Humpback Whales: Face to Face with the Giants of the Deep

Author: Hilary Lee

Hilary Lee gets excited at the prospect of seeing Humpback Whales up close and personal!

There is a small island in French Polynesia, far off the beaten track for most divers and snorkelers, where Humpback Whales come to reproduce, calve and nurse each year, arriving in July and returning to their Antarctic home waters in late October. Rurutu, unlike other popular whale- watching destinations, has not reached large-scale or over-regulated proportions, so that snorkellers can get really close to these leviathans. Imagine swimming with a group of co-operative Humpback Whales, or gliding close to a proud mother and her calf!

Boats leave each day, during the season, for three hour trips. On the surface the whales will

breach and spray water from their blowholes, but once in the water the sight of these immense

mammals is truly spectacular. Although you should take care not to touch or harass the whales, really close encounters are possible and photographers can get some exceptional ‘once in a lifetime’ photographs. Join a family of 40-ton, 15-metre whales and watch a mother suckle her calf, or connect eye to eye with one of the inquisitive youngsters. This must surely be one of the most remarkable and exciting encounters possible under the water!

We will be offering land-based trips to Rurutu from July to October, which can be added to the other shore-based locations in French Polynesia, or simply taken as a stand-alone destination.

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