Whales bring smiles

The pod of pilot whales frolicking off the Sunshine Coast in Rakiraki a few days ago. Picture WANANAVU BEACH RESORT

A POD of pilot whales brought smiles to tourists on board a Wananavu Beach Resort dive boat in waters off the Sunshine Coast in Rakiraki last week. Resort dive centre and activities manager Angel Brown said it was unusual to see such a large number of the species in the Bligh Waters at this time of the year.

“There were more than 30 of them and they showed up on the side of the boat and made their presence known by communicating to each other with clicks and whistle noises and it was such an amazing experience, especially for our guests,” she said.

“We normally get whale activity between July and August, so this was a huge surprise. “They kind of hung around for 15 minutes before moving off.”

Ms Brown said the whales were spotted about four kilometres off the Tavua coastline in-between Charybdus Reef and Nukurauvula Passage.

According to the Fiji Scuba Diving website, short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) are quite common outside Fiji’s reefs and lagoons.

Pilot whales are very social and live in family pods of a few dozen individuals.

They often mingle with bottlenose or spinner dolphins for protection or to hunt together.

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