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In the water with Dwarf Minke Whales:
A unique up-close experience for divers and snorkelers.

An up-close experience found nowhere else:
In-water encounters between humans and whales are rare and leave lasting impressions on the snorkelers and divers fortunate enough to be close to these large marine mammals. Encounters between dive boats and Dwarf Minke Whales on the reefs north of Cairns offer one of the most unique experiences you can have with a marine mammal. In-water encoutners with Dwarf Minke whales can last for hours, with the whales approaching quite closely, truly a remarkable experience.

About Minke Whales
Dwarf Minke Whales were only recently noticed and described as a unique species of whale in the 1980’s. These whales are very similar to minke whales; with their smaller size, distinct color pattern, and exclusive distribution in Southern oceans distinguishing them from their larger cousins. “Dwarf” might still be considered a misnomer, as these whales can still reach nearly 8 meters in length and weigh up to five tons!

These whales are baleen whales, and have no teeth. They feed on krill, lantern fish, and other small fish and crustaceans.

June/July is Dwarf Minke Whale season on the Ribbon Reefs
A population of 100 or more Dwarf Minke whales can be found on the Ribbon Reefs during the months of May-July. The whales reliable migration into this area, combined with their tendency to approach boats and snorkelers lying still in the water, and to linger in these encounters for great lengths of time have enabled dive operators to offer Minke Whale trips during June and July.

3 to 7-day Trips
These 3 to 7-day trips are conducted under a strict set of rules laid down by the Australian Government. Once a group of whales is spotted the boat cuts it’s engines, everyone dons snorkeling gear, jumps in the water, and hangs onto a floating line cast from the boat. Dwarf Minke Whales can be skittish around scuba divers and moving snorkelers, but will approach quiet snorkelers at the surface quite closely.

Not just whales, great diving
When not snorkeling with the whales, time is spent on these trips diving on the Ribbon Reefs, which offer outstanding dive opportunities.

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