Science and Whales / by Jerry

21st November

Travelling with us are a large number of marine scientists with a disparate array of equipment for sampling everything about the ocean. Probes and nets to measure temperature, salinity, currents and the abundance and biometrics of microscopic life. Far too much for me to explain here,

www.seaweeddownsouth.wordpress.com

 is a good start though.

Just before lunchtime on 21st we reached one of the sampling locations and paused to allow the scientists to do their thing. Getting a few bits together to go out on deck and observe I noticed, through my cabin window, a distant whale spurt. Outside we realised we were surrounded by them and as we waited, roughly stationary for about an hour, we got some amazing views of these humpbacks feeding all around the ship. Close enough to hear their exhalations, feeling like we could reach out and touch them. Truly thrilling, these photos and videos (

https://vimeo.com/148031681

) will sum it up better than I can.

Team talk before launching the net.

Harnessed up, standing at the very back of the ship ensuring a smooth launch.

Humpback whales!

Incredible views so close to the ship.

Pulling in a mooring buoy containing dozens of measuring devices.

Jerry