Neil Burnie 2014-04-25 04:57:16
Each year, as February approaches there are some individuals who start to get very excited about the arrival of some international tourists. But these are not your average get-off-the-plane-and-head-for-the-hotels-and-beaches tourists. They’re a bit bigger and a bit noisier, and some of them make quite a splash out on Sally Tucker’s and Challenger Banks. The mighty humpbacks are coming! Peak whale watching time for visitors is usually the latter end of March and the first two weeks of April, but you can see a whale for many months before or after these few weeks — if you’re lucky enough. I have had the unrivalled pleasure of actually swimming with these gentle giants; to have a 40-tonne animal come and make eye contact is a humbling experience. It is key to let the animals approach you, and not to chase or harass them in any way. They will sometimes be put off by the sound of the outboard engines and bubbles from the exhaust. It is best to drift with dead motors and wait for the whales to come to you — and it doesn’t hurt to drum the side of the boat with your hands. It’s been said that they seem to prefer reggae played through the sound system of some fishing boats. Contact the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (bamz.org) or the Island Tour Centre (islandtourcentre.com) for details on whale watching trips. But don’t expect to get wet; liability rules prevent entering the water from the majority of commercial boats.
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