School’s out Friday

I’ve returned from a really wonderful holiday in Port Douglas with my family. We had the opportunity to visit the Great Barrier Reef where we snorkeled amongst the coral and fascinating sea life. I didn’t encounter any creatures quite like those featured in the video above, but I did see a truly marvellous array of colourful sea life, all basking in their own private world and probably none too thrilled about the intrusion of human forms into that idyllic space.

At this time of year, humpback whales are migrating along the coast of Far North Queensland, and we were hoping we would have the opportunity to see one. On the boat ride out to the reef, I thought I saw a large shape in the water further out, and they stopped the boat trying to spot it. Rather embarrassingly, there was nothing there. On the way back I thought I saw another shape in the water, and once again, other passengers were fixated on the spot, until we were informed by the crew that it was a reef with waves washing over it. Yet another embarrassing moment! After this, I gave up on the whale spotting, figuring there would be no encounters for us.

Literally no more than 10 minutes later, the boat pulled up and we were in the midst of a pod of humpbacks who were rising out of the water and giving us all an opportunity to marvel at their size, especially their magnificent tails as they arced down into the depths. At one stage, we were privy to 8 or so dolphins rising in unison through the waves, and then a humpback rose alongside them right next to our boat. My son was lucky enough to capture a really clear sight of the barnacles and scratches on its skin. It was a display of nature at its finest, and it was truly humbling to be there to witness it. There was this feeling of camaraderie amongst those of us viewing these whales; I think there was a collective feeling of exuberance, but also a sense that we were privileged to be in the company of such creatures. It certainly made an already wonderful day even more memorable!

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and it’s the end of my school holiday break. I can’t complain, because I am fortunate to teach in a school that gives us a three week break at this time of the year. I feel refreshed and invigorated, ready to meet the demands of term three.

I hope you’re ready to meet the demands of your weekend, and truly hope that it brings mirth and merriment for you. Enjoy!

2 Comments

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2 responses to “School’s out Friday

  1. Jon

    Excellent blog. It must have been an amazing time, great insight. Luckily you got to see the whales and I bet you want to tell you students about it in term 3. What great use of resources.

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