Unexpected visit of Sperm Whales
by Katharina Heyer
On April 23rd and 24th we were surprised by 10 Sperm Whales. The first one we saw on the last tour in the afternoon. Instead of diving down as usually, he swam rapidly in direction Atlantic Ocean. After a while, however he submerged majestically. Already before, we have seen some hundred meters away, a second blow of a Sperm Whale. As we slowly approached him, straight away another appeared and before I even could announce it in all languages, a third Sperm Whale was lying very close to the other two. Amongst our guests on the boat and as well in the captain cabin the first cries of joy were audible. Everything continued in rapid succession, a forth and a fifth Sperm Whale surfaced, then a sixth and a seventh. I wasn't even able to keep up to announce everything in 4 languages, as a ninth Sperm Whale appeared.They lay body to body, did spyhopping; that means they came out of the water with their heads and looked around curiously. They breathed in deeply; one could see many blows, then again heads. The many Sperm Whales built almost an island out of Sperm Whale bodies! In the meantime also Bottlenose Dolphins showed up, who swam curiously around the giants. Then they dived all down in a leisurely way, although not vertically, which made us suppose, that we would see them again quite soon. And really they all came back to the surface after about 10 minutes, still close together. We also observed that some of them turned around, supposing that this could be the beginning of a Sperm Whale mating. Such foreplay takes hours. One Sperm Whale mating we were able to capture on film three years ago.
Such a big Sperm Whale family, all very close together, I have never seen before.
The next day of course we searched once again for Sperm Whales. After a long search we found a family of Bottlenose Dolphins, swimming in westerly direction. And then we saw the first blow of a Sperm Whale. No sooner that one dived down, we already saw the next blow and so itwent on for the next ¾ of an hour. Like the day before, also the Bottlenose dolphins showed up. We saw all ten Sperm Whales from the day before again, but that time they came up individually after feeding, rested on the surface, filled up their bodies with oxygen to dive down once again vertically, in their typical manner. 10 times in a row we were able to take photos of the so popular Sperm Whale flukes. The eighth Sperm Whale even was our Observador, who we know since 2015. He usually comes close to the boat and then shows us his descending tail fluke. The suspicion was confirmed that one Sperm Whale has a partly missing tail fluke. Instantly Eduardo gave him the name Mario! For all of us this once again was an extraordinary experience; to see 10 Sperm Whales during
one two-hour tour.On the following two tours we saw them all again.