Caribbean Humpback Whale Encounters!
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Early spring, with tropical breezes and warm Caribbeanwaters of the Silver Bank, a select few travelers will have
the incredible opportunity to get very up close andpersonal with one of natures most captivating creatures
the Humpback Whale. The Silver Bank is the winter birthing and mating grounds for these typically gentle creatures. From aboard our ship
and smaller launches we see groups of them cruising by gracefully.

Groups of males competing for females result in almost constant activity that will thrill and delight us. Mothers care for newborn calves and
come within close range to explore these strange humans, us! This is not a whale WATCHING trip, when the whales are more sedate we
have the unbelievable chance to slip into the water with snorkel gear and view these gentle giants in their own environment. Our encounters
are quite safe with these intelligent, enormous creatures. This rare opportunity will truly touch your heart and speak to your soul.

The in water encounters are strictly up to you and the whales. Picture taking from our boat will give you more than you ever imagined.
Evenings will be filled with videos and information educating us regarding whale behavior.

Particularly captivating are the famed Humpbacks songs, which can reverberate like loud music through your body. Using hydrophones we
will have the rare chance to listen closely to their sounds, their unique conversations.

This trip is geared toward snorkeling and exploration; other wildlife includes tropical fish, seabirds, corals and possibly tropical spotted
dolphins. Please bring your own snorkel gear.

The dive deck is equipped with individual gear lockers, camera table, recharging station and separate freshwater rinse baths for equipment
and cameras. It also has a wet suit hanging area, freshwater showers, and a bathroom. Large stairways lead down to the dive platform,
where two in-water ladders hang for easy access to and from the water. Forward of the dive deck is the air-conditioned main salon, where
meals are served. The salon also contains an entertainment center with TV/DVD and stereo, as well as a boutique display and access to all
staterooms and the galley  

The chef and stewards will provide you an excellent variety of delicious cuisine in the scenic dining room and unparalleled service including
daily steward service.  If you have a general request regarding diet, please let us know so that we may advise the ship directly. They will do
their best to accommodate your wishes. Each passenger has a gear locker and wet suit rack. Water, ice tea, coffee, assorted sugar free
juices, fruit juices, and alcoholic beverages are provided. Happy hour daily on the sundeck offers daily snacks, green flash sunsets and starlit
nights. Additionally, an onboard boutique with vacation videos is available throughout the week. You may pay for your onboard expenditures
with credit cards, travelers’ checks and cash or by personal check (cash is preferred).

BOAT:    Review deck plan and cabins click here
The live aboard “M/V Turks & Caicos Explorer II is a 124 ft. vessel with a 22 ft. beam that sleeps 20 passengers.
This is the nicest platform for whale watching on the Silver Bank.

COST: Based on cabin type / double occupancy / Trip cost includes $300.00 Silver Bank Marine Mammal Sanctuary tax

The VIP staterooms 1 & 2 feature;
individually controlled air-conditioning systems, a queen-sized bed, desk, chair,  private bathroom and shower. Cost PP: $3,995.00

Main Deck cabins
which have either twin beds or queen size bed and have all of the same amenities as stated above except no TV/DVD player in the room.
There is TV/DVD player in the Salon for everyone's use.
Cost PP: $3,795.00

Lower deck cabins
have upper and lower beds, all the same amenities exceot the TV/DVD player and the desk.  
Cost PP: $3,595.00

A $300.00 fuel surcharge and port fee to be "paid in cash" on the boat. Single supplement fee is an additional cost if you would like your own
cabin, meaning you pay for "2 spaces". Gratuity to crew - suggested 15 - 20% of trip cost.

Three meals a day, snacks throughout the day/evening, all coffee, tea, juices, all alcoholic (limited to well spirits,beer and wine) and non-
alcoholic beverages (limited selection) all linens, towels, hot showers, air conditioned staterooms and amenities, video library, CD library,
and all tender activity.

Airfare to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, tourist cards needed for arrival, (a tourist card must be purchased from your air carrier before
your arrival to Puerto Plata or upon arrival in Puerto Plata), transfers to and from the ship or hotels, land tours, excess baggage charges,
departure taxes at airport, cruising, port & sanctuary fees, fuel surcharge (listed above under cost), equipment rental, vacation videos,
sundries, gratuities (15%-20%) for boat crews.

Early booking recommended - $1,000.00 non-refundable deposit is required. This trip is open to women and men.


Day 1, Sat. Arrive Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. You will need to make arrangements with the office to be met by their driver who will
take you to the commercial pier to meet the boat. Boarding is anytime between 5 p.m. and midnight. Dinner will be served on board and you
will have the chance to meet the crew.

Day 2-6, Sun - Thurs. Among the whales in the Silver Bank. The boat will leave port in the wee hours, between 5:30 and 6 a.m. and arrive in
the Silver Bank late morning depending upon weather. We will have an orientation on the whales and their habitat. In the summer the whales
make their home in New England and Eastern Canada where they feed in the rich, dark waters. But winter brings them to the warm, clear and
calm waters of the Caribbean to give birth and mate. Our captain will also outline very specific guideline protocol that will dictate our whale

Our ship is anchored in an area where dozens upon dozens of humpbacks tend to congregate. We live on the mother ship, but use launches
(smaller boats) and venture out among the whales several times a day. They are extremely active at this time of year as groups of males,
called rowdy groups, aggressively compete for receptive females. This lends itself to fabulous sightings with a great deal of action including
constant breaching, ramming, slamming, lob-tailing and fin slapping. Our small boats allow us to get right next to the whales so the
photographic opportunities are incredible and this amazing spectacle will leave you breathless.

