This last week has been our first attempt at diving with the bowheads. Weather has been very mixed, from sunny, -5°C, and hardly any wind to days with lots of wind and snow. Although we are not as dependant on weather as the acoustics for getting good results, the weather still affects our ability to spot the whales, as well as the time we can stay at sea before getting too cold to dive.
Our first attempt at diving with a bowhead was rather successful. Martin quickly got in the water and approached in drysuit, and managed to get short footage of its tail before it was out of range. After this very sudden and successful encounter, many hours of waiting and feeble attempts of approaching the whales followed. So far our days at sea have passed in similar ways. Sometimes lucky – other times the whales were too startled by our presence. In general the whales are very shy, and we have mainly obtained footage from the tail end – a position which requires a lot of swimming effort as the wake of the whale is filled with eddies from the tail thrust. We are slowly improving in sneaking up on them now, hopefully enabling us to get more footage from its side.