April 6th 08 Print
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

The photo (taken by Bob Steinhoff) says it all. After some hours of quietly shadowing a pod of whales, fantastic underwater footage in fifty feet of water of a female and a very fat calf almost the size of its mother. The calf appears to be a yearling. Here's the footage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zARAmIc8sFw

Here here are some of the still frames from the video:




We set off from the Hamilton Dinghy Club at 10.00 on Bob Steinhoff's boat Dom Perignon. At 11.45 we found Explorer and Bermuda IV on the edge of Sally Tuckers with one skittish whale in sight. We left them and continued around the edge of Sally Tuckers towards Chubb Heads where Anthony Mello on Looking Glass had six whales in sight with a lot of breaching. At 12.00 we were a mile or so off Chubb head with whales in sight with Looking Glass and Jolly Roger in pursuit in 70 feet of water. We could see at least two pods of whales and diverted from the two wahle watching boats to the other pod. Over the next hours we saw many blows, some breaches off on the horizon but we shadowed the same pod of six whales and were rewarded with a lot of pectoral fin slapping , tail lobbing, head lunges, and some fluke dives which gave us some identifying fluke shots to send to Allied Whale. I managed to get in the water with the pod on a couple of occasions but the whales weren't interested and continued by me. About 15.00 the males left the female and calf and getting into the water a dozen times or so I was able to get some video footage of the two of them as they approached me in fifty feet of water. The calf, obviously a yearling, is fat and almost the size of the mother. The mother meanwhile is very skinny. The calf was curious and approached me time and again, followed by her (yes, it appeared she was a female) watchful mother. The calf did headstands and cartwheels before we finally left about 17.00 to head back to Bermuda. The winds were fairly stiff with waves that made videography more challenging. We also noted strong currents around the whales with areas of calm bordering on areas with turbulent water. I might be able to get indentifying fluke shots of both whales from the underwater high definition video.

And on May 8th 08 the whale fluke below taken today was matched!

Specifically, it was Adrianna Beaudette, one of Allied Whale's talented freshmen (whom is fast becoming their "matching queen"!!) matched our whale "DSC_0017" from April 6, 2008 to HWC#3558. Actually, she matched it serendipitously as she just happened to recognize our whale as being one in the "recently matched box"! So, here is the sighting history to date for HWC#3558:

1982 - Red Bay, Labrador, Canada

1986 - British Virgin Islands, West Indies

2002 - St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada (across the Strait of Belle Isle from Red Bay incidentally)

2008 - Bermuda

Very cool stuff!!!