In Search of the Real Moby Dick


Whale watching has become an “eco-phenomenon” in many places of the world: Iceland, Galapagos, New Zealand, artic Canada and California are just a few of the places known for whale watching. But you do not have to travel halfway around the world to see whales; there’s whale watching right here in the waters off Tortola and St. Thomas in the British Virgin Islands.

Photo courtesy of the 58′ catamaran S/Y YES DEAR, for charter year round in the BVI
The appearance of a tremendous tail, accompanied by a loud splash is a fairly common sight in the Caribbean’s sparkling, deep blue waters. Year-round travelers visit the Caribbean in hopes of seeing the real Moby Dick.
Whales breaching in the BVI!
Whales breaching British Virgin Islands

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Video courtesy of the 65′ Privilege Catamaran FELICIA – for charter in the Virgin Islands

Whales travel to South America through the Caribbean during winter to mate and calve. They pass through the Virgin Islands on their way back north, generally during March and April.  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.
WHALES!!!  The 58’ catamaran BRAVEHEART says they’ve seen whales the last 3 months in a row… “First, we saw a 24’ Killer whale in June and a couple of short-finned Pilot whales.  Then we saw a pod of 40 Killer whales in July, as well as a pod of 50 Pilot whales in August. Next, we sighted Pilot whales in St Vincent, making 5 sightings in all from the deck of Braveheart.  As we’re a dive boat, maybe we will run into some underwater soon.  Until then we will have to content ourselves with a tiny seahorse or two here in the Grenadines.”
Yachts do not have to venture far from tropical coastlines to catch sight of a whale’s large head surfacing. Typically, whales live far away from the shore, because they need deep waters to find their food source. However, the Eastern Caribbean’s seascape offers a special exception. The islands’ mountainous landscapes dip thousands of feet into the water below creating extremely deep waters close to the shore and the ideal habitat for whales. Due to this, the whales are spotted much closer to the shore than usual as they feed, mate and give birth.
The success rate for seeing this enormous species is at its peak during the winter months, but whales are sighted year round in the Caribbean. Visitors may also spot Pygmy Sperm, Dwarf Sperm, Humpbacks, Pilots, False Killer and Melon-headed whales. Travelers should keep their eyes out for dolphins as well, such as the Spinner and Bottlenose dolphin, which also inhabit the Caribbean Sea.
Dolphins swimming right alongside the 62′ Lagoon catamaran, AVALON, available for charter year round in the Virgin Islands.
Fast Fact

The number of people who watch whales is on the increase.  A 2009 study estimated that 13 million people went whale watching globally in 2008.  Whale watching generated $2.1 billion per annum in tourism revenue worldwide, employing around 13,000 workers in 119 countries.  About 25 species of whales are observed in Caribbean waters, such as Humpback whales, Sperm whales, beaked whales and many other small cetaceans.

For details on yacht charters in the Caribbean, please contact Shelby Nicholson or Sylvia Weston at 1-800-662-6066 or email us at
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