Silversonic in the swim with Minkes

For many people, visiting the Great Barrier Reef is a once in a lifetime experience. For others, activities like scuba diving and swimming with whales are the icing on the cake – the top of the “Bucket List”! Silversonic, our Port Douglas based dive and snorkel vessel, provides both of these activities with one of the few permits available from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that allows our guests to swim with dwarf minke whales if encountered – a truly unforgettable experience!

From our experience, July to September is the peak season to encounter the inquisitive minkes, the smallest of the baleen whales, as they frequent the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs where Silversonic visits. They are however common in our waters between the months of March and October.

The voluntary approach to the vessel and swimmers by minke whales creates a unique in-water experience. Abiding by strict codes of practice, a maximum of two surface ropes will be placed in the water with swimmers then positioned 3-4 metres apart for a magical, and safe encounter. The whales actually control the encounter in that they decide how close they interact and swim with us!

The minke whale is identified by about 50-70 throat grooves. They have a characteristic white band on each flipper, contrasting with its very dark grey top color. They have two blowholes, like all baleen whales. The largest dwarf minke whale that was accurately measured was 7.8 m long with adults weighing 5-6 tonnes.