|In the 19th year of operation Hal felt it was time to move on.
HALICAT has been sold. This was the one big step that Hal had to achieve
to be able to retire from the world of boating.
Now this has been done and Halicat will venture north for refurbishment
and recommence service in PNG in the near future
Hal would like to thank all and everyone for their company on board Halicat over
the past 18 years be it whale watching , fishing , nature watching or just simply
mucking around in the harbour especially on Australia Day & New Years Eve
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Much has been achieved in the nature watching area where Whale Watching from Sydney has grown into a big business and fortunately the number of whales has increased commensurately.
When Hal started it was difficult to convince anyone that whales could be seen from Sydney- no they all said! -either Port Stephens or Hervey Bay were the only places that these charismatic megafauna ( affectionately called Blubberguts) could be seen. Hal took the doubters to sea & proved them wrong and once the rhythm of the whales was established sightings became as regular as clockwork.
In the Pelagic Birding area Sydney has been recognized as one of the best places in the world to go
to sea. Records from the Halicat pelagic trips have logged 91 species including the one and only recording of the Tristram’s Storm Petrel generally known to be resident in a few of the Hawaiian & Japanese Islands of the North Pacific . Look at www.sydneypelagics.info for the full list of birds & cetaceans
Undoubtedly, on the” ketos “ seamonster cetacean front, one of the most exciting encounters after 13 years of looking, was the sighting of a large pod of Orcas which were happy to swim around the boat. And then again in the following year where they were found chasing humpback whales.
Of fishing adventures there have been many. Apart from the local areas Halicat has ventured from the waters off the south coast of NSW to Lizard Island Qld and out to the deep waters of the continental shelf with many a fishy tale to tell of Marlin ,Sharks ,Tuna ,Blue Eye ,Hapuka, Barr Cod , GTs , Humphead Wrasse ,Dog Tooth Tuna- Tag & Release only for the big ones. Amazing was the capture of a monster coral trout weighing 24kg on a popper
Where to from now! Provided a suitable vessel can be found every effort will be made to continue on with the Sydney Pelagics most probably on a reduced schedule. But for 2013 the last trip will run on November 9. Watch this space for further news.
Hal will continue on with his photography and plans further visits to remote areas of Australia and of the world. Highlights of these trips will be documented on this website. First off will be the Galapagos and Ecuador visited in July of this year.
Everyone is invited to keep in touch to share their experiences .