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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Notes from the field: Another life list +1

While every day on the water is very special to me, some days stick out in my memory more than others. Today happened to be just one such day. We were cruising around, taking photographs of the whales for identification purposes, trying to fiddle with our acoustic equipment and suddenly Salva shouts, “what is that?” We turn around quick and there IT was….. A small black stumpy log that was puffing occasionally but otherwise, not doing much. Thankfully Salva started clicking, which is why I have a photo to share with you all. I cannot stress how important it is document unusual sightings in as many ways possible – photographs, behaviour and other notes – this kind of information is what allows us to determine what it is we are seeing. Good thing the team worked rapid fire because before we knew it, that creature had descended into the depths. We all agreed that it was a dolphin of some sort but it was something I hadn’t seen before. Once back at the house, we downloaded the photos and flipped through the pages of our field guide book and based on its behaviour we found it….a dwarf sperm whale! How ridiculously exciting for me!! A new species to add to my life list and such a elusive one at that!

Moments like this remind me of how mysterious the ocean can be and how many secrets we are yet to uncover…it reminds me how lucky we are to live in an age when we can still see these magnificent creatures despite humanity’s cruelty.... It reminds me how very lucky and blessed I am to do what I do and do what I love....thank you for letting me share my adventures with you!

For a more in depth description on this species visit the American Cetacean Society website http://acsonline.org/fact-sheets/pygmy-sperm-whale/  

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