The 411 on the Whales

whale pic

For those of you who may have missed it yesterday, we were fortunate enough to see what appeared to be a mom and her baby calf swimming through the waters off of St. John Monday afternoon. It was beyond exciting.

We were heading to Red Hook on the car barge when a passenger noticed a big splash off the side of the boat. A few minutes passed and then there they were again.

Humpback whales migrate through Virgin Islands waters each winter, typically between February and March. While in the area, they mate and give birth.

A few whales were spotted a couple of weeks ago by Copeland Boat Charters. Check out their awesome pics:

Image credit: Copeland Boat Charters
Image credit: Copeland Boat Charters

And in case you missed it yesterday, here’s our whale video once again:

According to Virgin Islands This Week, whales tend to travel near St. John, Thatch Cay, North Drop, Congo and Lovango Cays during this time of year.

Here’s a bit more detail courtesy of Virgin Islands This Week:

“Humpback whales are the most commonly seen in local waters. Adult humpback whales are approximately 35 to 50 feet long and can weigh up to 65 tons. Humpback whales have dark grey bodies. Besides humpback whales, the occasional pilot whale can be spotted usually in October and November. Even the occasional sperm whale can be seen once in a while. 

“Whales travel to South America through the Caribbean to mate and calve. They pass through (St. John and) St. Thomas on their way back north. The calves spend their first few months of life in the warm waters of the Caribbean, building up a layer of blubber that will keep them warm in colder waters. Humpback whales are endangered, and federal rules require that humans and water craft remain at least 100 yards away from the whales. If you are traveling in a boat and see a whale, put the engine in neutral and allow the whale to pass. We don’t want to harass them.”

Want to try seeing a whale?

The Environmental Association of St. Thomas-St. John is holding a whale watch trip on Sunday, March 2. The excursion costs $65 and leaves from American Yacht Harbor Dock “A” in St. Thomas. Tickets are available at Gallows Point Gift and Gourmet and also at the Eastend Secretarial Service in Red Hook. They can also be purchased online at www.IslandTimeTours.net

Click here for more information on the whale watch trip.

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