Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | March 24, 2010

Close encounter

Bowhead close encounter. Photo: C. Ilmoni

Basically, the day started with so far the best whale observation of the season: a curious bowhead came to have a look at us while we just had started our field day with the hydrophones in the water. The whale surfaced ca 30 m from our boat and instead of swimming away from us it turned towards us, it lifted and tilted its head while it swam close by. Aningaaq was ready with the biopsy crossbow and shot a bull’s-eye and Camilla got the whole close encounter and biopsy on video! Great material for showing off!

We saw several fluke-ups today. Photo: C. Ilmoni

We stayed in an area with 4 – 5 different whales and we could hear clear and strong song. The song has sounded the same since we started in the beginning of March. There are multiple individuals singing at the same time but they all seem to be singing the same song. Unfortunately, it was a bit difficult to determine the direction of the singer due to increasing north-westerly winds and thus more noise from waves hitting the boat and icebergs. However, we managed to get ID-pictures of most of the individuals and also three more biopsies shot by our biopsy shooting talent Aningaaq. The whales differed in their behaviour; some were calm and therefore easy to approach whereas others were at the surface for only a few breaths and then shallow diving, making it very difficult to approach them. Among the whales there was also a bowhead pair that we spotted several times and we hope we got biopsies of them both.

Biopsy shooting talent Aningaaq. Photo: C. Ilmoni

We turned back to Qeqertarsuaq with plenty of good data.


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