Every year in the Antartic, as winter closes in and food becomes scarcer, one of the worlds great migrations takes place.Many hundreds of humpback whales swim 6000 km north to spend 4-5 months enjoying the warmer and food-rich waters of French Polynesia, to breed and to give birth to their calves. This is a time for mating, with underwater singing that can be heard all day long as the males try to impress the females.
The first whale sightings are usually in June around Tahiti and the Leeward Islands, and often even in the lagoon of Bora Bora. Peak sightings are usually in July-August, then many whales head south to the Austral Islands, and will finally leave Tahitian waters around November, when the new born calves are strong enough to undertake the long journey south to the Antarctic.
And in case you think these whale calves are “small and cute”, they are typically 15 ft long and 1000 kg at birth, and put on 100 kg in weight per day during their first week of life!
Conscious of the importance of their waters to marine life, the authorities have turned the country’s oceans into a marine sanctuary of over 4 million square kilometres, with the hunting of whales totally prohibited for the last 30 years.
The Austral Islands to the south, which sit right in the middle of the migration path from the Antartic to Tahiti, also has plans to create another huge protected marine area, with fishing banned in massive areas surrounding the island chain, and sustainable fishing in the coastal areas to support local communities.
Whale watching is just one of the amazing experiences you can encounter in Tahiti – this is truly a marine life wonderland. Both in the ocean and lagoons, plus in protected sanctuaries, you can see dolphins, turtles, manta rays and sharks.
And if you are feeling brave……how about some shark feeding!!
Boatbookings can offer a wide range of charter yachts in Tahiti, from bareboat monohulls and bareboat catamarans, to luxury crewed catamarans and all inclusive honeymoon packages