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Sperm whale expedition to Ogasawara, Japan


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#1 echeng

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 06:42 AM

I've just returned from the Wetpixel sperm whale expedition to the Ogasawara Islands, Japan. It was totally and utterly successful beyond any of my expectations, and we had numerous encounters with sperm whales during our 8 days on the water. Especially exciting were photos of a sperm whale with the remains of some sort of giant squid in its mouth, and an encounter with a huge male (rare in Ogasawara).

We hope to be returning to Ogasawara next year, but we're not sure whether we'll be able to get permits again. I can't wait to be back there -- it is a magical place.

Trip report links:

- Update 1
- Update 2
- Update 3

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eric cheng
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#2 Scubamoose

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 07:35 AM

Truly incredible Eric!

Great story and outstanding photos! Maybe I can join some future trip to Ogasawara - seems like a must do trip!

Cheers
Karel
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#3 vincentkneefel

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 07:17 AM

Very cool trip report, I am sure you enjoyed! Did you encounter any sperm whale groups? What lens did you use?

I was did summer in the Azores: http://www.vincentkn...9/9593958_MZaps and I also found that sperm whales are extremely shy and very different in their behavior from other whales. You have to be very lucky to get up close (that means, spending huge amounts of time on the water to increase your chances). It is still my dream to capture them while they are socializing in a group..

Best Wishes

Vincent
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#4 gassa

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:51 PM

I am working in whalewhatcing and I know how hard it is to get the rigth timing. We dont have sperm whales but I got one chance to swim with the mighty, The Blue Whale. That was 12 years ago and I really want to meet these magnificent creatures again!!

Really nice photos!!

Thanks for charing with us.

Gisli A. Gudm

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#5 echeng

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 03:10 PM

I just posted a combined trip report on my own site, including links to image galleries. We did encounter sperm whale groups -- very exciting. I shot almost exclusively with the Tokina 17mm prime (full frame).

http://echeng.com/jo...gasawara-japan/
eric cheng
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www | journal | photos


#6 EXTREME

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 03:22 PM

Eric,
This trip report and pictures on your website are absolutely amazing...
Predrag Vuckovic
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#7 pats0n

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:54 PM

Mind blowing ! Congratulations guys on your successful trip !

#8 Beach Bum

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 05:29 PM

Sounds like you had an incredible trip Eric, your trip report and photos are excellent!
Mike

#9 echeng

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 08:39 PM

Update: Idiot's guide to sushi, starring Tony Wu and Douglas Seifert. :uwphotog:

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eric cheng
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www | journal | photos


#10 DrFiscus

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:50 PM

Nice photos - I just finished two days of snorkeling off Dominica with sperm whales - with fellow Wetpixel members Loftus and EYU and former member the Octopus. Awesome site to be in the water with these beautiful and intelligent animals - one young male "Scar" was particularly friendly. Here are a couple of pictures and a link to my website with photos -http://oceandoctorshots.com/blog/?page_id=5
Certainly better weather and easier to get to (as long as you don't travel on LIAT) than the Japan trip._DOM3903.jpg
Andy Malbin
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#11 DrFiscus

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:53 PM

Here is another photo too!!_DOM3958.jpg
Andy Malbin
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#12 DrFiscus

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 06:56 PM

Here is one last photo - this time of "Loftus" and the pod about to dive deep. (Sorry for the red in the photo - needs a little more color correction but I am too tired tonight to finish editing the photo)_DOM3986.jpg
Andy
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#13 davephdv

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 07:34 PM

All the shots: very cool!
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