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The arrival of the Humpbacks

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    22nd June
    It was with massive excitement that i heard a small voice through the radio say ‘There’s whales right by you’ as i returned from a dive lastweek. The shore marshal had noticed 2 humpbacks travelling south along the coast and had been following them for about half an hour; our first sighting of the season! Unfortunately we didn’t manage to spot them until we were on shore and had a slight height advantage but even from a distance it was enough to cheer me up no end. Following this first sighting we have started our whale monitoring programme and I finally made it over to the whale watch platform on Nosy Hao. A very impressive structure with probably the best view in the world, and certainly not a bad place to spend a morning. The weather has not been too great recently which doesn’t make for good whale sighting weather, as every wave resembles a surfacing fin, but although we were not lucky enough to have any sightings in our 2 hour stint, the slightly wet pirogue journey back to Andavadoaka and general feeling of having a 360 degree view of your surroundings made it a very enjoyable morning. Fingers crossed for a successful season.
    25th June

    Another sighting this morning- brilliant. We were off to a small dive site off shore, which incidentally we didnt manage to find as we drifted before we went down! Once we were all back on the boat feeling a bit subdued from the aborted dive we heard Marcellin’s cry of ‘baleine’ and the morning suddenly became much better! We watched a single humpback surface about 60m from the boat. After a cautious approach and a few more surfacings it then surfaced twice within about 20m of the boat before moving off again. Truly uplifting (Well i would say that being the cetacean lover, but it is certainly very magical when a creature that massive comes over to say hi!)

    Sophie (Field Scienist)

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