Whales Of The Silver Bank

Passive In-Water Whale Encounter


What is a passive in-water whale encounter? “A Passive In-Water Whale Encounter” (PIWWE - pronounced peewee) is not aggressive swimming or free diving. It is passive, non-aggressive floating at the surface, in mask, fins and snorkel, allowing the whale to develop an interest in humans on their terms. It is finding a cooperative, tolerant and/or curious whale, approaching calmly and peacefully, permitting a memorable encounter between human and cetacean.”


In other words, we let the whale choose to interact with us, and to largely set the terms of the interaction. The first several minutes of each encounter require informed care. Humpback whales are extremely acoustic animals, so it is important to minimize noise when preparing to enter the water, and when in the water. Proper approach is also important; swimming after the whale (as opposed to quiet, non-aggressive approach) will often cause them to turn and leave the area. If you follow your guide’s instructions and adhere to the passive in-water whale encounter techniques, you will have a good chance of turning a brief glimpse into a meaningful encounter that lasts hours.

Prolonged encounters are the goal, and when they happen your naturalist guide will instruct you on what you are able to do and what you are not able to do. Each whale is different and no encounter is exactly like the last. Certain behaviors are consistent from whale to whale, but it is up to your guide to distinguish what in-water approaches are appropriate in a given situation. The extensive in-water experience of our naturalist guides is one of the reasons why our expeditions are so successful and why we have longer and more frequent encounters than all other operators in the area.

Your Cetacean Specialists

All of Aquatic Adventures expeditions are naturalist guided, with the utmost care taken in providing you with a knowledgeable guide. One of the big differences between our operation and others is the experience and consistency of the guides on a year-to-year basis, ensuring you an exciting, educational and trouble-free expedition.

From Our Clients

Aquatic Adventures crew did a remarkable job in every aspect of this trip. Words aren’t able to describe just how amazing this trip was.

-- Jocelyn and Neil