When we are not engaged in whale activities you may want to snorkel and explore the surrounding spotty reefs. Scuba diving is strictly
prohibited in the whale nursery area. Relaxing on deck and nighttime stargazing make for a relaxing end to an active day. Evenings will also
be filled with videos, slide narratives, and information shared by our captain educating us about the whales.

Day 7, Friday. After breakfast we depart the Silver Bank arriving in Puerto Plata mid afternoon. The afternoon is yours to explore Puerto Plata,
shop, beachcomb, or take a land tour. Dinner will be served on board or you may eat in town at a local restaurant.

Day 8, Sat. After breakfast you are free to transfer to the airport for your flight home. Taking with you close connections with new friends and
memories of an experience with humpback whales that few people in the world will ever have.

SWIMMING ABILITY: You do not need to be an expert swimmer to participate in this program. Observing and photographing the whales from
our ship and small launches will give you more than you ever dreamed. Some guests choose not to snorkel with the whales. Should you
choose to, confidence in your swimming ability may enhance your experience. Might be a good time for some practice at your local YMCA
before the trip.

SNORKEL GEAR: This trip is geared toward snorkeling and exploration. Other wildlife might include spotted dolphins, corals, seabirds,
tropical and flying fish.
The boat does not supply any snorkel gear; you must supply and bring your own.
Buy good equipment that fits properly.

CLIMATE: Expect warm sunny, beautiful days with temperatures reaching the mid-eighties. Bring plenty of sunscreen, brimmed hat and
sunglasses. Water temperature range from 75-78, you may bring a wet suit if you wish.

PHOTOGRAPHY: The photo opportunities will be abundant and dramatic! Bring your telephoto lenses and plenty of film. We will be very close
to the whales so expect sea spray, bring some protective covering for your camera and a towel. The disposable underwater Kodaks work
pretty well but investing in a better quality underwater camera might be worth considering.

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE: You will need to make your own travel arrangements to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Please plan to arrive
by Day 1 by afternoon or early evening. On day 8, departure flights should be scheduled mid morning or later. You will take a taxi to the marina
to board the boat.

Please contact me to make your initial reservation for the trip. If you have questions or need any assistance in booking your flight to Puerto
Plata please contact me.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: If you are interested in purchasing travel insurance there are several reputable companies. You can check quotes for
various companies by going to website.

Please keep in mind our encounters with the whales in the Silver Bank vary from trip to trip and are solely determined by the whales.
We cannot guarantee in-water encounters.  

But from past experiences the whales have never disappointed us and in the end have given us more than we could have ever dreamed
possible! This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime, transformational experience and you will be among only a few people in the world who have ever
had the privilege of floating eye-to-eye, side by side with humpback whales!


The humpback whale is familiar to the general public because of its acrobatics, haunting songs and distribution near human activities.
Humpbacks also are possibly the easiest whales to identify. Mostly black with a unique rotund shape, humpbacks viewed from the air look
like a box with long ribbons hanging off the side. The "ribbons" are really the 15-ft. long pectoral fins that give humpbacks the generic name
Megaptera, meaning long winged.

The flippers are often exposed when the whale breaches, an activity common to humpbacks. The dorsal fin, which is variable in size and
shape, is mounted on a hump in the back. This hump, combined with the whales habit of arching its back before diving, gives the humpback
its common name.

SONGS. The humpbacks are perhaps best known for their elaborate and complex songs. These songs, apparently sung only by the males,
seem to be part of the courtship and territorial behavior. Heard mostly on the wintering grounds, the song in any given year is remarkably
constant throughout the population and seems to evolve throughout the season. Dr. Roger Payne, founder of The Whale Conservation
Institute, and colleague Scott McVay, first introduced the revelation that the apparently random utterances made by humpback whales are
actually in the form of repeated patterns of sound, and thus are properly called songs. This led to the distribution of the record "Songs of the
Humpback Whale" not only worldwide, but galaxy wide as the record was placed on Voyager I and II spacecraft.


I am so thankful to Gayle for introducing me to such an amazing, stress-free vacation. I don't think I'll ever forget what it was like to FLOAT
WITH THE WHALES. When you go whale watching, you only get to see 10% of their world when you slip into the water, and peer beneath the
waterline, you actually get to see and feel what it is like to be in their world! It is amazing how they seem to accept our presence and allow us
to see their babies. It was truly magical and it has changed my life forever... I am extremely lucky to have had this opportunity.
Leslie Rapp, I/T Consultant, Ohio - 3 humpback whale trips with Gayle!

The experience of being surrounded for 5 days by the energy of the whales, seeing them swim, dive, leap into the air and then having the
opportunity of an in water encounter was so deeply satisfying. In their being they communicated the freedom and joy of life. Gayle's love for
these creatures and her dedication to personal growth and discovery provided the perfect setting for this incredible adventure.
Judy Voruz, Psychotherapist, Oregon

Gayle really knows how to put a trip together! The week with the whales in the Silver Banks was incredible. It was a week full of wonderful
encounters with whales, good food, comfortable accommodations, great people. In short, one never to be forgotten, and maybe even
Mary Ann and Howard Watrou, retired, Ohio   
To reserve your space for this trip

Contact Gayle Lawrence

Journeys of Discovery
of the Silver Bank
soft in-water encounters with whales    
Dominican Republic
What's it like to swim with whales?
Beyond words...a journey for your soul
2016 whale trip season is
almost fully booked

A few spaces
still open the week of
Jan. 30 - Feb 6, 2016

Trips are from Saturday to Saturday

Email Gayle to Register or questions: