With the deep-blue waters of the Sargasso Sea to the east and the warm currents of the Gulf Stream to the west, Bermuda is perfectly situated along the migration routes of whales as they travel to their northern feeding grounds each spring.
Humpback Whales: Stars of the Show
Although different species are often observed, the most commonly seen are the aerobatic humpback whales. With their tendency to breach, fin slap, wave their tails and sometimes do the back float, these giant mammals lure nature lovers on boat cruises in the spring. And as if to toot their own horns, they often shoot streams of water up to 12 feet in the air from their blowholes.
The gentle giants weigh up to 40 tons and can measure as long as 60 feet. Their long fins, which propell them through the waves, can help you identify them.
Whale Watching by BoatYou can spot whales breaching from various vantage points on shore, but the best way to experience humpbacks is to head for the open seas on a whale watching trip.
You’ll sail miles out to spot humpbacks from the deck or, in some cases, through a glass-bottomed hull. Bermuda’s sparkling turquoise waters are even more crystal clear than usual in the spring, which means supurb visibility (up to 100 feet below the surface).
Guides will give you fun facts and info on the fascinating mammals. For instance, did you know that their songs can be heard up to 20 miles away? In addition to the whales, keep an eye out for Bermuda’s famous shipwrecks and reefs, all teeming with undersea life.
Among the companies and organisations that organise whale watching trips are: the Island Tour Centre, Fantasea Diving & Watersports and Blue Water Divers & Watersports. In addition, The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institution and the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo organise boat trips as well as hold interesting exhibits about whales.
A New Breeding Ground?
Bermuda is already a whale watching hot spot, but is it turning into a breeding ground for the mammals? Bermuda-based whale researcher Andrew Stevenson thinks so. In early 2015, he had verified reports of a baby humpback breaching nearby.