A Whale of a Time

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It was a normal day at the beach, laying down on the sand watching the fiery clouds and waiting for the sun to disappear below the horizon. Actually, that’s not a normal day at all, but by Perth’s standards it is. And then, we spotted a fin.

Or is it a shark?

Or is it a shark?

I’ve done a lot of preparation for this year – where to visit, what to see, what to do, all the way down to the finest details like what chocolate is available in Perth (actually this isn’t a finer detail, it is of utmost importance). But never did I prepare for being metres away from a southern right whale. Snakes, spiders, yes, but whales, that would never happen. I questioned whether it was dangerous, and if there would be sharks nearby, but before we knew it two of us stripped down to our underwear and swam after the whale, and got to ten metres away. After all, how often was I going to swim with a whale that was just 70 metres off the most popular beach in one of the coolest cities in the world? We were incredibly lucky to spend 20 minutes in the company of one of the third largest animals on the planet, and it was up there with the most incredible and humbling moments I’ve ever experienced.

Perth standards are high, but that was no normal day at the beach.

You can see the two fins of the whale to the right of the picture, my head is just underneath. This screenshot was taken from a sunset timelapse I happened to be taking on my phone

You can see the two fins of the whale to the right of the picture, my head is just underneath. This screenshot was taken from a sunset timelapse I happened to be taking on my phone

Aside from this, I’ve had the best couple weeks ever, doing things that would usually be the highlight of my year. Here’s a quick list:

  • I’ve taken a selfie with a kangaroo. (Sidenote – I’ve also tasted kangaroo for the first time. You’ll be pleased to know these were separate occasions)
Love at first sight

Love at first sight

  • I watched my first Aussie Rules Football match. I was kindly taken by the Deputy Head of College to a Fremantle Dockers vs Carlton Blues game. The atmosphere was incredible, helped by the fact the local Dockers won, and the sport was surprisingly easy to pick up and very enjoyable. There even was an 80 year old woman behind me passionately swearing at the umpires. What a bogan.
Subiaco Stadium

Subiaco Stadium

  • A friend and I bought bodyboards of Gumtree (the best procrastination website ever) and we’ve caught a wave or two in Cottesloe.
  • We also went to a rock-climbing centre which destroyed my forearms (and pride) within half an hour.
  • Dolphins reside in our local river (obvs) and I’ve spotted these on a couple occasions, along with loads of Black Swans (the emblem of Western Australia) and a few jellyfish. I apologise, I haven’t yet seen a snake, or a spider larger than my fingernail. I’ll keep you updated.
  • I took a 20 minute trip and went with a few friends to go cliff-jumping off 11 metre rocks. That was pretty cool.
Spot me

Spot me

There’s a sale on for return flights to Perth in December, just in case you were wondering…

Neal

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