Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bais Whale Watching

Bais City is known for its proximity to a protected marine sanctuary in the Tañon Strait. Dense Mangrove forrests line Bais Bay. This is a natural feeding ground for cetaceans. Dolphins especially like the Mangrove forests growing into the bay to cruise for food. From the Capiñahan Wharf in the South Bay, several boats head out to the Bais Bay and into the Tañon Strait where the dolphins frolic in the water, and the whales emerge from the deep. It is fascinating to see these sea creatures up close. Other activities include swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and scuba diving in the nearby reefs.
Dolphin and Whale Watching in Bais City
The adventure starts with a cruise along Bais Bay then out to Tañon Strait, the natural habitat of several whale and dolphin species. Among the kinds of dolphins you may encounter during the trip are, spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and long snouted spinner dolphins. Melon headed whales, short finned pilot whales, pygmy sperm whales, pygmy killer whales and dwarf sperm whales are also found in the Tañon Strait.

After seeing Dolphins and maybe a whale, you will head out to Manjuyod White Sand Bar where the boat drops anchor. Here you can enjoy your lunch of grilled pork or fish while looking out onto the blue sea and the white sands of Manjuyod. This place is also ideal for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and scuba diving. The bamboo houses on stilts are available for overnight lodging if your so inclined. Be aware at high tide the sand bar disappears beneath your cabin and you are for all practical purposes in the middle of the bay in a house on stilts!

The tour takes a full day beginning from seven in the morning and ending at four in the afternoon. The dolphin and whale watching seasons are during the months of March to October. The rest of the year is affected by the Northeast Monsoon which makes cruising difficult. The wind and waves also inhibit the dolphins and whales from surfacing.

Bais Hotels
If you plan to stay the night at Bais City there are two hotels available. One is the Bahia Hotel, a small hilltop inn with a room rate of P700 for a basic double accommodation. The other is La Planta Hotel located within Bais City proper with room rates beginning from P1,000 to P1,700.

Bais Tourism Office (035)541-5161 / 402-8174 Fax (035)402-8181
Bahia Hotel (035)402-8850 / 402-8851
La Planta Hotel (035)403-8321 / 541-5755

How to get to Bais
Bais City is less than an hour away from Dumaguete. The Capiñahan Wharf in South Bais Bay is the most convenient point of take off to Tañon Strait. The best and most cost effective way is to organize a group and rent a van in Dumaguete to bring you to the Capiñahan Wharf. The reason being that the boats are not scheduled tours but really charters, you rent the boat which can hold up to 5-20 persons depending on the craft. The rental boat that will take you out to the Strait costs between P2,500 to P3,000 depending on the number of people boarding. Being in a group allows you to split the transportation costs.

No comments: