Tasman Venture staff Michael May, Vicki Neville and Alistair Allan think they have the best jobs in town. Photo Contributed
Tasman Venture staff Michael May, Vicki Neville and Alistair Allan think they have the best jobs in town. Photo Contributed

Whale whisperer ready for humpbacks to return

RESTRICTIONS might remain in place for most travellers, but the giants of the sea will still be making their annual visit to Hervey Bay.

One woman who has witnessed their arrival for many years is whale whisperer Vicki Neville from Tasman Venture.

As the whale watching operators prepare for the season while also putting im safety measures to manage the threat of coronavirus, a post featuring Ms Neville was shared on Tasman Venture's social media page as she described one of her favourite memories of humpback encounters in Hervey Bay.

"I remember back in 2001 coming across a newborn calf.

"Usually they are quite pale but this one was glowing white and I got really excited.

"It had a little bit of black on it so we actually came up with a name for it.

"We named it Panda because we thought if we saw this little calf into the future, we would recognise it."

Ms Neville took plenty of photos of the calf and hoped they would see it again one day. Sure enough the next year it arrived as a yearling, which was a special moment for the team.

Then in 2008, Panda came to the Bay with her own calf.

Ms Neville said seeing the whales each year taught the team a lot of things they didn't know and it was special to get to know individual whales.