An extraordinary Experience
Speak to anyone passionate about whales and they will tell you, whether you’re whale watching for the first or the 500th time, the excitement is parallel. Watching whales in their natural environment, their combination of sheer size, intelligence and grace evoke the most powerful emotions.
Whether you search for orcas in the frigid fjords of Norway or humpbacks in the warm climates of Australia, there are a multitude of reasons why you should encourage your friends and family to join an excursion and create a lifelong passion for cetaceans.
Whale Watching is a great gift
With holidays or birthdays always around the corner there is no better gift than an experience instead of a material item. The entire experience, including the journey, like-minded people on the trip, and don’t forget the whales themselves, will create memories for years to come.
Whale Watching doesn’t need to be by boat (for those who get sea-sick)
There are many areas of the world where you don’t even have to get on a boat to see whales. The Gorge Walk on North Stradbroke Island, Burleigh Headlands and Cape Byron are just 3 fantastic locations to watch whales from shore. The town of Hermanus in South Africa is known as a location where people can eat an ice-cream on the cliff-side and watch southern-right whale’s mere metres away. In addition, the San Juan Islands in Washington State, USA are an area where you can rent sea kayaks to get close and personal with orcas. In Tonga, Dominica and the Azores, you can even swim with whales! In short, there are plenty of fun alternatives to boarding a boat. Whereas I personally enjoy the thrill of a boat ride, there are many who get nauseous at sea; so maybe best to enjoy one of these alternatives.
Whale Watching promotes Eco-Tourism
Contemporary news report that certain whale watching companies may do more harm than good due to their invasive boat techniques (approaching too close to whales or using loud engines and sonar). Subsequently, strict regulations began to emerge and be emplaced by responsible tour operators. If you chose to depart on a whale watching cruise make sure to read the reviews and check the company’s website to see if that particular company has a respect for the ocean, a respect that will help keep the whales safe and flourishing in the area.
You might see more wildlife
Keep your eyes trained on the horizon or on the rocks, dolphins, turtles, sharks and an abundance of seabirds can be seen on whale watching tours. Usually expect the unexpected and you won’t be disappointed. Examples of rare and illusive species that can be seen include albatross and mola mola, while more common sightings comprise of harbour seals and small dolphin species.
Learn, learn, learn about Whales
Depending on the company whose excursion you commit to, their staff should be enigmatic and knowledgeable, feeding all passengers, young and old a wealth of interesting facts about the area, species and conservation. You never know, these trips could be the moment that changes you or your companion’s passion and perhaps future.
Whale Watching supports Research
The whale watching industry provides researchers with limited budgets a getaway for surveys. Most tour operators offer free of charge tickets to researchers or provide discounted, sponsored rates for fully chartered tours. Something that wouldn’t be possible without every day whale watchers such as you!