IT was a close encounter of the magical kind.
For first-time yachter Emma Hooper of Port Macquarie, the lack of wind and sailing was made better when their vessel was visited by giant of the deep.
The crew quietly watched as the whale played alongside their boat, twisting and turning and showing its true size under the water as it glided by.
Emma said the experience was amazing.
They encountered the whale about two nautical miles north-east of the Hastings River harbour.
It stayed with the boat for about two hours she said.
"We were initially sad because there was absolutely no wind to sail with. Our whale encounter made up for it 10 fold," she said.
Humpback whales are now migrating south after giving birth in the warmer waters off Queensland.