Sailor's close encounter with a giant of the deep
KEEN sailor Kathy Brown always has her camera on hand.
When sailing back from South Solitary Island recently she was rewarded with a close encounter with a pod of whales breaching in the harbour.
Also out on the water at the time was the Australian Sailing Team, in Coffs Harbour for a training camp.
"My husband Greg and were coming back on our 28-foot monohull Lotus Bird and were heading back to the Jetty when we spotted the very small sail boats out training with a rescue dinghy in attendance," Kathy said.
"The whales came along very close and did some wonderful displays right in front of the little sailboats.
"I had my camera poised and ready and was so happy that I captured these photographs."
The Australian Sailing Team recently completed their 10-day training camp in town.
Australian Olympic Gold Medalist Mat Belcher was one of those participating in the training camp and found the close encounter incredibly humbling.
He said Coffs is a great training venue particularly being roughly halfway between Sydney and his home town on the Gold Coast.
Sailing since the age of six, he is a member of the Southport Yacht Club and has been on the Australian Sailing Team since 2001.
Whales are currently on their migration north with record numbers spotted along our coastlines.
Popular whale watch locations like Look at Me Now Headland at Emerald Beach draw locals and tourists alike to catch a glimpse of them frolicking along their way.
Numbers are going up every year with currently around 30,000 migrating up to Queensland and back.