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Whale Watching in Dominica

Listed under Whale Watching in Dominica.

  • Photo of Whale Watching in Dominica
  • Photo of Whale Watching in Dominica
  • Photo of Whale Watching in Dominica
  • Photo of Whale Watching in Dominica
  • Photo of Whale Watching in Dominica
  • Photo of Whale Watching in Dominica
Photo of Whale Watching in Dominica
Photo by flickr user smeggy
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Dominica’s sheltered western coastline is a good place to see the uniquely formed, large headed, Sperm Whale groups complete with calves and juveniles. The deep waters beginning just off the shoreline are suitable for breeding and calving, and more social interaction can be observed here than at most other Sperm Whale watching destinations. In fact Sperm Whales are present in these waters for most of the year, in larger numbers in the winter months.

Some of the best spots for spotting whales are around Scott’s Head, Layou and Roseau. Sperm Whales are a chatty bunch so most charters here will have a hydrophone so you can hear them as well as other marine life such as Spinner and Bottlenose Dolphins and the quieter Pilot Whales.

Other whale species who visit these waters include Arca Whales, False Killer Whales and Humpbacks who pass through in the winter. Eric Hoyt in his book “The Whale Watchers Handbook” is repeated in all the guides here saying you have a 90% chance of spotting a whale in these waters, this annoying statistic is all very well unless you’re in the 10% who miss out.

Don’t be taken in by the hype but there is a good chance if you time it right that you will see many more than just the one Sperm Whale on any outing off Dominica. You may also see Sea Turtles.

Written by  terry.fielding.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

what is your email?

We are really interested in visiting you and Scar on Dominica. Is it possible? Please reply to dinets at gmail.com

1 Reply

Hi Vladimir - World Reviewer is a travel review site, not a provider of this kind of experience, however we recommend you contact www.divedominica.com (mentioning World Reviewer.). Have fun!

Andrew, loved your post; actually found the pic of you and Scar on the NatGeo site, someone had posted it on Twitter, blown away by your connection with such a beautiful whale, absolutely chuffed, tks for taking us there...Lise :^)

A Man and His Whale

Every now and again we meet someone who leaves an indelible impression on us for the rest of our lives. Scar (also called Tramtracks by the researchers out of Dalhousie University, Canada) is one such individual. We originally met him on a whale watch early in 2001. He came up to the boat with his female friend, still a baby in his first month of life, having had the worst of an encounter with a small fast moving boat. His blowhole was ripped down to his white blubber layer and his dorsal fin was also ripped from front to back. Big Dave and Rhona were perched over the swim platform, petting and consoling, while all aboard surrounded and almost covered them. Right then he stopped “waiting to exhale”. The spray from his blow hole blessed everyone with that unique blend of sea salt and whale! The air was thick with emotion and at that stage a bond between man and this young male sperm whale was formed.

Dominica seems to be home to a number of different groups of female sperm whales. Scar is a member of “The Group of Seven” recorded off Dominica’s west coast since 1984. Typically, the big males come down to areas like ours to breed with the females. The contemporary literature indicates that mating occurs during the winter months with calves being born almost a year and a half later. However, our research shows that males are seen periodically, but at any time of the year. Babies stay with their mothers for a number of years as this species has a very slow reproduction rate. For example, Scar’s baby brother or sister was born in late December 2007. At two years, Scar, who will actually come to me on call, had teeth just bursting out and by that time was getting at least part of his nourishment from the deep dwelling squid which these animals eat.

After weaning, the females stay with their mother’s group while the males start straying away, meeting other young males and enjoying a fairly carefree life. Scar is now at this stage. In early January 08 while getting some still footage of socialization and hopefully mating action we come up on four animals. A male, bigger than all the rest sees the two “little” snorkelers bobbing around on the surface and immediately approaches….quickly. His echo location can be felt right through to the chest as this beast barreled down on them, penis extended. His first pass is so close that the “current” from his passing can be felt like a strong flowing river. Everyone is back on board before the second pass. It's days later that I look at the pics and see that the white patch on his underbelly is VERY similar to Scar. Then I see his tail and that gives it away. That big male is Scar and he was just excited about saying Happy New Year.

Sadly, this means that my dear friend will most likely soon be leaving this unique group of Caribbean whales and head to the higher latitudes for many years until he is ready (aprox 25 yrs old) to search the globe looking for females willing to mate. We know him from the two semi circles, one on each side of his tail and a horizontal line on the left of his dorsal fin. If you see him somewhere, clap loudly and say “come to daddyyy…” he may just come. But don’t forget to say that I say hi.

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