Whale watching at Eagle Bay

Whale watching at Eagle Bay
Breathe by Simon Gilby
‘Breathe’ pictured with scuptor Simon Gilby, 1996

Eagle Bay, at the northern end of Geographe Bay is an annual port of call for Right, Humpback and the largest of living creatures, Blue Whales. Majestic Humpback Whales have recently been spotted just south, along the Wilyabrup coast, and whale watching tours have started again in Augusta. So it is just a few months until we see them return to Geographe Bay.

This sculpture on the lawn in front of the Wise Vineyard Restaurant is testament to our love of both art and these magnificent mammals. Titled ‘Breathe’, it was created by Simon Gilby back in 1996 while he was artist in residence at Wise Estate. Simon created several of the fabulous sculptures that adorn the grounds of Wise Estate.

And in a real case of life imitating art, lucky visitors have been heard shrieking with joy when they witness the real live humpback whales breaching and tail-slapping just a few kilometres away in Geographe Bay while they are admiring Simon’s wrought iron cretaceous masterpiece.

But this area hasn’t always been such a safe haven for whales. Between 1845 and 1872, there was a small whaling station that operated from nearby Castle Rock Bay. Whales were harpooned from long boats and processed on-shore for their oil. It is hard to comprehend the cruelty to the whales and how harsh life would have been for the whalers in the then very remote settlement.

Happily, the whales are protected and have plenty of friends here now. You can book a whale watching tour with Naturaliste Charters to see them up close, or better still, come and admire Simon’s sculptured whale, enjoy a glass of Bead Sparkling wine on the deck and marvel at the almost guaranteed daily performance from these ocean giants.