Whales of the Silver Bank - An Introduction

Thank you for your interest in a Whales of the Silver Bank expedition! Observing humpback whales above and below water is without a doubt one of the most unique and moving experiences available, so we are delighted you are considering joining us. We would like to give you a brief background and explanation of what you'll encounter if you join us on the Silver Bank.

The Silver Bank and surrounds yearly play host to thousands of migrating North Atlantic Humpback Whales. In 2005, NOAAhumpback whales researchers aboard the R/V Gordon Gunther conducted an extensive population count in the region, and the results indicate that between 5000-7000 humpbacks pass through this oddly shaped, forty square mile sanctuary each winter. Indeed, research indicates that the Silver Bank contains the largest seasonal population of humpbacks in the North Atlantic Ocean, if not the world.

Why humpbacks undertake such an extensive migration is unknown, as is their exact route, but we do know that their arrival is reliable and predictable. Pregnant female humpbacks calve during this time, and estrous females seek to mate;testosterone peaks in males and comhumpback whalespetition is high. Surface activity is frequent during this time: breaching, lob tailing and fin slapping are some of the behaviors that can be seen on a daily basis. Rowdy, or competitive, groups also formfrequently and are an especially exciting behavior unique to the mating grounds. Rowdy groups are composed of two or more males vying for proximity to a female; the dramatic efforts to displace one another are thrilling to witness. Males become more vocal during this time as well, and the seas are filled with their plaintive song.

One of the highlights of your adventure will be when you have the opportunity to slip into the water to experience a soft-in-water encounter with these magnificent mammals. Witness the extraordinarily tender bond between mother and calf, and marvel as baby approaches you closely with each breathumpback whalesh. Or, see a female and escort lost in their courtship dance, exquisitely in control of their graceful movements. Words can’t really describe how moving it is to be present for such events, and to quietly observe without disturbance. We are welcomed into their world, and what an enormous and rare privilege it is!

As you can see, days on the Silver Bank are filled with excitement and opportunity. Keep in mind, there are good times and there are slow times, but there are rarely bad times. During the evening youwill relax in comfort aboard the M/V Turks and Caicos Explorer II, enjoying educational slide shows, videos and audio recordings on the behaviors and anatomy of the North Atlantic humpback whale.

Ready to go? After making your reservation, we will supply you with a trip preparation and orientation package. This package will contain particulars on available airlines, transfers, what to bring and where to go in order to make your adventure a smooth and comfortable one. Please don't hesitate to contact us with questions at p: (954) 382-0024, f: (954) 382-0042 or email: whales@aquaticadventures.com

See you on the Silver Bank,

The Aquatic Adventures Team


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