Every year, thousands of humpback whales make the long springtime journey from the Caribbean to the Antarctic. Why? The whales want to capitalize on the summertime abundance of phytoplankton – the polarized environment will experience almost twenty-four hours a day of sunlight, which pushes biological productivity levels at all points on the food chain to the limit.
Here, whales can feed on the vast shoals of krill that are their main food source. They must feed, too – this is the only opportunity for female whales to stock up on fat reserves in order to healthily bear calves in the winter and nurse them until they can return to Antarctica to feed once more.
Luckily for us, these awesome creatures pass by our island, and the best time to see them is during March and April. At this point in their life cycle, there is a good chance of seeing mothers will small calves – in winter, when they migrate back, the whales are mostly adults.
So, where is the best place to see these marine behemoths?
West Whale Bay
Head over to this west end beach with some binoculars for a good look at the whales. Be patient and watch for waterspouts, or even to catch sight of whale breaching. Bear in mind that whales will always appear outside of the reef line, and don’t mistake waves crashing on boiler reefs for the animals!
Many businesses in Bermuda offer whale-watching tours for under a hundred dollars. These 5-6 hour cruises, some in glass bottom boats, take you as close as ten feet to the whales. With experienced captains at the helm, you’re almost guaranteed to see a pod on the trip.
Your Own Boat
Why not make your own tour route? Whales can be seen within 15 miles of the island, almost anywhere off of South Shore. Some of the best places to try include the Sally Tucker and Challenger Banks sea mounts.