Last year we went out with Jason on the "Brahminy" and had an awesome whale watching experience. This year we left our trip a little late in the season but knew even if we missed the whales that the trip round the islands would still be fantastic. First a little about the skipper and his boat! The boat is New Zealand built Stabicraft aluminium alloy plate boat and for those that don't know boats that doesn't mean much but in real terms it means safe, safe, safe and very stable and seaworthy. You could literally run a fire hose into this boat and it will not sink as it has positive flotation chambers built in to the hull. The other advantage is when people all move to one side of the boat to see a whale it does not list or lean over like a normal v bottom boat. The ride is excellent and smooth and all the equipment is in tip top shape. I am a safety freak and Jasons craft "Brahminy" fulfills all my demands with regards to seaworthiness. Jason the Owner/Skipper has literally spent a lifetime on the water operating a broad range of craft but what is really great is that he knows the waterways around Mission Beach like the back of his hand. He is well liked and respected by local boaters and during our trip made multiple phone calls to people who were out on the water looking for intel to help him to find a whale for us! He is respectful towards the whales at all times and will work hard to get you in a good position without harassing the whale. You know from the minute that you step on board that this man wants you to have a fantastic day and is not just some employee who is going through the motions.
OK back to our day. We left at midday and after a safety brief and invitation to enjoy complimentary (that's Latin for awesome) white chocolate/berry muffins and chilled water at any time during the trip we were underway. By the way if you don't try out Bec's muffins you are missing out big time and deserve to be keelhauled! We traveled around the islands and the scenery was simply stunning...I often found myself looking at the islands instead of looking for whales! I saw a small school of flying fish on the way out as well which was a bonus :) The sea built up a little but I was surprised at how comfortable the ride was. There was plenty of room up front for passengers to stay dry and there were no complaints from the senior passengers who were sitting up the front which proved to me that it wasn't just me who was impressed by the comfort level of this craft. My mother in law was sitting up front and on the drive home after our trip she had nothing but praise for the boat and the experience. This is her third trip with Jason and she does not like boats!
Jason decided to move inshore as he suspected that the whales like us might be seeking smoother water. Just as we were starting to resign ourselves to a trip with no whales a magnificent mother and young calf were sighted in shallow water near a reef. We were treated to an extraordinary show when the young calf spy hopped/breached 3 times as it swam towards and then under our boat as we sat still in the ocean. WOW! I only got one decent shot but others did a lot better fortunately. It was an amazing close encounter and combined with the enchanting island scenery and blue skies rounded off what was a wonderful whale watching trip indeed.
I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this business to anyone interested in fishing, snorkeling, whale watching or island exploring around Mission Beach. We have been on scores of whale watching trips in Hawaii (Maui) and the quality of the experiences we have had with Jason and Bec equal or exceed those we have experienced overseas. I do not make such comments lightly. Jason and Bec are professionals and I cannot fault their operation or their commitment to their business and their customers...WE WILL RETURN!