Usually when we go on a cruise, we try to book one excursion in each port that we visit. When we looked into the excursions that were offered in Dominica, we were torn between two. The kids wanted to do the Wacky Rollers Adventure Park and I wanted to do the Whale and Dolphin Safari tour. I knew that Dominica is known as the whale watching capitol of the Caribbean and is year round home to sperm whales so this was an opportunity that I did not want us to miss. Timing was the big issue for doing them both but after several phone calls and emails, I found out they they both used the same taxi company for transportation so it was possible for us to do both. I booked the Whale and Dolphin Safari tour through a company called Shoretrips. The cost was $58.00 per adult and $52.00 per child and included beverages aboard the catamaran.
We were met at the cruise ship dock by a driver from West Coast Taxi. He took us in an air conditioned van to meet the catamaran. On the way there, he gave us a brief history of his country and pointed out places of interest to us as we went by. He even pulled off the road once and got out of the van to pull some grass from the side of the road. He brought it back to us and told us it was lemon grass and to give it a smell. When he dropped us off he told us to look for him when we returned and he would take us from there to the plantation where the adventure park was located.
The crew of the catamaran consisted of 3 people and there were about 20 other passengers from our ship that joined us on the tour. Most of them booked the tour on the ship and paid way more than we did. The guides told us that several species of whales hang out in the waters around Dominica but of them only sperm whales and pilot whales were around at this time of the year. They also said there would be no guarantees that we would see any whales but they had a really good success rate at finding them. During our adventure I learned that sperm whales can dive under the water for up to 45 minutes at a time and that is one reason why they can be hard to spot. They look for them not only by site but every 15 minutes or so, they stop the boat, turn off the engines and lower a device called a hydrophone into the water to listen for the clicking and whistlng noises that the whales make.
At about the hour and a half mark, there were no signs of any whales but we did see the another incredible site. We came across a large group of dolphins. Now I have seen dolphins in the ocean before but nothing like this. There were probably 100 of them and they were all moving in unison like they were doing a dance. It was so beautiful it took my breath away. After seeing the dolphins, the crew decided to go in a different direction and we were again searching for whales. Finally after over 2 hours one of them spotted something off in the distance and away we went. As we got closer we saw that it was a group of sperm whales. There were 6-7 of them one of which was a calf. They got the boat as close as they could without endangering them or us and lowered the hydrophone back into the water. They broadcast the sounds over the radio in the ship and for 15 minutes we all sat in silence watching and listening to these amazing creatures. It was so relaxing and they were even more spectacular than I had imagined. Then one by one they all dove under and were gone. It was a wonderful tour and at the end my children thanked me for making them go on it.