Mother whale gives a rare glimpse of nature’s beauty
THAR' she blows!
A pregnant humpback whale, who apparently couldn't wait until she reached warmer waters, gave birth to her calf off Sunshine Beach yesterday.
A Noosa Coast Guard crew had front-row seats for the amazing experience after responding to what they thought was a rescue operation for a whale tangled in shark nets.
They were stunned to find the mother whale in the process of giving birth just off the Coast.
Skipper Wally Conway said it was a special and rare moment.
"We sat there and watched the mother holding the calf out of the water with her nose," he said.
"We sat there for a while watching the mother nudging the calf with her nose as the calf learnt to swim for the first time.
"It slowly starting swimming, then it got a little more adventurous and faster and then they swam away.
"I'd never seen anything like it before."
It was almost an all-too familiar experience for Coast Guard crew member Kathy Jones, who has a background in midwifery.
"It was a different perspective on things, that's for sure," Ms Jones said.
"It was a welcomed relief to know we had just arrived to see life taking place, when we thought we were coming out for something much worse."
The crew were not the only ones to witness the special moment.
A photographer captured the entire birth from her balcony and was the first to call the Coast Guard.
"I saw the whale in the water, her fin was out but she was not moving, so I called the Coast Guard thinking that she might be caught in a shark net," the woman said.
"I photographed about 500 shots one after another and as I saw the Coast Guard coming around the headland I kept photographing.
"I didn't realise until I came back and uploaded the photos just what I had captured.
"I am primarily a wildlife photographer, but I am usually shooting birds or koalas around Noosa.
"To see this in front of me and capture it is just, wow!"