Whale Watching

Auryn

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Apr 22, 2012
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We went whale watching last week with Whale Samana by Kim Bedall. We were able to observe 2 separate groups of whales and a 2022 baby breaching.

I chose them from good reviews on threads from DR1 from years ago. I have wanted to go since about 2011 and finally had the right timing to go. The Samana peninsula is the most beautiful part of the island to me, and the tour did not disappoint.

There are dozens of other companies and yolas that do the whale tours, but Whale Samana is first class and provides an excellent experience. Kim provides general information regarding the Humpback Whale, its migratory patterns and distances, behaviour, and data specific to the DR and Samana.

Information about the whales was provided in English, French, and Spanish, with German also available. We did not do the Cayó Levantado stop because it was only available on the morning trip, but will likely do that next time. I would like to go again in 2-3 years when my kids are a bit older.

I would recommend lining up early. We were toward the end of the line to board and nearly had no choice but to sit in the hot sun on the top level. There is a bench right behind the captain that is covered, which would have been the ideal spot. You can move around from the top deck to lower though, so it didn’t make a huge difference.

Regardless, it was a wonderful afternoon. The price is $59 USD for adults and $30 US for kids. There is also a $10 discount for Dominican nationals. A 250 peso fee per family is paid at the dock in Samana as well. Drinks and a snack are provided, and there is a washroom on board.

The whales return each year in January- March to Dominican waters to breed and calve. A once decimated population has returned to stable populations world wide. I am sure that her tours have played an absolutely integral role in Humpback conservation, because each tour catalogues known and new whales each season. This type of data is what creates marine sanctuaries and helps prevent further harm to the whales and other ocean life. As with all such tours, it is said that the eco tourism aspect creates more revenue than over fishing etc.

If you have not gone already, go.

Whale Samana
 

Auryn

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2012
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One of the guides told me that a pod of orcas (killer whales) had been in Samana Bay last year and taken a humpback calf. They had not been observed in the bay on record before that.

It was recorded on video by a crew from National Geographic who just happened to be there filming when it occurred. Orcas take whale calves frequently because they are fattier and provide more sustenance than other prey such as dolphins. But not in Samana before that.

I found that very interesting because orcas have been spotted in various other parts of the world where they have not been previously recorded in the past 2 years. There are several eco-types, typically identified by region but also distinct markings. I am not sure which specific type was in Samana last year.

Types of Killer Whales
 

Auryn

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2012
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Have been on two of her trips and they are fantastic. Highly recommend them.
Top notch. I was very impressed by the whole thing. I’m sure other tours are okay, but I will book with her again the next time we go.