Let’s just say…Wow. (28 sec)


Back story here: How Drones Are Helping Scientists Study and Protect Endangered Whales (Thank you Christie!)

 

SuperPod! (80 sec)

Patrick Webster, who has lived near Monterey Bay for 11 years, is no stranger to sea creatures. But this week was the first time he saw the ocean “come alive,” he said.  About 1,000 dolphins were racing along the shore in a “superpod,” jumping in and out of the water while chasing baitfish. “It was one of the most amazing experiences to see the water be alive with squeaking and splashing dolphins,” Webster said. “They’ll hop up and take a look at you, and you can see they’re checking you out.” The dolphins led the boat to several whales that were lunge feeding and bubble netting, which occurs when whales blow bubbles around a school of fish to trap them. The dolphins swam in and out of the whales’ feeding area, picking up their leftovers, making for a spectacular show that Webster captured on video. “They were just going to town,” Webster said. “It’s a super big deal to see so much wildlife all in the same spot…. For the animals, it’s probably just a regular day.”

(Source: Hundreds of dolphins race along Monterey Bay in ‘superpod’, Los Angeles Times, September 7, 2018)

Sunday Morning

After a century, humpbacks migrate
again to Queens. They left
due to sewage and white froth

banking the shores from polychlorinated-
biphenyl-dumping into the Hudson
and winnowing menhaden schools.

But now grace, dark bodies of song
return. Go to the seaside—

Hold your breath. Submerge.
A black fluke silhouetted
against the Manhattan skyline …

Our songs will pierce the dark
fathoms. Behold the miracle:

what was once lost
now leaps before you.

~ Rajiv Mohabir, from “Why Whales Are Back in New York City


Notes:

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Photographer Franco Banfi and a team of scuba divers were following a pod of sperm whales in Dominica Island when suddenly the large creatures became motionless and began to take a synchronized vertical rest. This strange sleeping position was first discovered only in 2008, when a team of biologists from the UK and Japan drifted into their own group of non-active sperm whales. After studying tagged whales the team learned this collective slumber occurs for approximately 7 percent of the animal’s life, in short increments of just 6-24 minutes.

You can see more of the Switzerland-based photographer’s underwater photography on his website and Instagram

Source: A Photographer Captures the Unusual Way Sperm Whales Sleep via thisiscollosal.com, July 4, 2017)

Thank you Eric.

Pause. For 145 sec. Be transported.

A bird’s eye view of 2,000 beluga whales in the Northwest passage.

Magic.

 

Go Big. Go Right. (Be Moved)


Southern right whales, which can measure about 55 feet and weigh up to 60 tons, were once hunted to the brink of extinction. The present population off Australia numbers about 2,500. The global population is about 12,000.

“Dave Price who was just making his way over to the whales on his stand-up board said they were really inquisitive and came over to meet him.  There was one time when the whales lifted their heads up [and] looked up over Pricey’s board. They were so inquisitive and wanted to know what he was.”


Source: Grindtv.com

The Salt of the Earth

adelita_right_whale-sebastiao-salgado

“I also befriended a whale. These are the whales in Argentina. An adult like this is 35 meters long, weighs about 40 tons. She came so close to the boat, I could touch her.  And it was incredible. Such sensitive skin! As I was caressing her, I could see her tail, 35 meters away, trembling. Incredible sensitivity. We had a small boat, just 7 meters long. She knew she could have sunk us. But she never once hit the boat. Not once! As we left, she began slapping her tail.”

~ Sebastião SalgadoGenesis from The Salt of the Earth (01:33:26)


Whether you are a professional or hobby photographer, or don’t take pictures at all, this documentary on the life and work of Sebastião Salgado will leave its mark on you.  Must see…here’s the trailer:


Notes:

Hump Hump Hump Humpbacks!

whale

whale

Amateur photographer Katrina Begg took this incredible shot of two whales breaching in tandem off Flynns Beach, off the coast of Port Macquarie in Australia.

Read more here: Herald Sun (July 7, 2015)


Hump Day HumpBacks


Not exactly. Gray whale megapods spotted in Dana, California. 45 to be exact.

One Word.

Wow.

And here’s another shot of a gray whale with its calf:

Newborn-Gray-Whale-From-Drone-2_Copyright-Dolphin-Safari


Credits: Video – GrindTV. Photo Source – GrindTV

Two Words: Goose Bumps


For the first time ever, researchers have used an unmanned hexacopter to monitor killer whales in the wild. In August 2014, Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, Vancouver Aquarium Senior Marine Mammal Scientist, collaborated with Dr. John Durban and Dr. Holly Fearnbach from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to use the hexacopter in the field.
Researchers will use the 30,000 photographs taken during 60 flights to assess northern resident killer whale health. From above, the scientists can assess their girth and determine whether the killer whales are sickly or pregnant. These photographs have already revealed several pregnancies, previously undetectable. This information will help guide management of the protected northern resident killer whale population, as well as the endangered southern resident population.

The APH-22 marine hexacopter was built by custom aerial photography company Aerial Imaging Solutions and is owned by NOAA. Its use was authorized by a marine mammal research license issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a special flight certificate from Transport Canada, and animal care permits. The team of scientists also assessed the impact of the hexacopter itself on the animals, and they were able to determine that it went unnoticed by the whales.

Note: The noise in the video may sound loud, but these drones are actually very quiet. You would have to listen hard to hear the drone 10m above your head. The audio is recorded off a camera 30cm from the motors and attached to the frame. In the field the drone was high above the water and researchers noticed no reaction in the whales.


Thank you Rachel. Incredible.

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