March 5 – March 12, 2022
Week Seven 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!
To Conserve is to Educate
Aquatic Adventures provides an expedition with spectacular surface activity and a chance to swim with humpback whales in their natural habitat, but we also support a basic education in biology and conservation that clients can confidently take home with them to share with others. The foundation of conservation efforts starts with a strong education and a passion for the subject. We receive up to date information on the North Atlantic humpback whale population from the leading scientists at the Center for Coastal Studies and pass this information on in the form of a twenty-minute presentation. Every night after dessert is served, guests are invited to join us for a short educational talk about the latest subjects in humpback whale research. We focus on six different aspects of humpback whale science: Behaviors, Anatomy, Evolution, Conservation, Feeding and Migration. Guests are encouraged to ask questions at the end of the presentation, which our crew, being very passionate about the subject, is more than happy to discuss, sometimes making the presentation a little longer than the allotted twenty minutes.
The next stage in conservation is supporting a greater passion in the subject and what could get someone more passionate than experiencing amazing first-hand encounters. This is exactly what Aquatic Adventures excels in. Every day this week we were able to witness some incredible behaviors due to our experienced tender drivers and cetacean specialists. Challenger was able to keep up to a rowdy group with eight individual whales, the largest we have seen this season. The rowdy group travelled quickly and performed aggressive maneuvers in pursuit of gaining the closest position to the female. With his 18 years of experience and firsthand knowledge of humpback behavior, Challenger’s captain was able to keep up with this rowdy group while they made quick alterations of direction, turned around coral heads and disappeared under the surface only to resurface behind the tender.
Another encounter with a curious and frisky calf gave us quite the show, and without the knowledge of the scout in the water and the tender driver keeping the tender close by, we wouldn’t be able to experience this safely in water. With the right positioning by the Aquatic Adventures crew, the guests were able to feed their curiosity and watch as the calf came up closely to show off its ventral side and give them an intimate look at the eye filled with just as much curiosity as our own.
These types of experiences are what we believe will continue to encourage nature enthusiasts to support the continuation of the exploration of science and conservation. This week one of our guests was a very astute young gentlemen at the age of 12. He spent the week educating himself by asking questions on board about not just humpbacks but all ocean species and how they interact to complete an ecosystem. He then had a chance to see it in action with the breaching whales we encountered, the young calves we connected with and all the other species of marine life that make up the Silver Bank ecosystem. We hope that all the people, young and old, that have experiences here with these majestic mammals will have an accelerated passion for them and through the education we provide we hope that guests will be able to better understand the importance of conservation efforts needed to protect them.
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