Thursday, 28 August 2008

Whale, whales and more whales

Approaching the shelf today all was calm then we saw the first signs of whales, a few blowing straight ahead. Then there were at least 10 around us and for the rest of the day just more and more whales as far as you can see. All humpback whales. They clearly did not like it when the ship approached them and would stop all activity and move off. But as soon as we stopped to collect some water samples with the CTD, they would come and investigate us. Further away from the ship they would keep us entertained with lots of breaching, lob-tailing, sailing and everything else whales do. We need to put a sign put the main door out onto the deck:
Mind the whale!!
I stepped out to have a look what was going on outside sometime during the afternoon and almost tripped over the whale that was right there.

If the increase in frequency of sampling stations did not keep us busy enough, there was always whale watching to be done. I must say birding activity is still very calm. Between all of this we have approached land and the island of Madagascar is now in our sights. Not much currently to been seen, except for some long beaches and high dunes along the coast.

With the first trawl in the water now we will be busy well into the night sorting fish and collecting our much anticipated first fish samples. I feel like it is almost Christmas, and the presents will be opened soon and who knows what will be in there. Hopefully something interesting at least.

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