A Sydney sailing crew have described their amazing close encounter with a pod of humpback whales off the northern NSW coast.
The crew were cleaning the vessel ‘Barefoot’ when the whales appeared off Byron Bay.
“We were speechless,” Barefoot captain Dean Cropp said.
“He came so close, he was swinging his pectoral fins over near us.
“It was almost like he was going to reach out and touch us.”
Those onboard the vessel had been navigating the Coral Sea for two months and were returning to Sydney when the three whales appeared.
“It was completely wild,” deck boss Kate West said.
“I remember just being in the water and they literally came out of nowhere.”
Ms West said while the whales playfully circled, the humpback trio remained in control of the encounter.
“They swam only as close as they wanted to,” she said. “But they were just so curious.”
The whales were last seen heading north to warmer waters.