April 2 – April 9, 2022 

Week Eleven of our 31st Season

This year Aquatic Adventures embarks on its 31st season of providing our guests the unique opportunity to encounter the North Atlantic humpback whales on their breeding and calving grounds, the Silver Bank. As the season unfolds, we’ll highlight some of the various encounters and experiences of our guests each week. We hope you enjoy following along!

The Magic of the Silver Bank

Some people explain the Silver Bank and their time spent with humpback whales as magical, spiritual and enlightening. There is something exceedingly enchanting about a full grown, forty-five foot whale turning towards you in the water and looking straight at you with its inquisitive eye. There is also something magical about watching the sun set into the ocean, ninety miles off shore, with twenty other people completely disconnected from the world they knew only days before. Things here on the Silver Bank become simple. A place where you are forced to take a break from technology, where you don’t have to answer emails, go grocery shopping or cook, a place where you can settle your mind, take a deep breath and a moment of stillness without being interrupted. Magic is all around us here and indeed comes in many different forms. 

Throughout the week, every night before one of the Aquatic Adventures crew gave a presentation, one of our guests would command the attention of the salon. “Ladies and Gentleman, I need a committed volunteer” the guest proclaimed. We were not aware of the showman we had on board. A little confused and admittedly a little skeptical, a crew member volunteered. What type of magic show were we about to witness? But as the guest pulled time predictions directly from our minds, made cards appear in locations we never expected and somehow changed the photos on our phones we started to cheer him on every night and sat in awe watching him work. Thank you for the unexpected entertainment, Bob!

Sitting down with one of the guests at the end of this week, she explained her magical experience. She described an occurrence from the past on an Aquatic Adventures trip to the Silver Bank. In the water with a mother, calf and escort she became unnerved when the escort, getting very close, put itself between her and the mother and calf he was with. Escorts can become possessive of a female when she becomes distracted with us in the water. It’s as if the snorkelers are taking the attention away from him and he expressively does not like it. The escort will come in close, pushing the female away, turn her so we can’t get into the water and sometimes even block the tender from moving forward. Our guides are trained to know when an escort is getting too aggressive and to remove people from the water before this happens, but the activity can still be intimidating for those not familiar. In the case of this guest, it was a new experience and the interaction scared her. This week she had another chance and explained that she went into the water even though her past experience had spooked her. Tears of joy came to her eyes and she relived the encounter, saying that having a mother and calf come close to her was amazing, but as she lay on the surface of the water, the escort just below her and serenely swimming by, a sense of calm and wonder overcame her. The experience, she explained, was magical, forever changing how she views the whales. 

Coming out to the Silver Bank is a different experience for every individual. Some people find getting in the water with a humpback whale is an adrenaline rush, others come for that perfect photograph of a whale swimming among coral and some are overwhelmed by that magical spiritual moment that is only accomplished by connecting with nature on a personal level.

The Aquatic Adventures team hopes that you are as inspired as we are to help sustain the humpback whale population. Through our partnership with the Center for Coastal Studies, we are helping to gain critical information on these charismatic creatures, and to seek ways to protect and preserve them. To find out more about this effort, join their mailing list or to make a donation, large or small, please visit: www.coastalstudies.org/aquaticadventures

We are proud to support SeaLegacy in their efforts to create powerful media to change the narrative around our world’s oceans. Their mission is to inspire the global community to protect our oceans. To learn more about SeaLegacy and help with this important mission, please visit: https://www.sealegacy.org

Thanks to all who have generously donated!

Learn more about Aquatic Adventures here.

Written by: Aquatic Adventures team member Gillian Morin
Edited by: Aquatic Adventures team member Heather Reser 

Images: Aquatic Adventures