Travel

Swimming with the Australian Minke Whales

9bb07d3776c2b9d186ff_IMG_0269.JPG
TAPinto Travels Editor-in-Chief or James Bond? It is hard to tell with all that gear.
aae9ceb4ba6ca5667bc2_IMG_0270.JPG
It's clearly James Bond. What other travel magazine would risk an editor so cavalierly?
2cd79e590071598750d0_IMG_0259.JPG
The Great Barrier is an amazing sight regardless of your vantage point.
04267483c532a0ae5f67_IMG_0260.JPG
f27bb340371bc479b83b_IMG_0263.JPG
Good news! You get to ride in style.
322cca08c9bf36238c22_IMG_0264.JPG
Snorkeling for Whales is fun and surprisingly good for those core muscles.
88e942e5f1d0cd67472e_IMG_0266.JPG
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.
9bb07d3776c2b9d186ff_IMG_0269.JPG

TAPinto Travels 

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.

Sign Up for E-News


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.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23, 8:30 AM

Honor Ridge Academy, Clark

Workshop for Parents & Educators: Reducing ...

Education Giving Back

Carousel_image_c70953d894be29a344d3_best_b59229b3972266545812_magnet_fundraising_auction_2018_flyer_0219

Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Giving Back

Carousel_image_0c8803896cbb8d6cdca4_black_love_matters__2018

Fri, February 23, 7:00 PM

First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, Plainfield

Black Love Matters: A Celebration of Love!

Health & Wellness

Plainfield's Mayor Mapp: The Youth are Setting Examples for All of Us

February 23, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - I am so inspired and moved by the courage and leadership being shown by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who lost their friends and classmates in one of our nation's most horrific school shootings just over one week ago. These students have taken an unspeakable tragedy and turned it into a powerful and positive force for change. Their efforts are inspiring a ...

Statement by Mayor Colleen Mahr

February 23, 2018

First, congratulations to Chairman Nick Scutari. I look forward to working alongside him as 1st Vice Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee. 

For the last three weeks, this campaign for UCDC Chair displayed the power we have and the voice we share. You are the leaders, citizens and activists who are helping shape our future. What you do in your hometowns and participating in the ...

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...

Plainfield ofrece vacunas gratuitas para personas sin seguro o con seguro insuficiente

February 21, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - La Ciudad de Plainfield ofrece vacunas gratuitas para quienes no tienen seguro o están asegurados.

El programa está patrocinado por el Departamento de Salud de Nueva Jersey y el Programa de Vacunas para Niños (VFC). Las vacunas están disponibles los martes de 1 a 5 p.m. y los jueves de 9 a.m. a 1 p.m. en el Edificio Anexo del Ayuntamiento, 510 ...

¡HOPES CAP, Inc. Ofrece Preparacion de Impuestos GRATIS en su Communidad!

PLAINFIELD, NJ - ¡HOPES CAP, Inc. Ofrece Preparacion de Impuestos GRATIS en su Communidad!

Los servicios estarán disponible en los siguientes lugares:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habrá disponible ayuda con la aplicación para números de ITIN y también habrá Auto
Preparación de ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Rapps Pharmacy: What You Need To Know About The Flu

There seems to be no end in sight for the current flu season which has touched every part of the country, and right here in New Jersey.  Rapps Pharmacy, an independent, full service, and locally owned Plainfield neighborhood pharmacy, offers these tips:  

As influenza virus activity increases and is likely to continue circulating for upcoming weeks, the Centers for Disease Control ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)

 

Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Drama by Raina Telgemeir

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic, 2012) (target audience, Young Adults)

 

When my daughter, Shauna, was six years old, we took her to see her first Broadway production; a revival of The Wiz starring Stephanie Mills. I knew that it was the last time Mills could get away with playing Dorothy, and I impressed upon Shauna that seeing this show was a special moment in her life. As a ...

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory (Touchstone, 2017)

Yesterday my cousin, the daughter of my mother's sister, called me from California where she lives, and hit me up for money. This is not the first time she has asked me for money, and not the last, I am sure. She grew up the daughter of a privileged family and cruised to Europe frequently when she was a child. Her wardrobe came from ...

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb (Atria Books, 2017)

 

Sharyn McCrumb is, quite simply, an American gem, and one of my favorite authors. From her books set in Appalachia with strange characters who remind us of our pioneer past, to St. Dale, a masterpiece about the legendary car racer, Dale Earnhardt in McCrumb's NASCAR series, McCrumb's poetic language and attention to ...