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Sperm whales in Dominica


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#61 MikeVeitch

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:59 AM

why don't any of you use proper fins?

(yes i hate all of you)

:good: :)

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#62 Simon Rogerson

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 03:31 PM

I too hate them, and their silly fins.

But I love their photos.

#63 tonywu

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 07:59 PM

Thanks for the love guys :good:

Here's another. This gentle mouthing behaviour seems to be fairly common. Seems to be an important part of normal social interaction. Not aggressive at all.

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#64 Steve Williams

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:33 PM

Thanks for the images folks! I'm curious how much time you've been able to spend in the water with these guys. Are they moving and you jump in and snorkel ahead of them or do they sort of hang out in one area? I can understand that if a sperm whale decides to leave you it would be adios.

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#65 drako

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 11:36 PM

Guys when they are biting have you noticed more skin rubbing off? Just wondering from a behavior standpoint if its like play biting in dogs or they are removing parasites from the skin.

Jose

#66 tonywu

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:36 AM

Steve: It really depends on their mood. Sometimes they swim too quickly to keep up. Sometimes they move at a leisurely pace. Sometimes they're dead still. Often they move just slowly enough to keep you swimming, but just quickly enough that you can't take a photograph!

Jose: They seem to be sloughing off skin constantly. Though when they're rubbing together, there's more, just due to body contact perhaps.

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Edited by tonywu, 02 February 2010 - 03:37 AM.

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#67 stewsmith

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 04:39 AM

Here's a sample photo from today:

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


This shot is just amazing Tony.

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#68 eyu

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 06:06 AM

Eric, et al,

Your photos are really, really great and you have been very fortunate to encounter pods each day out that are willing to allow you to photograph them. When we were in Dominica in November there were times when there were no pods in sight and times when the pods either swam away or dove when we encountered them. Are you being limited to the number of swimmers in the water at one time? Any other mature males showing up?

Elmer

Edited by eyu, 02 February 2010 - 07:44 AM.

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#69 eyu

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:32 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 :good:


Tony,

The top whale is scar, you can tell him from the deep vertical scar on the right cheek from the fishing nets when he was a youngster. It appears the female is getting him excited!

Elmer

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#70 cor

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:31 PM

We just eyeball it every time. Sometimes we send a lone snorkeler out to scope things out, sometimes 2 or 3. And if we're sure they're not bothered all 5 of us go out.
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#71 cor

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 02:41 PM

One from today.

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#72 Steve Williams

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 03:40 PM

I didn't think they could get any better but I was wrong. Cor that is unbelievably beautiful.

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#73 tonywu

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 04:49 PM

Elmer,

You're the first person to notice! :good:
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#74 echeng

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:36 PM

All I can do today is post photos. We swam most of the day. My body aches!! Good night!

Oh -- we met Simon and Izzy of Images Dominica last night. They're on Wetpixel as well and will hopefully come say hi. :good:

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Two sperm whales enter a shallow dive in Dominica.. Photo taken under permit.

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Two sperm whales at the surface. Dominica.. Photo taken under permit.

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Two sperm whales at the surface. Dominica.. Photo taken under permit.

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A sperm whale calf sticks his fluke up out of the water in preparation for a tail slap. Dominica.. Photo taken under permit.

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A sperm whale in Dominica.. Photo taken under permit.

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A sperm whale hangs vertically in the water. Dominica.. Photo taken under permit.

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A sperm whale calf in Dominica.. Photo taken under permit.
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#75 echeng

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 05:48 PM

So, we've mentioned that Scar is incredibly friendly. Photos of him have been posted on Wetpixel by quite a few people already, but here are a couple more of Andrew getting close to his cetacean buddy:

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Posted Image
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#76 Cary Dean

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 08:34 PM

So, we've mentioned that Scar is incredibly friendly. Photos of him have been posted on Wetpixel by quite a few people already, but here are a couple more of Andrew getting close to his cetacean buddy:

A life changing experience I imagine....
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#77 tonywu

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 04:08 AM

Here are a couple more from our encounter yesterday. A head-on and tail-on shot of a juvenile sperm whale:

Posted Image

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#78 adamhanlon

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 04:45 AM

These images continue to amaze! Tony-that head on is superb!

Jealous-hell yes!

Please keep on posting pure inspiration!

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#79 jakelevenson

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:52 AM

Awesome shots guys. Guess we missed each other by just hours! I'm going to have to get out with Andrew from now on! If you haven't tried Pearls for lunch I highly recommend it. Only open for lunch M-F but far and away best place around. Oh, and if you have a few minutes to take a drive to the hot springs at Teekwaonglogo (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) Say Hi to Henry and June and be sure to sample the Peanut Rum, it's fantastic.

Hope I meet up with you guys in Dominica one day in the future!

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#80 echeng

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 06:07 AM

We have finished our 6 days on the water here in Dominica, and will be headed home later on today. Our last day was probably a rather typical winter day with the whales here in Dominica, which is to say that we weren't dropped into a social group within an hour of leaving dock (as we have been on previous days!). We went around the south part of the island into unprotected waters and watched whales from the surface, but were not really able to work with them successfully.

Tony and I were interviewed for local TV last night, and I stressed that Dominica's healthy reefs and clear water will probably not be seen by underwater photographers (other than the cruise ship happy-snappy people) until the transportation problem here is fixed. American Eagle has strict limits on baggage, and leaving here requires an overnight in San Juan. It takes me longer to get to and from Dominica than it does for me to get to Bali, and even if it were possible to get dive gear and camera rig here via indirect international check-in, it might be impossible to get the gear out.

It has been an incredible adventure, and I will certainly be back one day

A few more photos:

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Over/under image of a juvenile sperm whale in Dominica (Physeter macrocephalus). Photo taken under permit.

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A juvenile sperm whale gets close! (Physeter macrocephalus). Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

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7 sperm whales in a social group (Physeter macrocephalus). Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

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Emiko Miyazaki photographs a group of sperm whales in Dominica (Physeter macrocephalus). Photo taken under permit.

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Bulbous frond view of a sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Dominica. Photo taken under permit.

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Over/under image of three sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica Photo taken under permit.

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Over/under image of twp sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in Dominica Photo taken under permit.

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Two sperm whales in a shallow dive, Dominica. (Physeter macrocephalus). Photo taken under permit.
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