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Dr. Poole's Dolphin and Whale Tour
Reviewed October 27, 2012

Dr. Poole is a marine biologist, so you find out lots of facts you might not have known about dolphins and humpback whales. Well worth it!

Thank Gailyn63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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125 - 129 of 191 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2012

Let me begin by saying that Dr. Poole and his assistants were truly wonderful to be on the water with.

However, only going on this tour once, I have to judge it based on our experience, which was not good. The weather was awful that day, with high winds and waves close to 10 feet at times. Let me emphasize that at no point did we feel unsafe. The boat and driver were perfectly capable. The issue was more about comfort and enjoyment (or lack thereof) than safety. I think they would be well-served to cancel the tour on days like this, as frustrating as that may be.

For the first few hours, we saw turtles, birds, para-sailers, and everything else, except dolphins and whales. After much searching, we saw a large amount of splashing out toward the ocean. We headed in the direction, and it was a mass of smaller fish that had been chased to the surface by larger fish. The baitfish were swarming around the surface, many of them jumping clear out of the water. There was so much action, the water literally looked like it was boiling. While this was a neat sight, it wasn't what we were on the tour for. In addition, they stopped the boat and just let it drift for a while while we watched. In calm water this would be fine, but in heavy seas it left about half of the customers feeling poorly.

A few minutes later, we saw a few dolphins and stopped to drift in the high seas again. Anyone who wasn't feeling sick before was certainly feeling it now. It was neat seeing the dolphins, but no better than we saw on the motu tour and definitely nowhere near as good as we saw at Tiputa Pass in Rangiroa.

Again, I don't fault Dr. Poole or the tour for any of this, it was just a lousy day to go out looking for dolphins and whales. We could just as easily have had calmer seas and seen and swam with dolphins and whales, like other reviewers.

Bottom line: while we did not enjoy our tour, I would definitely do it again for the chance to get close to a whale. I would probably wait until getting to Moorea to reserve a spot on the tour, though, to increase my chance of going out on a calmer day. Just be warned that many of his tours are fully booked in advance, so if you wait you run the risk of him not having a spot for you at all.

2  Thank YoungBucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

This tour was by far the best one in the two weeks we were in French Polynesia. Dr. Poole was extremely informative about the dolphins and their habitat, how they feed, who their predators are, and the impact of humans on their environment. Although the seas were rough the day we went out, his skipper keep the boat under control at all times and we never felt uneasy (maybe queasy though). The four hours went by very quickly. Even if you don't see any dolphins or whales, the view of the island from the ocean is spectacular. Highly recommended tour.

Thank KHillLV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

A great informative trip. We saw 7 humpbacks and got into the water with a mother and young whale that were resting. Fantastic experience until rude photographer from another boat moved to quickly and ended the experience for all. We also saw and learned about several spinner dolphin. Highly recommend the trip. The education alone is worth it. Dr. Poole tries very hard to be sure everyone has a great trip.

Thank bayoudularge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 5, 2012

We took Dr. Poole's tour as a Paul Gauguin cruise excursion and loved it. We did sight two different pairs of mother and child whales and got quite close. In fact our boat was often closer to the whales than the boats of other tours.
We did enter the water but Dr. Poole is very protective of both the whales and his quests so I can't say we were close enough to be swimming with them. Some people from other tours did get closer briefly but were so noisy and reckless that they scared the whales away.
Dr. Poole's strengths are his knowledge and enthusiasm. He is also articulate and humorous.
We saw spinner dolphins as well.
We would recommend this tour highly.

1  Thank MarkCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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