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Published: April 8th 2015
While making our travel plans to visit the Dominican Republic, we booked this tour with Whale Samana managed by Kim Bedall, as it was a unique opportunity to observe humpback whales in their natural environment. We were not disappointed at all.
So, on Valentine's Day 2014 we sailed out of the boat pier in Samana on the "Pura Mia" a specially designed whale watch vessel with about 55 enthusiastic people all eager to see the whales in their calving and mating grounds.
Kim and a Marine Mammal Specialist accompanied us and gave an excellent live narration throughout the voyage in three different languages, English, Spanish and German. The boat itself was a 55 foot double decker with two modern restrooms and a snack bar. There was plenty of space to move around, and to get a better view we decided to sit on the upper deck. We were also provided with soft drinks, water, soda crackers and ginger mints, and most importantly Dramamine tablets, plus pressure bands for those prone to sea sickness. At the end of the tour we were also given an educational booklet on whales.
The scenery was beautiful as we departed
Samana, and about 40 minutes later the boat stopped at the public dock of Cayo Levantado Island to pick up a few more passengers. We saw a big cruise ship, a sailing ship and other smaller vessels as the boat made its way to the part of the waters where the whales are known to be sighted. This section is called the Marine Mammal Sanctuary and the $3.00 "Admission fee" is included in the $62.00 total cost of the tour.
We were told that humpback whales have been migrating to Samana Bay (which connects with the Atlantic Ocean) for centuries during the months of January to March, their calving and mating season. As we were there in mid February it was an ideal time to see them. And see them we did!
A pod of whales 'performed' for us by showing off their acrobatic skills such as coming up to the surface, diving and breaching. The last action is that of a whale launching itself into the air exposing some of its massive body before crashing back on the surface of the water. There were a lot of 'oohs and ahhs' from the watchers on the
Samana, Dominican Republic
Smaller boats at the docks.
boat, and indeed, it was such a delightful and thrilling sight! We were all busy aiming our cameras to catch those marvelous moments. However, the photos we took of these wonderful mammals really don't do justice to what we actually witnessed.
This whale watching tour lasted about 3 hours. There was a competent captain and professional crew on board. As mentioned before, Kim and the other lady gave a running commentary on the boat. All the staff were very knowledgeable, and I am sure everyone of us who took the tour were quite happy with their services. As we disembarked the boat at the jetty, Kim was there on the dock to bid each of us goodbye.
I can't think of a better way to spend VALENTINE'S DAY WITH THE WHALES AT SAMANA BAY!
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