Whales put on spectacular show in Keppel Bay
SIX whales including an infant put on a spectacular show for sightseers near Great Keppel Island on Saturday.
Freedom Fast Cats operator Max Allen Snr and whale watchers aboard the Freedom Flyer were treated to "amazing" breaching and aerial displays from the pod of humpbacks, about 7km out from the island, near Egg Rock, around 10.45am.
The Freedom Flyer had not long dropped the majority of its occupants at Great Keppel Island which proved a case of bad luck for them but a stroke of fortune for the nine people who continued on as part of the day's whale watching tour.
"We started to look around and just saw a little sign of a whale and went over towards it," Mr Allen said.
"The next minute whales were jumping out of the water everywhere, it was unreal."
Mr Allen said the excited onlookers also got close and personal with the infant.
"A baby and its mother jumped out of the water right in front of us," he said.
"The little one actually got completely out of the water.
"One bloke with a big camera had just put his camera down before it happened, and he stood there with his mouth open, he couldn't believe it.
"It was certainly one of the most spectacular days I've ever been on with the whales, just the way they were breaching and jumping."
Mr Allen said Saturday's spectacle was the first significant whale sighting in Keppel Bay this winter.
"You couldn't have got a nicer day - it was about 25 degrees and the water was absolutely glassy calm.
"We'd seen a couple of sightings previously this season but only the whales cruising past, nothing like this performance.
"The whales have been about three weeks later arriving this year, so hopefully this is the start of things to come.
Freedom Fast Cats does daily trips to Great Keppel Island and also operates glass-bottom boat tours for people to enjoy the wonders of the reef and its marine life.
Whale watching is seasonal between July and September with tours run Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The Freedom Flyer vessel, which operates out of Rosslyn Bay Harbour at Yeppoon, is specially-designed for whale watching with three decks, all with 360-degree views.
In January the Allen family celebrated 20 years of business with Freedom Fast Cats.
Island life and boats are in the Allen family's blood.
Max Allen Snr's father, Lew Allen, built the first resort on Quoin Island, off Gladstone.