Whale watching

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  • Whale watching
  • Amos
    Member

    Decided I'm going to try and organise a trip whale watching for the wife and I. Want to try and stick with europe or Scnadinavia any time next year just was wondering if any one had been on a whale watching trip and whether they could give me some advice or recommendations?

    Cheers mat

    I went on a whale watching trip last March to Newcastle, cor blimey they get big up there. Suppose the blubber is necessary to protect them against the cold whilst wearign far too little clothing.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Leave tho poor sods alone?

    Premier Icon redx
    Subscriber

    The Bay of Biscay is supposed to be a good place to see whales. I think you need to find somewhere warm where mothers & babies go, as they'll be more active than places where the males tend to go.

    I've been whale watching from Cape Cod and in New Zealand, but from what I remember both places are where the males head and neither day was that great……

    Amos
    Member

    Didn't even think of Newcastle! Brilliant! Sounds a bit too scary for me though…

    You'll be fine… you're taking your wife. There are some predatory man eaters, but they only attack groups of males.

    Amos
    Member

    Leave tho poor sods alone

    Leave them alone? I'm not gonna harpoon them or try and ride them! I only wanna look at them, bit of a long drive to newcastle though

    jon1973
    Member

    Leave tho poor sods alone?

    🙄

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    Vancouver – good whale watching trips and obviously spend the rest of the holiday hammering BC's finest trails!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I went whale watching on a boat off the east coast of Oz. They did a deal where if you didn't see any whales you could go again for free. It took three trips to find some whales, but when we finally did it was amazing.

    I realise this is a bit far to go, but the point is…

    Leave tho poor sods alone?

    The whales we saw were protected species. Boats were not allowed to approach any closer than a couple of hundred meters. Instead they moored up and got everybody to make some noise and wave.
    The juvenile whales are very curious, so they came over to check us out. We had three or four of them "spy hopping" right next to us, close enough that we could smell their breath (which is minging).

    So basically, it was a meeting on their own terms. The adults just glanced us over to make sure we weren't a threat. The juveniles played for a while till they got bored and then carried on their journey.

    I'd hope that any similar trip in the UK would be made on a similar basis.

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    I've done it off Iceland. The weather wasn't the best so we didn't see much.

    A humpback did do the "tail in the air" thing which was quite spectacular, but not as spectacular as watching fat americans falling over on the boat.

    Amos
    Member

    Mad Pierre that would be the best idea! unfortunatley funds are limited

    😥

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Went whale watching off the Australian East Coast as well. Couldn't move for humpbacked whales – spectacular sight.

    Couldn't move for people being seasick, either. It was a bit choppy and there must have been 5 or 6 people laid out inside the boat. Felt a bit green around the gills myself – something to do with the boat constantly stopping and starting going after the whales.

    Premier Icon bereavementmonkey
    Subscriber

    Mexico….. San Jose Del Cabo on at the bottom of Baja California, go quad biking and then stand on one of the many bluffs watching the whales and dolphins playing together!

    Cheaper than you would think when you take into account local costs.

    Then you can go and pretend to be Brad Pit in Troy as that is where the beach scenes were filmed.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    I've been lucky and seen quite a few on trips from SW Ireland and NW pacific. Can't remember the Irish ones, but from north of Seattle, Island Mariner Cruises were excellent. You need to go Spring or Autumn to catch the big ones as they head north or south if you go Seattle/Vancouver. Orcas live in Puget sound all year so are pretty much guaranteed.

    roper
    Member

    You can see them from Southern Spain. Not the biggest but they do have Orca depending on the season. You will also be 45 minutes from Morocco too if you fancied popping away from Europe.

    You can do it from Maryport.

    Premier Icon beamers
    Subscriber

    We went whale watching out of Tofino in BC. It was early in the morning, we were one of the first boats on the water and as such the boat drivers had not worked out where all of the whales. Consequently we only saw a couple of grey whales and they didn't do anything to impressive in terms of leaping out of the water. This is all we saw:

    We did see a wolf though, sauntering along on the beach:

    The boat was a RIB with twin 150hp outboards. Awesome.

    i saw a Minke in the Cuillin Sound and another off Noup Head, westray, Orkney.
    orca are regula visitors to Westray and North Ronaldsay, and i was once told that, during the summer they go for their dinner to the rocks jst off the north end of North Ronaldsy at high tide. Apparently on a high spring tide, there isn't enough room for all the seals.
    If you wanr to do some UK whale or cetacean watching, have a look here

    pjd
    Member

    have seen day trips to go looking for orca advertised in the Scottish papers, can't remember who with, google it? may have been taking you to Norway for the day.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    I do my whale watching from the office window, however I'm not sure the canal is deep enough 🙁 My score to date is 0 whales, but I do have a sighting of the Lock Ness Monster on vacation:

    Amos
    Member

    Cheers eveyone any more input (whether helpful or not1) would be great!

    Ambrose
    Member

    Husavik, North East Iceland. Prices are much better nowadays due to their desperate need of foreign currency. We have sailed with North Sailing, who use beautifully converted wooden trawlers, warm and quiet. Always fantastically helpful to work with, fluent english speaking.

    http://www.northsailing.is/tours/ns-1-whale-watching/

    Best bit- if you don't see any whales- you get another trip until you do! Sorted.

