Close encounter off a Cooktown reef site leaves magical lasting memory
A MARINE biology student has described the "absolutely magical" moment when a pod of dwarf minke whales surrounded her on a reef dive site off Cooktown.
Germany’s Isabel Ender snapped these amazing photos when up to 20 dwarf minke whales swam up to her and her fellow divers during a recent trip with Mike Ball Dive Expeditions to Ribbon Reefs nine and 10.
"It was absolutely magical,’’ Ms Ender said.
"When you see them in real life, it’s totally unpredictable because they’re these big, beautiful animals that have something incredibly gentle about them.’’
The whales were near dive spots Lighthouse Bommie and Two Towers.
"The average duration they stayed in the water with the boat was two hours, and you could tell that they started to get more confident because they came closer and closer over the encounter,’’ Ms Ender said.
"Some of them became really interested and came up to you and then they stop, turn around and show their belly.
"They’re obviously trying to communicate something to you and we’re trying to figure out what that is.’’
The Master of Science (marine biology) student is conducting research into the behavioural patterns of the animals as part of JCU’s minke whale project. The best months to catch minke whales on the Reef are June and July.
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Wonderful sight: German visitor Isabel Ender took these amazing photos of minke whales during a dive trip on Ribbon Reefs, off Cooktown.