Snorkel and Free Dive to Photograph Sperm Whales on the scenic Caribbean Island of Dominica
The adventure takes place on the beautiful Caribbean Island of Dominica. This is one of only two places in the world where it is allowed to be in the water with sperm whales. Permits are strictly controled and awarded. The sperm whales are resident in these waters all year round with peak season November to end of March so it is possible to see them at any time. I have been awarded two back to back permits for the 2024 season in late Feb / early March.
We will stay at a hotel on the water and near our dock for daily launches and near the town of Rouseau and multiple restaurants and shops. Each day we head out for full days looking for whales. The boat ride to the whales is short. It is possible and highly likely to have multiple encounters throughout the day. We use snorkel only to see them at the surface where they are most of the time in family groups playing, sleeping, or feeding. Other marine mammals are in the area and we may encounter them as well. The wildlife will determine each encounter as they are not captive or habituated in any way.
Our guide is knowledgeable and a keen supporter of the protection of the sperm whales and all of the Island's marine habitats and we will support the efforts with our tourism and adherance to the rules of encounters.
*** We use localy owned hotels and boats with captains who particate in creating encounter rules that are best for the whales and collecting data for research and monitoring. Your tourist money benefits the local economy and supports those who want this experience to be sustainable. This is not true of all those offering whale encounters.
Day 3 - 6
Dominica is a beautiful island paradise with volcanic peaks and rainforests. Visitors can hike one of the many trails up into the jungle to see waterfalls and sit in natural hot pools. Birdlife photography is also a reason to stay longer.
The whales are attracted by the deep depths close to shore and the squid they find there. underwater ecosystems are supported by the rich volcanic runoff from the island.
The sperm whale population of Dominica is protected by a rationed permit system to limit watching and in water encounters to just a few boats. Many groups collect data about the whales and our boat captains and guides are involved in the observation and recording of data
The mostly female groups of whales are found while resting on the surface for breaks between dives. These female cooperative groups often have the young whales with them.
We are governed by the rules for in water encounters but it is still possible to get close to the whales and have epic encounters without bending the rules. Some of the whales are curious and most are tolerant of our presence in the water
Experience getting investigated with ecolocation by a large whale and see them resting in groups near the surface. Babies and juveniles are frequent.
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Our photo safaris are for photographers and non photographers who want to get up close to large marine life. All of our trips are to destinations proven to be reliable for great encounters. Gregory Sweeney is on hand to help guests with camera gear and techniques before and during the trips.