March 9 – March 16, 2024 

Week 8 of our 33rd Season

This year Aquatic Adventures embarks on its 33rd 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 Silver Bank is a large place, over twenty square miles, and the Turks & Caicos Explorer II vessel is located in the Northwest corner, tucked away behind a cluster of coral heads for protection. In this corner of the Silver Bank, some humpback whales pass through on their way to other banks or Samana Bay, while some will stay here. We, however, stay in this four square miles of the bank and while here, we witness some amazing behaviors. Early this morning, while preparing the tenders for departure, off in the distance one of the drivers sees a fluke raised high up in the air, hanging there for a few moments then sinking below the surface. Noting the direction of the fluke on the compass and the distance away, they continue to load the guests onto the tender. The driver can’t be sure what this behavior is but nonetheless heads in that direction. Once in the location that the driver thinks they saw the fluke hovering above the surface, the tender sits, waiting for twelve minutes or so when seemingly out of nowhere, about one hundred feet away, up comes the enormous fluke, high above the surface of the water before lowering again. Once we see the whale take a few breaths and dive beneath the surface again, we make our slow approach… suddenly the tender is full of sound and the deck is vibrating beneath our feet. This is a singing humpback whale! Every time, after about twelve minutes of singing, this whale, instead of the usual casual swim off, utilizes its precise buoyancy and raises almost half of its body, fluke first, high above the surface and right in front of the guests. The photographs really help to display the ultimate size and impressiveness of the creature. You’ll want to watch the video we shared on Facebook too! 

This week seemed to be full of singers. We came across another by chance one day after spending almost three hours with a mother, calf and escort. Just after nine in the morning, we entered the water with the calm trio. The adult female was logging on the surface but not really stopping, drifting along with the surface current, so we drifted along beside her. At times, she would turn towards the tender, and the boat is pulled out of gear while she and her calf slip by the bow, showing off for the guests on board. We hang out with her for a while enjoying the view of the calf playing until eventually she stops and settles. A few times we enter the water with her and each time her calf gets more curious and more comfortable with us. Two hours go by with these two.

After one of the in-water encounters with her, the guests shared that they think they saw the calf nursing; a dead give away is when the remora move from the mouth of the mother to the caudal peduncle area, presumably going to feed on the leftover milk not ingested by the calf. Not always, but quite often, after a calf feeds, intense, high energy breaching is seen and that is exactly what happened. First the calf, with a spinning head breach, chin breach and then followed by another. Then the mother launches her full body out of the water, throwing her pectorals around and completing her own spinning head breach. Eventually the two calm again and are joined by an escort, but she doesn’t seem interested; all of a sudden she launches half her body out of the water in a tail breach towards the escort and they disappear under the surface. Amazing how a forty five ton animal can just disappear! That’s when we heard the undeniable tone of a singer. She had led us right to it. Slipping into the water, right there off our bow was a single whale, head down towards the bottom singing away, the perfect encounter to end our morning on. 

For the third week in a row we have had an encounter with the same mother and calf who we have now nicknamed ‘Lucky’ (the adult female) and ‘Cookie’ (her female calf), until we can discover their real given names. The first week we came across Lucky and Cookie, they were logging at the surface and the calf was kept on the opposite side of the mother, away from the guests. The second week, Cookie, now a little older, was allowed to come between Lucky and the guests giving us a closer look as she played around at the surface. Now this week, Cookie is just that much older that she is travelling further from Lucky and beginning to show off her strength to the guests. This is one of those situations where we hope we can see this pair for another few weeks, and watch how this young calf develops.  


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:

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:

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: Ivan Požar, Aleksandra Radovanović and Leslie Rapp