2014 05 08 We see Candle again! Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Stevenson   



Candle above, taken this year. It's pretty obvious why we have named him Candle.

Lacking availability of other crew and boats, I took our own 21-foot Pursuit "Magical Whale" out to Challenger Bank. On Challenger Bank, for the first time in six weeks, we had relatively flat seas and 5-10 knot winds. There were no whales in sight but using a hydrophone, we could hear a whale singing loud and beautifully. Over a few hours, we moved some miles in all directions until we gradually pin-pointed the location of the whale in deep water. When the singing stopped we saw the whale's back some 100 yards from us. Then there was silence. After waiting for an hour we gave up. Apart from the one brief glimpse of the singing humpback surfacing and diving, we hadn't seen any other whales but as has happened so often in the past, shortly after four we saw a whale breach and then pec slap some miles to the South West. We found this pair of whales and managed to get their fluke IDs and then another whale breached nearby. We drove to that spot and stopped, turned the engine off, and several minutes later a whale surfaced right beside the boat. It lifted its tail high and it was "Candle" the whale that starred in my documentary film "Where the Whales Sing". Just to remind you, Candle was the whale that ‘fought' Magical Whale when I was in the water with them that first season in 2007. We have now seen Candle six times in eight years, always late in the season except for once when we ID'ed it in January and then again late in April. Candle has only been ID'ed once before our Bermuda sightings, off Labrador in 1978 by Professor Hal Whitehead. We remained on Challenger until six and then started heading back. One of the other two whales we photographed and ID'ed we have matched to a whale first seen in Newfoundland and Dominican Republic in 1990.





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