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Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc.

PO Box 403
Nowra NSW 2541

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A Whale of a Day - by Dot Gallagher

I was leading the on-track walk from Abraham's Bosom to Gossang's Tunnel and when we arrived at the tunnel I pointed to it and said: "There you are - bend down and go through there."

"But you're the leader. YOU go first." I HATE getting dirty, but yes, I was the leader, so I got down on hands and knees and crawled through on the salty black dust to the sea side of the cliff, and headed towards the only ledge to claim a seat for lunch. From the corner of my eye I was aware of a large black bulk rising up from the sea, right beside the cliff, and I thought "Its a submarine! The Russians are coming!" It was a strange sensation - this PRESENCE beside me! I then realized the 'bulk' was alive, a huge whale with the sea running down its sides as it surfaced. It had company - a baby whale - and the baby fired itself into the air, twirling, then dived back beside the other.


Where were the other bushwalkers? I rushed back to the tunnel shouting "Whale!" and a sea of faces looked back at me from behind the next walker (name withheld) slowly negotiating the tunnel on her haunches. Finally they were all out on the ledge but by now the whales had turned towards the horizon. They kept performing however, spouting (mother first, then baby) diving and resurfacing, until right out at sea, so we all had a good view. Being first on the scene, I had those whales to myself for a short time, seemingly close enough to reach out and touch. I will never ever be closer to a whale in all my life - unless one swallows me.

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