    Locally the scenery is awesome, but not too far away is Myvatn…

    http://english.ust.is/National-Parks/Protectedareas/MyvatnandLaxa/

    And this-
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2610/4120529888_bb1c3106cd.jpg

    trailmonkey
    Member

    I've done it in Tenerifé. Not Humpbacks, Pilot Whales and dolphins.

    Amos
    Member

    Ambrose thanks that's the sort of info I'm looking for ta

    ebygomm
    Member

    Also went whale watching from Tofino, BC saw a couple of grey whales and a humpback, was cool, although this was the best picture I managed

    The boat ride was fun in itself and we got to wear funky suits

    We also stopped off at an island just off the coast and had a dip in the hot springs. I think the trip would have been worth it without the whales to be honest.

    We saw Orca on the ferry from Washington State to Vancouver Island

    you went whale watching and saw a wolf, how **** cool is that I want to go wolf watching!!!

    This was in NZ

    Ambrose
    Member

    Amos- a few more pics on my flikr page, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ambrose_hearne/

    Amos
    Member

    Great pics everyone fantastic! Ambrose where did you stay during your holiday?

    Mat

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    well done for your g/f getting in the rock pool with an orca and without the sexy safety suit!

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    I was paddling my ski along the S coast of Wgtn last summer with a mate when he said "did you feel that?" , it was a weird sort of displacement kind of feeling (was flat calm that day). Next thing this mahoosive eye appears beside us – a big Orca and its calf. Very very scary, cool, amazing, weird all at once. We stopped paddling and just sat there as it cruised round us while the calf played, when we started to paddle again the calf came and played in the boat wash – mum eventually came near and nudged it away and off they went. She did a huge flare which we thought was a spiritual way of saying "seeya"*. The whole experience was cool, we regularly get dolphins playing with us but thats my first close whale encounter.

    * in the pub later we came up with that description but we'd had a few 😀

    Ambrose
    Member

    Amos- I've been all over Iceland a few times now, so have stayed in a wide variety of places. Probably my favorite is staying in the mountain huts (bookable, 4×4 not always needed, some have a 'mountain bus' service passing close by) Hvitarnes is idyllic, close to the shores of a glacial lake. Hveravellir is right slap bang in the interior, in the middle of what is to all intents and purposes a desert, and has some amazing hot pools. Tourists by day, you have it to yourself from 4:30 onwards. You can camp (stunning) or stay in the huts- like old school youth hostels. Myvatn- hotel is supposed to be good, but the Reykjahlid campsite, closest to the village offers wonderful views, fantastic ambience and cannot be beaten.
    Akureyri is really nice, sort of like a nice Swansea or a nice Plymouth, but MUCH smaller. Reykjavik is fantastic. Acommodation can be tricky to get, we stay with friends. Loads to be had out of town though, try Hafnafjordur park! (a proper site, in a park) We ended up having an impromptu infant school play session one morning as Mrs Ambrose is an infant teacher and the school uses the park. Everyone is SO unbelievably, amazingly friendly

    To be honest, of all the places I've stayed in the worst was…. well I can't think of a bad one at all. Give me a ring if you want, there is a LOT to tell. Oh- have you seen this, a lovely treat for your wife 🙂

    null

    And this place is high in the mountains above Myvatn, views of midnightish sun, and the northern lights….

    null

    Call for a chat if you want, O778O988381

    I cannot rate Iceland highly enough. It is proper breathtaking, everything about the place impresses. They Really have it all. Apart from a working economy that is, but hey- I'm on holiday!

    Premier Icon beamers
    Subscriber

    you went whale watching and saw a wolf, how **** cool is that I want to go wolf watching!!!

    We saw a Bald Eagle or two as well:

    and this gang of seals:

    oh and a Raccoon in the car park:

    and a bear by the side of the road:

    BC is wildlife tastic!

    shedfull
    Member

    My folks went for a 24 hour trip to the fjords to see Orca a few years ago and loved it. I've no idea who they went with but this is the kind of thing.

    TBH, I'd rather go for a long weekend, stay in the area, sample the local food and hospitality and get a few whale watching trips in.

    corroded
    Member

    Next thing this mahoosive eye appears beside us – a big Orca and its calf.

    Had a similar experience while kayaking in the Bay of Islands a few years ago – mum (I guess), dad (massive dorsal) and calf. The calf had a skate/ray in its mouth but it's strange because I can only remember fragments like that – it was so scary but wonderful. They were close enough to touch with a paddle and didn't seem bothered at all.

    Amos
    Member

    Well thanks for all the feed back Ambrose! I may well call you not planning on going until next summer so I've plenty of time to sort things

    There's a fantastic photo from my brothers hometown Raglan in NZ of an orca in a wave behind a surfer at the aptly named Whale Bay, it seems to not be online anymore though.

    Premier Icon robgarrioch
    Subscriber

    Maybe one to try if you're on a domestic trip…

    Gairloch Wildlife Cruises

    It's a bit of a 'try-your-luck' case, probably best in late spring / summer. I've seen minke whales, porpoise, basking sharks from the shore a few times. There were even reports a few years ago of a great white a little further north.

    atlaz
    Member

    Problem with a lot of whale watching tours in the Pacific NW is they crowd pods and it's frequently been the cause of calves becoming separated from the pods. A LOT of the locals (my other half is from the San Juan Islands) want whale watching in the sound more strictly controlled as it's been a cause of problems for a while.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    I've never understood where the entertainment value is in looking at a whale.

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