Michael J Tetley
Good trip but obvious disturbance witnessed
Traveled: 2012-09-17, Reviewed: 2012-09-26
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
This was in fact a good trip into a very famous area for whale species, in particular for humpbacks and right whales. The emphasis and knowledge of research conducted on humpbacks was very professional with the guides obviously well aware of photo-id and the animals we saw.
We had an encounter with a small group of around 5-8 humpbacks (including a calf), the start of which was very nice and chilled. However I was very disappointed to see that the encounter went on far far too long, around 1-1& 1/2 hours whereby we were following the animals over a large distance. Toward the second of this period obvious aggressive tail-lobbing of one animal, clearly a disturbance 'back-off' signal was observed. Instead of letting the passengers be aware of this behaviour, and drawing the encounter to a close, we were told 'look he's jumping for you!'.
So in conclusion I'll admit this is one of the better whale-watching trips I have been on, and the emphasis on research was very professional as we're the knowledge of the guides. I was just disappointed by the not so great behaviour around the animals which for me broke many of the codes of conduct we expect to see on respectable whale watch tours.