April 4th 08 - From Christian Pollard Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Stevenson   


Here's a photo sent to me by Christian Pollard of an underwater shot of one of three whales seen last Saturday off South West Breaker. It's hard to tell what kind of whale it is, but definitely not a humpback. It's curious that Michael Heslop phoned me that day saying that there were nine boats around a possible three whales in exactly the same location at the same time but that they managed to give him the slip. Also curious that I was directed to exactly the same spot later that afternoon by a call from Patrick Singleton and we did find one humpback.

Here are comments from Mathew Hammond who was on the boat:

i thought they were pilot whales, but they're totally the wrong shape (e.g the dorsal fin) and ours were much bigger. remember how the blowholes were way up towards the front of the head? and remember the general profile above the water? well, check out these photos of sperm whales! i would swear that that's what we saw. what do you think?

Here's a comment from Hilary Moors a student of Professor Hal Whitehead, University of Dalhousie, both experts on humpbacks and sperm whales:

Hi Chris and Andrew,

I've showed these pictures to Hal (who's been studying these guys for years),

and we're both in agreement: these are definately sperm whales. With a size of

20-25 feet, Hal says that they are likely to be small females or juveniles.

Juveniles would make a lot of sense, as they tend to be curious and would be

more likely to permit swimmers to get close...

Pretty amazing, I'm jealous!




Hilary Moors

PhD Candidate

Whitehead Lab

Dalhousie University

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This morning a phone call from Patrick SIngleton with two or three whales just off Sonesta, very close, at 9.45am. Again, too rough to go out. Now I wonder if these are the mysterious whales from last Saturday.



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