Over a year ago my cousin Toni told me about a great cruise that they went on. Since then I have wanted to go on one of the cruises run by the same company. I knew it wasn't cheap, but thought it would be an extra special thing to do sometime.
Last year when we went to Port Arthur we went to see if we could do the Tamar Island cruise, but the cruise had left a couple of hours earlier. At the time Harri and Kobe weren't keen on going on a boat, as they had bad memories of being in rough water in my brother Eden's boat, so they were relieved to hear we couldn't go on it at the time.
When we went to Hobart last week, I was pleasantly surprised that the weather was pretty nice. We have never been to Bruny Island before and I often see friend's photos from there and think how pretty it looks, so I told the boys that if the weather stayed good that we were going to catch the ferry to go to Bruny Island. I think they expected that we were going to go on a ferry like we do whenever we go to Sydney, so Kobe couldn't believe that we were driving our car onto the ferry, and still doesn't really understand that we were on the ferry as it travelled to Bruny Island. All day he kept asking when we were going to get on the ferry, and I realised later that he didn't realise that the ferry actually travelled to the island as the trip over was so smooth.
While we were on the ferry over to the island I rang the company who ran cruises, to see if we could get on the cruise that day. They said we could, so on the way over to Bruny I told the boys we were going on a cruise. Jay was excited about it, but Harri and Kobe weren't that keen. I told them we were lucky to have such a nice day, and that we didn't know when we could do it again, so they just had to deal with it :)
There were three cruises that day, with about forty three people on each boat. There were two guys on each boat - one who did most of the driving and talking and another guy who would drive at different times and also did some talking at different points throughout the cruise.
While we were getting on the boat we were told that a good place for us would be at the back, because those at the back could stand up at anytime during the cruise, so we happily went to the back. Everyone was given red waterproof and windproof jackets to put on.
Just after we got on the boat the driver told us that for the past ten days there had been a whale that had been sighted in the bay. He said that the week before he went out with some scientists and they confirmed that it was actually a blue whale. He asked everyone if we wanted to go to see if we could find the whale, and of course everyone was excited to. It literally took about five minutes before they found it. It was incredible to see it up so close to the boat.
We spent about half an hour just watching it go up and down in the water. The driver told us it was about 25 metres long and would've weighed around 160 tonnes. He kept saying to the boys 'you are seeing the biggest creature in the world!'.
The driver was so excited and told everyone that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He said that there are people that work in Antarctica that look for years for a blue whale, but never get to see one.
Once the boat started moving the boys realised it wasn't going to be a rough ride at all, and really started to enjoy it - especially once they saw the whale!
After seeing the whale the driver joked that we had seen more than most people see on a cruise, so we should just turn back and go and talk about it. The cruise was usually three hours long, but because we spent time watching the whale it went for three and a half hours. It travelled down the coast of Bruny along the cliffs. The scenery was so beautiful.
Our favourite part (other than seeing the whale) was going really fast between these two cliffs. We ended up doing it three times in the end.
We got to see lots of caves along the way.
I'm sure the guys who do the cruises get bored of doing them every day, but they were so great and made it a lot of fun. They had some awful dad jokes, but they were really funny and told us a lot of information as we stopped at different spots along the way.
Another favourite spot was at the 'breathing rock' which was a big blow hole. At each spot we stopped at they would make sure the boat would turn around a few times, so that everyone could get a good look at it.
We went as far south as the island went, and hit the Southern Ocean. When we did the driver blew the horn a few times.
At the southern end there were hundreds of seals lying on the rocks. It was Harri's favourite thing to see, but the smell was terrible.
The way back to the jetty was a lot colder as we were heading into the wind, but the jackets we were given to wear helped a lot. We had such a fun day and were so glad that we finally did it. It was definitely worth the money, and we were so lucky to see the blue whale. Hopefully it's something the boys will never forget.