June 13, 2017
Written by: Alexandria Hahn
Edited by: Amy Whitt
On Tuesday, I had a personal sighting…and it also happened to be our first pilot whale sighting of the cruise! At first glance, what I thought I saw was a group of dolphins, and Amy said that the female pilot whale dorsal fins can be confused for dolphins when they are far from the ship. It wasn’t until I saw the male pilot whale dorsal fin that I KNEW it was them. The males have such wide and distinctive dorsal fins that I don’t think I’ll ever forget them!
It was overwhelming to see so many pilot whales in the same place that tears literally began to stream down my face and I gazed at them through the big eye binoculars. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced, and I hope that it won’t be the last time I get to see them.
The pilot whales stayed in our study area for a little bit longer before they all completely left. I wish I could say that we’ve seen more pilot whales since then, but stay tuned for more sighting blogs…
***This blog article is part of our LADC-GEMM 2017 Survey blog series. Check out more articles in this series here, on the LADC-GEMM website, and on Alexandria Hahn’s blog. Also, be sure to “Like” the new LADC-GEMM Facebook page!***