Moby Dick for Mother's Day

by firmm Team

Text: Pia Ackermann, Volunteer at firmm
Photos: firmm

While most mothers get flowers or chocolates on this 11th May 2009 as Mother's Day, the ones on board of the "firmm Spirit" experienced a "jumbo" surprise: A big Sperm Whale approached the boat quite closely. The opportunity to observe a Sperm Whale for a few minutes is already a gift. But a Sperm Whale appearing close to the boat was really remarkable.

Step by step: Shortly after watching the first whales, a family of Pilot Whales, our experienced crew discovered the 2m high blow of a Sperm Whale. Let's go there at once! The boat stopped at a respectful distance. The Sperm Whale rested there on the surface, quietly filling its blood and whole body with oxygen. In the complete silence we were able to hear it blowing. The next moment it turned its huge head to the boat. Who is now observing whom? Its eyes were not visible, only the blowhole.


It can easily be detected where its edged head merges with the massive back. Right under its furrowed skin lays the blubber, a thick insulating layer which protects the Whale from the cold during its deep dives.


As it was resting there in the middle of the heavy traffic route of the Strait of Gibraltar, at the mercy of possible collisions, the Giant looked quite vulnerable. But it has no choice, even as the best diver among marine mammals the Sperm Whale needs to come to the surface to breathe. All of a sudden a tension ran through the massive torso, the Sperm Whale bent its body and dove down with verve and grace. How wonderful to see the trenched fluke disappearing in the deep! The expression "resident of the sea" has just reached a new dimension.


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