Your close approach may have frightened or disturbed the Whales, especially since they were protecting a calve.
Whale Watching is a fantastic, breath-taking experience, but there are rules to be followed in order not to cause distress
or even damage to our Cetacean friends.
Here is some important guidelines:
Slowly approach Cetaceans sideways, never from front or rear.
Try to remain at least 200m (656 Ft) away from Cetaceans, and NEVER approach closer than 100m (328 Ft).
Never cross the path of a Cetacean or a group of Cetaceans in the aim to anticipate their moves and facilitate a closer encounter: they will most probably feel chased and avoid you.
Slow down to "no-wake" speed, and maintain a steady direction. You will make them feel more secure, and the probability of a close encounter will be higher.
Never split a pod or group of Cetaceans.
Be aware of other boats in the surroundings. Dolphins
and Whales should never feel encircled, and it is very sensible to leave the area if it happens to be already busy.
Be especially aware of the presence of mothers and calves.
Never spend more than 20 minutes with Cetaceans, unless they want to spend a longer time with you.
Never feed cetaceans. You do not want to perturb their natural feeding habits, which may cause big problems in the long run.
Try to make as little noise
Be aware of possible signs of distress
(see below), and leave at very low speed the area if you notice any.