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Sperm whale with giant squid in mouth

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Sperm whale with giant squid in mouth, echeng091014_0238869_c

Close-up of a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Ogasawara Islands, Japan, with the carcass of a giant squid in her mouth.

Taken with Canon 5D Mark II SLR, Tokina 17mm prime lens, Seacam underwater housing

Read the full trip report.

San Francisco, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Oct 28, 2009 17:35:03

Goodbye, Tokyo!

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Hello Kitty and Pikachu say goodbye

Special thanks to Hitomi for hosting me while I was in Toyko, to Tony Wu and Emiko Miyazaki for being our lifelines in Ogasawara, to the guys at INON and Sea & Sea Japan for meeting with me, to the wonderful crew at Sea-Tac in Ogasawara, and to Douglas, Emily and Julia for their humor and company.

Tokyo, Japan | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Oct 20, 2009 18:53:56

Trip Report: sperm whale expedition to Ogasawara, Japan

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Update 1: October 11, 2009

We arrived in the Ogasawara Islands two days ago after enduring a typhoon in Toyko and an arduous 25.5-hour ferry ride. Ogasawara is 1000km due south of Tokyo and sits, isolated, at approximately the same latitude as Okinawa. As the ferry approached land, Tony Wu translated what was being broadcast over the ship-wide speaker system.

“There’s another typhoon coming, and it’s supposed to hit tomorrow.”

Two typhoons in four days?! Given the prospect what high winds and huge swells might do to the tiny island we had just set foot on, an urgency suddenly materialized to get out onto the ocean as soon as possible. The six of us settled in at our modest accommodation for about an hour before heading out on our 42-foot dive vessel (which is very nice). Sea-Tac, the local operator whose vessel we chartered, is very knowledgeable about sperm whales and drove us east to a ridge line in about 1000 meters of water. (read more »)

Tokyo, Japan | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Oct 19, 2009 23:00:52

Ogasawara gallery: Scenery

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A gallery of images from the Ogasawara Islands in Japan, formerly known as the Bonin Islands. Ogasawara was absolutely beautiful, and I can’t wait to go back for another visit.

This gallery supplements my trip report. (read more »)

Tokyo, Japan | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Oct 19, 2009 22:59:04

Ogasawara gallery: Chichijima town and expedition members

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A gallery of images from Chichijima (the island we stayed on in the Ogasawara Islands, Japan) and of Wetpixel sperm whale expedition members, October 8-18, 2009.

This gallery supplements my trip report. (read more »)

Tokyo, Japan | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Oct 19, 2009 22:54:06

Ogasawara: sperm whale / underwater image gallery

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A gallery of sperm whale images and underwater photography from the Wetpixel sperm whale expedition to the Ogasawara Islands, Japan during October 8-18, 2009. Subjects include sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), Pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata), and carcass bits of some sort of large pelagic octopus and an unidentified giant squid.

This gallery supplements my trip report. (read more »)

Tokyo, Japan | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Oct 19, 2009 22:50:16

A social group of 6 sperm whales / giant squid in mouth

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– VIDEO REMOVED –

I’ve removed the video at the suggestion of a friend of mine, who tells me that it is worth real money. Contact me privately if you are interested in the footage.

Above is a video of six sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Ogasawara Islands, Japan. The lead female sperm whale has the remains of a large squid (possibly, an Architeuthis giant squid) in her mouth. 15 minutes earlier, we had been in the water in the scattered remains of the squid (birds were feeding on it) before seeing this group of sperm whales close by. It looked as if the squid had been torn apart on the surface! (read more »)

Tokyo, Japan | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Oct 19, 2009 01:38:58

15-meter male sperm whale, Ogasawara Islands

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15-meter male sperm whale, Ogasawara Islands, originally uploaded by echeng.

We spent much of the today watching a huge (15m / 49ft) sperm whale. The crew said that it was a big male, and that male sperm whales in Ogasawara are both rare and shy. We dropped in several times at a distance and swam to him to see if he would tolerate our presence. In most cases, he did shallow dives as we approached, but just once (when I was alone), he surfaced and turned to face me. The sperm whale was gigantic, and his huge head had large bulges coming out of it (it has to be shaped like that to hold the spermiceti organ). I have to admit that I was a little concerned when he swam to me, nearly blocking out the sun. I know that whales have very rarely harmed humans, but the mind comes up with all sorts of bizarre scenarios. :) echeng091016_023246

For more photos, see the official trip report!

Ogasawara, Japan | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Oct 16, 2009 05:41:58

Pantropical dolphins, Ogasawara Islands, Japan

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Pantropical dolphins, Ogasawara Islands, Japan, originally uploaded by echeng.

Two pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata) jumping out of the water. Ogasawara Islands, Japan. echeng091015_0239050

For more photos, see the official trip report!

Ogasawara, Japan | link | trackb | no comments » | Oct 15, 2009 05:53:25

Water surface abstract, Ogasawara Islands

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Water surface abstract, Ogasawara Islands, originally uploaded by echeng.

A mild wind blew in during a flat-calm day on the ocean, creating these meandering valleys of light. Ogasawara Islands, Japan. echeng091014_0238975

UPDATE: Purchase this print!

For more photos, see the official trip report!

Ogasawara, Japan | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Oct 15, 2009 05:52:24
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