Friday, January 28, 2011

Sei whale sighted

In search of the Sei whale

Whales can be distinguished by the form of their blow. The sperm whale for example has a triangular blow that is angled to the left and frontwards (due to the blowhole being situated on the left side in the top front of the head). All whales with teeth (Odotocete) have one single blowhole, while the baleen whales (Mysticete) instead have two blowholes. In some Mysticetes this makes the blow divide in two parts and this is the case with the Sei whale. The blow of the Humpback whale is also divided in two parts, but here the blow is more heart shaped and also with one loop angled backwards. This together with the dive pattern and the shape of the dorsal fin made our vigia/lookout able to tell us that we were dealing with a Sei whale. Most baleen whales conduct long migrations from warm waters closer to the equator were they have they have their calves and cold waters closer to areas were they feed during summer time, they can therefore pass here on the way and normally we see them most in spring time. Last year we saw Blue whales, Fin whales and Sei whale from March until June (a Brydes whale was then seen in September but as this is a whale that is thought to inhabit warmer waters the whole year around, it belongs to another story.) Baleen whales can however be very tricky to observe, sometimes they follow a straight route and sometimes they swim in circles or rather random patterns, only breaking the surface to breathe once or twice between long dives. This time we were not lucky, because only the skipper caught a glimpse of the animal before it disappeared and was lost. However on occasions like this our sighting guaranty of whales or dolphins, makes it possible for guests to join us on another tour or get the fee back. So let’s try again, now that we now that the big whales are about.

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