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Sperm whales in Dominica


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#1 echeng

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:16 PM

Tony, Cor, Julie, Emiko and I are currently out in Dominica (where loftus and some other Wetpixel folk were just after DEMA). We have just finished our first day out on the water and had an EPIC day with multiple sperm whale social groups. Scar, the resident 10-yr old male, showed up near the end of our day and gave us the close encounter of a lifetime.

We've just returned to our hotel rooms and are in the process of downloading images. Here's a teaser.

Posted Image
Scar, a 10-year old male sperm whale (Physeter Macrocephalus) in Dominica
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#2 rtrski

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:13 PM

Hey, say hi to Izzy for me if you happen to see him.

And....lucky barstools!!!

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#3 DrFiscus

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:28 PM

Hey, say hi to Izzy for me if you happen to see him.

And....lucky barstools!!!

Give Scar and his family my best - (and I guess Izzy too) - I am jealous. Which boat are you using?
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#4 cor

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:28 PM

We're using Miser's Dream with Andrew.
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#5 echeng

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:49 PM

I'm sure we'll all start posting photos soon. We went out for dinner, which was very much in island time. All of us nearly passed out on the table while waiting for things like water, plates, and food.
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#6 loftus

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:50 PM

Scar's the man!
Hope he shows up for you every day.
Can't wait to see the rest of the weeks images; and can't wait for my next trip in a couple of months!

I'm sure we'll all start posting photos soon. We went out for dinner, which was very much in island time. All of us nearly passed out on the table while waiting for things like water, plates, and food.

Where'd you go for dinner - yes serious island time for dinner there, should've warned you.
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#7 tonywu

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 06:02 PM

Here's a sample photo from today:

Posted Image

It's been a really long day, and I can barely keep my eyes open. Good night :)
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#8 echeng

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 07:05 PM

Sunset tonight:

[vimeohd]9080990[/vimeohd]

Jeff -- we went to some tourist Creole place. All the local places (except for the super-loud bar types) seem to be closed on Friday nights. Where should we go for good, quick food??
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#9 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 07:20 PM

Awesome. In a word.

Really love Tony's shot.

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#10 echeng

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 07:37 PM

PHOTOS FROM DAY 1:


Posted Image
Close encounter with a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
Close encounter with a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

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A sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) gets ready to dive. Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

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A sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) dives. Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

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A social group of four sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus). Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

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Four sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) converge head-on. Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

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A sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) calf presumably nurses. I didn't see any milk, but the calf was pushing against that area of the female repeately. Photo taken under permit.
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#11 echeng

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 07:43 PM

Posted Image
Four sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in formation. Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica, approaches closely. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
An over-under shot of Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica, approaches closely. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
Andrew, a local guide, is friends with Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica, approaches closely. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica. A small bit of squid is visible in Scar's mouth. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica. A small bit of squid is visible in Scar's mouth. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
Super close-up shot of Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica. A small bit of squid is visible in Scar's mouth. Photo taken under permit.

Posted Image
Over-under of Scar, a 10-year old sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica. A small bit of squid is visible in Scar's mouth. Photo taken under permit.
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#12 philsokol

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 08:03 PM

F@*#ing amazing pics, guys! Now don't let Scar scratch your dome port... :)

Edited by philsokol, 29 January 2010 - 08:05 PM.

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#13 adamhanlon

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 11:21 PM

Amazing pictures!

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#14 MikeVeitch

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 01:42 AM

man, those are awesome... :)

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#15 Cary Dean

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 01:44 AM

What beautiful amazing creatures. Awesome!
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#16 DrFiscus

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 03:55 AM

What beautiful amazing creatures. Awesome!

Ok the secret is out - sure beats your Japan trip doesn't it - even with the permitting process.
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#17 nudibranch

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:22 AM

I didn't know you guys were coming down, but it looks like it is working for you.

Lovely images!!!

regards

Izzy
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#18 tonywu

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:04 AM

Here's another shot. This one of four young males

Posted Image
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#19 cor

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:33 AM

Waiting for our boat to arrive, which is no where in sight and was due 30 minutes ago. Island time hits again. Im so glad im used to this from the USVI :)

One of mine from yesterday.

dominica.jpg
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#20 rtrski

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:47 AM

Sunset tonight:

[vimeohd]9080990[/vimeohd]

Jeff -- we went to some tourist Creole place. All the local places (except for the super-loud bar types) seem to be closed on Friday nights. Where should we go for good, quick food??

I haven't been there in two years, but there was a place called "The Garage" which actually wasn't too bad for service when we were there. It does qualify for one of the louder bar-types, but had a few tables on a patio annex out front. Upside is they weren't as loud, downside is that you were a bit more out-of-sight, out-of-mind for the waitstaff. And comedy value for me as an engineer just goggling at the true nightmare of power cables festooned to a single pole across the street.

Lunchtime - look for any of the small cheap shacks. Don't know where you're staying...if you're using the Anchorage's dock by any chance, right across the street and a little south there was a big Courts building that had a small shack in its lot, kind of around back. I think they called it Cindy's but there was no sign. Great lunch for like EC$ 6. For breakfast just try some of the little bread things like coconut rolls or whatever from all the bitty bakeries (Sukies??) along the street in either Newtown or Roseau (assuming its not included in your hotel stay?)

Y'all are making me jealous as heck.

Edited by rtrski, 30 January 2010 - 05:59 AM.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...