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Turks & Caicos Aggressor II Captain’s Log
March 2 – March 9 2019
Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
Air temperature: 77° - 86° F
Water temperature: 79°F
Visibility: 30 - 60 feet
Thermal recommendation: 3mm full wetsuit & a windbreaker
Captain: Amanda Smith
Engineer: Robert Smith
Chef: Sarah Pearson
Video Pro: James Whittle
Photo Pro: Ben Phillips
Whale Guide: Rachael Lawns
Peter, Kevin, Matt, Marc ,Matt, Jean-Pierre, George, Matt, Rob, Tomas, Will, Tim, Rick, Randy, Misha, Austin, Kurt and Libby
Our Snorkel Site
Sunday – Friday: Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
This week we welcomed back Randy and Rick who have been with us several times. They organized the group who nearly all had been on serval Aggressors and have been with us on this boat before. We had some familiar faces and some new.
Once we had set up snorkeling gear we briefed about the week ahead before settling in for a spectacular meal cooked by our master chef Sarah while the sun set.
We started off this week strong as on the very first day we had some amazing above and below water encounters. We watched a mother teaching her calf to slap the surface of the water with its tail and pec fins. Guests loved watching the calf have a go with varying degrees of success. We also got to swim with a relaxed mother, calf and escort in the afternoon which ended the day on a high.
One of the encounter we got was with a humpback that we decided that looked at the ‘teenage stage’ not quite fully grown but not a calf either. He was very playful and wasn’t scared about approaching the boat and got extremely close. Swimming around and under us he would come up right beside us and use his tail to splash us. Soaking the whole boat and wiggling his fins before diving back down. This was all greeted with lots of cheers and excitement by the guests.
During this week we were very luck with the weather. Lots of hot sunshine with great sea conditions. This weather got even better as the week went on. The seas became as calm as a lake. Making it very easy to spot the whales. We noticed a change in the behavior of the humpbacks we think due to the weather. A lot more rowdy groups and splashing at the surface when we had more waves. When the seas got flat we saw the humpback were much calmer and sleepy, perfect for in water encounters.
We were very lucky this week to have a really long in water encounter with a mother and calf. A relaxed mother was spotted from the main boat and when we approached we saw she was sleeping. Coming up slowly and quietly as not to wake her we got to spend over 3 hours with her and the calf. She didn’t leave the area between the 3 main big boats which is nicknamed the nursery. Both our boats took turns getting in the water with her and the calf. She barely moved only a gentle twitch of her fluke to slowly rise to the surface to breath. This was the best time for the photographer’s to get some spectacular photos. The calf was circling the mother underwater going all around her and even turning upside down. The calf came up to breath more often and let the guest get close which was perfect for photos and video.
On our last day we had a truly spectacular experience with a calm mother and playful calf. The mother was just resting at the surface in the afternoon catching the sun and letting all the guests get very close. The calf was very excited and definitely wanted to play with the guests. Swimming around everyone, below and spinning on to his back in front of us. The calf got so close many times we had to move back so as not to get hit by a stray fluke. The mother was very happy to let the calf play with us even when the calf strayed a little far from her. We got to witness the relationship between mother and calf. It was very tactile as the calf and mother brushed their pec fins. Sometimes in a way that looked like they were hugging. The calf rolled around often just above the mothers head. Sometimes hiding from us just below and peeking out before coming to intestate. An unforgettable experience.
All and all, the guests were extremely happy and satisfied with the amazing encounters of the week. And were all very busy editing their favorite photos and video of the week during the Friday journey back to Ocean World Marina. Lots of comparing, showing and everyone sharing their best ones to the rest of the group.