The Antarctica Files: Whale whirls!

Writing grants + papers + stress + migraines + beautiful weather apparently = me not blogging.

:-/

Luckily, others are and Dr. Dolittle at LifeLines put up a post on how whales use bubbles to hunt:

Blowing Bubbles

While that sounds like part of a Monty Python bit ("First you get the comfy chair... and then... BUBBLES! NO ONE EXPECTS THE BUBBLES!"), that is actually how whales hunt for fish, and I actually got to see this irl in Antarctica!

NOTE: These are NOT my pictures! These are pics from folks on the trip that had awesome cameras, and they donated them to the DVD of photos everyone got. So to reduce the chance of someone snatching these and using them for profit without anyones approval, Im making them lower res. If you are a teacher and want higher res ones for class or something, shoot me an email.

i-f214800dc80bb267dc50a0fbd376a6f4-whalewhirls1-thumb-500x752-69065.jpg

i-6b21d987a477dbc5341130e2214aa05c-whalewhirls2-thumb-500x332-69067.jpg

i-390f9c05ab770f0120235f72d4ae669f-whalewhirls3-thumb-500x333-69069.jpg

Here are a couple good shots of the whales making the pretty spirals:
i-cb4123eb2d2951212cad4a36bd6f392e-whalewhirls4-thumb-500x334-69071.jpg

i-3b9610f71f95d22c744d093a85a9b9c4-whalewhirls5-thumb-500x334-69073.jpg

While the folks who took these shots had nice cameras, I dont want you to think they were using some super fancy zoom lens for these pics. This is actually how close were were to the whales hunting that day + people for a size comparison (and we frequently got this close to them):
i-9f2c90c0e19072f5d857d799b0a1202f-whalewhirls6-thumb-500x332-69075.jpg

Also, so, apparently a 'thing' I do now when Im totally stressed out is try to book another trip to Antarctica.

:-/

Tags

More like this

The person who never seems to be able to operate, or be happy with, these modern digital cameras. The person who more often says "Oh, I'm so upset, I couldn't get a picture of that because this damn camera never works right" or the person who goes to take a shot but then quietly puts the camera…
After a couple of months of testing, the results are in. I've attempted to wrestle with this issue on this blog before, but with unsatisfying results. PHS (Push Here Stupid) cameras can be tricky, for a number of reasons. A few years ago, my sister gave Julia a Sony, that new fancy digital…
The ToBo Lab fish crew learning how to ID parrotfish from fish expert Rich Pyle aboard the Hi'ialakai "Visual storytelling through science/nature photography" was the fourth session I attended at Science Online 2011. Run by ace photographer and journalist Allie Wilkinson and photography enthusiast…
A while back, I went down to Vroman's Nose in Middleburgh to go for a hike, and found a sign saying that peregrine falcons are known to nest on the cliffs. Since the peregrine falcon is SteelyKid's absolute favorite bird, and the subject of her school research project, this seemed like a good…

enjoy the R & R.....

Oh, its not R&R :-|

More like 'on the brink of insanity, but not going insane because I dont have time for that shit'.

:-|

My constant threat is 'I swear to god Im going to go to Antarctica and never come back.'

Oh, actually, there is more to this story--

The ships captain was this Russian veteran. Older fellow. Had been doing this sort of thing forever. Seen a million whales.

When we came up on these guys feeding, even the captain was running around with his camera :-D These beautiful spirals over and over. And this was our last day in Antarctica-- it was like a going away present from the whales :)

Antarctica is a tremendously interesting place to visit and/or work, and these humpback whales are certainly a part of it. Your sequence of shots showing them bubble net feeding is great. One can see this likewise here in Alaska as well. Thanks for sharing.