We have just returned from a holiday to Tonga where we spent a week in Ha'apai. On two of these days we went out with Fins and Flukes. Day 1 and we were on the boat with Sabine. We had a good day, saw a few whales and briefly swam with a mother and calf. It was reasonably choppy (not enough to get sea sick) but it made spotting whales a bit harder. Day 2 was with Brian and Sabine similar day brief swim with whales and saw plenty of action from the boat.
I enjoyed the days but I have written another review on whale watching and you might want to read that as well. I will acknowledge the caution and conditions that the operators have to follow but I thought that being 100 metres from the whales when you enter the water was over protective and I dont see why you cant come in at an angle (slowly) from in front of them rather than have to swim from an angle behind. Whales are not trained circus animals so any experience is at their whim and sometimes they just dont stop. But by the time you paddle to where they were when you entered the water, 2 flicks of the tale have the whales 200 metres away. As I said, it was a good couple of days, not mind blowing. Sabine was a very good host, friendly and knowledgable.
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