Sunday, August 10, 2014

Five species including sperm whales and false killer whales

Today we have encountered 5 different cetacean species!
In the morning we encountered a large single sperm whale. Some of us were more lucky than others in getting a close look at this whale before it dived, showing its magnificent fluke. We waited in the area for a while but no other whales appeared. Aside from the sperm whale, in the morning we also encountered our 3 resident dolphin species: common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and Risso's dolphins. The Risso's dolphins were surprisingly more curious than usual, and we could see them really well as we followed their white bodies through the water. From one of our boats (song of whales) a manta ray was also spotted at the surface, although it dived before the biologist could determine what species it was.

In the afternoon we started off with some common dolphins and then had to travel a while, a bit further out for our next sightings. From here our best encounters of the day started, beginning with an active group of about 30 false killer whales. They came to the bow of our catamaran, bowriding and travelling at speed around us. To join in the show they were accompanied by some bottlenose dolphins who were showing off by doing very high vertical leaps right in front of the boat! We did't stay with them too long because next we still have sperm whales to see. We watched 5 sperm whales together on the surface (4 adult females of which 2 were very large, and a juvenile). They were socialising, so we could see them of the surface for a while and in the beginning of the encounter we could see their huge heads as they were spyhopping (poking their heads vertically out of the water).

Video of the false killer whales:

Photos from the morning:

Sperm whale logging

Sperm whale diving

Risso's dolphin

Risso's dolphins

Risso's dolphin

Risso's dolphin

Cetus with Risso's dolphins

Risso's dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins

Loggerhead turtle

Photos from the afternoon:

Common dolphin

Watching a playful bottlenose dolphin jumping in front of us 

Watching a false killer whale surfacing close to our catamaran Cetus

False killer whale

False killer whale

Sperm whales

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