I love swimming. I love sea life. I love snorkelling. I love diving. Unfortunately, I am prone to seasickness. That did not help with my desire to see whales.
My first attempt was in the autumn of 2007 in Cork, Ireland. I will forever remember how awful I felt during the 5 hours we were bobbing up and down in the rough open water. I threw up 7 times and cried almost the entire 5 hours except when the dolphins started to swim right next to our boat and jumped up and down. It was supposed to be a 3 hour trip but as we still hadn’t seen any whales, the captain wanted to stay out longer to ensure we get to see some whales as they saw many the day before. Luck was not on our side. 5 hours and 50 Euros later, 0 whales sighted.
My second attempt was in Reykjavik, Iceland in June 2009. The first thing we did was to swallow a sea sickness pill. It didn’t help much but as I did not throw up, perhaps it did. Unfortunately once more, I did not see any whales. 45Euros paid, 0 whales sighted. I did however see the breath being let out by a minke whale which was a cute little spurt of water. And we smelt the very smelly disgusting smell of its breath twice. Dear minke whale, please brush your… do you have teeth?
My third attempt was in Cape Cod in August 2014. I was so lucky to finally see whales (humpback whales) with my own eyes! The first humpback whale was on its own. The second sighting was of 3 humpback whales which is very rare as they aren’t pack animals but these whales are long-time friends apparently. We stayed with the pack for a good 30minutes, witnessing all 3 diving deep down and come back up a number of times. We saw one last humpback whale before the 3 hour trip ended.
On my to-do list for future whale watching trips:
1- Gray whales in Baja California, Mexico
2- Blue whales in Sri Lanka
3- Swim with Dwarf Minke Whales in the Great Barrier Reef
4- Watch them from your villa’s doorstep on an island in Madagascar