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Whales come out to play

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This year's whale watching season yesterday got off to a successful start.

On the first trip of the season, 30 guests on board the Looking Glass were treated to a sighting of six humpback whales, two of which breached a total of five times in quick succession.

“They were playing around, breaching,” Captain Paul Fox, who works for Bermuda Water Tours, said. “We were only out to sea for ten minutes when we saw them.

“One breached as soon as we got out there,” he added.

Wayne Hackman, from Spanish Point, took his visiting parents out on the trip.

“The weather was set to be windy and within the first few minutes we hit a little chop that covered us all with sea spray,” Mr Hackman said.

“As soon as we headed out to sea from Pompano, the chop was forgotten when the first humpback was seen no more than tenminutes after we made the turn.

“It wasn't long after the first sighting that we saw a number of water spouts, flutes and dorsal fins,” Mr Hackman added.

“We were all looking one way and then suddenly we heard this massive splash behind us — the whale must have been 50 feet from the boat.”

“It wasn't long after the first loud splash that we were then presented with more whale breaching and tail slapping — it was an awesome experience,” Mr Hackman added.

Capt Fox said seeing this many whales at once can be hit and miss, especially this early in the season.

“It made a big difference that we were the only boat out there,” he added. “When there are more boats they tend not to breach and play as much.”

Capt Fox said he took the fully-booked boat tour out to Peter Riley's, an area of the Edge about two miles to the southwest of the Island.

He said he spotted the whales as they were passing through Port Royal Channel, but didn't alert the guests until they were able to get closer.

Capt Fox added that local fishermen had reported sighting the whales as early as January.

In Bermuda, whale watching season starts in March and runs through to the end of April.

The humpback whales pass the Island as they migrate from their breeding and mating grounds in the Caribbean to their feeding grounds in northern latitudes.

Yesterday's trip was organised by Island Tour Centre, who operate as a central booking agency for more than 20 local tour providers.

Whale-watching trips are offered by Bermuda Water Tours, Fantasea Diving & Watersports and the Bermuda Zoological Society and depart from Dockyard, Hamilton and Flatts on various days throughout the week.

For more information call 236-1300, e-mail info@islandtourcentre.com, or visit www.islandtourcentre.com.

A humpback whale sighted on the first whale-watching trip of the season (Photo by Wayne Hackman).
A whale sighted on the first whale watching trip of the season. (Photo by Wayne Hackman)
(Photo by Wayne Hackman) Spectacular: A whale sighted on the first whale watching trip of the season

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Published March 12, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated March 12, 2015 at 12:43 am)

Whales come out to play

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