Travel

Swimming with the Australian Minke Whales

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TAPinto Travels Editor-in-Chief or James Bond? It is hard to tell with all that gear.
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It's clearly James Bond. What other travel magazine would risk an editor so cavalierly?
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The Great Barrier is an amazing sight regardless of your vantage point.
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Good news! You get to ride in style.
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Snorkeling for Whales is fun and surprisingly good for those core muscles.
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We get to swim with whales and ride in a Zodiac. This is like taking a Tom Clancy film and throw in a National Geographical Society photographer for fun.
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It approaches from deep within the Coral Sea, 20 feet of steel grey torpedo-shaped flesh that sends shivers through the gaggle of snorkelers peering down from the surface.


A great white shark?

Nope. The elusive minke whale and we have leaped off a dive boat far out in Australia's Great Barrier Reef to swim with them.

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Much to the consternation of environmentalists, human interaction with whales is a noticeable tourism trend around the world. And while Australian authorities don't want to deny visitors the opportunity to witness these majestic creatures, they also want to ensure it is done right.

The number of boats allowed out at any time is strictly regulated, as are the companies licensed to do so. The number of swimmers in the water is restricted and they are spaced about five feet apart, allowing the naturally inquisitive mammals to choose who -- or if -- they approach. Touching and photographing the animals is prohibited.
 

Minke whales are gentle giants only recently seen to be congregating in certain parts of  Australia's outer reefs during the summer months, whether for feeding or breeding or simply migration. 


Once spotted, engines are silenced and a dozen swimmers hustle to leap into the clear, warm water, latching on to a throw rope tossed out ahead.

One especially curious whale ventures hesitatatingly to within six feet before turning away -- in the process granting visitors the adventure of a lifetime.

If you feel up for the trip, here is how you do it.

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Cranford

Podcast: Cranford Radio Interviews New Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados

January 11, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders have elected Elizabeth resident Sergio Granados to serve as their chairman for 2018.

At Sunday’s reorganization meeting, Granados outlined his initiatives for the coming year.

On Thursday, he spoke with Cranford Radio to discuss them further.

 

WalletHub Ranks NJ 2nd Worst State to Retire In

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NJ — If it seems like everyone in New Jersey moves to Florida when it’s time to retire, there’s good reason. In a new study, finance website WalletHub ranks New Jersey the second worst state to retire in. Only Kentucky was ranked lower. Florida, on the other hand, was ranked no. 1.

WalletHub said it compared the 50 US states across 41 key metrics, with a data set ...

Men of Bronze, Harlem’s Rattlers Featured in Union County Black History Month Celebration

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The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to welcome all residents and visitors to the 2018 Union County Black History Month Celebration event, featuring a screening of Men of Bronze, a rare 1977 documentary about the 369th Regiment in World War I.

Keynote speaker Dr. Jeffery Sammons, Professor of History at New York University, will provide commentary on the film and present his ...

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The New Tax Plan: When It Comes To Real Estate, There are Still Winners

Let’s see who wins and who may lose.

We have all heard a lot about the new tax plan. Depending on your individual financial situation, you may have a positive or negative take on the tax bill. But how does it impact real estate? That also depends on a few things, like where you are buying a house, how much money you have, and what you intend to do with it.

The new tax plan has had a ...

Cranford Police Blotter: Multiple Drug-Related Arrests & More

January 16, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity. Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

1. 01/10/2018 10:45 a.m.

North Avenue East and Carpenter Place

Arrested: Vasilios Elzahr, 39, Elizabeth

Arrested by: Ptl. Gregory Federici

Charges: ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, January 19, 7:30 PM

Wilkins Theater at Kean University, Union

Collaborative Concert of Musicians with ...

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, January 23, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

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Wed, January 24, 12:00 PM

The Gateway Family YMCA, Elizabeth

Learn How to Start and Grow a Successful Business

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