Friday, March 5, 2010

A Whale of a Good Time

As if there weren’t enough good reasons to love March here’s one more: The first of the month marks the official beginning of whale watching season—a two-month stretch where you can spot massive humpbacks swim, dive and breach off the shores of Bermuda. Interestingly, the island is the only mid-ocean platform in the Northern Hemisphere to provide a window into their behavior, an annual migratory pattern that begins in the Caribbean and ends in north Atlantic feeding grounds. It’s quite a sight, as the above video clearly attests. Shot by documentary filmmaker Andrew Stevenson, the amazing footage catches a pod of humpbacks swimming along Bermuda’s south shore, slapping the surface with their fins, and best of all, vigorously jumping from the water just yards from the boat. If you’ve got the time, poke around his YouTube channel where you’ll also find stunning underwater footage and hauntingly beautiful recordings of whales singing while swimming through Bermuda’s Challenger Banks. If all of this sounds right up you’re alley then why not try it yourself? The Bermuda Zoological Society begins its whale-watching excursions on Saturday, March 27, with full-day trips on the research vessel Endurance through the end of April ($70 members, $85 non-members). And charter company Fantasea Bermuda runs full-day trips aboard its glass-bottomed fishing boats for the next two months ($85). Still can’t get enough? Then be sure to visit the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute on March 11 when the discovery center premieres Andrew Stevenson’s latest film, “Where the Whales Sing,” a documentary he shot over a three-year period that traces the migratory patterns of humpbacks through Bermuda.

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