Watch: Whale rides wave at Lennox Head, eats at the same time

Stu Nettle
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Yesterday, two minke whales paused their southwards migration for a short interlude at Lennox Head. Photographer Daniel Cook captured them chasing bait fish, which is standard procedure, however they then also surfed waves into the baitball. 

Seaworld's head of marine science Wayne Phillips told 9News he was amazed by the footage.

"Although it's not rare for minkes to be feeding on bait balls of small fish like that, to surf into that bail ball is just amazing," Mr Phillips said.

The whales each measured about eight metres long and weighed up to ten tonnes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Nine News Gold Coast (@9newsgoldcoast) on

Comments

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 10:06am

Wow.

Those guys surfing right next to/in the bait ball must be mad though.

He who hesitates is lost

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 10:21am

Would sharks mix it with a pod of dolphins and two whales though I guess it depends on the size of the shark and how hungry it was

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 10:38am

I've seen footage of sharks and dolphins hunting in what seemed like a coordinated manner out of south africa (might even have been J-bay). One of David Attenborough's shows I think. The dolphins would circle the bait ball, and the sharks would hit from below.

So I wouldn't risk assuming that the presence of whales and dolphins means the absence of sharks.

He who hesitates is lost

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 8:35pm

Yep whalers (bronzies etc) are definitely happy to get stuck into the same bait balls as whales and dolphins.

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 12:38pm

definitely

niclong's picture
niclong's picture
niclong commented Saturday, 3 Oct 2020 at 3:00pm

I paddled out down on the reefs for a solo session many years ago. Immediately surrounded by dolphins feeding. But acting pretty agitated too. 10 minutes later and the biggest fin I've seen to date cruised by. Was a long paddle back across the lagoon!

NLP

stan1972's picture
stan1972's picture
stan1972 commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 10:11am

My first thought too. There's a bait ball next to you and you stay out surfing?

I suppose if there were an attack they'd consider it just bad luck. FMD

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 10:25am

Saw this on the news last night, Incredible footage.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 10:44am

How awesome is that!

Years ago snorkelling way out on the GBR off a private boat, got buzzed by a Minke. It was the coolest thing ever. I looked it right in the eye and could almost reach out and touch it. That shit stays with you forever.

1173

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 10:54am

Some still shots...

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by M R D A N I E L C O O K (@mrdanielcook) on

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 11:17am

That’s epic!

Experience of a lifetime for those surfers close by....

Pristine

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 11:26am

Healthy ocean.
Bait balls every day.

That’s the reality of living and surfing there.

Bungan33's picture
Bungan33's picture
Bungan33 commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 11:45am

Can't fathom surfing with a bail ball after all that's happened recently. Isn't that like strolling across a freeway?

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 4:09pm

Blindfolded!!!

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 11:53am

Whales can surf. Totally epic.

0:31: "YEP" in whalesong

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 2:20pm

Ha ha!
"You goin' mate?".

1173

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 12:11pm

Wow, never seen anything like that, incredible!

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 12:36pm

Whales wave and guy tries to snake .......bloke must have been blind not to see a 25ft whale under him .....

simba

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 12:48pm

think it was Fr76

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 12:53pm

haha i was going to say that.....

simba

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 12:39pm

amazing!!

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 1:16pm

Whales would know all about the undersea forces from open ocean waves. They "surf" the north swells down to Hawaii each year. Close in to shore it becomes more of a speed rush.

Frogg

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 1:20pm

Awesome - surreal
And at the same time.. (insert theme from Jaws)
Bunch of guys got chased out of the water at Long Reef by a large fishy on Wednesday
The shot of the first wave (from above) was unique

ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko's picture
ojackojacko commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 6:07pm

"Bunch of guys got chased out of the water at Long Reef by a large fishy on Wednesday"

what time was that? whereabouts?

_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_ commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 1:43pm

That was pretty spectacular!!! And it looked like the surf was pumping down there compared to the northerly GC devil wind we had!

Dan K's picture
Dan K's picture
Dan K commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 2:17pm

That' bloody awesome. Pretty sure they're Bryde's Whales which are very similar to Minke's but Bryde's are a bit longer and leaner like these are, and Minke's tend to have almost all white flippers.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 8:37pm

Was wondering about that, Brydes seem to be the prime candidates for that sort of behaviour.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 9:15pm

I've posted these before but maybe worth another run.

Brydes Whale getting stuck into a bait ball.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 9:02pm

Great pics Andy. They are the hi-po thruster of big whales.

Also, pronounced "BRUU-dez", so not only can they surf but they are a bru.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 9:14pm

Yeah that was a classic day.

That town's only got about 900 people and word spread really quick.

Ended up with most of the town being on the headland at some point or another, it was a real carnival atmosphere, it was an event.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 2:43pm

That's the coolest thing I have seen in ages!

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 3:51pm

Would have been interesting to see the guy catch that wave - he would have been standing on the whale Capt Ahab style!

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 4:10pm

This is incredible footage.

Not sure I’d be out there surfing amongst them/it as you would have absolutely NO fcking idea what else was chomping in the baitball!!!

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Saturday, 3 Oct 2020 at 8:39pm

I am in the third club.

Wish i was there...

science's picture
science's picture
science commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 4:14pm

I like how they use the wave's momentum to catch fish, turbo whale smashing through a bait ball

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 5:00pm

There's two good names for bands right there- "Turbo Whale" and "Bait Ball".

1173

science's picture
science's picture
science commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 5:22pm

Haha sick. Turbo whale can be the band name and bait ball their first album. Someone do it I can't play instruments for shit

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 7:37pm

"The review for "Shark Sandwich" was merely a two word review which simply read 'Shit Sandwich'."

Walk around G's picture
Walk around G's picture
Walk around G commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 7:07pm

I'm pretty sure one of those dolphin's rode the pressure wave of that big whale at one stage, that whole clip blew my mind, sooo cool.

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Friday, 2 Oct 2020 at 7:30pm

Best bottom turn I,ve seen in a long time, amazing!

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Saturday, 3 Oct 2020 at 8:32am

Nature's unreal, isn't it?

Love to know what was going through that bloke's mind when he realised he'd been snaked by someone with 35 tonnes of don't argue?

"Oi...?"

eka patch's picture
eka patch's picture
eka patch commented Saturday, 3 Oct 2020 at 9:00am

Don"T dropin,,whales wave,i got the inside buddy hahaah...........

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound commented Saturday, 3 Oct 2020 at 7:56pm

Surfing amongst bait balls.. how can this be a good idea.. next thing you know people will be saying we need a shark cull..

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Saturday, 3 Oct 2020 at 8:32pm

To be able capture such footage these days, I find truly remarkable and breathtaking.

Stu, surely the surfers have been interviewed?

Would be most fascinating... any link?

Edit: Or story?

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Sunday, 4 Oct 2020 at 12:24am

It's insane footage. Can't believe the speed those things can generate out of one tail swoop. And yes, it seems absurd to surf amongst bait balls but everyone who's surfed the point knows there's no quick easy exit for a breather out there. Ur kinda committed once you're out there. What can ya do!?

liplauncher's picture
liplauncher's picture
liplauncher commented Sunday, 4 Oct 2020 at 7:34am

Im also pretty sure those are brydes whales (pronounced brudes).
They are a nomadic subtropical whale, not venturing down to the southern ocean, and often come close to shore looking for a feed.
I was lucky to see one at the cove, about this time last year, feeding in very close with dolphins in an almost identical way to this footage, so I contacted Wally Franklin, of the oceana project, and he identified it as a Brydes. Minkes are a more open ocean cold water species and would be extremely rare for them to be close to shore like that, especially around here