Have you ever gone Whale Watching? At least 10 million people go whale watching every year. The best Whale Watching trips encourage and aid conservation – the worst put whales at risk. Humpback Whale sightings usually begin from around February until May of each year in Antigua & Barbuda before the whales leave for the cooler waters of the north.
This year you can be a part of this wonderful experience since the Environmental Awareness Group of Antigua & Barbuda (EAG) are teaming up with Adventure Antigua to go Whale Watching on Saturday April 14, 2012! However, before you marine life enthusiasts get too excited please note the dos and don’ts necessary for preservation of the species.
The St. John’s Antigua – New Best Practice Guidelines for Marine Mammal/Sea Turtle Watching seeks to ensure whale-watching is safe for these elusive mammals and also for tourists since well-run whale-watching trips inspire respect for the animals and action to help protect them. The guidelines were put together through collaboration with the Antigua Conservation Society and The EAG, with assistance from Adventure Antigua’s Eco-tourism guide Nicola Nash who attendedPanama’s Whale Watching Conference last year. The guidelines urge:
- that whale watchers refrain from touching or feeding the animals, as they may become aggressive or dependent;
- that vessels turn off their engines when approaching and should move at no more than five knots;
- that vessels leave a clear path for the animals to move through, so they are not trapped;
- that humans avoid approaching directly in order to prevent accidental injury to the animal or human;
- that humans and vessels avoid closely approach the animals; minimum safe distance should be 50 meters or 164 feet.
For more information see the entire set of guidelines: http://antiguaisland.blogspot.com/2012/03/whale-and-dolphin-watching-in-antigua.html
Now that you know a bit more about what not to do while Whale Watching you can sign up for the Whale Watching half-day trip on Saturday 14th April, 2012. Departing from the Jolly Harbour Marina at 1PM with a check in time of 12:30PM to ensure an on-time departure. Drinks will be provided, and you can bring along a light snack along with the all-important sunblock.
Whatever you decide to do on April 14th, be assured that the view from the pool deck at the Trade Winds Hotel will be just as magnificent at sunset when the sky turns on its spectacular colour palette. You can opt to dig out your binoculars and do your Whale Watching from the enviable vantage point of our Bay House Restaurant; you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a Humpback or two! Our friendly and helpful staff will be on hand to pamper and tempt you with one of our many delicious cocktails at happy hour or a decadent dessert after an enjoyable dinner. So the question is…. where will you be?