The Captain’s Log

Mantaray in the Whitsundays as seen by Derwent Hunter day trip tall ship sailing adventure

Mantarays and beautiful coral with Derwent Hunter

Mantarays are awesome!

Mantaray in the Whitsundays as seen by Derwent Hunter day trip tall ship sailing adventure

We were visited by this majestic creature this week, and boy was he HUGE! These reef mantas can grow to 4.5m in wingspan, and they’re the smaller of the two manta ray species! It’s oceanic cousin can reach a whopping 7m in wingspan!

We couldn’t tell you how big this gentle giant was, but if you ask Captain Josh who took this photo, he’ll tell you!

“It was THIIIIIIIIIIIS BIG” and he’ll be telling the truth – probably underestimating!

7 fun facts about Manta Rays

  1. They are completely harmless to humans, despite how big they are. They have a non-functioning tail spine and about 300 usless little teeth.
  2. They are ‘filter-feeders’ that eat plankton, crustaceans and small fish, that they scoop out of the ocean with their big scoopers.
  3. They give birth to ‘pup’s around every 2 years, and they come out like little rolled up burritos!
  4. They are known to congregate in the hundreds, in fact a single sighting is pretty rare.
  5. They sometimes leap out of the water but no one is really sure why. It may be for fun, it may for cleaning or it may be some kind of athletic mating ritual.
  6. They are considered smarter than dolphins.
  7. The spanish word ‘manta’ means blanket… you can see why they have been called this!

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Finding wonderful coral in the Whitsundays

We have been exploring the fringing reefs in the northern Whitsunday Islands and are constantly amazed at the resilience of our little eco system here. We’ve captured these beautiful photos to show you what’s down there, and how well it’s recovering after Debbie.

coral underwater in the Whitsundays post cyclone Debbie with Derwent Hunter

This little fuzzy looking thing is a Christmas Tree Worm! They’re awesome! They live in little holes in hard coral structures, typically in big clusters, and they have these wonderful spiral shaped feathers that come out in the shape of a Christmas Tree. When you swim past them, or just wave a hand or fin, they dart back inside their little homes, away from the rush of water. They also come in many colours.

Derwent Hunter snorkelling with a Christmas Tree worm colony

Purple coral and blue clam in the Whitsunday reefs after cyclone debbie with Derwent Hunter

Look at this beautiful picture above – purple coral colours and a hidden clam in electric blue.

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Cruise ship days are great days

We had another full boat of cruise ship guests this week, and got to sail past the big modern P&O liner, in our 70-year old wooden tallship – love the juxtaposition.

Happy smiles all round as we took these guests out for a snorkel and sail around the Whitsunday Islands.

DH cruise ship guests 040817

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How to snorkel with Derwent Hunter

Excellent snorkelling technique with a noodle for extra buoyancy

Snorkelling made easy y the lovely staff at Derwent Hunter Whitsundays

Ready to go with the “Snorkel Express” – hop in the dinghy and we’ll take you straight to the best spots we’ve found.

On the Snorkelling made easy y the lovely staff at Derwent Hunter Whitsundays snorkel express dinghy taking you straight to the best coral

Snorkel without getting your hair wet with our special “bathyscope”

Snorkelling made easy y the lovely staff at Derwent Hunter Whitsundays snorkel without getting wet

It’s that easy!

We can show you the beauty of the underwater world no matter your abilities or fitness.
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Spring Special on now!

Book by end September and save $20!
Valid for travel to 31 March 2018.

Adults sail for just $175
Concessions for just $155

Book It

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“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever”

-Jacques Yves Cousteau

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