Mindful of the potential impact of boat-based whale watching on the whales themselves, permits for this activity are limited to a small number of concessions, each with just one or two boats operating in it. They have to abide by strict regulations, which include not approaching mother and calf pairings, and not approaching within 50 metres of the whales. However, nothing stops the whales from approaching the boats, and being inquisitive creatures, this happens frequently. Very few things compare with the thrill of an eye-to-eye encounter with one of these denizens of the deep, and a boat trip out to see the whales is an essential part of any trip to the Whale Coast. The trips typically last a couple of hours, and during whale season you are pretty much guaranteed to see a significant number of whales. The regulations allow you to do this safe in the knowledge that not only are the whales undisturbed, but also that the local communities have a vested interest in conserving and not exploiting these magnificent creatures.