See up to 5 Types of Whales from 3 Departure Locations!
Nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
The truth about aerial whale spotting is that it just doesn’t work in most conditions. There are other companies who advertise they use spotting planes and imply they use them daily to find whales; this is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. So how do we find whales? Let's take the mystery out of our whale spotting system.
No company in the area uses an airplane to spot whales – it's just too difficult.
All Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA) member companies are required to share whale sightings. There are no secrets. All PWWA vessels have access to the same information through a private encrypted radio channel and online sightings network.
The companies that have the highest sighting success rate and can guarantee whales are the companies with the best range. Range is determined by vessel speed, length of the tour, and location of the departure. This is why Island Adventures has been #1 for many years. Island Adventures holds a cumulative 98% whale sighting success rate across all of our departure locations and vessels. No other company can compare. You’ll notice that other companies don’t post their whale sightings each day — online or anywhere else — like Island Adventures does.
Killer whales are very vocal creatures. There’s even a network of underwater microphones that you can listen to 24/7. Check out orcasound.net and listen for Killer Whales from anywhere in the world. (If you’d like a heads up when orcas can be heard on these hydrophones, join Orca Network and friend them on Facebook)
Vessel Size Matters
The best days for our captains are when we find the whales first — and this happens a lot! The pilot house on the Island Explorer 4 and Island Explorer 5 are over 25 feet off the water, and is a very stable platform while underway. With the help of a $1,000.00 set of binoculars, we can see whales from as far as six miles away!
Problems with Aerial Viewing
Planes are the fastest way to see the areas that haven’t been covered by boat, can’t be seen from land or are in an area with no hydrophones. One problem with spotting from a plane is that you must maintain a respectful height so that you don’t disturb wildlife from the air. This makes it difficult to see killer whales unless the water condition is perfect.
Another problem with spotting whales from the air is that sometimes whales stay under water for up to 20 minutes. In this time it’s easy for planes to fly right over and not see them. This hurts the overall search effort because the whales are now in an area that other searchers assume has already been covered.
Now that you know the truth about aerial whale spotting you may want to take a closer look at other claims being made by these companies. Ask direct questions and expect real answers.