Response from humpbackdiveshack, Owner at Humpback Whale Watching, Eco-Tour, Grand Turk
Responded 13 Apr 2019
Thanks you for your generally positive feedback regarding the experience of someone else who enjoyed our tour. Reviews like this are really valuable because they allow us the opportunity to respond and really highlight the realities of interacting with wild animals, and the harsh reality is that there are no guarantees as to the outcome of any given day. The whales are totally wild, free in the expanse of the ocean and some days they wish to play some days they do not. If you would like to go whale watching, and especially if you wish to swim with a whale, we recommend you book multiple days in case the animals do not meet with your personal expectations on the first trip out. This is not Sea World! Seeing whales, never mind swimming with them, can never be guaranteed. As you arrived on a cruise ship you had only one day to devote to the experience, that's your call. We personally travel to interact with wild animals in different places, when we do so we book an absolute minimum of three days because we understand that nature is not a circus, where animals are trained to do tricks for the guests. Even then, we sometimes do not get to see the creatures we desire to meet. Our last trip was with Whale Sharks in Mexico, we went for 10 days and booked three trips, the first trip was meh, the second trip was epic and the third trip was just ok, according to our expectations. It didn't matter, because we had one epic day. Two days were cancelled for weather, thankfully we had planned for this by staying extra days. You see, it's not about the wildlife, it's about you and how you approach the experience. It took the BBC several months to get a few seconds of footage of the rare Amur leopard. It could have taken them five minutes if they had just been lucky. We did not snorkel with the whales that day because the whales were breaching, when the whales are breaching it is too dangerous to swim with them. We don't imagine we would not have gotten four stars if your husband hadn't come home, please understand we have a responsibility for the safety of our clients and if our experience dictates that swimming with the whales is not appropriate then we will not attempt it, to do so would be negligent. It had little to do with the waves to be honest. This is another good point though, when we go to meet the whales we are in the open ocean, there are waves, there are swells, there is wind and it can be rough and wet. It is not a lake, we are taking a boat out into the North Atlantic ocean, so please prepare yourself for that reality, take your sea sick meds and dress appropriately. To be quite honest, there are days we go whale watching and don't see a whale at all, although these days are rare they are always a possibility and if you wish to interact with wildlife this is something you should accept from the very get go. If you can't handle this please do not bother booking the tour, enjoy a cold drink on the beach instead. To see even a single Humbpack Whale breach in the wild is a truly spectacular thing and your husband witnessed this three times. We are elated that he enjoyed it but would have to disagree that he didn't see much. He has probably seen more than many people ever will ever see in their lifetime as far as wild humpback whales go. If you really want to experience the Humpback Whales of Grand Turk we must reiterate that you should devote a couple of days to the experience, failing to do so limits your own chances of getting the most from the experience. If you book only one day or if you book off the cruise ship on a whim you are simply rolling a dice that has the realistic probability of 50% odds to satisfy what you personally and objectively consider to be successful day. One day is not a prudent way to experience any wild animal and if you want to do it that way then you better be ready to suck it up when it doesn't work out how you wanted. This experience is something you should plan for, come to Grand Turk, stay here and join us on the water for a few days with the whales, let us "blow" your mind, please don't penalize us for failing to satisfy your personal expectations on a single three hour tour. Finally, expense is also objective, if it is too expensive for you please don't waste your money on something that might not even happen because, no matter what happens with the whales on any given day, our costs to provide this service and the "opportunity" to meet a whale remain the same and you have to pay for this opportunity, that's just business. No queue, no wait, very small groups, swim out from the crowd with firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again for allowing us the opportunity to educate our prospective clients as to the realities of watching wild Humpback Whales from Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos.