16.09.2017 – Headstand and Tailslaps
Today again, we were blessed with great sightings of the whale species with the big head. On all tours we observed Sperm whales. Each time again it is a special encounter to see them up so close. Hearing their blow, seeing the movements of their long and slim body. In the past days and weeks we had many interesting observations, including breaching animals and snoopy ones, which approached our boats.
This evening, the boat´s engine was off and we saw again a magnificent spectacle. A young Sperm calf was obviously by its own at the surface, his conspecifics probably dove or where far from him.
Suddenly the pub lift its tail far out of the water and moved it back and forth. It seemed like waving with a simultaneously headstand. That alone already appeared to be very special. But then the waving turned into an knocking. In a fast sequence the little whale slapped its fluke several times quickly on the water surface. This procedure was repeated 3 times. All this had a certain style and rhythm. So sad that accidentally Prof. Dr. Hal Whitehead (Dalhousie University – Canada) was not on board with us. He is one of the few Sperm whale experts worldwide and spent many of his lifetime at sea, exploring the deep diving whales. Gladly we would have asked him, if the calf was rather playing around or if its behaviour meant something different. Tailslaps on the watersurface can be a powerful acoustic sign and be noticed miles away.
by Astrid Haas
Sightings of the day:
15.00: Atlantic spotted dolphins, Seaturtle