Want Something Different? Go on a Whale Watching Tour!
Just imagine sitting on the shore or sailing, and looking at the horizon. That beautiful line where the sky meets the sea and gives a sense of calmness and the inner peace we so much crave for. You get lost in the beauty of the blueness and calmness of the view. Then, something starts interfering with this line. It is not intimidating, quite the opposite, it makes the view even more marvelous.
You get stunned by the beauty emerging from the depths of the sea. In the next moment you see the whale in its full glory, breaching and repetitive slapping of their fins, it is one spectacular show.
It is still not known why the whales emerge out of the water. Recent researches point out a reason related to communication. While migrating, as they travel at a larger distance, they need a way to communicate with other members of the group, a so called pod of whales. Whatever the reason, they provide an unforgettable experience for spectators in their vicinity.
There are two ways of whale watching and this depends on the destination. Some places like Florida you can observe them from the shore, as the whales swim very close and also choose these waters for breeding. Other places, like Iceland, require you to take a boat tour that lasts for a few hours and allow you to experience this momentum in the wilderness of the sea. And there are places like Tonga islands where you can even swim with whales.
Whale watching hasn’t been a tourist attraction for that long. It started just 70 years ago when the Cabrillo national monument in San Diego was declared a whale watching spot, attracting over ten thousand people only in the first year. Today there are many places you can enjoy whale watching and some of the most popular destinations include Iceland, Norway and USA.
Even though this is considered mostly as a recreational activity, whale watching can be very educational and a scientific way to explore the species without interfering with their habitat. There are more than 90 different species of whales; with the most popular that can be observed being the humpback whale, beluga, blue whale and the minke whale. Enthusiast can also encounter other exquisite species while whale watching, such as dolphins and peculiar birds.
Here are some facts to know before you go whale watching:
- This adventure is not something you can do in half an hour. Most of the tours include a 3 to 4 hour cruise and if you are lucky, you will see more than one whale, depending on the season and the destination. But you should be very attentive, as there is no sign to when they will emerge from the water. You don’t want to be like the guy who was staring at his phone and missed the rare humpback whale sighting.
- The season to go whale watching and what weather you prefer. There are some beauties that can only be seen in Florida, such as the black whale, while also enjoying the good weather. For winter lovers, the best places to visit would be Iceland or Canada. Different destinations are homes to whales in different months of the year, so if you go whale watching in the Maldives, it is best to go between February and April, but if you choose the Canadian Arctic, the best period is June to August.
- Which whale species you want to observe. If you want to see the biggest whale on the planet, the blue whale, you will need to visit a country close to the north Atlantic or north Pacific to enjoy their beauty. To see the original Moby Dick, popularly known as the sperm whale, you can plan your journey to Japan, and more particularly to the Tokyo bay. If the killer whale is the most interesting for you explorations, you are in luck, as this species is the most distributed whale and can be observed from multiple destinations, like Florida, the Galapagos Islands, Australia and Norway.
Whichever destination you choose, be prepared for an experience of a lifetime. And as they say, you never forget your first whale, maybe because compared to it you realize just how small we are in this football called planet Earth.