Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
6 – 13th Feburary 2016
Air temperature: 78° - 82°
Water temperature: 78° - 79°
Visibility: 30 - 80 feet
Captain: AMANDA SMITH
Engineer: ROB SMITH
Chef: MATT CRAWFORD
Driver/Guide: GRANT PATTEN
Guide: TROY SANDY
Keith, Kinvara, Friedrich, Angela, Karsten, Ulrike, Christian, Ingrid, Katja, Karsten, Klaus, Sabine, Rainer, Hildegard, Rudolf, Alfred, Norbert, Christoph
Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
We greet our guest on board with a warm welcome, drinks and snacks are ready for them upon arrival on the boat. Once we have all guests we get introductions and boat briefings underway followed by a fantastic meal on our sun deck prepared by our Chef Matt. After dinner we all sit and the conversation flows until everyone retires for the night. At midnight we cast off the moorings and head off to the Silver Banks for an early morning arrival for another exhilarating week with the humpback whales!
We have an exhilarating week with some amazing in and out of water encounters with the whales. We have a great array of different types of encounter, Mother and calf with and without escort, male sleepers, a male and female interacting, rowdy groups, many of these lasting for hours at a time.
We start the week tracking a Mother and calf, after a while the mother settles and starts to rest, the calf, on a shorter breath cycle will then start to cycle up to the surface around where the mothers head is, once we have this situation it is time to prepare to enter the water. Once we are prepared we send our guide in to verify the position of the mother and gain the optimum viewing position for the rest of the group, once this is achieved the driver is signalled and the group dropped in the water for a very short swim to begin the amazing encounter with the whales. Having found a relaxed mother and calf, this can be repeated numerous times, typically the mother will move slightly between breath cycles normally not far. This dynamic can change with the introduction of an escort, A male companion to the mother and calf as there are now three whales that need to remain calm with humans in the water.
We had several highly notable encounters this week, having spent more time in the water with the whales, every day we spent out we had several in water encounters, a few of the outstanding encounters included; After a few encounters with a mother and calf, the calf became bolder and more inquisitive and decided to check what the line of objects in the water were.. By coming in for a look from only a foot or two away from all of our swimmers! Another great encounter with a mother and calf also had an escort, we would spend several cycles with the calf until the mother cycled and then moved on at which point the escort would seem to wake and position himself in the water to block the swimmers view of which way the mother was going, not really an issue when you have a driver on the surface tracking the whales movements.. We had a number of encounters with sleeping males and on the surface encounters with not so sleepy males, in a rowdy group that we ran with for over an hour, lots of close quarter fluke and pec slapping, bubble blowing, tail lobs and breaches a truly exhilarating ride! Another spectacular show was a mother and calf with escort, the mother started tail lobbing at the escort or possibly at the mischievous calf that kept straying away, the calf then started copying the mother, so we were front row for a breath taking spectacle of mother and calf tail slapping 10-15 feet from the boat! Some amazing footage was captured, and the ear-splitting sound of the mothers tail hitting the water that close is one I will never forget. We also had a wonderful mixed encounter with a mother, calf and escort after several in water encounters with them they then all woke and as they have a penchant to do started breaching, just off the boat where we were waiting. On our final day we are treated to being escorted by a very larger pod of spotted dolphins, one group on the way out to the whales the other on the way back, the dolphins as is their want were very playful, racing and jumping off the bow the whole time!
We had a truly amazing week, much to everyone’s delight, superb luxury accommodation with outstandingly sublime food and above even this, memories for life of being with the beautiful and majestic humpback whales!