Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sei whales, fin whales and dolphins

Today on board our catamaran Cetus we had an amazing experience with two sei whales. The whales were only taking one breath upon each surfacing and spending little time on the surface, which can make them a bit difficult to watch. We tried to follow them by watching their shadows through the water and following their "footprints" made by their flukes. But it was not needed as these whales enjoyed staying right in front of us. We turned - they turned, right in front of us, and coming very close to our bow as well - almost bowriding. Of course "bowriding whales" are very different from what we see dolphins do. Dolphins swim in the wave created in the bow (the front of the boat). The whales were staying a bit further away and just swiming in front of us, by their own will, but it reminds of bowriding. We have a rule here saying that we can not go closer then 50 meter to the whales, but the whales sure don't care about rules - they do what they want. It's difficult to stop them if they want to come closer and play around. We did see one of the sei whales, the younger one, turn on its side a few times and on one occasion the tip of the fluke came out of the water. We also enjoyed the company of common dolphins. Our two zodiacs today also encountered fin whales - brining our record up to 33 fin whale days in a row! 

Video of the sei whales surfacing

Photos form today:

Sei whale surfacing, showing its two blowholes

The tall dorsal fin of a sei whale

Look closely and you can see the fluke through the water

A powerful surfacing creating a wave in front of the whale
(sometimes dolphins are bowriding the big whale as they do with boats)

One of our two zodiac today called Cafre

The other zodiac Alfredo baleeiro

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