whale got up close to divers underwater on a Sunday dive at Wolf Rock.
STUNNING SIGHT: A young humpback whale got up close to divers underwater on a Sunday dive at Wolf Rock. Wolf Rock Dive

Mrs Butler believes the thousands of whales passing Cooloola Coast waters during their annual migration use Wolf Rock, made up of four volcanic pinnacles east of Double Island Point, to navigate the coastline.

"We think they use Wolf Rock as a navigating pinnacle to get up past Fraser Island because they want to stay in the deeper water," Mrs Butler said.

"We hear them a lot on the dive but it's the first time we've seen them this year."

The whales regularly migrate from Antarctic waters along the east coast of Australia every winter to the warmer waters of the Great Barrier Reef to breed and calve.

This year is predicted to be a bumper season for whale sightings, with migration beginning earlier than usual.

 

The underwater sights at Wolf Rock on Sunday. Courtesy of Wolf Rock Dive.
The underwater sights at Wolf Rock on Sunday. Courtesy of Wolf Rock Dive. Contributed

MORE ON WOLF ROCK: Big numbers of endangered shark off Rainbow Beach

Wolf Rock is also a hot spot of activity for the critically endangered grey nurse shark, where up to 70 pregnant grey nurse sharks have been sighted at a time.

Mrs Butler said every day this month there have been at least 30-40 sharks sighted at a time.

Mrs Butler said surface conditions for diving can be calmer and clearer in winter.

 

The underwater sights at Wolf Rock on Sunday. Courtesy of Wolf Rock Dive.
The underwater sights at Wolf Rock on Sunday. Courtesy of Wolf Rock Dive. Contributed

 

The underwater sights at Wolf Rock on Sunday. Courtesy of Wolf Rock Dive.
The underwater sights at Wolf Rock on Sunday. Courtesy of Wolf Rock Dive. Contributed

 

STUNNING SIGHT: A young humpback whale got up close to divers underwater on a Sunday dive at Wolf Rock.
STUNNING SIGHT: A young humpback whale got up close to divers underwater on a Sunday dive at Wolf Rock. Wolf Rock Dive
Gympie Times


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