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Turks & Caicos Aggressor II
23 -30 January 2016
Air temperature: 78° - 82°
Water temperature: 78° - 79°
Visibility: 20 - 60 feet
Captain: AMANDA SMITH
Engineer: ROB SMITH
Chef: ALISA KELLY
Guide: MATT CRAWFORD
Guide: GRANT PATTEN
Guide: TROY SANDY
Trudy, Bill, Neal, John, Lance, Shannon, Nelson, Kat, Wally, Kathleen, Michael, Marcus, Basil Michael, Tanya, Beth.
Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
After an exhilarating crossing from Turks and Caicos, we moor up In the Dominican Republic to board the remainder of our guests that join us here. After settling everyone on board we have a fantastic 1st dinner prepared by our Chef extraordinaire Alisa, with everyone sated we get our guests bedded down for the night and head off to the Silver Bank. Arriving mid-morning we set up our mooring and get all prepared for an amazing week with the Humpback Whales.
Our predominant encounters this week were with Mother and Calf with an escort or 2, starting the week off with in water encounters, we have a majestic mother protectively encircling her calf beneath her between her pecs and just beneath her rostrum, as the sunlight strikes through the water creating iridescent spears pinpointing off of mother and calf, it becomes very clear that whilst we are observing them we are in turn being observed. The conditions for the in water encounters of the week remain fairly constant, in one encounter we are also treated to a very large escort carrying out a slow and very graceful arc under an observed mother and calf, from which all 3 come closer to the line of human observers before casually turning away and gliding off into the depths.
On the surface we had some really great encounters with mother, calf and escort with lots of pec slapping, spy hops, breaches and tail slaps. We also had encounters with males crossing the banks that we got to travel with, watching as they cruise along, watching them slow and slip beneath the waves you can see why the mariners of old would think there are great sea serpents in the oceans, the way the humpback whale bends its back when descending looks like the bend of a snake, so put a few humpbacks in a line descending in order..
The pec and fluke slaps are spectacular to observe, when a whale repeats the slap so often that the pec or fluke turns pink from the blood rushing to it, you gain an appreciation for the sheer power of these creatures, a pec can weigh in excess of 2 tons..
Some of the most breath taking activity is the breach, where the whale will launch itself bodily out of the water to crash back into the water with a resounding splash, some of the most heart-warming activity to observe is a calf learning to carry out slaps or breaches, the initial attempts are so cute to watch but once they have managed to get the hang of the process there is no stopping them!! It is almost like watching them on fast forward, a true joy to behold!
Throughout the week a fantastic time was had by all, the atmosphere on the boat has had a strong feeling of camaraderie, lots of fun during the day and in the evenings, the evenings with games and a few libations and throughout the week we are fed with sublime food prepared by our great Chef Alisa!
A fantastic 1st week for this year’s Aggressor Whale encounters on the Silver Bank that bodes well for next several weeks!