August 25, 2004
Humpbacks sighted today. The small boat was launched. I am planning to interview some more of the scientists as I only have three more days to do so. It is cloudy and dreary as usual today but Shannon our hydrophone expert says the seas have been warming up as we head East by one half degree or so.
4pm. Humpbacks sighted. The small boat is launched and we talk to the scientists over our walkie-talkies telling them the location of the humpbacks as I sight them. This group of humpbacks takes dives that have lasted up to 10minutes at a time. We keep the McArthur(our ship) at a distance so the small boat can get closer to the humpbacks. Then to my surprise I see one of the whales do what looked like a full breach in front of the small boat. It was amazing that we could see this when we were over four miles away. It was spectacular.
I asked Todd, the scientist driver when he returned what was it like being right next to a breaching whale. He said that the whale actually did an "enhanced" spy hop and then fell back lopsiding its head against the water. I would have loved to be on the small ship then.
I then went back down to the lab and did some more fluke identification. I want to complete or almost complete the four sets with the Kodiak catalog as I did with the Prince Williams Sound catalog. However, I did get dizzy after two hours straight of identification on a bumpy ship using the loupe.
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