Over/under image of a juvenile sperm whale in Dominica (Physeter macrocephalus)
We have finished our 6 days on the water here in Dominica, and will be headed home later on today. Our last day was probably a rather typical winter day with the whales here in Dominica, which is to say that we weren’t dropped into a social group within an hour of leaving dock (as we have been on previous days!). We went around the south part of the island into unprotected waters and watched whales from the surface, but were not really able to work with them successfully.
Tony and I were interviewed for local TV last night, and I stressed that Dominica’s healthy reefs and clear water will probably not be seen by underwater photographers (other than the cruise ship happy-snappy people) until the transportation problem here is fixed. American Eagle has strict limits on baggage, and leaving here requires an overnight in San Juan. It takes me longer to get to and from Dominica than it does for me to get to Bali, and even if it were possible to get dive gear and camera rig here via indirect international check-in, it might be impossible to get the gear out.
It has been an incredible adventure, and I will certainly be back one day! [see all photos at Flickr] (read more »)
Sperm whale social group (Physeter macrocephalus)
We saw fewer whales today and spent most of the day looking for whales that might tolerate a human presence in the water. A cute little calf (we’re told it’s Enigma’s baby) was accompanied by up to 12 larger sperm whales, but none of us were able to capture all 13 in one frame. (read more »)
Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) rub up against each other while socializing
UPDATE: See an iTunes podcast about my Dominica sperm whale encounters!
[DiveFilm HD, via iTunes]
After yesterday’s incredible encounters, we left dock (late — island time!) and ventured north, where we were told sperm whales had been sighted. After an hour and a half of cruising, we spotted a tight bunch of whales on the surface, and when we dropped in, we discovered 11 sperm whales! 9 of them were clustered together in a tight ball, and 2 were off to the side a bit. (read more »)
Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale in Dominica
Scar, vertical and CLOSE
What an incredible first day! We’re all pretty much wiped out, and I can’t think well enough to try to put the day’s experiences into words. Instead, I’ll leave you with a bunch of sperm whale photos, which I posted to Flickr.
Oh — check out that second shot. Scar has the end of a squid are stuck to his mouth. We pulled it out of his mouth and brought it back to the boat. I have pictures (for later).
Scar, a 10-year old male sperm whale (Physeter Macrocephalus) in Dominica
We had incredible encounters today with up to 6 sperm whales at a time. We even met Scar, a personable 10-year old male sperm whale who nearly begs to be rubbed! Photos taken under permit. (read more »)