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I am still catching up from a 5 week trip but wanted to get something out about this years Humpback Whale season in Tonga.
Tonga had plenty of whales this season. There were periods of bad weather and poor visibility but even then there were whales around. This year we saw a lot mothers traveling with baby, and escorts. It was very interesting to see this as in years past I don't remember seeing so many escorts with the mother and baby whales. Perhaps with so many bulls around the mother liked having an escort to help protect her from constant harassment and numerous heat runs.
Just as impressive was the number of teenage whales about to become mature. So in addition to seeing a lot heat runs with the big bull whales we were treated with views of the younger whales practicing heat runs, bubbling each other, and simply playing for the fun of it.
There were a lot of boats on the water this season and at times many of them shared whales with each other. While its good all the tourists got to see whales, its important that operators give the whales breaks between encounters so they can rest, nurse, and relax. The more we respect the whales and give them space the more they will be curious about us and want to swim by to check us out.
I really enjoyed doing a charter with Dave and Tris of http://www.whalediscoveries.com. Their passion for the whales, our environment is real and heartfelt and I look forward to hosting three special adventures with them next season. The dates are Sept 12-19, Sept 21-29th, 2011. The Oct 2-11 adventure is full.
These trips adventures are designed for photographers and those that desire more than the "tourist experience". The locations we intend to visit are remote but well documented as productive in terms of whale interaction. There will be few if any other boats anywhere near us, and there will be a maximum of 8 guests. Feel free to contact me for information. firstname.lastname@example.org
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