Stand Up Paddle Boarding Eco Adventures, Paddle Turks & Caicos | BIG BLUE UNLIMITED

Migration


Whale Watching Caribbean

The Humpbacks follow a timeless track between their five primary summer feeding grounds in the North: the Gulf of Maine, Eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and Norway and their two breeding grounds in the South; Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean (primarily, Turks and Caicos Islands, North East Dominican Republic and North West Puerto Rico).

As the bounty of food, essentially krill, plankton and small fish diminishes (whales can eat up to 3000 lbs. per day) throughout the summer, whales will leave in the Fall having built up significant fat reserves (blubber) and swim toward their tropical winter calving grounds covering distances of up to 3000+ miles in as little as under 40 days! Humpbacks then congregate and engage in mating activities. Surface displays of breaching, tail lobbing, fin and chin slapping are often coupled with complex male songs that can last up to 20-40 minutes or more and are often superb soundtracks on our scuba and snorkel trips.

Calves are born here after 11 months of gestation or on route and weigh as much as 2000 lbs., small in comparison to their mother’s 25-40 tons! Females are larger than males and while none of the whales eat in the South, calves grow rapidly from their mothers’ highly nutritious milk (so viscous, it binds together in the water). Weaning occurs 6-10 months later with breeding every two/three years.

Mothers are highly protective of their calves, forming close bonds and often provide us with some of our best encounters as they become more relaxed during the season.