Saturday, February 11, 2006

Humpback Whales

We have had two recent whale strandings in the UK, a northern bottlenose whale in the Thames and a young sperm whale in the Humber. Thinking about these two creatures got me thinking about how little people appreciate what amazing creatures exist off the coast of the UK (although I suspect the thousands of people who saw the Thames whale have a better idea now).

It also reminded me of my first sighting of a great whale, a pair of humpbacks (Megaptera novaeangliae) playing around our dive boat in Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia.

We saw a pair of whales from a distance tail slapping (though I never got the classic fluke shot) and when we cut our engines to watch we got a better view as they came up to the boat to inspect it. Apologies for the water on the lens.

This is what a humpback looks like as it passes straight underneath your boat.

To make the day better JB's resident pod of Bottlenose Dolphins accompanied us all the way home. Since that day I've seen (and even been lucky enough to dive with) other humpbacks and they always amaze me but I've never got as close, even in the water, or got such good views as I did that day and I've still never got the classic fluke shot.

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