2023 Sperm Whales in Dominica Trip Report

Sperm Whale Dominica snorkel trip

I have permits for early March 2024 – see this trip or my latest one here

March 2023 Sperm Whales at Dominica was full of close encounters with whales in clear water in calm seas and under clear skies.

snorkel with sperm whales
a guest gets head on shots of the sperm whale as it drifts toward him
Sperm whale on the surface Caribbean
We find a pod of Sperm Whales by sighting them on the surface

In Dominica, island paradise and congregations of sperm whales combine to thrill underwater photographers. Not well known, this small Caribbean rainforest paradise is home to a population of sperm whales all year around.

The jungle covered volcanic peaks plunge thousands of meters down into the ocean making just the conditions sperm whales love.  The rich nutrient run off from the island provides a food chain to support the whales and their stable diet of deep-water squid as well as good conditions for many other marine species.  The beauty of this island alone is reason enough to visit. Island treasures greet the visitor in the form of bird life, hikes to hot pools and waterfalls, gorgeous views of sunsets over the ocean, while staying among friendly hosts.

In March of 2024 I have two back-to-back permits in place for in water encounters with sperm whales in Dominica.  Guests will enjoy 5 full days on the water and accommodations on the water in Roseau.  Our outfitters are among the most experienced in Dominica. The island values its terrestrial and marine wildlife.  Rules of encounters, permit processes, and involvement of local communities are all informed by international standards and strictly enforced.  Permits are written for a maximum of 6 guests per boat giving guests ample time in the water and space on the boat.

The resident sperm whales are mostly females in extended families of grandmothers, mothers and daughters all working together to protect and raise their young.  We encounter them at the surface where they are resting and often napping between their deep dives to get squid meals. 

Whale identification chart Dominica sperm whales
Whales are studied and our boat captains and guides record our sightings as part of ongoing research
snorkel with sperm whales
Our permits are for 6 guests per boat only . We will be in the water 2 at a time with a guide

When encountered, they are near the surface moving slowly and resting in groups.  The water is warm so only light wetsuits are necessary and most use either close heel fins or longer freediving fins for the snorkel.

Waterside hotel sperm whales dominica
Our hotel was on the water and close to our departure dock and restaurants. The island is still recovering from a hurricane but welcomes visitors back.

The weather in Dominica in early March is mild and this season is within the months with the highest recorded sperm whale populations.  Visitors are encouraged to stay after the whale adventure to take in the beauty of the hiking trails and the trail up to the natural hot pools. 

Celebrating our beautiful and friendly host island

Gallery of Favorite Images

You can see my next trip and all of my underwater, bear, and safari trip on my website https://gregorysweeney.com/

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