Sunday, 19 March 2006

Caribbean Sperm Whale Nursery

In March 2006 I travelled to the Caribbean island of Dominica where the deep but sheltered waters on the leeward coast provide perfect conditions for female sperm whales to give birth and raise their calves.
My old film camera struggled a bit with taking photos of grey whales and dolphins
in grey-blue water, but here are a few pictures from the trip.

Most of the sperm whales we saw were mother and calf pairs, with a few males hanging around in the hope of mating with a receptive female. Some of the 'calves' were quite large because the females only give birth every three to six years, and youngsters can continue to take milk for as long as 13 years.


We were joined on occasions by lively pantropical spotted dolphins who loved to bow-ride in front of our catamaran...


 ...and also by the occasional bottlenose dolphin.