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  1. #1
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    Default Whale Watching (where should this thread go?)

    Not sure where this should go, North Coast? North East Coast? Trip Review? Environmental?

    Ah, well, the whales are living in DR too...

    Went whale watching on Monday with Kim. Had a great time, very well organised trip and very informative commentary. I got some nice shots and we got some good views of two pairs of mother & calves. One pair were very happy to be viewed, the other took a dive and swam a good distance away, so they weren't watched as closely.





    The initial pair though actually surfaced very close to the boats.


    Anyway, the point of the post. I've commented a few times that people should avoid the 'speed boat' type tours because of the way they conduct themselves, based upon how they were when we went on a 'speed boat tour' in the past. Well, I'm delighted to say that from what I saw this week, the behaviour of the speedboat guys is much improved. In the past there was almost a free for all to get as close as possible to the whales and they often travelled flat out to get close. This week, while there were still times when they appeared to be travelling (to my untrained eye) a bit too fast from one sighting to the next, once near a sighted whale, they waited in turn and observed the correct distances etc. The photo above shows the whale that close because it chose to surface there, those boats were in neutral at the time.

    All in all, I'd still recommend Kim's tour because it is so informative and the observation deck enables you to see further, also there is shade on both decks, which you haven't got on a speedboat, but I'll stop complaining about the other boats behaviour now that I've seen such (welcome) improvements.

    If you've not been and you get the chance, get out there and see these lovely animals!

  2. #2
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    I am so happy to see that things are finally getting a bit organized. While there are supposed to be certain distances maintained, the whales have not read the agreement and can show up anywhere. Keeping the boats in neutral is also stipulated.

    The day I went out there was a day I so dearly wanted my over-under 12 ga. There were idiots on jet-skis racing around the whales....AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!

    So happy to see it's better. Congratulations to Kim, she deserves the recognition, too.

    HB

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithF View Post
    Not sure where this should go, North Coast? North East Coast? Trip Review? Environmental?

    Ah, well, the whales are living in DR too...
    Happy to have you and the whales too KeithF, thanks for the beautiful photos. We should probably move this to North East Coast, but what the heck! I´ll let that mod buy these photos from us here in living. Thank you !

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbilly View Post
    The day I went out there was a day I so dearly wanted my over-under 12 ga. There were idiots on jet-skis racing around the whales....AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!

    HB
    I would have happily lent you this


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithF View Post

    Anyway, the point of the post. I've commented a few times that people should avoid the 'speed boat' type tours because of the way they conduct themselves, based upon how they were when we went on a 'speed boat tour' in the past. Well, I'm delighted to say that from what I saw this week, the behaviour of the speedboat guys is much improved. In the past there was almost a free for all to get as close as possible to the whales and they often travelled flat out to get close.
    This week, while there were still times when they appeared to be travelling (to my untrained eye) a bit too fast from one sighting to the next, once near a sighted whale, they waited in turn and observed the correct distances etc.

    If you've not been and you get the chance, get out there and see these lovely animals!
    From David Buglass website:

    The Whale Watching Regulations for the Bay of Samaná

    * No more than one large boat (greater than 30 ft/9 m) and 2 small boats (less than 30 ft/9 m and larger than 23 ft/5 ˝ m) are allowed to observe a whale or group of whales at the same time.
    * Vessels must stay at least 270 feet (80 m) from a group of whales that includes a calf and 165 feet (50 m) from adult whales.
    * Vessels waiting to observe a whale or group of whales must maintain a distance of 1500 ft (500 m).
    * When a vessel reaches the regulated distance, the engine must be put in neutral, and it must wait.
    * A vessel may not stay with a whale or group of whales for more than thirty minutes.
    * After passing Cayo Levantado, the velocity of the whale watching vessels should not exceed 5 knots (9 km/h). If a vessel encounters whales further into the Bay (before Cayo Levantado), its speed should be immediately lowered to 5 knots.
    * No vessel may permit passengers to swim or dive with the whales.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    This year, only licence vessels are allowed for "Whale Watching" and Marina de Guerra are strictly enforcing the above rules.

    WebDev

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