August 12, 2006
Lat: 4° 35.4' N
Today was Richard's b'day (the senior scientist), and he was blessed with a rare sighting indeed! It had already been a big day for cetaceans, with sightings of Tursiops, spotters, spinners, streakers, and short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus). All remained very evasive. As we were watching and waiting for the pilot whales, Richard spotted a Longman's beaked whale (Indopacetus pacificus) in the midst of them. Guess he got a real good head shot, so as to positively identify it. These whales are rarely seen alive at sea, and little is known about them. Richard could count on one hand the number he's seen, in 30+ yrs in this business. Needless to say he was elated! I, on the other hand, cannot claim it as a sighting, for as hard as I tried, all I saw were the pilots.