I got to check an item off my bucket list in Roseau Dominica during this visit. I had never seen a sperm whale in all my world travels and I learned from the Disney Plus Nat Geo documentary show that there is a pod of female sperm whales that live year-round in the waters of Dominica. The waters are very deep off the coast of Dominica, and the whales are able to dive over a mile down to feed on giant squid. I booked the zodiac whale watching excursion by my self as my husband was over the 250 lb weight limit. They also have an age limit of, I think, 75. So this is something on your list of things to do, do it when you are young and skinny.
We got off the ship where we were met by our tour operator who walked us over to the boarding area from the cruise port. The Zodiac featured straddle seating with handle bar to hang on to. This was not a gentle ride out through the surf to find the whales, more of a thrilling wave hopping ride.
Once we got started, our guide told us we were not guaranteed to see whales as they sometimes are all over on the Atlantic side of the island and we were on the Caribbean side. Once we got out to the whale area, our boat deployed its sonar to listen to for the whales. There were also two research vessels and one other sight seeing boat in the area. They all deployed their sonar and triangulated their positions to find the whales.
“Good News” our guide said “We are hearing these animals in the area”. “They are very shy and can sometimes stay down for 45 minutes or more”. We headed out further and then across the open sea to find them. First we spotted some dolphins, and then the guide took a left turn to follow the underwater sounds. “Over there, a fluke” our guide said. He told us that “A fluke is how you see the tail before they take a deep dive. We wont see that one for another 45 minutes or so, but where there is one, there are others.”.
After about another 35 to 45 minutes our guide said “Come on ladies show yourselves”. Then word came from another boat that they were near them. We headed towards them and sure enough there was a juvenile and several other females keeping watch over the calf. One swam right by the side of our boat. Then a couple more popped up to check us out. We must have had 15 or so spottings of these whales, though there were only a few of them present.
It was an amazing experience. Though wild life is not guaranteed, it is worth taking a chance to see these amazing creatures. This activity is completely unique to Dominica, so if you are looking for something to do there that you can’t do at any other Caribbean island, take a chance on seeing the whales in Dominica. I did not have the best camera, just a cell phone in a waterproof bag, so I didn’t take any of my own pictures. With full disclosure, these are pics from the tour company’s face book page, but they are good representation of what we saw during our tour.
Other people on the cruise did waterfall and river tubing and said that it was amazing. Because of the steep volcanic landscape in Dominca, there are not many beaches, but there are wonderful tropical forests and waterfalls for guests to visit.
Here are so additional photos from the ship of the port town of Roseau, Dominica and another glorious sail-away.