NEVER would I have expected to have seen what I did on Monday at Snapper Rocks.
I have been surfing most days for well over a decade and have had plenty of close encounters with marine life, from sharks and dolphins to manta ray and turtles, but I have never seen surfers so close to 30 tonnes of whale as on this day.
I was on the rock wall right next to the road that runs parallel to the beach, watching surfers about 30m out to sea, when I noticed a huge black object or shadow moving up the beach on the inside of several paddle borders.
I looked up to check if it was a cloud's shadow; that is how big this thing was.
A fully grown humpback was taking a tour of the Snapper surfers' line-up, lounging about 20m from several young surfers and exhaling his or her lungs full of air, which I could hear from the rocks. It was that close.
Casually surfacing a few more times, the huge creature made a sharp right hand turn and stuck even closer to the rocks on the far tip of Snapper before continuing south on its journey home.
I have been out whale watching on charter boats several times to view the massive humpbacks breaching the surface with the sound of thunder,r but never been as close as I was on this occasion. Bizarre to say the least considering I was still on dry land.