For the past few weeks each of the classes at Las Terrenas International School have been reading, learning, drawing, writing and playing as they explore the ocean and especially whales!
Kimberly explores ocean sensory table
First and Second Graders study and then draw whales
Jaciel- whale spouting
Sea- whale watching boat
Juan Luis- mother and baby whale
The culmination of all our work was a once in a lifetime experience to go on a whale watch in the Samana Bay. The Samana Bay is a special place to watch whales, especially at this time of year because humback whales travel here during the months of February and March to mate and give birth. Thanks to a generous donation made by Jan Meslin and the kindness of Kim Bedell at Whale Samana, each child at our school had the opportunity to go on a whale watch last Friday.
Humpback whale breaching
We not only enjoyed a stop at the tropical paradise Cayo Levantado, an island with white sand, the clearest blue water (and unfortunately packed with loads of turistas straight off the giant cruise ships docked nearby), but we got to ride in a great boat and saw many beautiful humpback whales, including a mother and calf who seemed to want to perform for us, jumping in the air and playfully diving in and out of the water. It was such a gift to see the relationship between mother and calf and the way the mother cared for her baby, staying nearby and supporting each breath. Kim told us that the pattern on each whale's tail is as individual as the human's fingerprint and has allowed specialists to track generations of mothers, their calves and even grandcalves in the waters of Samana.
Baby whale breaching
We learned so much from the very knowledgable Kim Bedell, who is devoted not only to whale watching, but also to preserving the environment, research and conservation so that the whales will keep returning to Samana for many more generations. For more information on the whales and Kim please visit http://www.whalesamana.com/.
Kim sharing her whale knowledge with us
Here are some pictures from the day- pictures of the whales coming soon...or you can check out the photo gallery at http://www.facebook.com/#!/whalesamana?fref=ts.
Dileny and her Grandmother enjoying the ride with Safiya
Laura and her sister Gabriella
The whole gang post whale watch
Such an amazing trip! Thanks again Jan and Kim!