Sperm Whales!

...just a quick update from the Ogasawara Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where I've been for the past week or so with a few friends photographing sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus).

In short, we've had really good luck, encountering sperm whales on most days, as well as seeing a bunch of other interesting stuff, like Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), pan-tropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata), deep-water octopus parts (left overs from sperm whale meals...I think from a seven-arm octopus (Haliphron atlanticus)), and even a few beaked whales (from the surface only).

The highlight so far has been an encounter with a group of six sperm whales (five adult females and a baby), with one of the adults chewing on a giant squid. Yes...I know it sounds unbelievable, but we have photos and video to prove it!

In fact, our trip has been such a success that we've extended our stay, so I won't be back to regular communication until after the 25th of this month. My access to the internet is restricted, so I don't anticipate posting again while I'm here.

For now, following are a handful of sample images, starting with a sperm whale profile:

sperm whale

An image of Eric Cheng photographing a blob of left-over deep-water octopus parts probably left uneaten by a sperm whale:


And a friendly whale at the surface turning to take a look at us:

sperm whale

Note: Photographs taken under permit.