Into the Sunshine is a series of short films created by Brisbane based filmmaker Matt Raimondo that will take you into the lives of some remarkable Queenslanders, showcasing their powerful connection to the environment.
In this episode, we explore the underwater magic of the Great Barrier Reef with dive instructor Shona Whittaker.
If Shona could live under the sea, she would. Hailing from New Zealand, the would-be mermaid has spent much of her young life diving and exploring some of the most beautiful coves on earth, but it wasn’t until just over a year ago that she landed her ultimate dream job living and working on the Great Barrier Reef.
The only place in the world where humans can come face-to-face with beautiful minke whales, Shona spends her days escorting travellers on expeditions through the Ribbon Reefs of Far North Queensland, allowing them to dive and play with the inquisitive minkes and other majestic creatures of the deep.
Though highly interactive, dwarf minkes are an elusive species. Frequenting the Reef every June and July, the friendly visitors have recently become the focus of a collaborative research effort between local tourism operators and James Cook University.
Shona’s employer, Mike Ball Dive Expeditions, continues to play a crucial role in the project. Operating minke swim and dive packages for almost 20 years, Mike Ball invites guests to contribute directly to ongoing tracking, tagging and conservation efforts.
Departing Cairns, trips range from four to seven nights and include up to a massive 22 dives. Find out more or book your expedition here. [mikeball.com/expeditions/minke-whale-dive-expeditions/]
Thanks to Julia Sumerling & Mike Ball Dive Expeditions for contributing some of the amazing underwater shots seen in this episode.