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
Once again many thanks for
pioneering this amazing encounter
with one of nature’s magnificent
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.
JR was our skipper for the BBC series 'Great Barrier Reef', and lead a variety of boats to a myriad of filming locations all over the reef over a course of a year.
His knowledge of the reef; its wonders and pitfalls as well as his understanding of the complexities of filming expeditions put our camera teams in the very best locations at the best times. He was very much more than a skipper to us, his knowledge of the animals in particular made him a key member of the production team. Despite the considerable challenges of wildlife film making JR's ability to handle any conceivable situation in characteristic good humour meant our team always knew that they were in safe hands.
- James Brickell, British Broadcasting Coorporation (BBC)
For all professional photographers and film makers contemplating the prospect of documenting the dwarf minke whales, I highly recommend Eye to Eye Marine Encounters. John Rumney worked many late hours on my behalf to ensure I was with the minke whales for the entire season. This included finding boats to use under his permit and coordinating with other permit holders. No other company I've worked with has gone to these lengths and the results are evident in my photographs.
-Bryant Austin, Marine Mammal Conservation Through the Arts
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!