Traveled: 2012-03-17, Reviewed: 2013-02-16
Safe approach to whales / dolphins
Valuable learning experience
Minimal impact on the marine environment
Own research / support for conservation
I have chartered trips to Silver Bank since 1999, and have been with every operator. I have chosen to continue to charter with Tom Conlin of Aquatic Adventures because he is simply the best operator on Silver Bank. His relationship with and knowledge of the whales is spectacular, providing my groups with an unparalleled experience of whale encounters!
He has hosted researchers on his boat many times, providing them free passage to do their work, and also presents natural history talks on board.
In addition, Tom trains and brings his own crew so the drivers of the tenders and the dive masters who take us in the water are very experienced and well trained--not just crew that comes along with a chartered boat who may know nothing about humpback whales--how to find them, how to drive a tender near them, and how to get people into the water with them, and how to keep a group safely together with the whales.
Tom Conlin actually *wrote* the guidelines for safe approach to whales for the Dominican Republic, at their request. These guidelines are called "Soft in Water Encounters" and must be followed by all the operators in the area. He is the pioneer of the Silver Bank experience with whales--the guidelines he created make it safe for humans and safe and completely non harassing for the whales.
I cannot say enough about the superlative experience he creates with his trips.