Whales in Newfoundland
Each summer upwards of 10,000 Humpbacks make there way to the coast of Newfoundland to feed. Some of the best feeding grounds are situated in the waters of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. The abundance of food (capelin) draws hundreds of whales close to our shores to feed. This is what makes the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve among the best places in the world to watch and experience whales in their natural environment
The peak of the feeding (and sighting) season runs from mid June through to mid August each year which typically ensures that Gatherall’s Puffin & Whale Watch has such a consistent record of sightings. Please remember though that whales are wild creatures in an enormous ocean. They have lots of room to feed, play and occasionally hide. As with most everything else in nature, whales in Newfoundland are more numerous during certain times of the year and in select locations.
The Humpback Whale is the most frequently encountered species of whale observed in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve and the waters around Bay Bulls. While a number of other species are commonly seen, the Humpback is typically the star of the show. Widely regarded as the most social and acrobatic of all of the whales, Humpbacks are also among the most curious.
Each and every encounter is different and our crew are just as excited as you to see them – it never gets old! It’s a big ocean and we must remind ourselves just how lucky we are to be located in such a great place to see them. Some trips they come close to the boat and sometimes they don’t – it’s up to the whales to determine the extent of the encounter – something our crew is always mindful of.
Do we Guarantee Whales?
For those of you who want to be “guaranteed” to see a whale, we recommend that you go to a Marine Theme Park! Sure you’ll be guaranteed to see a whale but it’s really not the same.
Whales in the wild have a vast ocean in which to roam, feed, play and hide in. If you see a whale jump while on a tour with Gatherall’s, it’s doing exactly what it wants to do. We’re not going to blow whistles or try to feed it. You’re welcome to wave though! We recommend that you always watch the ocean and not your smart phone …. the whales are not going to buzz, text, tweet, snapchat before they surface. Relax and put your device away for a bit. Watch, listen and smell – that’s how we find them!
Watching whales is generally 90% patience and 10% luck. If you’re in the right place at the right time it greatly increases your chances of seeing them.