Friday, August 5, 2011

Photo Flashback: Dominica Sperm Whale

Sperm Whale surfacing

Sperm Whale Diving
It was on my second trip to Dominica that I learned to love this island just a bit more.  On trip one, I went birding and managed to have good looks at one of Dominica's endemic parrots and hearing the another.  On trip two, I headed out to have an intimate encounter with Sperm Whales.  It seems that there is a small population of about nine individuals that hang out in the cool depths off this forested island. Thanks to the aquatic hearing aids of whale watchers, trips have pretty good odds of finding where the whales will be surfacing.  Since Sperm Whales are among the deepest and longest diving, when they do surface they tend to spend quite a bit of time replenishing the oxygen in their blood.  It is really only at these times and at this place that we can interact.  It is fitting therefore that we are no more comfortable observing them at the interface of air and water than they are.  As the animal with the greatest vertical range around, Sperm Whales meet us where neither observer is at home. 
Sperm Whale

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