In August of 2018, I spent two weeks in Byron Bay. These two weeks were wonderful with crystal clear water, beautiful sunny weather and even though it was winter the temperature was very warm. Every day delivered a little wonder or a surprise for me. I saw dozens of dolphins, hundreds of whales with their calves, amazing sunsets and sharks patrolling the shore.
But the last couple of days of my trip completely took my breath away.
First, I witnessed a spectacular rescue performed by dolphins when two humpback whales became disoriented and the dolphins guided them away from the shore and back to the sea. And then later on I was in the water taking photos of the waves when a pod of dolphins appeared next to me swimming and jumping happily.
On my last day, I walked up to the lighthouse to say goodbye to this amazing place.
I meditated at the lookout just above Wategos Beach and after I finished and opened my eyes I saw a large group of people with banners jumping and waving happily. They were watching the Sea Shepherds’ anti-whaling ship ‘Steve Irwin’ sailing past. I walked there and stayed with them to take a couple of shots of this unique event. I thought to myself how cool would it be to capture the ship with a whale next to it? I looked around but I didn’t see any sign of whales. I couldn’t get this thought out of my head so I kept looking at the horizon desperately searching for whales. All of a sudden my imagination came true!
Out of the blue, a humpback whale began to breach behind the ship and kept leaping out of the water for about 15-20 minutes. It stayed next to the boat performing an unbelievable show for the crew and the spectators on the shore. It seemed as if the whale was showing the crew its appreciation for their presence.
As the whale was breaching, the gathered crowd was gasping and cheering in awe. It was an incredible moment! There was so much love in the air that you could almost touch it!
The love of the Sea Shepherd team towards the whales, the whales’ love of the team and their gratitude for protecting them. I just can’t describe this feeling…it was out of this world!