Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | April 29, 2010

Whales everywhere

For only few weeks ago we were thinking whether the whales were moving away from the bay already. Now we are not in doubt that there are still plenty left. It was a calm and sunny day and suddenly we could hear whales blowing from different directions around R/V Porsild. We could count at least 6 different individuals and were able to get ID-pictures of most of them as well. The whales seemed to be feeding at the surface arching their backs and lifting their heads while practically standing still.

The whales were singing as well and we could hear at least two different songs. We did try to localise the singing individuals but it prooved to be more difficult than we thought because very often the singer was not the one close to our boat but somewhere, far far away. There were also often more than one individual singing at the same time making it very difficult to concentrate on localising a single individual. Furthermore, the singing now is only occasional and for only short duration of time and often when I just thought that I was able to determine the direction to the singer, the singer then stopped singing and I was left without a trace. The end result for the day was that we did not get any biopsies but have some great recordings.

The fantastic observation of the day was a whale that was slapping its fluke about 600 m from us for about 20 times! That created a gunshot kind of sound and we have it on tape through our hydrophone.

Fluke up... Photo: J. Haile

...going down... Photo: J. Haile

and SPLASH! Photo: J. Haile


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