Linda & John

Thank you so much for organising such an amazing experience. We all had a fantastic time & the crew led by Ross & Dean created a wonderful atmosphere while at the same time being incredibly professional & at all times safe. I understand that Ross is a protégé of Johns, you have done an excellent job in instilling in him a love for the whales & the ocean. Ross is an excellent skipper & at all times showed professionalism in his role & created a relaxed & safe atmosphere on board the Aroona.

As you probably know by now it took a couple of days for the whales to want to make contact with us (they find us we don’t find them). When they did we had about 4 hours with them which finished off with the Packman smile (as Ross named it). It is difficult to put into words the experience & the emotions that I felt while floating around with the whales, but here goes.

As the whales glide beside & below us there is an intense emotion of awe, majesty, calmness, safety, compassion, quietness, love, inquisitiveness, & assuredness while at the same time being totally helpless & at the mercy of the whales & the ocean, & as a guest in their realm. This feeling leads to gratefulness & humbleness to be in the presence of such a magnificent animal who is wanting to make contact with mankind.

We wonder why the Minke’s are seeking us out. Maybe it’s because they leave us with an experience which I can now tap into (the above feelings) while living in our day to day lives & hold onto that frequency & feeling at all times. I like to call it MINKE MELLOW

Because the whales are so awesome we tend to forget about the amazing diving & snorkeling around the Ribbon reefs as well as the Cod hole, Pinnacle & Lighthouse. Our group had experienced & novice divers, as I was a novice I can say that Dean did a great job instilling confidence into us all & guiding us around the underwater garden. The food from chef Dean was excellent, & our deckie Wazza was a big help & a lot of fun.

The crew also seemed to enjoy the experience while doing their job & I imagine they have seen & had these experiences countless times before. What a great vocation it is when you love what you do.
Whenever Ross & Dean became really excited at something such as Packman Minke & the Tiger shark that was bigger than 5 meters we knew that we were seeing some pretty amazing things.

Once again many thanks for pioneering this amazing encounter with one of nature’s magnificent animals.

Richard Groom


A minke whale expedition with Eye to Eye Marine Encounters leaves you with unforgettable memories. From the enthusiastic friendly crew, informative researchers, amazing food, spectacular dive sites and most of all the beautiful dwarf minke whales will have you coming back for more every year- its addictive! Spending hours in the water interacting with these very inquisitive and friendly whales is one of life’s most amazing wildlife experiences.

-Helen Robertson

In 2010 I did 3 trips with Eye to Eye. The first 2 were back to back dwarf minke trips, the first was wonderful but the second was almost unbelievable. I am used to working around whales with Fisheries and Oceans Cetacean Research Unit in British Columbia but these trips were at least the equal of anything I have experienced in Canada. We use the term whale soup when we encounter large groups of whales in BC but in the case of the second dwarf minke trip we were part of the soup with whales appearing from all sides and making approaches as close as 1 metre. I thought that couldn’t be equaled.......
In Nov/Dec 2010 I did a Far Northern trip with Eye to Eye. This trip in fact was every bit as good as the minke trips earlier in the year. It was full of adrenaline-filled dives and unforgettable animal encounters. Most amazing of all was watching 5 tiger sharks taking turns feeding on 2 turtle carcasses, the unfortunates that just made it back to the sea too late, only to die from heat exhaustion. This latter interaction built up over several hours as tiger sharks are quite timid in approaching most prey species. Fascinating to watch.
One warning for those thinking of booking with Eye to Eye. The food! It is so good that it is impossible to ignore. I thought I had good self discipline but that foolish belief is in ruins.
JR is a wonderful host, a first class mariner, an excellent naturalist. His bad points? He’s taller than me!

-Bruce Paterson



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